Purchasing used small excavators is an attractive option for many contractors looking to acquire equipment at lower costs. While used small excavators provide certain advantages over new models, buyers should also carefully weigh some key considerations.
A prime benefit of used small excavators is the substantially lower ownership costs compared to new equipment. Acquisition costs can be 40% to 60% less than new, enabling buyers to get greater value. Used excavators also typically have already endured their highest periods of depreciation, slowing asset value loss. Lower costs allow contractors to own necessary equipment that may be unaffordable new.
Another plus is the availability of lightly used late model excavators. Many are retired from rentals or early lease returns with minimal usage. These provide ample working life at much lower prices than new equivalents. This gives used buyers access to advanced features found in newer excavators for less investment.
However, purchasing used equipment comes with heightened risks as well. Mechanical issues and faults are more likely with used machines. Repair costs are difficult to predict. Used excavators also often have undocumented histories, so it's hard for buyers to know past usage conditions. Doing diligent inspections and verifying maintenance records is critical prior to purchase.
In summary, used small excavators provide many cost advantages that new equipment simply cannot match. But mitigating the greater uncertainties around maintenance, repairs and equipment history requires careful due diligence from buyers. Overall, when selected wisely, used small excavators deliver substantial value for prudent owners.