7 Tips & What to Look For When Buying a Used Motor Grader

7 Tips & What to Look For When Buying a Used Motor Grader
7 Tips & What to Look For When Buying a Used Motor Grader
Author: Small Business Expert | September 18, 2020 | Topic: Used Equipment

7 Tips & What To Look for When Buying a Used Motor Grader

Buying a used motor grader may be one of the wisest decisions you can make as a company. They usually come with lower initial investment costs and provide all the power you need to complete your projects. Since these motor graders have already been used, companies may be a bit wary about purchasing them. This reluctance is especially true when they don't know what to look for to make sure they're getting a high-quality motor grader.

To ensure you get the best used motor graders on the market, you should be aware of used motor grader inspection tips and different factors you need to account for as you select a used piece of construction equipment. Check out this used motor grader buying guide to ensure you make a wise decision the next time you purchase heavy-duty machinery.

Benefits of Buying a Used Motor Grader

Many large and small companies with experience know buying used equipment can bring many advantages. Used equipment has lower upfront costs and does not depreciate as quickly, making it a great value. There are a variety of other benefits that make used motor graders an excellent investment:

  • Lower investment costs: One of the top advantages for many companies is that used equipment is very cost-effective. When you buy used, you don't have to spend as much initial capital on the motor grader you're purchasing.
  • Retain equipment value longer: Another great part about purchasing used motor graders produced by Caterpillar is they hold their value for a long time. They're expertly made and will often have an extensive maintenance history available for clients to examine to ensure they get a motor grader in good repair. If you keep your motor grader maintained, it'll likely hold its value for a long time.
  • Avoid drastic depreciation: The longer a piece of equipment has been on the market, the more depreciation will slow. By purchasing a used motor grader, you'll see significantly less depreciation.
  • Lower ownership costs: By investing in used motor graders, you may be able to deduct a variety of expenses on your income tax return. You also can recoup some of your initial investment if you decide to sell due to the lower depreciation rate. Another excellent benefit is that insurance for used vehicles is often very affordable, leading to lower ownership costs.
  • Find key features: While new equipment may have the most updated technology, you can still find plenty of high-functioning, technologically advanced used motor graders. Used motor graders will often have all the features you need at a much lower cost.
  • Immediate access to equipment: When you buy used equipment, it is typically on the lot ready for you to take it to the work site. There won't be any back orders due to demand, so you can get your equipment promptly. This quick access to equipment also means your equipment starts to pay for itself immediately.
  • Greater flexibility: Used motor graders give companies more flexibility. Since they can be purchased for less cash and retain their value more, you can often sell them when you need a new motor grader or other equipment, recouping some of your initial investments. By having access to used equipment, you can quickly adjust to new projects and put in bids for a variety of different jobs.

What to Consider When Buying a Used Motor Grader

With all the advantages of purchasing a used motor grader, you'll likely want to know what to look for when considering this piece of equipment. Below you can find out more about what to look for when buying a used motor grader:


1. What Type of Job Will You Need It For?

The first step to purchasing a motor grader is knowing the types of projects you're planning to use it to complete. This can help you determine the exact specifications you need from your motor grader before putting down the money to invest in it.

After all, you don't want to purchase a motor grader that doesn't have enough power to handle your hardest job, or that's going to be too small to make it through your project in an efficient manner. Consider past projects or the types of projects you hope to take on in the future to narrow down your selection to the most appropriate options.


2. What Size Do You Need?

Size is one of the most important qualities of motor graders. The size of a motor grader directly relates to the capacity and maneuverability of your equipment. For instance, if you're working in a tighter area, you need a smaller motor grader that can easily navigate the space and make it around corners. In larger areas, smaller motor graders aren't ideal since they have smaller blades that may require you to take longer to complete jobs.

Larger motor graders are ideal for projects where you have to cover lots of ground. Since they have larger blades, they're very efficient at completing bigger jobs at a faster pace.


3. What Attachments Will You Need?

One of the things to look for when buying a used motor grader is the types of attachments it can use. You want to anticipate the attachments you'll need for your projects and ensure the motor grader you choose will be compatible. Some motor graders may come packaged with the attachments, so it's a good idea to know what you want to get the best deal.


4. What Are the Maintenance Costs?

Through inspections and reviewing the motor grader's maintenance history, you should try to get a sense of what your future maintenance costs are going to be. Motor graders have to handle tough jobs daily, so they'll need to be maintained, no matter how good a condition you find them in. By knowing if they've been damaged and reviewing their maintenance history, you can get a sense of your future maintenance costs and see if they fit your budget.

7 Inspection Tips for Used Motor Graders

Besides looking at more general criteria to evaluate motor graders, you should inspect specific areas of the motor graders. Conducting a detailed inspection can help you make sure the motor grader is worth purchasing and won't end up costing you more money in immediate maintenance costs.

Below you can find the top tips for buying a used motor grader, helping you know what to inspect before you invest. There are seven things to check before buying a used motor grader.


