Tips from Finning: Buying Used Equipment

4 March 2021

Buying used equipment can make good business sense. Used equipment is less expensive, helping you manage cash flow, and it’s available right away. But it’s important to make sure the equipment will work for your needs and be a solid investment.

Here are our top three tips for ensuring you’re happy with your used equipment.

Buy from a trusted source.

Used equipment may be stolen, or there may be a lien against it. If you don’t know and trust the company or individual you’re buying from, check the title and ensure that the seller has fully paid for the equipment. You should also avoid paying with cash (you want a paper trail), and make sure you get a receipt that identifies you as the new owner.

Figure out what you need.

A new-to-you piece of used equipment has to first and foremost work for you. Is this piece of equipment the right size? Can it use the right attachments, and is it capable of meeting your business’s needs? Is there a better option? Talk to us at Finning to find out if the used equipment you’re considering will help you get the job done.

Do your due diligence.

Check the fluids, operating hours, and maintenance record. This will give you a good idea of the condition of the used equipment.

If fluids (hydraulic fluid, transmission fluid, engine oil, coolant) aren’t clean or topped up, maintenance is an issue and you should consider looking for another piece of equipment. You might also discover issues that could flag the equipment as a bad deal, such as water in the engine oil.

Operating hours can be an indicator of the condition of used equipment—if compared with the maintenance record. High operating hours can mean the equipment is nearing the end of its life cycle, but if it’s been properly maintained, there could still be a lot of use in it. On the other hand, low operating hours don’t mean anything if the equipment hasn’t seen regular maintenance.

Finally, look for rust and signs of damage. Buying used equipment that will need repairs in the near future may be damaging to your business, increasing downtime and potentially resulting in a wasted investment.

There are many good reasons to purchase used equipment for your small business. Let us help you find the right piece of equipment for your needs—one that will help you get your work done on time and on budget.

Finning is the world's largest Caterpillar dealer, selling, renting and providing parts and service for equipment and engines to customers across diverse industries, including mining, construction, petroleum, forestry and a wide range of power systems applications. We operate in Western Canada, South America, and UK and Ireland.