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Tool Talk Discussion Board

Why you should not pay too much for used equipment

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Posted by Mark Kw on June 13, 2001 at 17:46:11 from (

I've said this before and will say it over and over again, "never pay too much for used equipment!"

I had a customer bring me a Bobcat skid steer. He said, "the bucket needs to be fixed and I'd really like to have the oil changed but there is no way to drain it."

I know this guy bought this machine used and has been running it for at least the past 5 years very hard. In this time, they have never changed the oil not once (Deutz air cooled diesel).

I opened the engine compartment and there are oil leakes everywhere. The batter is flopping around and nearly has a hole rubbed through the side of it from resting on the engine mount. Digging through the 2" deep layer of semi solid oil and dirt in the belly pan, I found the oil drain hose. I removed the cap from the hose to drain the oil and it looked like #4 oil, it was so thick that it took over two hours to drain out 4 quarts of hot oil. The oil filter was packed so solid with crud that no oil ran out of it at all when removed from the horizontal mounting.

I still find it hard to believe that anyone could let a piece of equipment get so bad like this one. I find it even harder to believe that the engine is not dead yet just from the lack of oil changes. The amount of dirt in the air cooling fins is beyond anything I have ever seen including stuff run in the strip mines where the dust is so thick you often cannot see more than 5 feet in front of you.

I spent over an hour pressure washing the engine and the water is still running off it muddy and oily. I informed the owner of the serious oil leaks and he said, "don't bother with them, it's going for sale in couple weeks and I'm getting a new one."

I've personally seen people run up the prices on equipment like this at auctions to near that of a new one. I don't understand why anyone would allow themselves to spend so much for used equipment when you don't know how well it was taken care of if at all. Do yourself a favor, next time you are at a sale or auction, think about this one and ask yourself, "do I really want to buy someone elses junk for lots of money?" You can bet your @$$ that if he never changed the crankcase oil, he also never changed the hydraulic oil and filters either. So if you look at this machine and think, this thing sells for nearly $12000 with the attachments and I can get it for only $ it worth it if you end up having to do an engine job for $3500 not counting labor and a hydraulic system job for about $2800 not counting labor and replacing worn/damaged hoses? You could easily spend more than what it would cost you to buy a brand new machine with all the attachments and have a warranty with it to boot.

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