Used equipment is offered in many different ways: reconditioned, cleaned painted and PMed, completely rebuilt including tires, or as is. When your budget is constrained you may be forced to look to older equipment. In many cases, used equipment can be a great investment. Just like a car, if someone else used the equipment lightly and maintained it religiously, you can stumble onto a diamond in the rough, where the only thing not in pristine condition is the paint job. Hours can be meaningful as an indication of wear and tear. An expert opinion should be given on any equipment purchase to verify by experience the actual condition that is being represented. Any machine with high hours, although it may be in good running condition, can have catastrophic events a short time down the road. This is what should be taken into consideration BEFORE signing on the dotted line.
The age of the machine is another determining factor. And here’s why: Parts availability. If the machine is old enough, parts for repair may NOT be available, so an expert should be consulted before making a final purchase. That Craigslist bargain you got may turn out to be a MONEYPIT. Or worse yet, so obsolete as to be unrepairable. A forklift is a major purchase, just make sure you do your due diligence and DON’T buy a piece of equipment at an auction, unless you have money to gamble. Generally auctioned equipment cannot be operated prior to purchase, so you are literally gambling, especially if you don’t know what to look at for warning signs that what you are buying is going to have costly repairs from the outset.