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Equipment purchasing: What to know before you buy

  • SIMA
- Posted: June 7, 2016

With most of Canada and the US experiencing a subpar winter, conditions are ripe for great deals on equipment.
Particularly after a low snowfall winter, spring and summer is a great time to strike while the iron is hot and find great deals on new equipment with your local dealer. You might be able to score favorable financing terms as well.
If used equipment works better for your company, be sure to perform due diligence on any equipment you purchase. In particular, consider the following:
  • Consider your needs when choosing your source. There are several options for purchasing used equipment: auctions, online listings, private sellers, dealers, etc. Whether it’s price, selection, acquisition time, and warranty or service, these factors can help determine your best buying option.
  • You and/or your mechanic should thoroughly inspect every inch of the equipment, looking for rust, cracks, missing parts, faulty wires, and signs of damage or misuse. When possible (for larger equipment like skid steers, etc.), request the opportunity to do a functional test drive.
  • Require maintenance logs on the equipment. This will give your mechanic a history to build on as far as preventive maintenance but also show any major repairs and breakdowns that may raise red flags.
  • Consider hidden costs. Will you need to retrofit the equipment to your truck, for example? If you’re buying a plow, for example, confirm with your truck manufacturer that it will fit. If you’re buying from an auction, make sure there are no hidden fees.
  • Make sure the equipment is free of any liens.
  • Depending on where you purchase the equipment, see if the seller is able to guarantee or offer a service warranty on the item.
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