It is important to inspect a used excavator when buying one. This is because a used machine can be in bad condition and it defeats the purpose of saving money if after buying the used machine only to find out later that one has to spend a lot on repairs. Inspection of a used excavator is normally carried out in two stages. The first stage is a physical visual inspection and the second stage is performance inspection. In performance inspection, the excavator is started up and performed specific functions for evaluation. What are the main things to look out for during the visual inspection? The main components to inspect are:
1) The Engines – When inspecting the engine look out for leakages or soot. The present of any indicates that the excavator engine may need overhauling.
2) The Cab, Stick, Boom and bucket – When inspecting this look out for welds not from the factory as this indicates repair done. On the boom and stick make sure they are not bend or twisted. Inspect the pivot points for signs of wear, which requires replacement. Check the bucket to see that it is not dented or damaged.
3) Track and under carriage – Track inspection involved looking at how much wear there is and the condition of the links joining the individual metal plates of the tracks. This is to find out if the tracks need replacement. Other things to inspect are the rollers and sprockets.
In performance inspection, the excavator’s engine is started up. At this stage lookout for any considerable soot or smoke discharge. Any of these further indicates that the engine needs overhauling. Once warmed up, the machine is put through a series of paces. This is to test the hydraulic system by moving the boom, dipper and bucket. The condition of the hydraulic cylinders should also be inspected at this stage. Next the swing gears and bearings are checked. A well working swing system should be able to rotate the machine top structures smoothly. It also has little deflection and is able to start and stop accurately. Finally, the drive system of the excavator is inspected. To do this, the excavator is driven over a short distance. If the drives are working well the excavator should run straight. Therefore by carrying out a proper inspection the actual buying cost of the used excavator, where the repair cost are taken into consideration can be determined and more importantly one can make the right buying decision.