Buying Used Equipment

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by deerewashed, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. deerewashed

    deerewashed LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 883

    Hey guys. I always come around here every now and then. Just thought i would get some input for pros like you.

    How do you guys buying used equipment cope with buying used equipment from really far distances from you, and also from private sellers? It seems like such a gamble for a purchase over 20, 30, and sometimes even 40k.

    Also, I dont want this to become a battle of the brands. But i know some brands are more prone than others to have problems around certain periods of its life. I know there are many variables in the life span of a machine. But i would still like some input.

    We currently rent a mustang mtl16, and sometimes mtl25 track loader, as well as an me3503 mini excavator. We rent these during the landscaping season, and use them AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE, due to the hassles of rentals, and daily prices etc. Between the track loaders, and mini excavator, we spend about 15k a season on these two machines alone. I am confident i can find over 20k worth of work if we owned.

    This 20k may seem low, but we would only put around 100, to 150 hours a year on each machine. Dont question my pricing etc. I know how to charge for what i do, and it works well.

    So down to the questions.

    How many hours should i cut off at when searching for a piece of used equipment? 1400 hours? 1600 hours? 2000 hours?

    what brands provided the most bang for your buck with longevity, future problems/maintenance and price?

    i Know i can spend 80k and get 2 solid machine, but i really only want to spend 40k right now. Should i spend 40k or less and get one of the 2 machines i need, and keep renting the other until its paid off?

    I am looking for a 3.5 to 5 ton excavator, and up to a 100hp track loader. I wish i could get buy with wheels for the price point. But it simply will not work.

    I know i may not be clear as to what i am looking for from you guys, but any input/help, and any questions would help.

    If this isnt clear let me know, if im crazy let me know, if i talk to much let me know. I will try and fix it.

  2. tnmtn

    tnmtn LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Tn.
    Messages: 1,022

    what kind of work in particular do you use the equipment for? tight quarters, minimal turf damage, clearing, grading, on pavement, for example.
  3. deerewashed

    deerewashed LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 883

    primarily use on newly built or renovated houses. Turf damage therefore is not a concern. Both machines are used for grading. track loader is primarily used for B&B and offloading trucks. Moving large amounts of material, whether it be loam, or fill, or stone; also it may move pallets of sod from front yard to back on a rare occasion.
    On occasion tight quaters, but if it cant fit the conventional tail swing 3.5 ton machine,we will do it by hand. Usually all the areas we can fit the 3.5 ton machine we can fit up to a 5 ton machine. Mini excavator will be used for grading, trenching, occasionally stumping. digging holes for large trees etc. Moving plant material, and ocasionally removing boulders, and ripping up concrete/pavement(note: we usually rent a jackhammer for this)
  4. deerewashed

    deerewashed LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 883

    ALL of our work is in the landscape design and build business. Design/build landscapes, also a lot of hardscaping as well. We only use natural stone, nothing usually comes on a pallet, except for flag stone and flat stones. all of our work is medium to large projects that take from a week to up to a few months. (every 2 years or so we get a project that takes a year or two.)
  5. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,613

    You describe a very similar situation to mine. I would say I rented a little less than you and do a little less hours than you on each machine. You can tell how much I dont like renting, it doesnt work. I went with under 1000 hours on a skid and under 2000 on a mini. Ended up at 800 and 1800.
  6. deerewashed

    deerewashed LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 883

    if you dont mind me asking how much did you pay for your machines? did you buy them locally? do they both have cabs? I would like a cab on the mini excavator, but have gotten away without renting a machine with one, and could continue to do so.
  7. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,643

    I would invest in a plane ticket before I spent 20k, I did spent 11k one time without seeing the equiptment but it only had 7 hours on it.
  8. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    I personally dont like to buy used equipment unless it has really low hours, and has been well looked after. I would never buy a machine without seeing it , and going over the entire unit.
  9. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,613

    I paid 20 for the Taki and stole the Kubota at 25k. Both have cabs. The kubota has hyd thumb, auto idle, heat/AC, and had new rubber tracks. 5-6 ton minis should have cabs IMO. The door on the skid is a pain in my ass but I leave it on cause I want a brush hog and harley rake for it eventually. The skid was local the mini was 2 hours away.
  10. deerewashed

    deerewashed LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 883

    25k?!?!?!?!?! ill give you 26. lol

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