Six Great Reasons to Buy Used Heavy Equipment

While it hasn’t always been this way the rise of new economic powers hungry to modernize along with continued development in the Americas and Europe have created a situation where the construction industry is now the world’s largest employer by sector. Not only that, but the construction industry is expected to grow by more than 50 percent over the next five years.

Those are astonishing facts and should brighten the spirits of construction company owners everywhere. But if there is one truth about the contemporary construction business it’s this: competition is fierce. As such, anything that promises to provide even the slightest competitive advantage deserves serious consideration. And used heavy equipment is one of those things.

Six Good Reasons to Buy Used Heavy Equipment

If you’re in search of a competitive advantage buying used equipment may seem a bit counter-intuitive. But there are actually a slew of great reasons to consider used equipment and here a six of them:

1. Lower Acquisition Costs
earth moving vehicle shovelling dirt with a caption that says "lower acquisition costs"

Even a moderately sized mini excavator can set you back $50,000 or more. That’s nothing to sneeze at. When you purchase high quality used heavy equipment though you are going to save thousands of dollars on that piece of equipment. Savings that can then be used to address other needs like new tracks for your existing equipment or special attachments. In addition, buying used equipment means a much smaller sales tax hit.

2. You Get What You Need When You Need It
Heavy mechanic shows us the inside of a John Deere mini excavator with a caption that reads "get what you need when you need it"

When buying a piece of new heavy equipment you’ll often need to wait for delivery, which could be some time. When you buy a piece of used equipment however, you can typically take delivery as soon as the payment details are hammered out and put it right to work.

3. Increased Versatility
a John Deere 35G heavy vehicle parked at a leafy site with a caption that says "increased versatility"

Acquiring a piece of used heavy equipment is a great way to increase your company’s repertoire for relatively short money. Purchasing a piece of used equipment that’s different from what you have now will allow you to bid for and take on a wider variety of jobs than you could presently. You’ll become a more versatile organization almost overnight.

4. Lower Insurance Costs
heavy equipment operator uding a Kubota mini excavator to dig up a back yard with a caption that says "lower insurance costs"

The cost of insuring a piece of used heavy equipment will be substantially less than insuring something brand new. Insurance premiums are typically based on the replacement cost of a piece of equipment. And the replacement cost for used equipment is much lower than it is for new equipment.

5. Avoid The Initial Depreciation Hit
John Deere 314G heavy vehicle moving gravel at a suburban site with a caption that says "avoid the initial depreciation hit"

It’s not unheard of for a new piece of construction equipment to depreciate 20 percent or more in the first year. That means that after a year you might actually owe more on your equipment that it is worth. When you buy a piece of used equipment however you avoid this depreciation hit.

6. All The Features You Need

It’s not unheard of for a new piece of construction equipment to depreciate 20 percent or more in the first year. That means that after a year you might actually owe more on your equipment that it is worth. When you buy a piece of used equipment however you avoid this depreciation hit.

the bucket and thumb of an excavator resting on the ground with a caption that says "all the features you need"

Progress in the heavy equipment sector tends to move much slower than it does in say, the computer industry. As such, even if you buy a piece of equipment that’s three of four years old it will likely have all or most of the same features you’d get in a brand new piece of equipment.

Factors That Can Influence the Cost of Used Heavy Equipment

Now that we have a better idea exactly why purchasing used heavy equipment can be a very smart thing to do we need to look at the various factors that can weigh on the cost of that equipment. If you keep the following considerations in mind when searching for a piece of used equipment you’re sure to end up with the best value for your money.

Who Made It

It shouldn’t surprise you that the make of the piece is going to influence the retail price. Some manufacturers have earned a reputation for producing tough, extremely durable equipment, while many of the more recent entries into the business still have a lot to prove. So while there are exceptions to every rule the rule here is that the proven name will cost you more.

Age & Hours

After the first year depreciation on a piece of heavy equipment slows considerably. So much so that the value of the piece can remain little changed for some time if the equipment is well-maintained. As time passes however, other factors come into play that will affect the value of the machine, with time itself (i.e. age) being the first and the number of hours on the piece being the second. Always insist on an accurate accounting of hours.

Options

If you’re looking to increase the versatility of your company then a used machine with plenty of accessories and features may be the way to go. Just remember though that you’re going to pay extra for those bells and whistles. If you only need a piece of equipment to perform basic tasks then take a pass on the glitz. You’ll save a bundle.

