How to inspect heavy machinery before buying

How to inspect heavy machinery before buying

Buying machinery and finding the right engineering solutions and construction equipment for your company can sometimes be difficult. You might not know exactly what to look for in terms of features of heavy construction equipment, dump trucks or even mobile cranes. But if you have an inspection list to follow, then you can easily choose the right machinery for your needs.

When you are looking for heavy machinery for your next construction project, be sure to inspect it effectively and correctly. For example, you should always inspect the tyres of all heavy duty equipment for wear and tear and be sure that all milling machines have had their attachments fixed if they have been broken. Looking for new machinery? Below are some top tips on how to inspect heavy machinery before buying.

First up, check the fluids

Checking the fluids of the vehicle is the most important step in the construction equipment inspection process. You should start by looking at the engine oil level, then move onto the transmission fluid, the coolant and the hydraulic fluids. Make a note of the state of the oils so you have a full picture of the state of the equipment.

Low fluids or even dirty fluids should be seen as a warning flag and could be a sign of internal damage and poor maintenance from the owner. Another explanation for a low fluid level could be that part of the equipment is leaking, and if the leak has been left to persist, this means that the owner has not fixed it or has not inspected the machinery to find the leaks.

Rev that engine

The next step in your inspection should be testing out the engine. This is important to do on any piece of heavy equipment you are interested in purchasing and be sure to look out for how easy it is to start. Listen out for any knocking sounds or noises that you know are not supposed to be made.

An effective way to check how well the engine has been kept is to run the engine and then remove the oil cap to see how much smoke is emitted. If the smoke that it emits is dark or black in colour, then there might be an issue with the compression. You should bring along a mechanic so that they can inspect the engine and give tips about what could be wrong with it.

Watch out for wear and tear

It is important to remember that heavy construction equipment and machinery will have wear and tear if it is second-hand. This will include dents, scratches, peeling paint and some rust. And while these should all be red flags, more serious wear and tear should be considered as a deal-breaker.

Look at the tyres and make a note of the level of wear on these and if it is equal on each one. You should also take note of how many dents there are on the body and if there are a large number of welding marks, signifying the machinery has been fixed often. If there is too much wear and tear, it might be time to look at another model or at a new model.

Take time to inspect the tyres

All construction workers know that if a tyre is flat or has too much wear on it, it is time to change it. Which is why your inspection should include looking at all of the tyres and comparing them to one another. Each one should have the same amount of wear and tear on them and they should all be aligned correctly.

You should ask if any of the tyres have recently been punctured or replaced and what brand it was replaced with. You will also need to ask about how the puncture happened, as this could be an indication of how the machinery was being used. For example, if the driver was using it on a road it was not meant to be driven on, this will mean other parts of the equipment could be damaged too.

Don’t forget a test drive

Now, you might not think that you need to test drive heavy machinery or equipment, but it is an important part of the inspection process. Operating the equipment yourself is a good way to tell how it has been taken care of and whether or not there are any issues with the engine and tyres.

A test drive of a piece of equipment is different to driving a car, as there are fewer features to test out and what you are looking out for is different. If you are not sure what to look out for, you can take along a professional mechanic or one of your drivers, so they can tell you if there are any problems. Test out the technology in the cab during your test drive in order to ensure it is in working order.

Authored by: mjones

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