Maintaining the beauty of your garden is essential in highlighting the architectural design of your property. If you have a massive garden at your home, manual labour may not be enough to keep it up. You need heavy equipment to lighten the load.
Buying your equipment can be a wiser choice than renting if you will be using it regularly, for a long time. If you continue to rent equipment or hire services, after a year or two, you would have already spent the same amount of money had you bought your own. The savings could add up significantly after several years.
Before buying heavy equipment, take note of some dos and don’ts to help guide your decision.
Do decide if you will buy new or used equipment
You may want to buy brand new equipment if you are not restricted to a budget. However, if you want to get what you need for as little money as possible, you may want to check out the auctions where you can save a significant amount off the retail price. Look for reputable auctioneers and gather as much information about the equipment being auctioned as you can before you raise your paddle. Equipment in auctions is offered on an “as is where is” basis, so you'll need to know the condition of the item before buying along with any faults it may have, and you'll have to pick it up from its location yourself.
If you are buying new equipment, all of the information is readily available from the dealers. The advantages are that you get the full warranty and on-going technical support and you can a choice of the latest models with advanced features. The only disadvantage is the price. Yes, new heavy equipment is costly, but it should serve you well into the future.
Do research for a good brand
There are so many trusted brands of heavy machinery. To know which brand is the best for a certain heavy equipment:
- Do a background check on the brand’s service history.
- Look for blogs or reviews on how well that brand has worked for other users.
- Check the brand’s reputation with regards to reliability and durability. There are brands that are very expensive because they are so well known, but there are also others that are not as popular but offer the same quality of products for a fraction of the cost.
Do take it for a test drive
When you buy heavy equipment, you want to make sure it’s working as it should, so test it first. Ideally, you'll bring someone along who can confirm with authority that the machine is solid, or identify any faults, especially when it comes to buying used. While testing:
- Check every function the machine offers.
- Listen to the sounds it makes.
- Let it run for a few minutes and do actual work.
Don’t settle for anything that that doesn't run properly, no matter the price.
Do check if parts are available
One important thing you have to check in advance is whether replacement parts are readily available. Here’s what you can do:
- Ask the seller which parts are usually the first ones to need replacing due to wear and tear, such as the rubber tracks for skid steers, and where you can buy them.
- If you are buying used equipment, ask the seller which parts have already been replaced so that you know when you will need to replace them again.
- Avoid brands or models that have been phased out because, most likely, their parts will no longer be available, either. These machines can be very tempting because they tend to come highly discounted, but there's a reason for that, and a great deal could wind up costing you far more in the end.
Now, here are the buying mistakes you'll want to avoid.
Don’t buy without getting an official receipt
Receipts are your only solid proof of the purchase, and you need the receipt if you have to send the equipment back either for repair or replacement.
We can’t assume that the machine won’t break even if it’s brand new. That is why there should be a warranty on its parts and service. You will always be asked for the receipt if you will be taking your equipment for maintenance or repair. Once your receipt is lost, you will also lose your warranty and the free service. You will then need to send your equipment to a repair shop at your own expense.
Don’t buy without a title
When you buy heavy equipment, ask for its title which should be transferred to your name. If a seller isn't able to present a title, you may back out of the deal. Any heavy equipment without a title may be stolen or still has a lien. A reputable seller or dealer should inform you if the equipment is already fully paid or not.
In case a title is not applicable, check the machine numbers or any identification from the machine, and consult with your local law enforcement to check if it’s stolen. Better be safe than face legal troubles in the future.
Always keep these tips in mind when shopping for heavy equipment so that you will have an enduring, trusty machine to help you take good care of your garden.