Buying used equipment can be daunting. We’re here to help with our handy guide!
Step 1: Determine What You Need
Determine what specific machine you need based on jobsite constraints and the in-and-outs of where the machine will be working. There are different options for equipment, even among like-type machines, so you need to know the function of the machine. You’ll want to know if, for example, you need a rough terrain scissor lift or a slab scissor lift. Look for factory-approved vendors.
Step 2: Research Service History
After you determine what type of machine you need and find one for sale, you’ll need to research the service history. Depending on the seller, you may have access to the machine’s service record. You can also research the machine’s serial number, which may tell you when service was done. It’s important to track the machine’s service history, so you know the machine is in good shape and ready for your jobsite.
Step 3: Evaluate Damage
Prior to purchasing, evaluate the equipment for any noticeable structural or surface damages. Even minor surface damage may hint at a significant collision. A reputable third-party, like a factory-approved repair company or partner yard, can help provide you relevant guidance.
Step 4: Know Your History
It’s important to reach out to the manufacturer of any used equipment to try and confirm all previous owners of your new machine. Equipment previously owned by rental fleets may have many more hours of use, but it’s usually maintained better than privately owned equipment.
Step 5: Train for Operation
Once you’ve done your research and purchased your new equipment, you should ensure everyone who will be operating the equipment has been trained. Operator training will affect future reliability, as an untrained operator is more likely to cause unintended damage or not notice a problem quickly.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2019. We updated it for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness in February 2023.