6 Expert Pointers to Consider When Buying New or Used Machinery

If you’re in the farming or construction industry, you’ll appreciate how much easier heavy machinery makes certain tasks. That being said, with the huge variety of machines on the market the task of choosing the right one for your particular needs can be quite daunting. 

For many farmers or construction companies, a machine that can perform many different tasks is always a viable—smart—option. For this reason, seeing a skid steer for sale will definitely excite any potential buyer. 

Skid Steers – A Big Help in a Small Package!

Purchasing any form of heavy machinery is a huge investment and a step that will greatly benefit your business or your farm work. If however, you’ve never bought a skid steer, it’s crucial to know what features you should look for.

This will ensure you don’t get duped into buying a machine that doesn’t do what you expected. We’ve asked our experts to share a few important pointers that you can apply to any heavy machinery purchase.

Always Insist on a Test Drive

There are a ton of things you can easily buy online. Heavy machinery for your farm or business isn’t one of those items. Only shortlist options from reputable dealers that you can personally visit. The absolute rule of thumb is: Always insist on a test drive. 

Our experts recommend test driving a few different models to see how they operate, drive and handle. This will give you an idea of the best one. If you’re considering a secondhand model, a test drive will identify any potential transmission or engine issues. 

Inspections Are Crucial

If you’ve dealt with or owned skid steers before, you’ll know what to look for in a new or used machine. If however, it’s your first time buying a skid steer, be sure to take a friend or experienced colleague with you to perform the critical inspection. 

Details to check for include the following:

  • Check for any potential defects – on the outside as well as the engine
  • Check for any oil or other fluid leaks
  • All safety regulations must be met including rollover protection
  • Make sure the engine is easy to reach and perform self-servicing tasks
  • Enquire about the types of accessories you can use with the unit
  • If you’re buying a secondhand machine, ensure the documents and service records are up-to-date and available

Enquire About Warranty and Potential Service Plans

Some machinery doesn’t come with a warranty but it’s important to check before test driving. Wherever possible, always opt for a machine that has some sort of warranty cover. This will potentially save you money if something goes wrong. 

You should also enquire about service plans and if these are available to purchase, almost like insurance. Adding a service plan to the package will help you keep the machine serviced and maintained by experts, and is often a great investment and money saver. 

Never Opt For Discontinued Models

If you’re browsing through the secondhand pages, you might be tempted to opt for the super cheap models. Our experts warn you to be very wary of these options because they’re usually the discontinued models. 

The problem with discontinued models is simply a lack of spare parts down the line. While the machine might seem great when you do the test drive, there’s no guarantee that you’re going to easily find parts when something breaks. Older models also don’t have the features or technological advantages that you might find on newer machines. 

Consider the Size and Performance

You might be tempted to buy the largest machine your budget can afford because the misconception is often that bigger machines can do more work faster. Not so! 

Consider the following when you’re contemplating size:

  • How much manoeuverability do you need on the job site? 
  • Will the machine manage narrow spaces safely?
  • What type (terrain and size) of job sites will you be working on?

Find Out About Accessories or Add-ons

One of the biggest advantages of skid steers is that they can be used with a wide variety of accessories. Different accessories make it easy for one little machine to perform an extensive range of tasks. 

This eliminates the need to buy or rent several different machines. For the most part, skid steers are sold separately, and the attachments can be rented at a later date as you need them. If there are accessories that you know you’ll use often, look out for good deals on those. Some common skid steers accessories include the following:

  • Augers: To dig holes
  • Rock breakers: Breaks concrete or rock
  • Rock bucket: Allows debris to be moved
  • Backhoes: Moves materials between job sites
  • Trenchers: Digs trenches
  • Tillers: Prepares soil for planting

Final Tip

Don’t impulsively buy the first unit you see. Essentially you want a machine that will last years and perform to your expectations! That requires research and a salesmen’s jargon shouldn’t sway you in your decision making. 

Use these tips, do your homework and you’ll make the right investment.