wheel loader parked at site in front of dirt hill

How to Find the Best Used Wheel Loader For Sale

Wheel loaders are a common piece of equipment that can be found on just about every job site. To add a wheel loader to your fleet to increase your capabilities without breaking the bank, consider purchasing a used or second-hand machine to help cut costs.

Wheel loaders are used for asphalt, snow, dirt, and gravel, and are incredibly versatile tools that are valuable to virtually any job. When purchasing a used wheel loader, it is important to thoroughly inspect the machine to ensure that it is in good condition and will last for years to come. Learn about how to become a wheel loader operator. Here are some great ways to find the best used wheel loaders for sale.

Maintenance & Service Records

Looking into the maintenance & service records of a used wheel loader will give you some insight as to how the machine was used and cared for by its previous owner. Speak with the seller to find out what kind of jobs the machine was used for, the last time it was serviced, the maintenance schedule, and any significant damage or issues it may have sustained in the past. Having a thorough understanding of how a used wheel loader was maintained will help you make informed decisions about whether or not the machine is worth purchasing.

Engine Compartment

A wheel loader that is in optimal condition should start up smoothly and easily. If upon starting the machine you hear strange noises or see any leaks, this can be an indication that there is significant damage within the mechanical system of the machine. You should do a routine check of all fluid levels such as the hydraulic oil, engine oil, and antifreeze, and inspect the belts for signs of excessive wear.

Also keep an eye out for discolored exhaust smoke, coolant in the oil, or bubbles in the radiator. These are signs that you could be looking at costly repairs soon, and should most likely walk away and find another used wheel loader to purchase.


The frame of a used wheel loader will tell you a lot about the machine's history and reliability. Since a new frame can be a very costly repair, it is important to check for misalignments, welds, or other signs of repairs to the frame. Check for any signs of excessive wear or damage, and check all of the pins and bushes.


During your inspection, check the cylinders, hoses, hydraulic pump, and axle seals for any signs of cracks or leaks. Take a close look at the O-ring face seal fittings to check for leaks, and do a pressure check to make sure that the pressure is optimal.


Check the wheel loader's tires for wear and damage, making sure that there is sufficient tread, and that all of the tires are equally pressurized. Be sure to check the rims for dents, cracks, or damage, and make sure that there are no loose nuts that could pose a serious safety risk while the wheel loader is being operated.


Do a brake check on the used wheel loader, as these can be a costly replacement. If the machine has outboard discs, check the discs, pads, calipers, and hydraulic lines. If it has inboard discs, you can check them when you test drive the wheel loader.

The Cab

The cab can tell you a lot about the condition of a used wheel loader. Make sure that the access ladder is free of damage and cracks, and that there is no bending or warping that could pose a safety risk to the machine's operator.

Make sure all of the lights including the flashers, blinkers, and safety lights are in working order and take a look at all of the mirrors to ensure that they are mounted correctly and are not broken or cracked. While the machine is running, make sure that all of the gauges are working properly, and test out all of the lights, flashers, buttons, levers, and buttons to make sure that they are all operating effectively.


Check the bucket for any signs of excessive wear, cracks, or damage, including the bucket points, pins, and brushes. While repairing the bucket is relatively simple, it can be expensive depending on where the repairs are needed, such as the teeth, adapter, or cutting edge.

If any areas on the used wheel loader are damaged or excessively worn, you may be able to negotiate with the seller for a lower price to account for the repairs or replacements that will be needed soon.

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