In recent years, the construction industry in the Philippines has seen a steady growth. The trend is expected to continue in the coming years. This resulted to a lot of upstarts in the construction and affiliated industries that triggered a rise in heavy equipment ownership.
Instead of buying new equipment, many contractors have opted to maximize the productivity of their existing machinery through proper repairs and maintenance. There are also contractors who have shifted from acquiring new machinery to buying used equipment primarily to save on cost.
Every piece of secondhand equipment is unique. However, there are some criteria that we should consider when buying used machinery, in general.
1.Give the machine’s general appearance once-over. – This includes the aesthetics. With your own mechanic, perform a visual inspection on the equipment and see how it is presented. Is it clean and straight, or dirty and rough? Look for any noticeable signs that it has been recently painted, and if there are, ask why.
Check for any damaged panels as well. Take a peek at the main components and see if there are wear points, or anything unusual. The idea is to provide you, the prospective buyer, with an insight on how the equipment has been used and maintained.
2.Test the machine. – Test-driving the machine is the best way to determine its overall performance. See how it actually bears and handles weight. Load it up and start the engine. Drive it forward and backwards; make all its moving parts work.
Take note of the steering device, and don’t forget to take a look at the undercarriage for signs of idler wear. Then, inspect the track adjuster position. Similar to maintaining air pressure in your tires, make sure that the tracks are loose enough. This is because they tend to tighten as they wear out.
3. Look Under the Hood. – A well-performing and cost-efficient machine is run by an engine that is in tiptop condition. Inspect the engine smoke emission. Excessive or colored emissions are usually indicative of engine problems. On the other hand, oil leaks are important tell-tale signs of transmission issues, so look around and underneath the equipment for leaks.
If the particular equipment model you are considering to buy is relatively new and computerized, analyze the logs. Get engine control unit readings and examine the hour meters. A reading of 5,000 hours or less is ideal.
4. Ask about after-sales support. – Remember, you are buying used equipment and in time, it will need repairs and parts replacements. Assuming you are buying from an established used equipment vendor, ask if they provide warranty for parts and labor (however limited), and if they have all the possible spare parts you will need on their inventory. If not, ask where you can source the replacement parts or have the machine repaired. The idea is to make sure that your machine will have limited downtime, if and when, or you risk losing valuable production time.
5. Check for cost-efficiency. – Admittedly, it is difficult to compare prices of used equipment, even if they are of the same make and model. What is important is that compared to buying a new model, you will get almost the same quality and volume of work done with a secondhand machine at a much lower cost. Take into consideration the amount you will need for repairs and the expected downtime you will incur from buying a used model.