Should you buy mining equipment from manufacturers and their authorized dealers or from auctions? In the past, the conventional route was to purchase mining equipment directly from the manufacturer and their authorized dealers. This was informed by the fact that the latter came with maintenance service contracts and warranties.
However, purchasing the same equipment from unreserved auctions means you get to pay a lower price since the prices are set by buyers and not the sellers. Below are 12 tips that should come in handy when buying surface and underground mining equipment.
1. Always Research
Always do your research before buying or signing your name in a purchase contract. If you won’t enter into a purchase agreement to buy a car, a house or any major purchase before doing due diligence, why would you buy a piece of mining equipment without doing your homework?
This is critical, especially if you are buying second-hand mining equipment, which comes with the increased risk of problems emerging after purchase. Since the machine is sold as is, you are likely to have no recourse should it start malfunctioning later.
2. Consider the Reputation of the Seller
Always seek to buy your mining equipment from a reputable seller. If in doubt, request access to the seller’s reports, which gives insights into the quality of merchandise they deal in. Positive recommendations from previous buyers is a good indicator of a reputable seller.
3. Is the Brand Reputable?
Where possible, it is prudent to go for well-known brands. If in doubt, conduct research on which brands are reliable and durable.
4. Is the Warranty Viable?
Try finding if the equipment also comes with a valid warranty. A Lot of earth-moving and construction machines have pretty long warranty periods, which could either be in work hours or years.
5. What Is the Machine’s Service History and Life Span?
If you are purchasing a piece of used mining equipment, request for its service records and query all noticeable gaps. The records should tell if the machine has been regularly serviced and whether it is in good shape. What is the total number of hours the machine has been in operation?
Although the age of a machine is an important consideration, the number of hours it has been operated is more critical. Once a piece of machinery has operated beyond a certain amount of hours, failure is inevitable. So, when choosing between two similar equipment, go for the one with lesser working hours.
6. Presentation of Equipment
Do not ignore first impressions. Thoroughly inspect the machinery and do not shy away from asking questions such as: is it in good working condition? Are any of the panels damaged? Has it been repainted?
Always check for signs of wear and tear when buying mining equipment. While at it, inspect the drive train and establish if there are oil leaks. It is essential to check the condition of the bush and pin. You may want to hire an inspector to assist with the inspection, especially if you have no idea of what to look out for.
7. Are there Newly Installed Parts?
Establish if the equipment has newly installed parts since these could extend its life. However, if the installation of new parts was necessitated by an accident, you may want to avoid that piece of equipment. You never know what else could be wrong with it.
8. Equipment Testing
It’s essential that you check the steering arms and the carriage for wear and tear before buying a piece of used mining equipment. Besides, you should test drive the machine and establish if all movable parts are working as they should. Check the track adjuster’s position and tighten the tracks should they be worn out.
9. Get Under the Hood
Before bidding, inspect the engine and other under-the-hood components. You can easily flag off engine problems by watching out for excessive colouring and smoke. Ask for the machine’s computer logs and check hour meters.
10. Signs of Repair
When buying used mining equipment, look out for signs of repairs such as a new paint job or weld marks on the machinery’s body. This could indicate damage cover-up. No matter how well a repair is done, the lifespan of the mining equipment will be affected.
11. Listen for Unusual Noises
Conduct a driving test for a couple of minutes and watch out for any unusual noise. These could include whining, knocking, creaking, singing, or squeaking.
12. Avoid Discontinued Brands
Whether buying new or used mining equipment, keep off discontinued brands. Getting spare parts and support can be quite a challenge when dealing with discontinued brands.
Buying a piece of mining equipment is a significant investment. Whether you are purchasing a piece of used or new equipment, aim at getting the best value for your money. It helps if the new equipment comes with a full warranty and on-going technical support.
If buying new mining equipment is too prohibitive for you, consider buying a rebuilt or refurbished one, which is less expensive. The fact that it is fully reconditioned means the rebuilt machine can work as well as a new one, and it also comes with a full warranty.