Whether you are shopping online, through a private seller, or at an auction, if you are in the market for a crane, buying used is a great way to save money without sacrificing quality. Before diving in and making a purchase, there are several things to take into consideration when shopping for used equipment. Here are some great ways to find the best used cranes for sale.
Before setting out and purchasing a new crane, you will want to create a budget and determine exactly what type of machine you will need. What will this crane be used for? How much life do you expect out of it? How many hours do you plan to log on to the crane each month? Once you have the specifications of what you'll need, you can use a site like Boom & Bucket to search for machines near you that meet your requirements. Boom & Bucket provides details about each machine that is listed on their site, allowing you to shop conveniently from the comfort of your own home. Having a budget will help you filter the results more efficiently so that you can get the information you need and expedite the buying process.
Once you find a used crane that meets your requirements, it can be tempting to jump the gun and sign the paperwork without learning more about how the machine was used in the past. It is important to learn the operational history of a used crane to ensure that its previous owners used it correctly and did not expose it to conditions that could affect the safety or integrity of the machine. Asking questions about how the crane was used, how it was stored, and checking to see if there were any accidents reported to the manufacturer will help you understand whether or not the crane is a worthwhile investment.
If a crane was used or stored incorrectly, it could have been exposed to corrosion, damage, shock loading, or demolition that could compromise the performance or safety of the crane. This could not only put your crew in danger, but it could also lead to costly repairs or replacements soon. Understanding a crane's history will help save your time, money, and headaches down the road.
It is important to inspect a used crane for any signs of excessive wear or damage. If you are a seasoned professional, you will most likely be able to do a thorough inspection yourself if you know what to look for. During your inspection, take a close look at the hydraulic lines and cylinders, booms, hooks, gears, and fittings to check for any signs of damage or excessive wear. Once you've checked the most obvious places, don't forget to inspect more inconspicuous areas for signs of trouble. Check under the machine for signs of damage to the undercarriage or leaks, and look around the crane for any signs of suspicious welding. This could indicate prior damage that was fixed incorrectly or hastily and could lead to costly repairs for you down the road.
While the crane is running, listen for any strange sounds coming from the machine or its engine. You will also want to check the brakes and make sure that all components on the machine run correctly and smoothly. If you find any issues that you are willing and able to repair yourself, you may be able to negotiate with the seller for a lower price to compensate for the damaged components. This will help offset the cost of replacement parts and repairs.
If you don't feel confident enough to conduct an inspection yourself, you can hire an independent inspector to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.
When purchasing a used crane, it is important to consider the machine's age. Buying a crane that is less than a decade old should be a relatively safe purchase, but the older a machine is, the more difficult it may be to find replacement parts and receive technical support. While older models may be a preference for some users because they typically have higher capacities and are easier to use, with their limited technology, it can be difficult to keep them running as equipment advances. Since all heavy machinery will require repairs and maintenance at some point, it is important to consider the age and parts availability of a crane before you decide to buy.