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Tips On Buying A Second Hand Wheel Loader
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Tips On Buying A Second Hand Wheel Loader

A wheel loader is a significant investment and many landscapers, earthmovers, arborists and construction operators may opt to purchase a second hand machine to lessen the cost. If you are thinking of buying a used wheel loader, ensure to thoroughly inspect the vehicle as there can be major problems lurking below its surface. In this article, we provide some tips on how buy a second hand wheel loader.

Do your research.

Find out the price of a new loader and compare it to the price of the second hand one. You may be pleasantly surprised that a new machine may cost less than the second hand one as exchange rates have changed or the factory has expanded significantly. Also research on the particular model and make you are looking at. Read reviews, publications or product specifications to learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of the machine.

Find out the type of jobs the wheel loader has performed.

Has it been used to load from a stockpile, load and carry or dig materials? The wear and tear of a loader that performs loading and carrying jobs is different from the wear and tear of a loader that does stockpile-loading. Also, find out what type of material the loader has been working with. Different materials can introduce different sets of wear to the loader. For example, loading corrosive materials such as fertiliser causes more deterioration than loading sand and gravel.

Check the service history.

How many hours has the loader been put to work? You should not accept the hours shown on the meter as completely accurate as many used wheel loaders have worked overtime shifts. Do your best to investigate and verify the hours worked.

Consider the loader’s original build quality and spare parts availability.

You may need to get some repairs done on the second hand loader so it is important to be able to acquire original spare parts whenever you need to. Steer clear of loaders that have been imported on a whim as it will be difficult, if not impossible to find parts.

Start your inspection by getting the unit serial number of the loader. The serial number will enable to you verify the year of manufacture.

Inspect the wheel loader at ground level and in good light.

Walk around the vehicle at least twice and learn as much as you can from its appearance. Take note of oil leaks, damage in tin work, doors, glass, tyres, bucket and loader frame. As you move around the loader, take a look at the radiator, transmission, engine, batteries, lights and wiring.

It will also be helpful to take plenty of photos so that you have something to refer to after the inspection.

Check what still works and what doesn’t.
Make an estimate of how much it will cost to make non-working parts operate again properly. Some repairs may be very costly. For example, check how strong all the pins and bushes are. Many cheaper brands will have these flogged out and require line boring. Replacing bushes and pins are significant expense. Also check carefully for mast and chassis cracks which will entail great expense to repair.

Some final tips
When buying a used wheel loader, your instincts will often tell you if the loader is an excellent find or not. If the cab has sloppy controls, worn foot pedals, rattling seats and worn-out seat covers, then you can safely assume that the loader has been heavily used for a long period of time. It will be wise to closely appraise each component of the loader such as the wheels, tyres, bucket, loader frame, engine and transmission to help you assess the over-all condition of the vehicle. If you are still unsure if you should purchase a used wheel loader or invest in a new one, consult with a trusted wheel loader supplier or distributor as they can give you the best advice on which loader to purchase.


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