Are you the owner of a small-time construction company? Perhaps you’re in the market for a new excavator but you don’t have the available budget to sink into a brand-new machine just yet. If that’s the case, then you’re going to need to know what to look for when buying used. Obviously, it’s not one of those scenarios where you can just rush in and buy the first decent looking machines that’s in your price range. Because even though it might be used, it will still set you back a fair amount of money! Therefore, a bit of due diligence is required. That, and of course, you wouldn’t want to find out that an excavator is faulty when you’re on the job! Especially if it means hurting you, one of your team, your customers or causing damage to property. So, do your research!

In this post, we’re going to look at what to look for when buying a used excavator. Let’s go…

1 – Check for movement

When buying a used excavator, it’s important to check for play & movement. A slewing ring for example can be one of the most expensive things to replace. So, you must ensure that you get in, rotate the hydraulic excavator housing a quarter, and check for any issues.

You should also pay close attention to the boom, bucket and stick. Any loose pins or bushings will only result in unnecessary inaccuracies so be careful.

excavator2 – Check for cracks and dents

First of all, if an excavator is dented, then there’s a good chance that it wasn’t looked after properly by its previous owner. In addition to that, if you spot any cracks (particularly around the boom, stick and key connection points) then you may want to avoid it. You don’t want to invest in machinery that is going to need instant repairs and maintenance.

3 – Check for leaks

Open up the hydraulics, check all of the lines and hoses, and of course, the slew ring as well. Any signs of leaks should be picked up on immediately. If they’re easy enough to have repaired and it’s a good deal then you might not want to bin it off entirely, just use your best judgement.

4 – Broken hours meter

You need to be careful when checking the hours meter. If it doesn’t move when in operation, then be sure to check the pedals to see if they’re in working order. What you want to look out for is hours meters that have been manipulated to show less. There are those who will have abused the excavator for a long time, and clocked fewer hours in order to secure an easy sale.

excavator5 – Ensure the bucket is sound

What is arguably one of the most important features of an excavator is the bucket. Check in between the teeth for damage, indicating a reduced cutting force (which can be problematic).

You could always hire some help

Another option to consider is whether or not you need to invest in an excavator at all. Perhaps instead, you could simply hire an excavations company like Webers Excavations to assist you on your next project. That would save you the effort of having to buy and maintain an excavator. Instead, you’d be hiring professionals who have the best equipment, and can work quickly and efficiently to assist you. It’s certainly something worth considering.