Inspection Tips: Things to Look for When Buying an Excavator

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Excavators in Canada can be quite expensive, depending on the make, model, year, and condition, but you can save money by opting for a used model instead of a new one. However, buying used can backfire if the proper examinations and precautions are not taken beforehand.

Inspection tips while buying an excavator

Below are some important things that you should look for when buying excavators in Canada, regardless of whether or not you opt for a new model or a second-hand earth-moving apparatus.

The Swing Radius

The first thing to check is the slew ring; any unusual signs of movement or play should be seen as red flags. The hydraulic excavator housing should be smooth and tight when you operate it.

Look for any signs of unusual movement or play while operating the apparatus; any abnormal movement can cause issues down the road. The connection points should be assessed meticulously, particularly between the bucket, boom, and stick of the unit.

The pins and bushings can also serve as problem areas, so they should be inspected for signs of loose play. For example, if there is any looseness involving the connection points, the result will be reduced accuracy. As for the slew ring, any damage to the component can prove to be quite costly, as the slew ring is arguably the most expensive part to replace.

The Excavator’s Exterior

Now, let us move on to the exterior of the excavator itself. It should be thoroughly assessed for any dents, bends, and cracks that may eventually prove to be problematic.

The stick and boom should be looked at with careful detail, as, over time, such components will begin to bend and warp, particularly if they have been used for a prolonged period. Again, such signs will lead to one, if not several, component replacements, which can add up to quite a sum of money.

Misuse is something to look for, as any large dents on the stick, or other parts for that matter, maybe a telltale sign that something is amiss. Perhaps the previous owner misused the device, so you may want to look elsewhere if you notice any serious signs of misuse.

Service records should be provided so you can go over them to determine if the device was a rental or not. The general rule of thumb is that rentals should be avoided, as studies have found that excavators that have been rented have a higher rate of misuse by the people who previously operated them.

Cracks are also a definitive sign that something unusual occurred in the past. They usually mean that previous operators have misused the device or that the unit has degenerated over time.

Cracks may indicate that parts are damaged, which means that they will need to be replaced to prevent even more serious issues from developing.

The Hydraulics

You should take the time to inspect the hydraulics for any signs of leakage, as leakage may indicate that either degeneration or misuse is the culprit. On that note, the lines, hoses, and cylinders should also be inspected in a careful manner.

Moreover, the hydraulic pump compartment is often a problem area, so it should be prudently checked for any signs of leakage. You should also check the slew ring and the swing bearing, as they are often problem areas that can leak.

If you do notice any leaks, then you should ensure that they are all repaired before you determine if you still want to take a chance on the excavator.

The Hour Meter

Hour meter readings can be inaccurate, so they need to be authenticated and checked to ensure that the accurate number of hours have been logged onto the excavator.

In some cases, the meter may not be working as intended, or you may have doubts about the validity of the data.

If either of the scenarios above applies, you can use a failsafe by checking the control pedals for the necessary data. If you do decide to check the pedals, inspect them for signs of damage, as a high amount of wear probably means that the reading provided is inaccurate.

The Bucket and its Associated Attachments

The bucket teeth of the machine should be checked to determine its digging efficiency. Excessive wear is a blatant sign that the device’s digging efficiency has been compromised, so you will likely need to replace the bucket.

Assess the bucket teeth to look for any signs of scalloping. This is a serious condition that transpires when the bucket’s teeth are worn to such an extent that they form a shape that resembles a half-moon.

A scalloped device can be used, but its efficiency will take a hit as a result. Therefore, we would suggest that you replace the scalloped unit as soon as possible to maximize the digging efficiency of the machine.

Part Inspections

Finally, you should take the time to research the unit’s model, as you will need to make sure that the required replacement items are available if parts of the machine break down in the future.

There is also the matter of maintenance and manufacturer support, as both may be required in the future. Thus, you should look into such matters before deciding if the model in question should be bought.

Truck Loan Center

If you would like to learn more about excavators in Canada or purchase reliable, safe, and efficient excavators, please visit our website. We can also be reached at 1-866-230-0094 if you have any questions about our excavator loan and financing products or services.


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