Tips for Buying a Used Caterpillar Loader

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There are times when nothing but a heavy loader will do and if you’re on a limited budget working to tight deadlines this can put serious pressure on the whole operation. There is an alternative to buying brand new, however, and that is to take a deep dive into the used market. Vehicles such as the caterpillar 950e wheel loader can be picked up for a fraction of the cost of a brand new one.

As with buying a used car, inspection, budget, and everything else comes into play when buying a used loader for your business.

So, with this in mind, let’s take a deep dive into what to look for and look out for when buying a used caterpillar loader so you get the best vehicle for your operation.

Find a Loader for the Task

Before looking for a used loader think about what you want it for. Make a list of all the tasks it will be performing in the operation and make a list of all the essential capabilities your loader will need. Once this is complete it will help to narrow your search for the best vehicle for the job. It will also save you time in the long run by assessing the capabilities of every vehicle you find.

Aspects such as size, tipping load, breakout force, operating weight and compatible attachments are specifics you need to take into account before your search commences. From this point, you can then narrow down to individual models which should make your search faster saving you time.

Check the Service History

Once you have found a loader the next step is to check the service history. Try and ascertain whether the loader was used within its capabilities and that the vehicle was inspected to the recommended manufacturer schedule.

Loaders which have been used correctly and maintained to the right schedule last longer and perform better. If you have a loader that adheres to being used correctly and regularly serviced you can feel more confident about buying that particular vehicle.

Inspect Thoroughly

As with any vehicle is important you inspect before you buy. As such, pay attention to these areas:

  • Bucket – The bucket should have securely attached teeth, and have no damage to the side panels or leading edge. If a coupling system is in operation ensure the pins are tight and make sure the lift arms and cylinders are damage free.
  • Cab– Ensure the pedals, joysticks, and all the control technology is in good working order. Make sure the seat isn’t damaged. Switch the loader on to ensure the gauges work and check the reading of the hour meter.
  • Frame– Ensure the Roll Over Protection Structure and Falling Object Protective Structure are undamaged. Not all loaders have these but if they do make sure they’re sound.
  • Hydraulic system– Check for signs of damage to the cylinders and hoses and pay attention to the hose couplings.
  • Engine – Ensure the air filter has been serviced regularly and check the engine to see if it has loose belts or leaks.
  • Centre articulation point– This is located under the cab and check for damage and wear. If it is in a bad way, the top and bottom pins will have play.
  • Tires, wheels and rims– Make sure anything metal isn’t plagued by rust and that the treads are good.

If you’re happy with what you inspect take the loader for a test. If you’re happy you may well have found your vehicle.

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