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What You Need to Know About Refurbished Construction Machinery

What you need to know about refurbished construction machineryThere is a new category of used construction equipment that has been growing since the recent recession — refurbished, or remanufactured equipment. If you’ve run across refurbished machinery during your search for used equipment, you likely have some questions. What is it, who performed the work and is it worth the extra expense?

Defining Refurbished
Refurbished equipment is simply a used piece of machinery that has been restored to its original manufactured condition. The process involves going through every mechanical and electrical component on the machines, restoring or replacing cosmetic details and wear parts, as well as ensuring the machine will perform to the OEM’s original specifications. When done correctly, it will produce a machine that is as close to new as you can get, which is why several companies that offer this service call it “remanufacturing.”

The concept of refurbishing or remanufacturing equipment isn’t new, but since manufacturers have begun to offer certified programs that carry an additional warranty, there is a lot more attention devoted to this process in the industry. However, manufacturers are not the only ones that refurbish equipment. Construction equipment dealers and other sellers of used equipment have been doing it for decades, whether they labeled it “refurbished” or not.

Buyer beware — Not all processes are the same
Reputable dealers and manufacturers take the refurbishing process serious and follow a defined set of guidelines about what gets rebuilt and what gets replaced on a machine. There are others that cut some corners but still stamp the machine refurbished with the thought that they can make a few extra dollars in the process. For that reason, you need to make sure you don’t simply trust that a clean machine with a fresh coat of paint has been refurbished. You need to ask some questions and dig a little deeper.


  • Who refurbished the machine?
  • What kind of process did they follow?
  • What was replaced?
  • What was rebuilt?
  • Does it have a warranty?

After asking those questions, you should still inspect all the details for yourself.

Right source for refurbished equipment
Of course, the best way to avoid low quality refurbished equipment is by buying from a reputable source — direct from the manufacturer or through a member of the Independent Equipment Dealers Association (IEDA). The manufacturer that performed the work certainly has a lot invested into making sure they rebuild the machine the right way, but you can expect to pay a premium for the machine.

IEDA members are experts at buying and selling used equipment and stand behind everything they sell but do not necessarily always have “refurbished equipment” on their yard. That doesn’t necessarily mean that their “used equipment” is inferior; it just means they believe in honest marketing. Most IEDA members perform a thorough inspection of every machine they sell and fix whatever is wrong with a unit or let you know what potential issues it may have before you buy.

Is paying more worth it?
Paying more for a refurbished machine may or may not be worth it. It depends on what work has been performed, who did the work and what kind of guarantee you get. Priced right, you get a machine that is like new and should last up to 80% as long as a new machine. However, with a little bit of work and partnering with the right dealer, you can often find a used machine at a lower price that is in similar condition. In either situation, work with someone you trust.


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