4 Tips & What to Look For When Buying a Used Wheel Loader

4 Tips & What to Look For When Buying a Used Wheel Loader
4 Tips & What to Look For When Buying a Used Wheel Loader
Author: Small Business Expert | September 18, 2020 | Topic: Used Equipment

4 Tips & What To Look for When Buying a Used Wheel Loader

Buying a used wheel loader is a big decision. You don't want to invest in a wheel loader that doesn't suit your needs or isn't reliable. As you look at tips for buying a used wheel loader, you should make sure you know the areas of the machine you need to inspect and the steps you need to take to verify a wheel loader's reliability and performance.

Check out our used wheel loader buying guide to learn more about the benefits of investing in a used wheel loader and how you can do so properly with a comprehensive inspection.

Benefits of Buying a Used Wheel Loader

Buying used equipment is a consideration many construction companies make when they're looking to grow their fleet and give themselves with the opportunity to take more jobs. You can enjoy many advantages from buying used, and used equipment makes an excellent choice for many companies. Below, you can find some of the top benefits of buying a used wheel loader:


1. Cost-Effective

Buying used equipment is a great choice for companies interested in machines at a lower price point. One of the top advantages is that used equipment comes with lower initial investment costs. Despite the equipment being previously used, you can still get several years of profitability out of it. Reputable dealers will ensure any piece of used equipment they sell has been well-maintained, so you get your full money's worth.


2. Better Resale Value

When you buy older equipment, you won't see high depreciation costs. The longer a piece of equipment has been on the market, the more its costs will settle. With its value staying steady, used equipment typically experiences slower depreciation. Buying used means you don't have to bear the brunt of a piece of equipment's initial depreciation. Since you won't have as much depreciation, you can often get a better resale price in proportion to what you initially paid.


3. More Operator Friendly

Since a used piece of equipment is usually on the market for some time and standard across the industry, your staff may already be familiar with it. The widespread use makes it more likely your staff members will already have experience operating the equipment. This saves your company time on training and gets your equipment rolled out to work sites sooner.


4. Reliable Warranties

Many dealers offer warranties for the used wheel loaders they sell. These warranties can give buyers who want to ensure they're getting high-quality used equipment some peace of mind. You may be offered multiple warranty options and packages, meaning you can find one ideal for your needs.


5. Lower Insurance Costs

Used equipment generally comes with lower insurance costs since most insurance companies base their pricing and premiums on how much it costs to replace the equipment. When you buy used, the equipment's replacement costs are going to be lower, which means your insurance costs will be lower as well. This can save your company money in the long term and keep your monthly costs lower, freeing up capital for other ventures.

What to Consider When Buying a Used Wheel Loader

As you search for a used wheel loader to add to your fleet, you should have some criteria to evaluate a wheel loader's capabilities. There are different brands, sizes and types of wheel loaders you'll see while you search, so it's essential you can pick out one that meets your needs.

Learn more about what to look for when buying a used wheel loader by considering the following:

  • Job it's needed for: As you look to purchase a used wheel loader, one of your primary considerations should be figuring out what kind of work you're going to use it for. Knowing what you're going to need the wheel loader for can assist you as you evaluate a wheel loader's suitability. You can ensure you have the size, power, attachments and other key features you require.
  • Size: The size of your wheel loaders matters. A smaller wheel loader may not be able to lift heavier materials larger wheel loaders can handle. A larger wheel loader might not be able to navigate a tight work site where space is limited. Your wheel loader's size should be proportionate to the type of work you intend to use it for.
  • Tipping load: The wheel loader's tipping load is going to determine how much weight your wheel loader can handle at its lift cycle's maximum reach point. It's crucial you determine the max tipping load you're going to need and stick to loaders that have an appropriate tipping load.
  • Tire size: Tire size is an important factor, as their tread depths and sizes affect the types of terrain you can operate on effectively.
  • Bucket and load capacity: A wheel loader's load and bucket capacity determine how much space your wheel loader has to carry materials.
  • Breakout force: Breakout force refers to the amount of force your wheel loader can utilize while completing a rollback operation. The greater force you have, the more your ability to rip objects out of the ground or complete other rollback operations that require some force.
  • Operating weight: The operating weight of a wheel loader can vary wildly. Your work site may need a lighter wheel loader, so it's important you know how much the wheel loader you intend to buy weighs.
  • Types of compatible attachments: Oftentimes, you have a variety of tasks at a work site that a wheel loader's default attachments can't handle. This is why it's crucial that any wheel loader you choose is compatible with the various attachment you're planning to use with it.

4 Inspection Tips for Used Wheel Loaders

As you look to purchase a wheel loader, you need to inspect it first. A dealer should be able to provide you with relevant documents for the service history of the wheel loader and tell you how the machine was used in the past. Additionally, you should conduct an inspection of the major parts of a wheel loader and take it out on a test drive.

