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Eight Tips For Buying a Used Machine

Updated: Apr 6, 2020

"When I'm looking for a used piece of equipment, is it always smarter to invest in one with low hours?"

Although hours worked is one factor that should influence your decision, there are other variables you should consider as well.

"Many people would assume a wheel loader with 2,000 hours is in better shape than one with 8,000 hours, but that’s not necessarily the case. Maybe the owner of that 8,000-hour machine was meticulous about preventive maintenance, and the 2,000-hour owner wasn’t. Perhaps the lower-hour machine was used at a mine and put through more abuse, whereas the 8,000-hour machine has a lot of idle hours on it. What if the owner of the 8,000-hour loader recently replaced the transmission?" - Used Equipment Regional Sales Manager Jared Haughton, Volvo CE.

When comparing used machines, use these eight tips to help you make an informed decision.

Service History

Ask for a service history, or get a serial number and ask Highway to look up which components have been repaired or replaced. You can also find out if Highway serviced the machine in a preventative maintenance program.

If most of the wear parts and components haven’t been replaced, you can expect to encounter service needs down the road, as opposed to regularly-serviced equipment. If the previous owner took good care of the machine, it may last longer and have fewer service issues.