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Buying heavy machinery can be a big investment and we want to ensure you know how to correctly inspect it at auctions, so you make reliable purchases every time. Of course, buying used equipment at an auction is a risk but we want to share five tips on how to inspect used equipment and heavy machinery and leave auctions with excellent value purchases.  

  1. Check the Fluids 

Checking a machine’s fluids can give you insight into how well the machine has been maintained and its current condition. When checking the fluids, you should include the transmission fluid, coolant, hydraulic fluid, engine oil, etc. Determining the fluid levels will help you determine the longevity of the equipment you are interested in.  

  1. Maintenance Record 

The most accurate way to know if a machine has been maintained regularly is to look at the maintenance records. You want to look for clues that could indicate how well the machine has been taken care of. Look for things like how often the fluid is changed, serious problems the machine has had, any small repairs needed, etc.  

  1. Operating Hours 

Looking at a heavy machine’s operating hours is a suitable place to start when inspecting a piece of equipment. A diesel engine machine can last tens of thousands of operating hours but keep in mind that regular maintenance is important. If a machine is older, it is a clever idea to determine the cost/benefit of purchasing it as they may require more maintenance than a newer machine.  

  1. Make Sure the Engine Works 

One of the most important parts of your inspection is making sure the engine starts. If you want to start using the equipment right away, it needs to operate properly. While engines can be repaired, you must think about the investment and downtime you’ll have in the heavy machine.  

  1. Signs of Wear 

All used equipment is going to show normal signs of wear. Things to look for when inspecting used equipment are rust, hairline cracks, damage from past accidents, etc. It is also a smart idea to inspect the undercarriage and the tires of the equipment because they can be expensive to repair.  

While all used equipment and heavy machinery can be a risky purchase, we want to make sure you know how to inspect them properly so you can be happy with your purchase. If you have any questions, visit our website, or contact us! 


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