When you first launch a construction business and even for the first few years, cash flow can remain a challenge. Unfortunately, many business owners engage in some destructive impulse spending. While you must invest in your business, there are productive and counterproductive ways you can do it.

Maybe you need a piece of construction equipment you don’t own for an upcoming job. Buying new equipment might be your first impulse, yet it’s often a bad financial move. Used construction equipment will often provide years of service if you buy with care.

Not sure about the best approach for buying reliable secondhand construction equipment? Keep reading and we’ll cover what you should know about buying on a budget.

Consider Reputation

Consider Reputation

You must consider the reputation of the seller. Is the seller or company known for honesty and fair dealing? Does the seller have a history of equipment sales or testimonials from satisfied prior customers?

If you must buy from outside the area, dig into the seller online and look for customer reviews on third-party sites. These often give a good picture of the company’s overall trustworthiness.

Buy from people you already know and trust whenever possible. It cuts down on the uncertainty. Plus, they’ll probably prove more straightforward about the equipment’s maintenance history.

Do an Inspection

Sometimes, you can’t find what you need in the area. In those situations, you must rely on reputation and customer feedback about the seller.

If you can find what you need in the local area, though, do a thorough inspection. Make sure the equipment and description line up very closely. If they do, it’s a good sign that the seller is acting in good faith.

Look for Quality Brands

Look for Quality Brands

When buying new equipment, many construction businesses opt for inexpensive brands out of financial necessity. When you buy used equipment, though, it generally comes at a hefty discount. That means you can look for things like the top forklift brands.

Quality brands typically build more reliable equipment out of better materials. That means you’ll see more working life from them when buying used.


While you must buy within your budget, beware of any prices that look too good. Even used construction equipment holds significant value. A price that’s too low is often a red flag of some ongoing problem with the equipment.

That said, companies that buy new equipment often replace them on a 6-8 year cycle. So, you will see cheap construction equipment or at least cheaper equipment turn up on the market in waves.

Picking Reliable Construction Equipment for Your Business

Picking Reliable Construction Equipment for Your Business

Picking reliable used construction equipment for your business is part fact-based and part intuition. You should learn as many facts about the equipment as you can, including an inspection where possible. Your budget is also a fact you must workaround.

Customer reviews and industry reputation can provide some insight into the seller. At that point, you must rely on your gut feeling about the seller.

Looking for more tips for your construction business? Check out our commercial construction articles in the Real Estate section.

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