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Differences Between Certified Used & Used Equipment

Mon January 23, 2017 - National Edition
Megan Wild

Some builders are under the false impression that used equipment is somehow subpar compared to brand-new machinery. They'll cite any number of issues, including previous use and abuse, the lack of any warranties or guarantees and the high possibility for future breakdowns.

While these shortcomings might apply to some, they certainly don't cover the entire spectrum of the used construction equipment that's available today. Moreover, these professionals don't account for the inspections, re-certifications and extended warranties that are typically including when buying certified used hardware.

Browsing the Market of Used Construction Equipment

The used construction equipment market can be quite complex and confusing to the uninitiated. What seems like a rather straightforward process can easily be stymied by the sheer number of options available, the physical condition of hardware and even substantial price differences from dealer to dealer and from city to city. As such, some introductory research is recommended before jumping into the used equipment market with cash in hand.

First, make sure you know exactly what you're looking for. There's no sense in purchasing a full-size backhoe if a smaller, more versatile machine — like a front loader — is capable of performing the same job. On the other hand, you don't want to bring a small vehicle to a larger and more demanding jobsite.

You'll also want to perform a physical inspection on any vehicles or hardware before committing to a purchase. Whether it's used, certified used or brand-new, it's important to examine the operability of the vehicle's cab, the condition of the chassis and the engine itself. Take a close look at the transmission, as these can be costly to replace down the road.

Lastly, examine the tires or treads of the vehicle. Any noticeable damage or extreme wear should be taken as a sign of poor maintenance or misuse by the previous owner.

Going the Extra Mile With Certified Used

Locating and purchasing certified used equipment from a manufacturer or dealer has many benefits. For starters, you'll enjoy the peace of mind from knowing that your machinery was purchased from a reputable and licensed agent.

The majority of certified used vehicles, including construction equipment, has already been inspected and repaired as necessary. Not only does this reduce the amount of time you'll have to spend on your own inspection, but it guarantees that any damaged or defective equipment has already been replaced. Many options in the certified used market even come with extended warranties, which is something that likely won't be included with a machine purchased from the classified ads of your local newspaper.

Manufacturers are certified dealers who might also offer financing on used construction equipment, which can help you obtain the necessary hardware without having to cover the full cost upfront. This is a great option for startup construction companies as well as frugal professionals who want to avoid any large business expenses.

Considering Your Options in Rental Equipment

Although most don't realize it, approximately 51% of new construction equipment went straight to rental lots as recently as the start of the decade. If you don't need to use such specialized or heavy machinery on a day-to-day basis, it might make more sense to rent the equipment as it's needed for each specific job. As with buying used equipment, there are several factors to consider when examining your options in the rental market.

Rental equipment is far less expensive than outright purchase. It doesn't matter if the equipment is used, certified used or new — rental equipment will always be more affordable as far as upfront, out-of-pocket costs are concerned. You'll also have the luxury of testing out equipment before dedicating yourself to a full purchase.

Conversely, your rental options might be quite limited. Depending on your location or the exact equipment needed, builders sometimes have difficulty when it comes to locating and securing a rental machine for a specific timeframe. Such a shortcoming might even cost you the entire job in question.

Finding the Equipment You Need at a Price You Can Afford

Making the decision between used or certified used equipment ultimately comes down to your confidence in the brand, the dealer's reputation and your allotted budget. If neither of these options are in alignment with your spending restraints, rental hardware might be your only choice.- CEG Blogger

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