Reputation Of The Seller

It shouldn’t surprise you that the make of the piece is going to influence the retail price. Some manufacturers have earned a reputation for producing tough, extremely durable equipment, while many of the more recent entries into the business still have a lot to prove. So while there are exceptions to every rule the rule here is that the proven name will cost you more.

General Market Conditions

Whether times are tough or things are booming it’s going to influence what a piece of used heavy equipment will cost. It’s supply and demand basics. When everyone is working overtime and used equipment is in demand it’s going to cost more. Conversely during a recession when a great deal of equipment is sitting idle the cost of used equipment is going to crater. Seasonal conditions can also impact price. As can the location of the used piece and the cost of transporting it to your yard.

Conclusion

Buying used heavy equipment is an idea that makes a lot of sense and can potentially transform your business into one that’s more versatile and more profitable than ever. Just be mindful of the factors that may affect cost in order to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.

Share

Related Articles

2 Second Bolt Tension Inspection Using Only a Hammer

2 Second Bolt Tension Inspection Using Only a Hammer

Occasionally, you need to check the tension of the bolts as part of your preventative maintenance routine. Here is a quick way to check it with just s hammer.
How to Quickly Change the Air Filter on a Ditch Witch SK755 With Ease

How to Quickly Change the Air Filter on a Ditch Witch SK755 With Ease

Learn how to change the air filter on a Ditch Witch SK755 to keep your heavy equipment running in optimal condition.
Expert Advice for Heavy Duty Apprentices: Best Tools to Get You Started

Expert Advice for Heavy Duty Apprentices: Best Tools to Get You Started

As a heavy duty apprentice you're expected to have your own toolkit - but where do you start? We've got some quick tips on tools for HD apprenticeships.
Ever Wanted Expert Advice Without Having to Hire a Heavy Mechanic?

Ever Wanted Expert Advice Without Having to Hire a Heavy Mechanic?

Ever had a burning question you wanted to ask a heavy mechanic but didn't want to hire one just to ask it? Get your answers here!
Rainy Day Advice: How To Change Final Drive Oil In Bad Weather

Rainy Day Advice: How To Change Final Drive Oil In Bad Weather

Poor weather conditions are never ideal, especially for maintenance, but just in case you have a emergency we'll teach you how to change the final drive oil on a mini excavator pouring rain like a pro.
Excavator Lock Pin Stuck? Avoid Costly Repairs When Changing Attachments

Excavator Lock Pin Stuck? Avoid Costly Repairs When Changing Attachments

Troubleshooting a stuck lock pin when you're trying to disengage the bucket from a wedge coupler. Plus other handy tips for changing excavator attachments.
Tips for Checking Your Hydraulic Oil Level on a Ditch Witch Mini Skid Steer

Tips for Checking Your Hydraulic Oil Level on a Ditch Witch Mini Skid Steer

Know when you top up the oil on a Ditch Witch Mini Skid Steer with the following tutorial to keep your heavy equipment in tip-top shape.
How to Change the Engine Oil & Filter on a John Deere 650K LGP in Under 10 Minutes!

How to Change the Engine Oil & Filter on a John Deere 650K LGP in Under 10 Minutes!

Check out how to change the engine oil and filter on a John Deere 650K LGP. It's simple and can be done in under 10 minutes.
HD Mechanic Tutorial: Quickly Change a Hydraulic Oil Filter on a Ditch Witch SK755

HD Mechanic Tutorial: Quickly Change a Hydraulic Oil Filter on a Ditch Witch SK755

A brief tutorial on how to quickly change the hydraulic oil filter on a Ditch Witch SK755 so the machine can operate at its full potential.
Heavy Equipment Parking Mistakes – A Guide on What NOT to Do

Heavy Equipment Parking Mistakes – A Guide on What NOT to Do

Promote a safe environment by avoiding the following parking mistakes on heavy equipment, such as excavators, and learn proper machine parking techniques.
How to Change Your Inline Fuel Filter on a Ditch Witch SK755

How to Change Your Inline Fuel Filter on a Ditch Witch SK755

Learn how to change the inline fuel filter on your Ditch Witch SK755 to prevent contaminants from affecting the engine's performance.
How to Change the Engine Oil & Filter on a Ditch Witch SK755

How to Change the Engine Oil & Filter on a Ditch Witch SK755

Here's how to change the oil and filters on a Ditch Witch SK755, so you can ensure the engine will operate properly when performing heavy equipment work.

Hello.

Let's get you signed up for deals and news. We won't send too many. Sign up and get 5% off your first order.