Tips for Buying Used Equipment

1. Know Your Budget

Protecting the budget is one of the few things every project has in common. It takes a great deal of effort to complete a project on budget, ensuring everything is finished in the most efficient way.

The benefits of buying used construction equipment are simple – it's about saving money.

Benefits of Buying Used Equipment

Weighing your need for equipment versus your budget is something you’re likely familiar with. Fleet management involves fuel cost, transportation to and from the project, condition monitoring, the price it costs when equipment breaks down and, of course, paid operators. You don’t want to skimp in one area to invest in another.

Knowing your budget is a matter of knowing what you can spend and what you need. With an exact idea of what you can afford to spend, you can wisely purchase equipment that is right for you. Once you know your budget, browse Empire’s line of trusted and reliable used equipment, including Cat-certified equipment. 

2. Inspect the Condition of the Equipment

Nothing is worse than purchasing used equipment, only to discover it’s full of problems. It’s imperative to operate equipment yourself before making a purchasing decision in order to realize the benefits.

Consider the following ways to inspect used heavy equipment:

  • Conduct a visual inspection. While this shouldn’t be your only means of inspection, it is vital to carefully inspect the equipment. Mainly what you're looking for on the outside is rust, which is a slow killer. Rust can be hidden by fresh paint or heavy mud or dirt. Most people don’t think much of a Cat® caked with dirt because it's not like buying a car, where you make sure it's washed and shiny before trying to sell it. However, mud and dirt can easily hide rust, so be sure to carefully inspect the equipment.
  • Listen to it run. Listen for any unusual sounds, such as unordinary grinding or clunking. Unnatural sounds can indicate a larger problem, so be sure to actively listen to equipment run before you make a purchase. 
  • Try it yourself. Ask to see the equipment in action, or operate it yourself. Surely there is something to move, scrape, push or lift somewhere on the premises. In addition, check the bottom for leaks and be sure hoses and valves are intact and properly checked before the purchase.
  • Ask an expert. If you're not qualified to operate the equipment yourself, or you do not know what to look for, seek the help of someone you trust. Bring that individual along for assistance. If possible, take a trusted mechanic with you as well.

Condition monitoring and regular maintenance is important for any kind of construction machinery. Be sure that whomever you’re purchasing from has taken proper care of the used equipment.

At Empire, we aim to make the process of purchasing used equipment as simple and straightforward as possible. Browse our many offerings – and don’t hesitate to ask questions. A knowledgeable sales representative will answer all of your questions.

3. Obtain a Warranty

Protecting your investment should be a priority after you’ve decided to purchase. With proper protection, you can enjoy the many benefits of used construction equipment.

All heavy equipment is bound to breakdown at some point, even with regular condition monitoring and maintenance. Without a warranty, a breakdown means a loss of time and money. The cost of parts, labor and time away from the job could be a detrimental setback to your projects.

If you're running on a budget and a major malfunction occurs, it could destroy your project’s scheduled progression. It's not uncommon for people to skip the warranty to save money, but it’s not a wise decision in regard to the long term.

4. Seek Transportation Benefits

Used LF - transport services

You can't easily take your equipment on the road to transport it to your destination. And it surely isn’t going to fit in the back of your pick-up truck. Therefore, it is wise to consider whether or not the equipment you’re planning to purchase will come with transportation services.

One of the many benefits of buying used construction equipment from Empire is that we offer equipment transportation. We can move your equipment, large or small. Whether it’s wide loads or super wide loads, we will  safely get them to your destination.

If you decide to transport your own equipment, we sell a variety of trailers.

5. Consider Your Needs

It's easy to get confused – there's a lot of heavy equipment out there, much of which is similar.

Model, size, attachments and capabilities are a few things to consider before you begin searching for the perfect piece of construction equipment for your job. Sometimes there is more than one option to suit your needs.

If you don't know exactly what you require, conduct your own research, and contact a sales representative at Empire. We will listen to your project plans and help you determine what equipment is right for your situation.

The experienced staff at Empire will ensure you’re comfortable and satisfied with your heavy equipment purchase. We recognize that your loyalty needs to be earned, and we believe the clients and communities in which we serve are the most important part of our business.

6. Ask for Documented Proof of Equipment History

Documented information about equipment you’re considering is valuable. Be sure to ask about where the equipment has been operated. Furthermore, inquire about the types of projects in which it was used. Most importantly, try to determine how many hours are on it.

