Buying a Used Bulldozer
If you are buying a used dozer, answer these questions first
When it's time to get a bulldozer, there are a number of things to consider before you make the purchase. The first decision is an obvious one - new or used?
If you decide to get a used bulldozer, be sure to check the condition of the undercarriage, hydraulics and attachments, parts availability, hours, safety, and relative cost.
The undercarriage of the machine makes a big difference when it comes to what you want to use the bulldozer for. The most common undercarriage is standard and heavy duty. Standard is good for construction and landscaping work. Heavy duty undercarriage is used in rough terrains. Be sure to know which undercarriage the used machine has on it. Replacing the undercarriage if it's not right or in poor condition will cost thousands of dollars.
Check to make sure the hydraulics and attachments are working properly. Especially work the blade and the ripper if it has one. Move the machine back and forth, turn the machine in circles. And make sure controls are easy to manage.
One of the biggest considerations is parts availability. The bulldozer you bought for a song and a dance can quickly end up becoming nothing more than a 30,000 pound paper weight if you can't get replacement parts. Do research to see if there is a resource for important parts on the machine. Get part numbers for the main pump, hydraulic cylinders, final drives, and see what is available.
When possible, get the hours of the used machine. A bulldozer with 5,000 hours can still have a lot of life left but be sure to check the undercarriage and the engine. If possible get work history and maintenance work orders.
Be sure the machine doesn't have outdated attachments and doesn't have unauthorized modifications. An unstable machine is an unsafe machine. Also check to make sure safety features are operating properly and have no significant wear and tear.
Finally, when it comes to the cost of the machine, be sure you are getting the correct value for the investment. Buying from a reputable vendor with a history of sales is one way to avoid buying a 10 ton lemon.
Check to see what the same model is going for on sites like Machinery Trader. Most of all remember, you need a good bulldozer to handle the work you need done. Saving a few thousand dollars isn't worth it if the bulldozer doesn't perform as needed.
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