Contractors with large fleets of heavy equipment are frequently in the recycling phase. These companies sell older or less-used machinery over a specified period, replacing them with newer or refurbished used equipment. 

Buying at auction does, without a doubt, involve some risk. With our years of expertise dealing with heavy equipment, particularly secondhand equipment, we’ve compiled three suggestions that we believe are vital when acquiring equipment at auction.

1. Do Your Research on the Available Equipment

Check with your auction representative or the auction yard to see whether your technician can evaluate the equipment before the sale. Of course, a fresh coat of paint may conceal a lot beneath it. 

Although we won’t offer a complete list here, employing a technician to recognize symptoms of wear – such as fluid leaks, corrosion, and cracks – and evidence of outstanding maintenance – such as correct track tension – is highly recommended.  Whenever feasible, test the machine and pay attention to any odd noises or emissions. If you can’t get an early look at the equipment, make sure you and your mechanic put it through its paces at the auction.

It would be best if you never dismissed a piece of equipment simply because it has a new coat of paint. Most consignors are proud of their machine and have decided to give it a decent paint job to eliminate the trouble before it begins its new life. 

Again, it is advisable to have your mechanic examine the component and never judge a book by its cover.  Additionally, obtain as much paperwork on the equipment as possible, such as maintenance records and the number of hours. Those who see the same service performed on a computer several times may be experiencing a chronic problem.

2. Consider Where the Equipment Will Be Used

It’s difficult to determine the worth of equipment without examining what it’s sold for in the past. Buyers should search online to verify they are not overpaying or underpaying for equipment. While it is vital to get a good bargain, a piece of equipment that is significantly cheaper than the rest of the market may be cause for concern. Before making a purchase, always ensure that the equipment has all of the functions that are required.

If severe rains are regular on a project, for example, rust-resistant paint may be required. This extra precaution will also come in handy during the winter when low temperatures and snow can decrease machine speed and strength.

3. Evaluate and Research the Cost

Learn how much similar machines have sold for at previous auctions. You should also grasp the elements that influence such costs, such as hours, condition, age, and so on. Do your research on price outliers. It is not difficult to locate current auction prices for heavy and small equipment. 

You should also keep in mind that the winning bid isn’t the sole expense of purchasing at an auction. Find out ahead of time whether any buyer’s costs are involved. Then, obtain an estimate for the cost of transporting the equipment from the auction venue to your precise location. Consider the export ramifications if you are moving it across an international boundary, such as Latin America or Canada.

Conclusion

Construction equipment is a considerable investment. And, if fleet managers want to limit the costs, they should begin by searching for the proper equipment. A brief assessment of what each piece of equipment will be used for can help avoid subsequent purchases.

Heavy Duty Direct is the leading heavy equipment dealer in Canada and provides a convenient bridge between buyers and sellers. Get in touch with us today!