What to Look for When Buying a Used Skid Steer

What to Look for When Buying a Used Skid Steer

Finding a used skid steer in good shape can be a difficult task. However, many online and in-person auctions offer unique ways to buy used skid steers at a great price. If you know what questions to ask and what features to look for, it will be easier to find the right kind of equipment that fits your needs.

How to Buy a Used Skid Steer

Buying a used skid steer is easy once you understand what to look for during the inspection and what questions to ask during the buying process. A few steps include asking direct questions about the maintenance history during the review, finding the correct information at the auction and finalizing your purchase. If you’re looking for the best place to buy a used skid steer or other machinery, consider online or in-person auctions to find used equipment at a reasonable price. 

Questions to Ask During a Skid Steer Inspection

To reduce the risk of buying a faulty machine, ensure you or the buyer completes a thorough inspection of the skid steer before committing to the purchase. The kind of inspection the skid steer will need depends on the machine’s age and how reliable the seller is compared to others. 

New machines will require a basic inspection that includes checking the condition of the rise, belts and hoses while looking for leaks, damage or wear and tear. Older skid steers need a more thorough inspection to be sure they’re in good condition. For example, test the oil and hydraulic fluids by taking a sample and checking the liquid for contaminants or other issues. 

How thorough the inspection should be also depends on the weather conditions where you work. Areas with severe weather like snow, ice or wind could require a better inspection to ensure the machine is in the best condition. Pay the most attention to parts like the engine, hydraulic pump and cylinders, transmission and attachment pins and bushings. 

Some specific questions you should ask about during the skid steer inspection include the service history, appearance, engine and other parts of the skid. 

1. Can I See the Maintenance and Service History?

The maintenance and service records of the skid steer tell you a lot about the machine’s reliability. It may cost the owner more to replace or hunt down new parts if they find out that no manufacturers support the machine. Check if the machine has consistently had issues or has not been adequately cared for. An on-site evaluation or demonstration can tell you what other questions to ask. 

A good rule of thumb is to continue shopping for a different machine if the owner can’t answer many questions about the machine’s service history. Try writing down the machine’s serial number and taking it to a local distributor to see if you can verify the information given to you by the original owner.

2. Are There Any Appearance Issues?

Check the skid steer for scrapes, chipped paint or rust around the edges. These appearance issues can be a red flag and point to other problems. Other appearance aspects to look out for include cracks in the frame or welds. You can check for cracks in the weld by looking underneath the machine.

Try looking for problems with the outside of the rise, the hydraulic hoses and controls and other internal features like seatbelts, seat covers and steering conditions. While the appearance of the battery, cables or other engine equipment may not be your first consideration, these should still be checked to ensure they look in good shape. 

3. How Does the Engine Function?

The engine is one of the essential parts of the skid steer. Check whether the machine takes diesel or gas fuel and how easy it is to start. See if the engine needs replacing or still works properly. 

4. How’s the Transmission?

Test if the transmission makes a lot of noise or is nice and quiet. Some skid steer transmissions may also require more power than others. The appearance of the transmission fluid can also be a tell-tale sign of a transmission that is in good condition or needs to be replaced. 

5. How Do the Loader Arms Look?

A skid steer’s loader arms may crack over time, and it may also be a good idea to check the cylinders, pins, bucket and bucket teeth. Have the inspector check the boom hinge and pivot points to see if they are loose or tight. 

Questions to Ask When Buying at an Auction 

Bidding online for used skid steers offers a way of convenience unlike any other, although the internet has not entirely replaced on-site auctions just yet. However you choose to bid on a skid steer, there are a few questions to ask when buying at an auction:

  • What time does the bidding start? Find the starting time and ask the bidding company what time would be best to arrive. 
  • What’s the starting bid? Ask what the starting price of the bid is and ask yourself how much you are willing to spend on the equipment. If you don’t have enough funds to start, consider financing the machine by paying monthly installments. 
  • Who’s responsible for transporting the equipment? Will you be transporting it out-of-state, or will it be shipped out of the country? You’ll also want to ask who will be responsible for the equipment so you know who to talk to about exporting or how to get an estimate on transportation costs.
  • How will you bid? Ask yourself whether or not you want to bid online or in person. Ask yourself who you would trust to bid in your place.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Finalizing Your Decision

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Finalizing Your Decision 

After looking at the skid steer options and deciding which machine to bid on, you may want to focus on one machine over all the others. Before finalizing your decision, make sure you ask yourself and others the right questions to be sure you’ve made the right choice.

1. How Will You Be Using Your Skid Steer?

Ask yourself how you plan to use the skid steer and how often you will use the machine. Depending on the jobs you have scheduled, the performance of the skid steer may change drastically. Whether you plan to work the skid steer inside or outside, the types of jobs required of the machine will help you gauge what size you need and what the skid steer should be capable of.

2. How Much Can You Spend?

Come prepared with a budget to ensure you can afford the skid steer you want. Ask yourself how much you are willing to pay and how many extra features you could splurge on. If you wish for a skid steer with mechanisms like additional lighting or air conditioning, then you may have to prepare to spend a bit extra. Consider the maintenance costs, and ask the previous owners how much their monthly maintenance bills were. 

3. What Features Are Available?

Ask the owner or auction house what features or attachments you can buy along with the skid steer. Many skid steers can be outfitted with various attachments that assist in workplaces like snow plowing companies, warehouses or lumber facilities. 

Bid Online for Skid Steer Equipment at Bid Equip LLC

Bid Online for Skid Steer Equipment at Bid Equip LLC

At Bid Equip LLC, our company holds monthly auctions for customers to bid on new and used equipment. We also continue to source, buy and accept equipment throughout the year to present at new auctions. At our monthly online auctions, you’ll find new or used heavy equipment you need at reasonable prices. Gain an edge over other companies by purchasing machinery from other Pennsylvania skid steer owners and manufacturers. 

From tracked and wheeled skid steer loaders to used cranes, trenchers, backhoes or excavators, Bid Equip LLC offers some of the most popular models. Contact us today to speak to a Bid Equip representative, or call us at 484-494-6846.