How to Find the Right Used Equipment for Your Rental Fleet

Finding the right source for your used equipment ensures that you receive the right after-sales support and quality that your company requires.

In today’s market, there are numerous resources for buying used equipment — including auctions, local equipment distributors, manufacturers who take trade-ins, trade publications and used equipment websites.

In assembling and managing your rental fleet, what are the options available, and what other factors do you have to consider?

Photo by Jamar Penny on Unsplash

Where can you go to purchase used equipment?

Local equipment distributors are often the go-to choice, since many of them already have a long-term relationship with their customer network. Distributors depend on having a good reputation, and thus ensure that the equipment they sell meets customer expectations. Beyond that, they may offer a warranty, as well as additional after-sale service and product support.

Manufacturers, such as Genie, often have a good supply of used equipment, as they do take equipment on a trade-in basis. Since they are highly proficient in maintaining their own machines, plus they have access to quality replacement parts, manufacturers will ensure that their used equipment is safe and usable before they sell it.

Auctions are also a popular choice. The rush of competing with other buyers, and trusting your trained eye in appraising good-quality machines can be very exciting. However, there are drawbacks, such as having limited opportunities to inspect the equipment, and there is unlikely to have any warranty or after-sale service if you encounter a problem. To be consistently successful at auctions, you require an equipment expert on your team to appraise the equipment and advise on your bid.

Trade publications are another classic way of finding used equipment. While these publications are a good way to find used equipment sources for future reference, or to check the value of a certain piece of equipment, the listings are not always up-to-date due to their long shelf life. A more modern alternative would be online trading houses, where listings are constantly updated. (E-commerce may very well be the future of machinery trading.)

Why should you purchase used equipment for your rental fleet?

Purchasing used equipment allows you to achieve balance in your fleet’s average age. Sometimes, you only have a short-term need for particular machines for a specific project.

Another reason you might buy used equipment is because the amount of equipment financing available to you is limited, or you have an annual capital expenditure limit.

If you have an experienced team of engineers who can extend the productive life of your rental fleet equipment, used equipment would be a good way to utilise their skills while staying cost-efficient.

Lastly, if you buy the right used equipment, you may even be able to lower your depreciation and improve your bottom line. In doing so, it is also important that you factor in the higher repair and maintenance costs that you will incur with used equipment.

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