Consistent Maintenance and Recordkeeping Key to Equipment’s Residual Value
When it’s time to trade in or sell a piece of your equipment, documented preventive maintenance and repairs you’ve performed on that equipment will pay big dividends in the price you receive.
The OE manufacturer’s recommended maintenance intervals provide the road map — clearly spelling out which services need to be performed and when, typically based on machine hours. Your records can be kept in a simple notebook or with construction equipment maintenance software. The latter will give your log a more professional, serious-about-maintenance look when you meet with a potential buyer.
You can make your records even more effective by showing the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule next to when you actually performed the maintenance (e.g., 975 or 1,010 hours).
In addition to regular maintenance, it’s important to note any repairs that have been performed on a machine and significant parts that have been replaced. Indicate the brands of the parts when it’s a beneficial sign of quality, copies of vendor invoices help as well. Also note any manufacturer recalls that were completed on your machine.
Keep literature from the original manufacturer organized in a binder that you can provide to prospective buyers. This may include manuals, guides and the original sales invoice. Maintenance invoices or internal time cards will also help validate your maintenance log.
Appearance Is Important
It’s been said that seeing coffee stains on an airplane’s tray table can make a passenger wonder about how well the plane’s engines are maintained. To that point, it may be worth your time and money to fix cosmetic issues, such as ripped upholstery on a seat, dirty headliners, and worn out floor mats. Clean the machine thoroughly; fix leaks and replace broken glass, maybe even give the unit a fresh paint job. Details matter, if equipment looks more valuable, it will be.
Shop Around for the Best Price
Just as the potential buyer or trader is looking for the best deal possible, you need to weigh the pros and cons of each potential method for trading in or selling your machine.
Of course, shop your equipment around for the optimum price. An OEM dealer might not be your best option, because they may only want to acquire your equipment if you’re trading it in for a new machine — and they need to undervalue your equipment so they can, in turn, price it aggressively for quick resale. An online site or auction company may expose you to more buyers, but it will also come with fees and commissions that will compromise the value you receive — and you’ll naturally be at the mercy of the highest bidder on any given day.
Trying to sell your machine directly to a private buyer is another option — but one with its own challenges. You will need to take significant time to be available to show the equipment and let the buyer inspect and test it. Also, costs like marketing and storage can add up if the unit doesn’t sell quickly.
Whatever option you consider, make sure you talk with the trusted professionals at your IEDA member dealership. Being fair to customers and recognizing the value of your equipment is what they’re all about.
For a list of IEDA members in your area click here.