The checklist below will help you inspect used construction equipment for sale. The checklist is not a substitute for a professional inspection. The checklist highlights items important to this specific type of equipment and is not comprehensive. Never operate equipment without following applicable safety procedures. Do not operate equipment unless you are qualified to do so. We welcome your feedback on our checklist. Feel free to send us a note using the contact page.
- Tires: Check and measure all four tires. Unless a tire has been retreaded, check for tread wear by using a tire measuring tool. Refer to the guide published by the tire manufacturer to find new tire tread depth, and make a comparison to determine remaining tread depth.
- Brakes/axles: On dry disc brakes, look at the shape of the wear plates to make sure the brakes haven’t been run without them. On axles, get under the machine to determine if the oscillation bushing is out or worn, noticeable by a space at the top and bottom of the bushing.
- Center pin (articulation joint): While another person operates the machine, look for up-and-down movement in the top and bottom center pins, which could indicate wear.
- Frame: Inspect the frame for cracks, taking note of these problem areas: steering cylinder pin, bellcrank and where the front axle is bolted on the frame. Also look for rust.
- Coupler/bucket: Look for wear on the bucket sides and cutting edge. Make sure the bottom wear plates don’t have excessive wear. Also, check for welds or cracks.
- Linkage: Working with another person who operates the machine, check for excessive sideways movement in all the pin areas: boom, tilt cylinder, tilt rod end, boom cylinder, lift rod ends, tilt link pins, top bucket, bottom bucket and bellcrank.
- Engine: Look for oil leaks and water leaking under the head. Check the oil for traces of water or antifreeze. Pull out both air filters for evidence of dirt. Find out whether it’s ever been rebuilt, replaced or had major repairs, and who did the work. Watch for excessive smoke and listen for unusual noises.
- Cab: Record the machine hours, and check whether all the “little things” work: all gauges, levers, windshield wipers, switches, heating and air conditioning. Is the seat torn? Does it move easily? Do all doors and windows open and shut? Are all electronics in working order? Make sure the oil pressure light goes out. Also, check service and parking brake.
- Cooling system: Examine the radiator cooler core to make sure it’s damage-free. See if any of the individual radiator tubes have been damaged; you may have to have the radiator re-cored. Also check for leaks. If the machine is air-conditioned, make sure the compressor is in working order. Never open a radiator if it feels warm.