Buying used heavy/construction equipment can be frustrating.
1. You need to do the research to determine what make and model is best for your requirements. Don’t solely depend on a salesman to access your needs because they can possibly up-sell you on a model that is more than you need or vice versa.
2. Once you have determined which brand and model best suits you, then you need to determine the value of the machine. True Market Values CANNOT be determined online. There is no free Kelley Blue Book tool for individual buyers and sellers. The best and most accurate option is to contact Equipment Watch. The cost of the report for one machine will be approximately $250. Expert Heavy Equipment pays thousands annually for access to the Equipment Watch database. We are transparent and share this market pricing so customers can buy with confidence.
3. Once you have the true FMVs then you can start your search. There are several sites that include dealers, wholesalers, rental companies and wholesalers. In order to get the best deal you will need to broaden your search to a national level. Expert Heavy Equipment has spent the last few years building a strong network of trustworthy suppliers throughout the US and Canada. This added benefit ensures our customers have all the possible options available.
4. Once you have identified the best option, now you will need to do the necessary research on this unit. Let’s use an example: a 2014 CAT 289D skid steer. The machine is currently owned by an individual who is the second owner. You will need to gather all the information the seller might know about the machine. Now you will need to verify that information that has been shared.
5. The best way to verify the information is to call a CAT dealer. If there is a dealer sticker on the side of the machine start by calling that dealer. You will need to ask for service history and ask if the Electronic Control Module (ECM) has been changed out. If the ECM has been changed out then that means the hours reflected are not the original hours. For example, if the ECM was changed out at 1300 hours and the new ECM is reading 2,000, then the machine actually has 3300 hours. With Expert Heavy Equipment, we do all of this verification process for our customers. We understand that their time is valuable and this gives them the ability to focus on their business.
6. In addition to service history you will need to hire an independent 3rd party to evaluate the machine. For this example, you would contact a certified inspector from a CAT dealer. Often time buyers do not want to spend the $500 – $1,100 cost of an inspection (price varies on the size of the equipment). If the machine doesn’t pass inspection then of course that is a loss of money, but you should consider it a small price to pay to avoid a $50,000 paper weight. When you contact the dealer, make certain to ask them if they stand behind their inspections. For example, if they perform and inspection and they miss something important that influences your buying decision then there should be some guarantee for resolution. A huge benefit that our customers enjoy is that they are insulated from this risk. We not only schedule for the inspection but we also pay for it. There is no cost to customer unless the machine doesn’t pass. Then our customer will be required to pay for the inspection on the second option, but they will not be required to pay for the first inspection. The ONLY time our customer will be responsible for the first inspection is if they choose to buy elsewhere, which rarely happens due to all the customer benefits.
Recently, we contracted a CAT dealer out of Tennessee. We hired them to perform a physical inspection on a 2007 CAT D5G LGP dozer which included pulling oil samples. We purchased the machine SOLELY BASED ON THE RESULTS OF THE INSPECTION. The machine was then loaded and shipped from Jackson, Tennessee to Magnolia,Texas. When offloading the machine from the trailer it began jerking. A certified diesel mechanic was called immediately to plug into the machine. The computer reflected that the control sensor was low and shorting while using. In addition the control sensor was calibrated during inspection. The rear pump was not connected; there was a very bad leak in the front cooler area. There were active codes for the parking brake switch which was not working properly. NONE of these issues were annotated in the inspection. And AGAIN we paid $600.00 for this inspection and we purchased the machine SOLELY BASED ON THIS INSPECTION. We contacted the CAT dealer and got NO RESOLUTION. Unlike this dealer, we care about our customers and customer service is our number one priority. The total invoice to repair all the issues that the dealer failed to annotate on the inspection cost us $5,993.95. Our customer was completely insulated.
Because there is no titling process, there is a large risk in purchasing a machine from someone who does not have the legal right to sell it. For example, the seller of the skid steer didn’t do the necessary due diligence and purchased the skid steer from an individual (the original owner). They are not aware that there was an insurance claim on this machine and it now belongs to the insurance company. The only way to verify the machine is clear is to check with both databases. Before EHE purchases any equipment, we run every serial number through both databases to ensure the seller has the legal right to sell the machine. This eliminates any risk for our customers.
8. Now that you have confirmed the machine is clear, you can schedule the delivery. This can often be taxing, so you can post the load on sites like U-Ship and Veritread. Make sure you have the correct dimensions so there are no unexpected fees that might pop up. Our customers enjoy a turnkey solution. We do all the due diligence in addition to freight so the only thing our customer has to be troubled with is the payment.
9. Once you have the freight scheduled then you can make the payment. Processing a wire transfer or sending a certified cashiers check is the most common forms of payment for heavy equipment. Once the payment has been processed then it will be clear for pick up. Or with our customers, the machine will be cleared to be delivered directly to the customer.
10. Once you receive the machine, ensure that the machine was represented correctly by comparing it to the inspection.
The buying process takes patience, time and effort. Many mistakes can be made and those mistakes can cost thousands of dollars. That is the number one reason 95% of our customers are repeat customers. EHE Buyers can buy with confidence. We have them covered.
If you are in the market for a machine, you can’t afford not to buy through us! Email or call, 979-482-0277 today!