8 Steps to Listing Heavy Equipment for Sale (Video, Audio, & Written)

Whether you are selling a semi-truck, trailer, or piece of heavy equipment, the following steps can help you draw more people to your listings.

You can listen to the audio from this video guide here:

Heavy Equipment, Commercial Trucks, Trailers, Selling Tips

"How do I even begin to list my heavy equipment for sale online?"

Though the heavy equipment marketplace has changed, most buyers are looking for the same crucial information.

Feeling a little overwhelmed by the prospect of listing your heavy equipment for sale online? We totally understand.

However, here's a key point to remember that may simplify matters:

Though the marketplace has changed, the people looking to buy your semi-trucks, construction equipment, and other heavy equipment are largely the same.

And you're probably already friends with many such people!

Let's get started crafting your heavy equipment sales strategy—step-by-step.

Step 1. Do Your "Asking Price" Homework

"How do I figure out the best asking price for the heavy equipment I want to sell?"


Check Out Heavy Equipment Auctions

Not sure how much your equipment is worth? No worries. Online auctions are a good place to start. Many online auctions will publish their results. Reading through these reviews can indicate what heavy equipment is the most popular—along with their general worth.

Pulling Heavy Equipment Sales Data

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) is another good place for identifying heavy equipment sales trends.

The AEM's June 2021 tractor and combine report shows a decrease in tractors sold over the past year—a dip of just over 13%. Despite this number, you'll also notice that the dip in tractors under 40 horsepower only decreased by around 3%.

So, say you were selling a used tractor under 40 horsepower. Seeing that demand for such styles of tractors has not fallen in tandem with overall sales may help you determine an asking price that is both appealing to buyers as well as beneficial for you.

Checking Out Heavy Equipment Going Rates

You can get a general estimate on your own just by searching for online listings that are similar to yours. Of course, you'll always have to keep the exact condition of your semi-truck, tractor, or other heavy equipment to mind and adjust the asking price accordingly.

Professional Appraisals

Ultimately, a heavy equipment appraisal service will get you the most accurate results. While fairly straightforward, this route can be pricey and time-consuming—especially if you have several pieces of heavy equipment to list.

Step 2. Choose Your Right Time for Selling Heavy Equipment

"When is the best time to sell this particular piece of heavy equipment?"

So, you've found a great price for your heavy gear. You're ready to list it. Nice.

Now ask yourself—is now the best time to sell?

If your heavy equipment's intended use is intended for a particular season, try to list these pieces of equipment when they're most in demand. For example—

  • If you have a combine harvester, consider waiting until just before a harvesting season before listing it to get the best asking price that will fill the demand.

  • Have some snow removal equipment you want to sell? This gear is much more likely to sell in the winter than in the summer—and for a better price!

By anticipating the maximum demand for seasonal heavy equipment, your listings will attract more attention from buyers and allow you to ask for the best price. It's a win-win situation!

Snow Plowing, Plough, Tractor, Snow, Winter, Clearance

Not an easy summer sale.

Step 3. Be Completely Honest

"Should I list and show all of the details about a particular piece of heavy equipment I'm trying to sell?"

Absolutely. 100%. Err on the side of being too honest.

When selling heavy equipment, total transparency is key. Not only do you want to avoid all surprises but you want to exude an honest nature for buyers.

Potential buyers want to see detailed photographs of key areas, so go crazy with the images, including—

  • The undercarriage

  • The engine and surrounding components

  • Inside of the cab

Maximize Documentation

Maintenance logs, operation logs, and inspection certifications are a good way to earn the buyer's trust and show that you are reputable. These logs also help them feel better about their understanding of what they're getting.

If you don't have this information, don't mention it in the listing. But if the buyer asks, then be upfront about it.

Step 4. Find & List the Important Specifications

"How should I list the details about a piece of heavy equipment that I'm listing for sale?"

The average customer—especially an online customer—has the attention span of a gnat. They are not going to take the time to ask you for basic information if it is not already listed. A lack of information will arouse suspicion or at least make them lose interest—especially when the next seller has all of the information readily available.

In general, you should start your listing with the most detailed information possible:

  • Make

  • Model

  • Year

  • Engine

  • Horsepower

  • Weight

  • Dimensions (trailer)

  • Hours or miles logged (if applicable)

  • Type of work performed (landscaping, construction, etc.)

