Overcoming the Top 5 Challenges When Buying Used Construction Equipment

Discover the most common problems faced when buying used construction equipment and the best strategies to address them

buying construction equipment challenges

Article Contents

How can I ensure the quality of construction equipment for sale?

Nobody wants to buy a lemon. When buying used construction equipment for sale, knowing what you’re getting can be tricky to nail down. Despite the hours, there’s a huge difference between a machine being well cared for and “well-loved”—not in the good way

To make sure you know precisely what you’re agreeing to buy, it pays to understand precisely what you’re buying.

Before you agree to buy any used construction equipment for sale, never do so without a full inspection performed by an experienced construction equipment mechanic. A professional technician will be able to identify and delineate between usual wear and machinery red flags. Yes, said inspection will cost a few hundred bucks but the price of knowledge can be priceless. 

construction equipment inspection by technican 

How do I decrease the risk of hidden construction equipment defects?

While a professional mechanic can provide an expert opinion on the state of a piece of construction equipment, hidden defects can elude even the most experienced tech. So, how can you protect yourself from these potential issues? By inspecting the documents and asking questions. 

Before buying a piece of construction equipment for sale, ask for the full maintenance, repair, and accident records of the machinery. Past owners should have detailed records about the equipment they’re selling. All past owners, repairs, and maintenance should be accounted for.

construction equipment maintenance 

How should I handle instances of incomplete construction equipment documentation? 

So, what happens if a construction equipment seller can only shrug in reply to missing equipment documentation—such as maintenance or repair records? Well, this should be considered a major red flag. 

If they can’t manage the documents, this may mean they also haven’t been properly managing the condition of the equipment. In rare instances, they could be hiding details about the true condition of the machinery. If some extreme situations, a lack of documentation may even indicate unclear ownership or even theft.

Always ask the seller for complete documentation. Also, perform a lien check on the title to ensure there are no legal claims on the equipment. If inconsistencies persist, this may be a good sign to walk away from a transaction to avoid potential legal headaches.

construction equipment documentation 

What are the true costs of construction equipment ownership?

There is a stark difference between the list price and the cost of owning a piece of construction equipment. Understanding the true costs of ownership is another crucial aspect. Besides the initial purchase price, other factors like fuel efficiency, insurance, maintenance, storage, transportation, and depreciation costs should be considered.

To help you account for the true cost of ownership of a piece of construction equipment, we’ve created an in-depth guide entitled “The True Cost of Heavy Equipment: A Comprehensive Breakdown of Associated Costs.” 

true cost of heavy equipment 

How can I avoid paying too much for used construction equipment?

Without proper knowledge of the equipment's value, price negotiation can be tricky. Avoid overpaying by researching current market prices for similar machines and considering factors like age, hours of operation, and overall condition.

To help you save money on used construction equipment for sale, we’ve developed a guide on how to negotiate heavy equipment prices

negotiating price of construction equipment 

Finding Construction Equipment for Sale, the Easy Way

By addressing these common issues, you're taking significant steps to make the right investment decisions. And when you're ready to make that next purchase, visit the Construction Equipment for Sale Listings Page on My Little Salesman to find the perfect piece for your project.

For your next item of construction equipment for sale today.

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About Ken Lane
Ken’s affinity for the heavy equipment industry was fostered as a curious youngster—becoming happily lost on his grandfather’s tractor sales and service lot (his favorite color is still Allis-Chalmers Orange). Since then, he’s perfected the art of turning black coffee into helpful buyer resources and marketing materials for My Little Salesman.
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