7 Tips & What to Look For When Buying a Used Dump Truck

7 Tips & What to Look For When Buying a Used Dump Truck
7 Tips & What to Look For When Buying a Used Dump Truck
Author: Small Business Expert | December 10, 2020 | Topic: Used Equipment

7 Tips and What To Look for When Buying a Used Dump Truck

Whenever you need to transport heavy materials, dump trucks are probably your go-to piece of equipment. If you're in the market for used dump trucks, you should ensure you're going into the buying process fully informed. With dump trucks being one of the most important pieces of equipment on many work sites, you may want to learn how to do a thorough inspection of the machinery to identify a well-maintained dump truck option. As you search for a dump truck that fits your company's needs, take a moment to learn more about the benefits of buying used and what you should consider before buying.

Benefits of Buying a Used Dump Truck

There are many advantages of buying a used dump truck that make it an excellent investment. Some of these benefits include lower investment costs, an incredible inventory to choose from and increased flexibility for your company. The next time you're in the market for a dump truck, take a moment to consider how a used option could help your company with the following advantages:

Benefits of Buying a Used Dump Truck


1. Lower Costs

One of the primary reasons to buy a used dump truck is its lower costs. Purchasing a dump truck may come with significant capital investment. A used dump truck may decrease the size of that capital investment while still providing buyers with the power and material hauling functionality they need to handle their toughest jobs.

The lowered costs allow companies to have more cash for other investments. With the extra cash, a company could purchase a second dump truck or put money into other parts of the company that could use it.


2. Longer Value Retention

Used dump trucks will often have already gone through their initial depreciation period, where their value drops the fastest. While used dump trucks will still depreciate, their depreciation is usually much slower — meaning they keep their value longer.

When you're ready to sell your equipment, you could earn back a good portion of the money you spent on the dump truck due to the value remaining stable. Recouping a portion of the initial investment is a huge bonus for financially conscious companies. You can keep a dump truck's value even higher by making sure you perform regular maintenance on it and keep an extensive record of any repairs.


3. Greater Flexibility

Companies that buy used equipment also get a greater degree of flexibility in their work. Sometimes you'll have a short-term contract that needs a dump truck you don't have in your fleet. By buying a used dump truck, you may be able to purchase it at a lower cost. You can then sell it after you no longer need it, possibly recouping some of your initial investment in it given the minimal depreciation.


4. Larger Inventory

There's a huge variety of used dump trucks on the market. As a result, you may have more choices when you go to purchase the machinery. You can find dump trucks in various models and capabilities, making it easy to find a dump truck at the price and performance your work requires.

What to Consider When Buying a Used Dump Truck

Knowing what to look for when buying a used dump truck is crucial for finding the right machine for your company. The following questions are essential for any potential buyers to consider before they invest in a used dump truck:


How Much Capacity Do You Require?

Before you purchase a dump truck, it's good to evaluate how large your hauls usually are and how much they typically weigh. Purchasing a too small dump truck can result in inefficiency, as you'll have to take more trips to transport materials. If you know how much material you plan to haul, you can purchase an appropriately sized dump truck that can transport loads fast and keep your operations running at peak efficiency.


Do You Want a Manual or Automatic Transmission?

Dump trucks come in both manual and automatic transmissions, with different companies preferring one or the other. Manual transmission trucks are good for companies who want more gear options, making it easier for the dump truck to match its speed to a variety of tasks. This type of transmission is also well prepared to handle steep terrain.

Automatic transmissions are usually more expensive than manual transmissions. These transmissions are much more friendly to inexperienced or new drivers since they don't have to worry about manually shifting gears. They're also a good choice for companies that don't want to worry about driver fatigue from having to shift gears or press the clutch manually.


Will You Need Additional Storage?

Your work crews will likely require extra supplies in addition to a dump truck to get jobs done right. One of the things to look for when buying a used articulated dump truck is if it has toolboxes included with the machine. Instead of cluttering the cab or the dump box with tools and supplies, a dump truck with toolboxes can provide you with superior storage and organization.


Are You Going to Need Customization?

Another one of the main tips for buying a used dump truck is to think about if you require customizations and add-ons for your truck. For companies planning to customize their used dump truck, ensure that any dump truck you purchase is compatible with the add-ons you're hoping to include. You can also check if the seller includes add-ons with the purchase.

Are You Going to Need Customization?

7 Inspection Tips for Used Dump Trucks

Before you invest in your heavy machinery, it's important you review used dump truck inspection tips. By utilizing these tips before purchasing a dump truck, you can ensure you're buying a reliable dump truck that's not beaten up or going to need repairs shortly after you make the purchase.

Below are the primary used articulated dump truck inspection tips you can follow before you buy:


1. Tires, Dump Box and Body

The first thing you should check on the dump truck is its body. Take a slow walk around the body of the dump truck. If you notice rust, major repairs, dents or cracks on the body, you may want to reconsider before you buy.

After checking the body, inspect the dump box for wear and tear. During the dump box inspection, see if the box is made out of steel or aluminum. A steel dump box will be heavier than aluminum and is typically more durable and strong. As a result, those who plan to handle large materials or rubble may be better served by a steel box. In contrast, aluminum's lightness means your dump truck may generate lower fuel costs, which some companies may enjoy.

