First and foremost, never rush into buying second-hand goods, especially when they’re high ticket items. The ability to inspect first hand, test and examine maintenance history is paramount.


Why even buy second hand?  

Incredibly expensive, Excavators, when used frequently, are better to be owned than rented in most instances. With this in mind, many opt to purchase second hand, reducing some of the costs. Ideally, you will make your purchase from a reputable source however, if you choose to look elsewhere, it’s important you know the tell-tale signs of a bad machine.


1. Price

Too cheap? Then it’s usually too good to be true. An obvious but necessary reminder. As a rule of thumb, expect to spend a lot closer to the original price than you would if you were say, buying a second-hand car. It’s important to remember too, that Excavators are much more likely to hold onto their value than a car.  Finally, don’t forget to consider any extras that are being sold with the machine.

2. Smoke

Although the source of a smoke problem can often be found and fixed, time and time again, the cost to replace often outweighs the cost to repair. Why? Simple. When an engine is having that much trouble it’s not likely to have a one time fix.


3. Replacement Parts

With the above in mind, the availability of replacement parts is often overlooked. Older machines mean older parts, not impossible to source but a lot less accessible and affordable. We recommend doing your homework if you’re considering investing in an older second-hand model.


4. Cracks, Leaks & Dents

None are totally detrimental to the performance of your second-hand Excavator. However, signs of these will require you to consider the advantages of repair or replacement. For signs of structural integrity damage, look at the machines key connection point welds. Be sure to fix any leaks immediately also.


5. Log Hours are Accurate

Logged hours will help you identify the true condition of the second-hand machine.

If you believe the logs have been altered you can:

  • Check the general condition of the pedals
  • Inquire about the type of work the machine was being used
  • Contact the previous owner if possible for further insight
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