1. Check the Circle

You'll find moldboard mounted around the motor grader's circle. When a motor grader operator moves the circle's position or angle, the moldboard's angle and tilt will adjust as well. If the circle hasn't been maintained properly, it'll be much more difficult to complete fine grading tasks. Since the circle is so crucial to your moldboards and your motor grader's ability to complete fine grading tasks, you must inspect it carefully.

Start by looking at the surface to see if it has any places where there's uneven wear. If uneven wear is present, the circle may be improperly aligned, leading to damage to the pinion gear teeth. Shims can sometimes be used to ensure the circle remains properly aligned, especially if the circle has some areas that are worn down. If you notice shims, you can start the motor grader and see if its circle can go through its full range motion without play.


2. Check the Frame

One of the easiest checks you can do is to inspect the frame of the motor grader before you purchase it. Look for any cracks or other signs of damage. Additionally, be on the lookout for fishplates, which are metal reinforcements installed on one side or another of a crack to help repair it. While fishplates aren't necessarily a bad sign, ensure an experienced and professional welder installed them.


3. Check Moldboards

You should inspect the cutting edge of a moldboard to ensure it's still on straight. This section should be bolted across the bottom and along the sides of the moldboard. Inspect the moldboard's cutting edge to see if its center has cupped due to soil or rock wearing it down.

It's important to always replace the cutting edge on time, as it's much more expensive to replace a moldboard than it is a cutting edge.

Check Moldboards

4. Check the Articulation Point

In any motor grader inspection, you need to inspect the articulation point for repairs or any wear. The repair costs associated with an articulation point can be quite hefty, so you don't want to be stuck with a bad one. Another problem area you should search for is if the engine compartment is resting lower than the cab, indicating a bent articulation point.

In addition to looking at the engine compartment's height, you should look to see if the linkage system has put strain on the frame, resulting in damage. If you notice damage or repairs, see if the steering components are working appropriately.


5. Check the Linkage System

At the front of your motor grader, you should inspect the linkage system. Over time, an operator leaning or turning tires can cause strain, leading to damage to the frame and linkage system. If any damage has occurred, you can usually find it on the front axle and the inside of the frame. If you think there might be damage, you can inspect the steering components to ensure everything is straight.


6. Check the Hydraulics

Before you start inspecting the actual parts of the hydraulic system, look at the ground underneath the motor grader. If the hydraulic system is leaking fluid, you'll likely find evidence of it with fluid on the ground. After you've checked for fluid leaking, you should also inspect the engine compartment's houses and lines, cylinders, the circle drive housing and other primary parts of the hydraulic system. This could uncover damage and leaks needing to be repaired if you decide to purchase the motor grader.

Check the Hydraulics

7. Check Engine Power

Confirm your engine has enough power for the jobs you're going to complete. If you need a larger motor grader with more horsepower that can handle tough jobs and cover lots of ground, you're going to want the bigger engine. You can find the horsepower by asking for the machine's specs, but you can also run an independent test if you want to make sure it runs at optimal power.

Why Buy a Used Motor Grader From Cat Used?

When you find a motor grader from your Cat® dealer, you can know you're getting high-quality equipment. Our dealers offer reputable customer service, detailed service records and a large inventory of used construction equipment. Your purchase from a Cat dealer offers a variety of advantages, including:

  • Access to inventory from the entire Cat dealer network: When you choose Cat Used, you get the advantage of working with an expansive network of Cat dealerships. This network offers thousands of Cat machines and parts, making it easy to find a motor grader meeting your exact needs.
  • Detailed service records often available: Your Cat dealer makes every effort to receive detailed service and maintenance records from most used motor grader in their inventory. Because of this, most of the dealers' motor graders will come with records to help you make an informed decision.
  • Dealer service and support: Cat dealers offer clients reliable dealer service and support before, during and after an equipment purchase. After purchase, you can expect experts to give you insight into any questions or maintenance issues you might be having. During a purchase, your dealer will walk you through your options and find the ideal equipment for your needs.
  • Flexible financing options available: Cat dealers offer several financing options that can be personalized to your company's budget. By buying from your Cat dealer, you can receive flexible financing, as well as an Equipment Protection Plan.
  • Value and longevity: Cat products are built to last and are well-known for their reliability. Since they last, they retain their value longer than other brands. As such, you can expect your used motor grader to keep a relatively high value and run far into the future.
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Turn to Cat Used for Your Next Motor Grader

Cat Used connects you to thousands of Cat dealerships around the world. When you work with Cat Used, you can find top-tier motor graders at various ages, hour ranges and price points.

To get started, browse our inventory of used motor graders today. You can find and contact a Cat dealer in your area to learn more about a piece of equipment for sale. If you see a piece of equipment that's not available, sign up for email alerts to know when a piece of equipment you're looking for becomes available.

Turn to Cat Used for Your Next Motor Grader

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Turn to Cat Used for Your Next Motor Grader
Turn to Cat Used for Your Next Motor Grader