Another one of the things to check before buying a used dump truck is the tires. Look over the tires to see if they're in good condition and won't require you to replace them anytime soon. Check the tire's circumference for uneven wear or other signs of damage. An uneven tread can signal the truck having an alignment issue.


2. Cab and Interior

The cab's condition is another element of the dump truck that needs to be inspected. Damaged seats can be uncomfortable for your drivers and may require replacement. Additionally, you can see what technological features are present in the cab. While in the cab, look at the odometer to see what the mileage is. This could factor into your decision if the mileage is too high. Finally, check to see if it has a manual or automatic transmission.


3. Operational Capabilities

After inspecting the cab, you should also start up the truck to see if everything is in working order. Drive the truck to see if the steering has any play to it. Ensure the signals, gauges, horns and lights are all functioning properly.

Besides ensuring the dump truck is in working order, you'll likely want to put the lifting control mechanism through its paces. With the dump truck at a stop, raise and lower the dump box. While moving the dump box, check if the lifting rods and cylinders are operating smoothly.


4. Hydraulic System

Before you buy, look at the hydraulic system to see if it's working well. Inspect the hydraulic system for dents, cracks or leaks in the rods and lifting cylinders. Next, move on to the reservoir tank and pump to check if there's any leaking fluids or other damage. After performing an inspection, operate the dump box again to ensure the hydraulic system is doing its job without anything sounding or feeling off.


5. Axles and Frame Rails

When you're deciding on things to look for when buying a used dump truck, the truck frame rails should be high on your list. While doing this inspection, take note of any bowing bends or sagging bends. A bowing bend often occurs when someone has been driving the truck with an upright and loaded box. Sagging bends indicate that the box may have been overloaded with materials. You should also look for other signs of damage or corrosion, which could affect the dump truck's performance or appearance.

Alongside checking the frames, you can also inspect the truck's axles. Since the lift axles are designed to support heavy loads on the dump truck, look for any structural damage that could prevent them from properly supporting heavy materials and loads. Search for any tag axles or push axles, as they help spread the load across multiple axles. Your state may have strict weight regulations that require these axles to be present, so it's crucial you check for them.


6. Engine

Your dump truck's engine size and power may be one of the most important factors in the equipment's performance. As such, make sure to check its horsepower. Additionally, look into the engine's track record in other dump trucks, seeing if it's a reliable model and checking when it tends to need repairs based on its mileage. See if the engine's model has the performance you need to accomplish tasks productively.


7. Maintenance Records and Documents

A reputable seller will likely have detailed records of the dump truck's usage and any maintenance performed on it. Review the maintenance records to see if any major repairs have been conducted on the dump truck already, which could be a sign that more costly repairs are coming down the road. Look into the dump truck's accident history to check for previous damage and how it was repaired.

The equipment's records can help you see if the previous owner has followed standard repair procedures and performed various preventative maintenance actions. It's also a good practice to check the oil change records. Ensure the previous owner has regularly changed the oil, as irregular oil changes could cause problems with the engine.

Why Buy a Used Articulated Dump Truck From Cat Used?

Cat Used connects buyers with used dump trucks that fit your company's budget and work goals exactly. Our dealers have clients from all around the world who regularly turn to Cat Used when they need a high-quality piece of used equipment. Our dealers' track records of providing exceptional service and flexible financing make them a popular choice for companies who want to work with a dealer that has a personal touch.

Find out more about the benefits of buying from Cat Used below:

  • Detailed service records: A major advantage of buying from Cat Used is the amount of information you may be able to access about the dump truck's previous use. Your Cat® dealer may keep detailed records about how most dump trucks have been used and the types of maintenance performed on them. In most Cat dealerships, you can expect that the machine has been inspected, appraised and filled with fluids, giving you plenty of confidence in its value before you buy.
  • Large inventory of high-value machines: Your Cat dealer may have many generations of dump trucks available for purchase. The many choices of dump trucks make it easy for buyers to find the used dump trucks with the performance and hauling capacity to keep their operations running effectively. In addition, buyers can also get equipment that retains its value due to its durability and ability to be rebuilt.
  • Extensive dealer support: Part of the appeal of finding a used dump truck with Cat Used is how we connect buyers to reliable Cat dealer support. Your Cat dealer's staff can help you find the ideal equipment for your needs and walk you through the various benefits of different dump trucks. Additionally, Cat dealer support continues after the sale is over, helping buyers with after-sale support and recommending replacement parts when needed.
  • Flexible financing: Your Cat dealer understands that companies have different financial goals and constraints when they go to purchase a used dump truck. That's why your dealer may offer various financing options. They can help buyers get a used dump truck at a price that meets their company's financial plan.
Cat® Used Equipment | Customer Testimonials

Purchase an Articulated Dump Truck From Cat Used

The advantages that come with purchasing from Cat Used make us a top choice for many customers worldwide. Now that you've explored this used dump truck buying guide, you're ready to connect with your local Cat dealership to get a high-quality used dump truck. Look through the inventory of used dump trucks available through Cat Used today to find the truck that'll take your business to the next level.

If you like what you see or have any questions, find and contact a Cat dealer in your area to learn more about the equipment for sale. If the truck you want isn't available, sign up for email alerts and you'll get a message the moment the truck becomes available.

Purchase an Articulated Dump Truck From Cat Used

Browse Used Dump Trucks

Purchase an Articulated Dump Truck From Cat Used
Purchase an Articulated Dump Truck From Cat Used