Buying A Used Crane? Use This Checklist To Ensure You Make An Educated Purchase

Investing in a crane is probably going to be one of the biggest expenses you ever face as a construction business owner. For most, it is illogical to go out and invest in a brand new crane, which often means they will first invest in a used crane that will serve their business for several years. However, buying a piece of equipment this large should never be a business move that is taken lightly. Whether you are buying a used crane from another business owner, at auction, or from a reputable used crane dealer, it is best to take this checklist along with you when you go to buy industrial crane

Does the seller have a detailed service record for the crane?

It is a well-known fact among construction business owners that the lifespan of a piece of heavy equipment is directly relative to how well the piece is maintained. Therefore, before you buy an industrial crane that has been in use for several years, it is best to know what service history you will be getting with that piece of equipment. ask the seller for the service and maintenance records, which will tell you things like:

  • how often parts have been lubricated
  • when there has been work performed on the crane's motor
  • if certain parts have been replaced and why

Does the crane function as it should?

You should never buy a crane without operating it first or physically watching someone else perform the operations. You will want to know three things about operation of the crane before you make an offer:

  1. Does the lift boom extend freely and smoothly?
  2. Do the controls function properly to move the crane?
  3. Does the crane transition as it should during track or wheel movement?

There are other things you will be looking for during operation, but these are some of the most important. 

How many owners has the crane had in the past?

This is one checklist item before buying a crane that tends to get overlooked because it may not seem important in heavy equipment purchases. However, knowing how many times a crane has passed through owners can give you a little insight into how well it has been taken care of and perhaps even what condition it's in or how well it functions. For example, cranes that have had several owners in a short time frame may have not been properly serviced or could even have mechanical issues that make the piece undesirable to keep.