  • Gas, diesel, or electric

Leverage the Owner's Manual

Certain types of heavy equipment will need very specific information that can be found in the operator's manual. If you do not have the owner's manual for a particular piece of heavy equipment that you're listing, it may be worthwhile to find a copy to consult and include. Fortunately, acquiring a replacement operator's manual has never been easier—either in a digital PDF version or even a print version from the manufacturer or a third party.

Which details from equipment manuals should I include when listing heavy equipment for sale?

It's best to list the most relevant details about a piece of equipment when listing it for sale.

What are the must-list details by heavy equipment type?


  • Engine model

  • Transmission type

  • Operating capacity

  • Number of axles

Skid Steers

  • Dump height

  • Lifting capacity

Boom Trucks

  • Upfit type

  • Manufacturer and model

  • Max lifting capacity

  • Max lifting height

  • Working radius

Construction Equipment, Sell, Georgia, USA, Landscape

Would you buy this without knowing its max lifting specifications?

Step 5. Spruce Up Your Heavy Equipment Inventory

"How can I increase the cosmetic appeal of my heavy equipment for sale?"

There are several ways you can make your equipment look its best before it is ever photographed for an online ad. A power wash, a fresh coat of paint, and a newly refurbished interior can go a long way in making a terrific first impression with the buyer.

Consider Professional Photography

"How can I make my heavy equipment inventory stand out online?"

You may want to consider hiring a professional photographer to capture your heavy equipment at its finest. There are likely photographers in your area that specialize in this type of photography. These photographers may also offer bulk pricing for photographing multiple semi-trucks, trailers, tractors, or other heavy equipment you're trying to sell on your lot.

Sure, these added touches may cost a little extra but if they make your inventory stand out from the rest, consider them to be money well spent.

Wheel Loader Machine Selling Advice

Professional photography is often the way to go when selling heavy equipment.

Step 6. Minimizing Your Sales Costs

"Which ongoing costs are most likely to cut into my heavy equipment sales profits?"

Selling heavy equipment can become a financial burden if the process drags on too long. Here are some costs to keep in mind before you begin adding to your inventory.


Unless you own the property, this is a monthly expense that you could do without.


Paying insurance on a dormant vehicle is painfully unnecessary, so try to cancel the plan early if you can.


The older your vehicle becomes, the less money it's worth. This factor may also make you want to reevaluate pricing on equipment that has been in your possession for a longer period.

Fortunately, all three of these expenses can be overcome by one simple solution: selling fast!

Step 7. Research Your Buyers

"Should I Google my potential buyers before doing business with them?"

A potential buyer just reached out about a piece of heavy equipment you have for sale. How exciting! Before you start making plans to meet up with them to discuss the equipment further, it may be worth your while to make sure they're trustworthy buyers.

Armed with their name, location, and the name of their business, it may not be a bad idea to throw these details into a Google search to learn a little more about who they are. This will likely result in finding the social media pages and online business pages. Business reviews found online can help you determine how trustworthy they are.

It Can't Hurt

This type of research can't hurt. On one hand, you may discover that they may not be someone with whom you'd like to do business. On the other hand, you may find some great talking points or commonalities that will help you win their business.

Don't Feel Weird About It

If you feel weird about snooping out a potential buyer online, know that they're doing the same thing with you! Yep, the internet has made being nosy easier than ever.

Step 8. Establish Long-Term Relationships

"What are the ideal heavy equipment customers?"

If you find yourself frequently selling heavy equipment as your fleet turns over, then seeking a long-term buyer can be very beneficial. Ideally, you should try to find someone who wants to make multiple purchases every 3-5 years. That way, you can reliably upgrade your fleets and expand your business as necessary.

They'll appreciate obtaining great equipment at a fair price from a dealer they trust. You'll enjoy having a buyer who has already crossed the "decision stage" threshold in their buyer's journey.

Using the steps in this piece can help you initiate a solid business relationship that will pay out for years, if not decades to come.

People, Handshake, Partnership, Business, Deal

Bonus Step: Get Started Easily Listing Your Heavy Equipment for Sale

"How can My Little Salesman help making selling heavy equipment online easier?"

Only in every way imaginable.

My Little Salesman offers an intuitive product listing system, top-shelf visibility, lead management, inventory management, and streamlined documentation—all from your computer or even mobile device. All of our features are specifically designed to get your heavy equipment ads seen, your deals made, and everyone involved happy.

Get Started Now

To get started using My Little Salesman for your business, simply register for an account and begin listing your heavy equipment for sale today. Don't forget to put these selling tips to good use!

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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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