When buying a used piece of heavy equipment, it's important to conduct a pre-purchase inspection, also known as PPI for short. Just as it's important for used cars, it's also crucial for heavy machinery. There are several ways to go about it, from hiring a third-party inspector, to doing it yourself using a comprehensive inspection checklist. We've prepared a few tips for you to use when quickly inspecting a used piece of heavy equipment on-site.
There are many tools that can be used to inspect heavy equipment before purchasing. These tools help identify potential issues with the equipment that might not have been seen with the naked eye. These tools include something similar to an OBDII, which is used to digitally check for any critical issues in vehicles, as well as traditional hammer and punch to check valves, hoses, and mechanical components. It's very important to have a checklist on-deck before conducting inspections, this will help you understand what to look for when conducting inspections, and what the final inspection report will look like.
Inspecting heavy equipment can be time-consuming and difficult. If you don't have a checklist, it can be hard to make sure that you've done everything. With a checklist, you know you've done a valuable service that you can track. A standard heavy equipment inspection checklist can be split into several categories, namely:
First, you want to begin with checking the electrical systems. This entails making sure that the battery is charged and connected properly, and that the rear and front lights are on, ensuring that engine hoses and belts are free from damage, and inspecting guards and covers in the engine compartment to see if they’re installed properly.
It is very important to check the brake systems on your heavy equipment. This is done by checking for fluid and air leaks, performing diagnostic checks on the parking brake, and identifying any valves or units that need to be replaced in the braking systems.
When it comes to the machine’s tires and wheels; you need to check for nails or debris in the tires, inspect rims for any wear-out signs, and check the overall condition of the tires for any damage. If the equipment is tracked, don’t forget to check its rollers, sprockets, shoes, and links.
Checking all fluid levels of the heavy equipment is a crucial step on the inspection checklist. Check engine oil, engine coolant, hydraulic oil, transmission, as well as inspect the oil and fuel tanks for any leaks or rusting.
Lastly, a machine is as good as its operator, so make sure that the operator cabin on the machine is also inspected for optimal operability and comfort. Safety on the worksite is paramount, so you should start with testing out whether the seatbelt, safety harness, steps, rails, and bars are sturdy and safe. Next, you’ll need to make sure all switches and gauges are working properly and that your control panel is clear of any warnings.
It is important to know what you're doing when it comes to inspecting heavy equipment. In order to do so, there are some things that you should never miss. This is why it’s important to keep an inspection checklist on-hand. It helps you in future inspections, and it’s also a great handout for the person who might take the equipment off of your hands in the future.
Buying used heavy equipment is no cakewalk, which is why we, at Al Marwan Heavy Machinery, provide a comprehensive inspection report on all of our listed machines. View our catalog to get a glimpse of the inspection checklist we use.