Used Machinery - What to look out for

Used Machinery - What to look out for

What to look out for when buying used machinery?

Purchasing a used machine can be an arduous process for even the most seasoned buyer, with a wide range of private sellers and dealers offering an equally wide range of different spec machines.

used machinery checklistAlthough buying a used machine instead of a new one can save you a lot of money, it could also cost you a lot of money if you end up with a dud machine or a machine that is nearing the end if its useful life. That’s why it is important to buy from a trusted dealer who will offer you some sort of warranty / guarantee should something go wrong, also you can be assured that it has been properly serviced and checked over in the workshop.

Do your research!

Expect to do some research when buying a used machine, just as you would with a new machine. You will need to have an idea about currently available models, what features they have and how much they cost. You can’t know if you are getting a good deal on a used mower if you don’t know what you can get new for a similar price. It is also a good idea to make sure there is a local dealer or repair centre that can service the brand of used mower you are considering. Look online and see if you can find product reviews or user forums to learn if others had a positive experience with the mower and if it held up well over time.

Although there is no way to know the equipment’s entire history unless you buy it new, you should make an effort to learn as much as you can about a used machine’s past. Request service records and instruction manuals. Take a look at all available information to learn about any recurring problems or to verify that routine maintenance was performed.

Appearances are everything

There is a difference between a mower that has been used often and one that has been used hard. Wear marks and a bit of flaking paint are not cause for concern, but large scratches, dents and rust may indicate rough handling and a lack of good care. Look at everything, including the tires and engine. Rotting tires, cracking belts, leaking fluid and frayed wiring all indicate that the mower will require attention soon. Check the fluid levels as well, and inspect the mower’s blades--a dull blade can be sharpened but avoid mowers with blades full of large nicks or that appear bent and warped.

Test Drive

You would never buy a car without test driving it first, and a mower should be the same. A test drive will not only demonstrate how well the mower cuts grass, it will also let you see if it starts easily, idles smoothly and runs without smoking or stalling. Safely stopping a mower is just as important as getting it moving, so check the brakes during your test drive. Make sure that the mower’s safety features are in working order. For example the blades of a riding mower should stop running if you stand on them or otherwise remove your weight from the seat. Many ride-on mowers also feature a mechanism that stops the blade from turning when the mower is in reverse. Avoid used mowers with disabled or broken safety features.

The 5 most important things to consider when purchasing second hand machines are:

  1. Price
  2. Engine
  3. Maintenance history
  4. Condition
  5. Who the seller is

Above all, take your time and use the knowledge from your local dealer.

Take a look at our range of Used Machinery

Read more on the GGM Blog:

What to consider when choosing a Ride-On Mower

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