Skip to content
Home » Get Heavy Machinery at a Steal: A Guide to Used Equipment Auctions

Get Heavy Machinery at a Steal: A Guide to Used Equipment Auctions

For companies seeking to acquire equipment like tractors, forklifts, excavators and other heavy machinery, used machinery auctions offer an affordable sourcing option compared to buying new. However, succeeding at auction requires understanding the process, inspecting inventory, and bidding strategically.

Preview and Inspect Machinery Thoroughly

Never bid on equipment sight unseen – always inspect thoroughly before auction day. Check for leak stains, abnormal wear, corrosion, damage and other red flags. Operate and test functionality of gearboxes, electronics, hydraulics, attachments and other components. Know what you’re bidding on.

Research Equipment Values and Set Limits Use market guides like IronPlanet and Machinery Trader to estimate used values before attending auctions. This allows setting informed bid limits aligned with equipment age, hours, and condition. Stick to sensible max limits in the bidding heat.

Check Maintenance Records and Ownership Request maintenance logs and ownership documentation to gain insight into how well equipment was cared for. Regular service and few previous owners indicates reliability. Gaps in service or many owners could signal issues down the line. Provenance matters.

Understand Auction Estimates and Reserves Auction houses provide pre-sale estimates on equipment. While not binding, these suggest approximate value. Reserve amounts indicate the minimum price sellers will accept. Both figures help shape bidding strategy, especially for hot-ticket items.

Look for Rebuilds and Certifications Certain machinery like lift trucks may have been rebuilt more than once. Ask for verifiable paperwork on rebuilds specifying parts replaced and work done. Certifications like EPA Tier ratings on newer engines also add value for emissions compliance.

Know the Terms and Fees Review terms like warranties, return policies, and payment/financing rules closely before bidding. Also understand all auction fees like the buyer’s premium added onto winning bids. Avoid surprises by accounting for fees in your max limit.

Arrange Equipment Transport Early Having a truck ready to transport your winnings avoids delays or scrambling after the fact. Machinery requires specialized haulers. Make transport arrangements early so equipment can be moved immediately post auction. Prevent problems taking possession.

Attending Previews and Trainings
Auction houses often provide preview days and complimentary trainings for first-time buyers to educate on the auction process. Attend these events to build knowledge, ask questions and grow comfortable with auction protocols before bidding.

Whilst a used machinery auction offers savings, proper preparation is mandatory – research values, thoroughly inspect choices, know your budget, understand terms and fees, arrange transport early. Follow these steps to secure reliable equipment at the best possible price. With homework and strategy, auctions yield equipment deals.