Tips to help you get the best price when selling equipment.
Most equipment owners plan to sell heavy equipment before the end of its useful life. But in actuality, most machines are sold when circumstances dictate:
- at the end of a big project
- slow times, very low usage of equipment, or fleet realignment
- upon the equipment owner’s retirement
- to fund the purchase of more specialized equipment
- to upgrade to newer model(s)
Getting the best price when selling used heavy equipment and trucks depends on many factors, including supply and demand, brand recognition, marketing expertise and access to buyers. But the condition of the machine also plays heavily into the final selling price. While you have no control over market supply and demand, you can take steps to maintain the resale value of your heavy equipment. Here’s how:
Schedule regular and preventive maintenance
Regularly scheduled and preventive maintenance is essential for keeping equipment operating at optimum levels, but it also speaks volumes to prospective buyers about a machine’s worth. And well-maintained equipment holds its value on the market better than machines with spotty maintenance history.
Tip: Document all maintenance, service and repairs in a log book, and keep invoices if applicable. When it comes time to sell, make the maintenance log book readily available to the buyer. The more buyers know about the maintenance and usage history of the machine, the more willing they will be to spend top dollar on a machine that has been properly looked after.
Respect the equipment and its intended purpose
In other words, use the machine for the job it was designed. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, including load capacity. Confirm that equipment operators are familiar with and will adhere to manufacturer guidelines as well. Only allow properly trained operators to use equipment. Misuse and abuse are two reoccurring players in rapid equipment depreciation.
Extreme weather can take its toll on equipment too, damaging internal components. Avoid operating machinery in extreme weather, but if you must, ensure you’ve taken the necessary precautions to prevent damage. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for preparing equipment for use in extreme weather conditions
Tip: A small Investment in a cover to protect the operator’s seat from grease or tears can pay off big. Equipment operator seats are not the most expensive component to replace, but the condition of a seat can say a lot to a prospective buyer about the equipment’s overall upkeep. If the seat is damaged, making operation uncomfortable or unsafe, have the seat recovered or order a replacement. Buyers of heavy equipment, particularly owners/operators, will hesitate to make offers on equipment promising 8-12 hours of discomfort.
Let the experts work on it
Take your cue from Walmart. The retail giant makes it widely known that its heavy trucks are only repaired at authorized service centers. If a fleet truck breaks down, Walmart dispatches the truck to an authorized service center to ensure only factory-trained technicians work on the truck and that only OEM parts are used. If you have a reputation for allowing only qualified technicians and mechanics to work on your equipment, and with the best parts, make sure prospective buyers are aware of this.
Tip: Keep a record of all work orders for each vehicle. When it comes time to sell, make the documents available to the prospective buyer.
Make sure your equipment looks as valuable as it is
A dirty exterior and a well-worn interior can knock thousands off the value of a piece of heavy equipment. Make sure the exterior of the machine is regularly cleaned, not only to keep it looking good, but to make it easy to see any small cracks or damage in need of attention. Regularly clean the interior as well. When given the choice between similar makes and models of equipment, with similar hours on the meter, buyers will typically choose (and pay more for) a well-maintained, freshly-painted piece of equipment.
Tip: Consider having your equipment painted, repaired and refurbished before putting it on the market.
If you have used equipment or trucks to sell, talk to the experts at Ritchie Bros. We connect sellers with buyers located around the world, ensuring sellers get global market value for their equipment.
For more information, talk to your Ritchie Bros. representative.
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