The Brand of the Used Equipment You Buy Matters
There are plenty of brands in the construction industry all vying for your business. From the top-tier brands that you’ll pay a premium for to the low-priced, value driven brands, you have a lot of options to choose from. So, which way should you go? Do you purchase a model from brands like Caterpillar, Deere, Komatsu or Bobcat that retain their value? Or, do you look at brands that you’re less familiar with and try to save a few dollars? After all, every similarly sized and powered machine in a category should have comparable performance — right?
While it would seem like the answer to the questions above should be easy, there are several factors you need to consider while answering the question about which brands of used equipment to buy and which brands you should avoid.
The top-tier of construction equipment manufacturers, whether they produce general purpose or specialty equipment, earned that reputation by the way they do business, and that starts with manufacturing practices. These manufacturers source quality components, maintain the highest production standards, as well as test and retest their equipment. They ensure the machines are built right, which minimizes any potential issues down the road. They also have more resources to resolve warranty work quickly.
When these quality produced machines move on to secondary used markets, they still hold up well in the applications they were designed for, driving up the demand, which in turn helps justify the manufacturer charging a premium for its new equipment in the first place. It’s a circular process that requires a lot of attention to details.
Many value based manufacturers try to get there by taking shortcuts in that process. They may be strong one year, focused on growing their business through quality manufacturing and a strong dealer network. However, they tend to stop investing in it a year or two later when the economy gets tight. This approach doesn’t work. Why? Quality is difficult to maintain, and it’s costly.
When you choose a brand that is committed to quality today and has been for a long time, you get better peace-of-mind about your used equipment purchase and more than likely a better machine.
Access to Parts and Service
Every piece of equipment will break down, leaving you with a crew sitting idle and repairs that need to be made. Top-tier brands have larger distribution networks and better parts available, whether OEM or aftermarket parts. This means you’ll be able to get the parts you need faster, getting you back to work.
You need to consider parts and service availability before you buy. Otherwise, you may be kicking yourself the first time it breaks down. There are just too many instances when contractors are forced to wait for weeks for back-ordered parts to become available, or, worse yet, the manufacturer is no longer doing business in your country.
Whether you purchased a top-tier machine or something else, a respected independent dealer can help you get what you need to keep your equipment running properly, minimizing downtime.
Chances are you’re not going to hang on to your equipment forever, so you need to be thinking about how much that unit will be worth when it’s time to resell it. Some Caterpillar dozers and graders produced in the 60s are still selling for upwards of $40,000 in today’s market. The same thing can’t be said about other brands in the marketplace.
When it is time to replace or add a machine to your fleet, turn to an IEDA member. They will ensure you get a good price on your next purchase and help you understand how the value of that unit will hold up over time.