To properly assess this to buy or not to buy challenge, let’s ease our way into used purchases by briefly reviewing why we should buy new.
If you cannot meet specs with what you see on the market, you likely will need to buy new. After all, a piece of equipment should be purchased based on the work you need to do. New equipment will likely be more efficient and safe, particularly with precision work such as in mining and pipeline and tunnel construction. It all boils down to whether or not you need a newer technology than what is available.
In fact, used bulldozers and other heavy equipment are often sold because the have an obsolete technology.
No doubt, a new bulldozer will come at a cost, but it will hold its value and, if you have specific types of jobs, you can find what you need pretty close to spec. You could maintain it well and resell it in the future, or if your job needs change.
Safety first. And the Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) is, therefore, not far behind. If you buy new heavy equipment, you know they are up the current OSHA standards, sans modifications and retrofits you may find in used models.
Scope out your warranties and terms and conditions of purchase, including incentive programs, service guidelines, and buy backs. If unauthorized modifications are made, you will need to understand your maintenance responsibilities in order to ensure the honoring of your warranty.
Then there is always peace of mind, the peace of mind buying new may afford to you.
Moving on to used, in general, if you need a good, sturdy bulldozer and don’t mind a few cosmetic flaws, you can really stretch your budget by buying used.
New or used, always, the first step is to determine which bulldozer is the right fit for your business? Some jobs and industries require the latest technology and others can scrape by with a sturdy and efficient older model. If you a mistake on a dishwasher or other small appliance, you’ll have a few regrets and move on. That same mistake on a big piece of construction equipment has long reaching implications that will cost you for years to come.
Make a list of the features you must have, you might want, and what are truly nice to haves. There are going to be some deal breakers; for example, if you like a model that has wheels and you need tracks to do the job right, you will likely be unhappy with wheels. On the other hand, a tracked model can be impressive, but what if it doesn’t perform in the manner you desire?
Consider a used dozer could serve you well if you work in residential building, demo, or provide general construction services. You may be less likely to need the latest in technology and can use standard equipment.
In some cases, aside from the obvious budgetary concerns (based on job profit), you may have to buy multiple pieces of equipment making a used bulldozer a good choice.
You also have no way of knowing how the actual operators used the device – and there could be wear and tear on the safety features or other areas of the dozer. Ask questions. For example, asking about the number of operator hours will give you an idea of just how used that machine is. Ask for what it was used. Any responsible seller will realize that they would be asking you the same questions.
Checking the latest OSHA guidelines and updates before purchasing a used piece of heavy equipment will help you keep both workers and your company safe.
It may not be as pretty as a new model, but affordability should be at the top of that list you made. Ultimately, cost will be the great decisionmaker. You could save thousands and thousands if you spec and choose correctly.
Picking a good brand and with evidence that it has been well-maintained, a used bulldozer will likely give you years of service without an overwhelming price tag. But if you do buy a brand name, parts availability could well be better for maintenance and repair.
Also, please buy from a reputable vendor. Get recommendations and look them up online. Check out all the terms and conditions as well as warranties and conditions. Examine the piece of equipment and the paperwork, including your sales contract. Then do it, and get to work.
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