Are you in the market to buy an excavator for an upcoming construction project? If so, then you might want to consider buying used as opposed to brand new. Doing so can save you a great deal of money while still yielding you a quality excavator that'll suit your construction needs. Of course, as with buying any used piece of equipment, you'll want to verify the condition of the excavator before you buy. Specifically, there are a few possible "red flags" that you'll want to be on the lookout for with each used excavator you consider.

Play in the Slew Ring

One of the last things you want as the owner of an excavator is to find out that you need to replace the slew ring, so this is one of the most important parts of a used excavator you'll want to assess before buying. Specifically, look for signs of overuse or damage, such as excessive play in the ring itself. You can check this by simply rotating the excavator housing about a quarter turn or so during an initial inspection.

A Broken Hours Meter

The hours reader is an important component of any excavator and should not be overlooked when buying used. Specifically, check the hour reading on the meter and make sure it matches what you were told by the seller. If the meter is broken, you'll probably want to walk away from the sale unless you're buying from somebody you know and trust. Otherwise, you'll have no way of knowing whether or not you're being told an accurate reading, which means the excavator could have many more hours on it than you realize.

Scalloping of the Bucket

Be sure to take the time to examine the bucket of the excavator as well. While a bad bucket shouldn't necessarily be a deal breaker, you may be able to use it as a negotiating tool. For example, if the teeth of the bucket are bent or scalloped, it'll still work, but the cutting force will be slightly compromised. As such, you might be able to use this information to get a lower price on the excavator itself.

Make/Model Discontinuation

Last but not least, check to see if the model of excavator you're looking at is still in operation. If not, then you may have trouble finding parts if you need to do any maintenance or repairs down the road.