Used equipment

After talking with Caterpillar, as well as veteran salespeople for the popular global construction equipment line, New Jersey's Foley Inc. is confident it has come up with a novel idea. On June 22, Piscataway-based Foley Inc. opened its own used equipment operation in Monroe Township, Middlesex County, N.J.

Used machines are smart ways to complement or round out your fleet — and if you know what to look for (and ask about), you can feel more confident that the equipment you purchased will be with you out in the field and not in the shop. It's never a guarantee, obviously, but here are some tips on inspecting some of the more critical components on a used machine to ensure its condition is in line with the asking price: Ask Who Owned the Machine: It's not uncommon for buyers to ask who owned the machine, where it was used, and in what application — so don't hold back.

Resale values fluctuate for construction equipment, but not just because of the brand, hours on the machine, time of year or economic conditions. What you put into your used machine before you sell it matters too. If you're looking to sell, this checklist can potentially help you increase your machine's resale value to get more out of it.

Buying a piece of used equipment can be a lot like buying a used car in that your experience is likely to be very different — good or bad — depending on who you're buying from. There's no industry standard for how inspections, documentation or condition reports are done, so it varies.

Purchasing a piece of used equipment can be a smart investment, but sometimes it's tough to know exactly what you're getting for the money. If you're searching on a used equipment site or buying at auction, you might find two comparably sized machines with comparable age and hours — yet one is priced lower.

When looking for a used piece of equipment, you may ask yourself if it's smarter to invest in one with low hours. But the answer to that question isn't always black and white. For one, many people might assume too quickly that a wheel loader with 2,000 hours is in better shape than one with 8,000 hours — but that's not necessarily the case.