Buying a Used Excavator

When dealing with construction or other mining duties, a company involved in the industry will need a full deck of equipment and heavy machinery. Whether it is dump trucks, personnel transportation, international machinery, or various types of excavators, these all play into a successful and safe working environment. 

These functional components can be very expensive, and some might not be worth the headache to secure, knowing all the paperwork and financing involved. Purchasing used gear and equipment is a good idea for forthcoming companies trying to cut costs and remain competitive in the industry. 

Buying a Used Excavator

All types of excavators are available on the market, and looking for the right ones entails a proper process to find a good deal. While the second-hand market is often difficult to navigate because of the various mechanical factors that play into the search, there are some things to look at that can ensure that you won’t be at a loss. Be sure to toy around with the various types of excavators you’re buying so that you know its functionality is at a top percentile. Here’s a quick guide to purchasing all types of excavators in the used market:

– Swing Radius Check

Since these machines’ main motion is using a swivel that allows the excavator to move materials while stationary, you’ll want this component in good condition. The action should be smooth without any rough jumps, as this can be an expensive fix. Check the connection points of all the components around the slew ring, and analyze the condition of bushings and pins for looseness. 

– Observe the Exterior Condition

While most machines might be dirty from handling dust, mud, or snow, you might want to request them to be cleaned thoroughly. With a spotless exterior, you can view any potential dents, cracks or unnatural bends on the surface of the machine. Check essential areas, as any metal damage means that the structural integrity is compromised and will not sustain heavier loads for much longer. Scuffs and scratches are acceptable, as the job sites are typically going to cause these smaller cosmetic damages. Cracking and dents are not so usual, so be wary of buying various excavators that have these on their bodywork. 

– View the Hydraulic Components

Hydraulics are the parts responsible for heavy lifting with ease, and if any of the cylinders, hoses, or lines are damaged, this can be a headache to fix. They are also quite expensive in the case of international machinery, so be sure that these components have no leaks or spills before purchasing the excavator. 

– Check the Cockpit for Non-Working Items

The cockpit should have all items working correctly, with all the meters and gauges reading accurately. Since you’ll likely be lifting heavy materials or clearing out dirt from spaces, all knobs and handles must be working correctly for safety. Any damaged control parts that no longer work can be detrimental to the working environment, limiting the operator’s control. 


While there are plenty of things to inspect when purchasing second-hand models of all types of excavators and similar equipment, these are some of the most important ones. It is important to note what parts must be at full capacity and which ones can make do with a replacement down the line. If you’re going to be shelling out thousands of dollars to buy a machine, you’ll absolutely need it to be working. 

Heavy Duty Direct is a premium supplier of trucks, trailers, heavy machinery and industrial operations equipment. With a wide variety of different kinds of trucks and international machinery in Canada, there is always something ready for all entities who wish to get into industrial work. Contact us to learn more about our products and services.