Many machines do not have an odometer, so documented proof of its life is priceless information. Knowing how many hours are on it can give you an accurate idea of how much it has been used in the past.

Take the time to conduct the proper research on the equipment you plan to buy, and find out what estimated hours are acceptable for the product.    

7. Ask for Owners and Safety Manuals

This step may not be necessary in every case. However, if you're buying used equipment, you may want to seek the manuals or videos that came along with it when it was brand new. The manuals can help you stay safe, enable proper condition monitoring and help maintain proper and optimal use of your equipment. Empire sales representatives can also help you find manuals and educational videos about the equipment. 

How Empire Can Help Find the Right Equipment

Used LF - find equipment

View a Vast Inventory of Used Equipment

Empire carries a huge selection of used equipment and attachments. Whether you're looking for a small backhoe for a minor project or have a large construction site with fleet management needs, you will find it at Empire.

Here is a snapshot of our inventory:

  • Articulated Dump Trucks
  • Backhoe Loaders
  • Compactors
  • Excavators
  • Forklifts
  • Motor Graders
  • Skid Steer Loaders
  • Telehandlers
  • Water Trucks
  • Wheel Loaders
View Used Equipment

Used Attachments

Attachments are an integral part of customizing how every piece of heavy equipment works for you, and that's why Empire carries no shortage of them. In fact, whatever your need to get the job done, we likely carry it in stock or we can find it for you.

We have an inventory stocked with order ready attachments, including:

  • Augers
  • Backhoe Buckets
  • Excavator Buckets
  • Forks
  • Planers
  • Push Blocks
  • Skid Steer Tools
  • Thumbs
  • Wheel Loader Buckets
  • Winches
View Used Attachments

Used Power Systems

We also carry a wide assortment of power systems. Many people are nervous about buying used power systems, but Empire guarantees a complete and full reconditioning of every unit.

Our used unit offerings include low hour units, which are designed to last in the field for a very long time with condition monitoring and regular maintenance.

Our power systems cover the needs of many different industries:

  • Air Conditioners
  • Chillers
  • Compressors
  • Diesel Engines
  • Generator Sets - Gas and Diesel
  • Light Towers
  • Marine Engines
  • Uninterruptible Power Supplies
View Used Power Systems

Empire Services for Your Heavy Equipment

Empire Equipment Service

Heavy equipment can't always be repaired out in the field, or without a trained professional on hand. That's why we offer plenty of services that help when the unfortunate happens. We offer the following services:

  • Certified rebuilds by trained professionals at a state of the art facility.
  • Field service if you are in a reasonable location and the product can’t be fixed without leaving the field.
  • Transportation arranged when leaving a project or commuting to one.
  • Equipment management options for condition monitoring and regular maintenance, providing knowledge for longer lasting equipment.
  • A Precision Machining shop for fixing and fabricating broken down equipment.
  • Hydraulic Services for fast repair. We offer 30-minute hose making, and we have over $1 million in parts stocked and much more.

Truck and Trailer Inventory

Used LF - truck inventory

Empire has a vast inventory of trucks and trailers for your many transporting needs. Our inventory is large – and the trailer inventory is equally as impressive. We also have full service maintenance shops that will repair everything from your engine to your trailer’s rear-axle, and everything in between.

Our full parts department is top-notch, no matter which location, employing highly educated customer representatives to share their knowledge with you and help you find whatever parts you need.    

Our Main Sales Center in Eloy, AZ

Our original and biggest center is located Eloy, AZ. We service equipment from all over the world in our 7,500-square foot shop, which has the ability to fix any mechanical problems. The site includes a 15-acre lot filled with new and used equipment, including parts and attachments that can be purchased for all working needs.

Empire has over 20 convenient locations throughout Arizona, where construction equipment can be bought or sold.

Visit our locations page for a complete list of locations and customer service contact information.

Trust Empire to Help You Get the Job Done

Used Equipment Experts

Purchasing anything used can be stressful. You always want to be a bit more cautious about the ability of the product. Empire offers you a solution to that problem. When you want to spend less without sacrificing quality, you must seek a well-respected company.  

We offer you the peace of mind that comes with having a safety net. Our products are reliable and are matched only by our reputation.

Empire has been in business since the 1950s, and we have experience working with companies and individuals from around the world. We believe that if you are going to take advantage of used equipment properly, it's a simple matter of buying from the right place, keeping up with maintenance and preserving safety and quality. 

Contact Our Used Division Today
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