Telehandlers are essential at just about any job site, so it is wise to consider adding one to your fleet. Used telehandlers are a great way to add to your capabilities, without breaking the bank on a new piece of equipment. Anytime you purchase a piece of used machinery, it is important to know what to look for to ensure that you are buying a safe and reliable machine. Here are some tips for how to find the best used telehandlers for sale.
The mechanical systems of a telehandler include the engine, drivetrain, and hydraulics. To test these systems, start up the machine to see how it cranks to determine the condition of the mechanical components. If you have to grind on the starter, the interior elements may be damaged or worn.
You will also want to check the mechanical systems for signs of leaks, assess the condition of the fluids, and test out the gears. Test out the steering, as well as the service and parking brakes to ensure that they are not worn, damaged, or altered.
Once you have verified that the mechanical components of the telehandler are sound, you are ready to inspect the structural systems of the machine for signs of damage.\ Beginning with the boom, inspect the entire element starting at the hinge point that anchors the boom to the frame. Check the entire boom system for evidence of damage, cracks, or potential repairs. This includes signs of fresh welds or paint that may have been used to cover up a recent repair.
Since the boom is the element that bears the brunt of the load weight, it is important to double-check the structural integrity of the system for any evidence of previous failures and repairs. If a piece of the structure has failed, this could indicate that the overall integrity of the machine has been compromised and may affect its safety or functionality.
After the integrity of the boom has been confirmed, inspect the frame for any signs of damage, cracks, welds, plates, or repairs. Check the areas where cylinders and axles connect to confirm that the axles oscillate, and check all of the hinge points where external components are attached to the frame.
Taking a look at the visual appearance of a machine will be a great indicator of how the machine was used and what kind of shape it is in. Walk around the exterior of the telehandler and make sure that there are no obvious dents or cracks on the outside of the machine. Then go into the cab and lookout for signs of wear or neglect such as broken glass, a dirty interior, loose wires, or previous repairs. The overall condition of the machine's appearance will be a great indicator of how it was cared for and maintained by the previous owner.
Take some time to inspect the telehandler's tires, as they are quick to deteriorate and can cause significant downtime. Check the treads to see how soon the tires will need to be replaced, and find out if the tires on the telehandler are filled with air or foam to help you budget for replacements. This is an important but often overlooked element when it comes to buying a used telehandler.
A used telehandler is only as good as the care and maintenance it received. When speaking with the seller, ask to see the work order and maintenance records for the machine to review before making a decision. These records will tell you about how the machine was cared for and any kind of repairs or maintenance it received over time with the previous owner. If the records show that the telehandler received a structural repair, be sure to ask for the appropriate documentation to evaluate what was done to ensure that the repairs meet the manufacturer's specifications.
In addition to official documentation, you will still want to do your due diligence to thoroughly inspect the telehandler yourself, or with the help of a certified inspector, to identify any potential issues with the machine. Keep a close eye out for any signs of an oil leak, and ask for the warranty, cost of repairs/replacements, and the reliability of the machine before buying.
While buying a used telehandler, it is crucial to go into the transaction as an informed buyer who knows what to look for to determine the quality of a piece of equipment. Following these steps will help save you the time, money, and frustration that comes along with purchasing a faulty piece of used equipment.