Questions to Ask When Buying Used Equipment

When buying heavy equipment, you may purchase a brand-new or used machine. If you want to make sure that there will be no problems with it for a long time and that it will give a top performance, go for a brand-new one. However, it will cost a lot more than used equipment. Buying a used machine doesn’t always mean that you get inadequate performing equipment. There are second-hand machines out there that are still in good condition, which you can get at more affordable prices like the ones that you will find at If you decide to go for the latter, asking the right questions to the seller can help ensure that you will get the best deal. Here are some of the questions that you may want to ask your prospective seller.

How long have you been selling heavy equipment?

The years in the business does not always equate to quality, but it can be a good sign that they are doing something right, and they are trusted. It’s because they may not be able to sustain the business if clients do not go to them, and customers will not go to them if they are not happy with what they offer. At least, this is the case for the majority of companies. Their website usually has information about the company’s history. Check other third-party sources as well for cross-reference. It will give you a better idea if the company has been in the industry for a long time and if they have an impressive record.


Can you provide me with references from your previous clients?

Reliable sellers will not hesitate to give you references as they will vouch for their credibility. Knowing the experience of their previous clients will provide you with an idea of how they do business. If clients are satisfied with their purchase, then there is also a high chance that you will also be pleased with yours. Aside from calling these references, read reviews and feedbacks from their sites. Most companies have this page on their websites where you can see what their cl9ients have to say about them. Check with other review sites too and see if you will find more feedback about them.

Do you own the equipment?

While most sellers own the equipment they are selling, it’s still best to ask. It’s to ensure that they have the title for the machine and that the transfer to your name will not be a problem. You don’t want to have any hassle about the ownership of the equipment that you buy.


How long has it been operating?

Determining the total number of hours it has been used will give you an idea of its life expectancy. It is like knowing the total mileage on a vehicle. The more hours of use, the shorter its longevity. You want to go for machines that have been used excessively and are very old because there’s a higher risk that they could break down sooner.

Could you tell me more about its history?

It could be that the seller may not be the first owner of the machine. Learning about its history, including the repairs made, will help you understand your options better. Ask for maintenance logs too if they have them. A well-maintained piece of equipment is a promising option, as well as those who haven’t undergone several repairs. If you see in the record that it often needed repair, it can be a red flag because you might be looking at a problematic machine. You don’t want equipment that you can’t use most of the time because it always needs to be fixed. It will not just be inconvenient, but it can also delay your project. Plus, the repairs can add up to your expenses.


Do you offer warranty and after-sales service?

Some providers offer a warranty even on used equipment, although it may vary from one type of machine to another. They may also provide after-sales service. Know these details so you can take advantage of them. If you are looking at the same machine options with the same price range, it would be a smart choice to go for one that offers warranty and free service after-sales.

What are your finance options?

Aside from paying in cash, some providers may have finance options to make the payments easier for you. They may require a small down payment and lower monthly payments that will be easy in your pocket.

Source: Wirecutter

How would you compare this equipment to newer models?

With the advancement of technology, newer models of heavy equipment always come out. Understanding the features of the second-hand machine, especially if it is several years old, and what newer models have that it doesn’t, will help you determine if it’s the right equipment for you. As long as the machine has the features you need, even if it doesn’t have the newest features, it could still be a good option for you. However, if the new features would be vital for your operation, then you may want to consider going for the newer model that will meet all your needs.

Did you inspect the equipment?

If you are talking to a dealer who doesn’t directly own the used machine, asking if he did an inspection would help you make the process quicker. Ask for the result of the check so you can immediately see an overview of the condition of the equipment. Of course, you may use this as a guide, but it’s still recommended that you do a general inspection of the machine yourself.


What is the capacity of the machine?

It will determine if it will meet your requirements. Find one that will cover your needs. For instance, a specific model can carry a particular weight limit at a time, so make sure that it will work for your project.

Take note of these questions when looking for used equipment to buy and add to your fleet to ensure that you get the best deal.