Buying used equipment, especially heavy machinery, comes with a couple of important factors you’ll need to consider. Hydraulic excavators are big, powerful and expensive, making it highly unlikely that you’ll find potential drawbacks during purchase. While it’s true that a used excavator for sale will cost you less than buying a brand new model, the cost of repairs could be far more than expected. Hydraulic machinery can break down quickly when used incorrectly. That’s why it’s important that you spot signs of overuse or misuse before accepting a deal. This article will help you spot potential defects by giving you a quick rundown of 4 factors to look out for prior to your purchase.
- How’s the bucket?
See a used excavator for sale? The first thing you’ll see on any excavator, old or new, is the bucket. Watch out for signs of visible excessive wear and tear, as this could certainly be cause for concern about the state of the machine in its entirety. Watch for bending of the bucket and tear on the teeth. While damage on the bucket and its teeth does not necessarily mean you’ll need to immediately replace them, it does indicate reduced power and intense use by its previous owner. Cracks in the welds or cracks from being dropped on hard surfaces could be signs of chronic abuse.
- Smooth operation
Hydraulic machinery suffers greatly when not oiled on a regular basis. Not enough oil could be caused by a faulty pump or damaged oil reservoir. Additionally, inspect couplings and hoses carefully as they may be worn down.
Do note that excessively smooth swinging of the excavator is not a good sign either. While rotating should feel smooth, it should feel tight and controlled at the same time as to prevent damage to the machine or its surroundings. Any excessive play in the swing radius can indicate a damaged slew ring, for which replacement can be quite expensive.
- Don’t go for machines without an operational meter
Accurately depicting the productiveness of a machine without an operational hour meter is almost impossible. It’s hard to determine whether a used excavator for sale has been put through a lot without knowing how many operational hours it has had. Idle time can also cause wear and tear on components, so don’t assume a machine’s lifespan just by its running time. Verifying that the machine’s operational meter is accurate will give you a much better indication of which parts may need replacement.
- Check the undercarriage
The undercarriage should be in good shape to prevent damage to the rest of the machine, as it carries the entire weight of the vehicle. A damaged undercarriage could also be a potential danger to yourself and others. If the undercarriage or its teeth has cracks, the machine should not be used. Replace the undercarriage immediately if this is the case.
- Listen for unusual noise
Finally, a used excavator for sale that has internal noises like metallic grinding or rattling could indicate that parts have broken off or that there is something stuck inside the machine. These could damage internal parts of the machine, so make sure you can remove them safely