Check out the top four used wheel loader inspection tips:


1. Review the Maintenance and Service History

One of the first things to check before buying a used wheel loader is the maintenance and service history. A good dealer will have information on when the machinery was last serviced and the type of maintenance performed on it. You should check to ensure the previous owners stuck to the recommended maintenance intervals since keeping up with them can greatly extend the life of a wheel loader.

If a wheel loader has a track record of preventative maintenance and inspections, you can be more confident in its reliability.

Review the Maintenance and Service History


2. Check Major Areas for a Proper Inspection

You want to be sure the piece of equipment you buy is worth the money. Any reputable dealer will allow you to conduct an independent inspection on the wheel loader. As you conduct the inspection, you can review the major areas of the wheel loader for damage, including:

  • Bucket: Look at the front of the bucket to determine if all the teeth are attached securely. Next, check for any damage to the side panels and the leading edge. If your wheel loader is hooked up via a coupling system, see if there are any damaged bushings or loose pins. Finally, inspect the lift arms and lift arm cylinders for damage.
  • Cab: Your operators are going to be spending a lot of time in a cab, so you need to inspect it. Ensure the foot pedals, joysticks, seat and any other controls or pieces of technology are in good condition. Note the reading of the hour meter. Start the wheel loader, and check that the gauges are working.
  • Frame: Some wheel loaders will come with a Roll Over Protection Structure. If the machine you're looking at has one, you should inspect it to see if there's any damage that could potentially put your operator in danger if your wheel loader rolled over. If you have a Falling Object Protective Structure, inspect the slide screens to make sure they're secured to the frame and undamaged.
  • Hydraulic system: One of the main things to look for when buying a used wheel loader is the hydraulic system. Look for damaged cylinders and hoses, and check that the hose couplings don't have any scratches or breaks. As you look at cylinders, check for dents, scratches or leaks that could result in contaminants entering the system or fluid leaking out.
  • Engine: Inspect the engine, searching for any loose belts or leaks. Additionally, look at the air filter to see its last service date.
  • Center articulation point: The center articulation point is located at the midpoint of the underside of the cab. Check this area for damage and wear. If the articulation point has been significantly damaged, you may notice the top and bottom pins making an up and down movement during operation.
  • Tires, wheels and rims: Inspect the rims' metal for structural damage, such as cracks, rust or dents. You can also check the tire tread for any basic damage or wear.


3. Find Out How It Was Used

Knowing how a wheel loader was previously used can help you better predict how long the machine will hold up. Ask the dealer about who previously owned the machine and if it was utilized for handling exceptionally heavy or rough materials. Find out if the wheel loader was used during the week or also on the weekends to determine how often the previous owner had the machine running. The machine's history will give you an indication of how reliable it will be.


4. Take the Wheel Loader on a Test Drive

Always take a wheel loader on a test drive before you make a purchase. On this drive, you can get a sense for how it handles and verify everything works properly.

On this test drive, you can check to see if you can shift through all the gears without any issue. You can also see the low and high engine RPMs, as well as check to see if there are any irregularities in significant areas like the bucket link or center articulation joints. Issues like these could indicate you may be stuck with repairs shortly, so a test drive is a must.

Take the Wheel Loader on a Test Drive

Why Buy a Used Wheel Loader From Cat Used?

Buying from Cat Used is a smart choice when you're looking to purchase a used piece of equipment. Cat Used is a go-to destination for anyone who's looking to find high-quality, reliable used Cat® equipment at affordable prices. As you browse Cat Used's inventory, you'll find a full line of Cat Used and Cat Certified Used products.

Some of the top benefits to buying from Cat Used include:

  • Access to inventory from the entire Cat dealer network: Caterpillar is one of the most respected names in the heavy-machinery industry for good reason. You get high-quality products that are sure to handle the toughest jobs and last for many years. Buying from Cat Used means you have access to the entire Cat dealer network to find the exact piece of equipment for you, saving you time searching and ensuring you get the ideal product for your needs.
  • Detailed service records often available: Our Cat dealers take pride in ensuring we get the service records of most used wheel loaders or other pieces of heavy equipment we sell. Just ask for them, and we'll be happy to provide them. We want you to feel totally confident in your purchase.
  • Dealer service and support after the sale: When you purchase equipment from your Cat dealer, you can expect to receive top-tier support when first purchasing the equipment and afterward. Our dealers are experts in Cat equipment, so whenever you need advice on caring for your wheel loader, a knowledgeable staff member will be there to help.
  • Flexible financing options available: Cat Used understands companies have different financial needs and priorities. Cat dealers provide their clients with financing options that help their company pay for the wheel loader in the most convenient manner.
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Find a High-Quality Used Wheel Loader for Your Needs

With all the advantages that come with buying from Cat Used, what are you waiting for? Browse our inventory of used wheel loaders today.

If you like what you see in our inventory, find and contact a Cat dealer in your area to learn more about the equipment and purchase it. If a machine isn't immediately available, sign up for email alerts to know when a piece of equipment is ready for you to use.

Find a High-Quality Used Wheel Loader for Your Needs

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Find a High-Quality Used Wheel Loader for Your Needs
Find a High-Quality Used Wheel Loader for Your Needs