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How to choose the right used equipment dealer

With today’s global supply chain, companies are constantly re-evaluating the products they sell and the challenges the packaging and shipping delays have on their business.

When new variables such as Covid-19 are unexpectedly added, the ability for a company to adjust and adapt can be the difference between success and bankruptcy, this has created a change in the perspective of so many things, one being Lift Truck equipment ownership.

Used Equipment

Years ago, a company would buy the same style and specification of Forklift in a rinse and repeat fashion, the operators were not a large consideration, and their business model did not change enough to alter the relationships of providers, for service or otherwise.

In today’s world companies have no choice but to be more adaptive, products, their current supplier, and the way they are packaged and shipped has made it necessary for companies to be able to pivot quickly, whether it be by modifying their storage systems, adding density, or taking on additional square footage. With the frequency of these changes occurring the importance of Lift Truck providers, adaptability has increased considerably.

In the past, you would buy a forklift, use it until your maintenance costs made the equipment uneconomical, then you would either sell it privately, trade it in, or send it to the auction. The time the equipment was in your fleet had everything to do with the quality of the equipment and service provider.

Now the equipment is more likely to be acquired thru long-term rentals to ensure the company can adapt, or in the case of 3PL’s they will acquire equipment based on the term of their contract.

As new equipment becomes more application-specific and is driven thru technological advancements to drive productivity levels, what has happened to the used equipment market as these new Lift Trucks are beyond the ability for most smaller used dealers to repair or service? Most of the large manufacturers such as Crown Equipment are eagerly buying back the used models and are recertifying them thru their Encore program.

This program allows the Crown Equipment dealers to offer lower use customers a product that looks and runs like a new piece of equipment, the customer will not get the full life out of the equipment, but they also won’t pay the full price of the new equipment.

So what does the small used dealer sell?

In this new technology-driven world, the older used equipment dealers will struggle, the products they offer won’t look or perform like the used equipment sold thru the original manufacturer Dealers. The used equipment likely will have parts that were not manufactured for the equipment they are selling used, so the product is no longer what it once claimed to be.

Things I would consider if I was buying used equipment:

  1. Where was the equipment before the used dealer purchased it for resale?
  2. Has the used dealer repaired the equipment with factory OEM parts?
  3. If non-OEM parts were installed, is the performance and safety of the equipment adequate?
  4. If the used dealer is unaware of the previous application, could the truck have been in a fish or meat processing facility, or worse. Paint can hide a lot of issues, but not for long.
  5. Does the used dealer have all the special tools and training the OEM Dealer has (not likely)?

The world is changing, technology is helping us in so many ways, but it needs to be understood managed, and used responsibly, more than ever before the phrase “Buyer Beware” needs to be considered. Remember the low price of a good deal is quickly forgotten when you are left to deal with either a low-quality product, or worse tricked into a product once known to be high quality but painted and promoted as the product it once was.

Know who you are buying from, and question any used products sold by a non-OEM dealer; if the used product was worth representing, don’t you think the OEM dealer would be the one representing it?

Used forklifts and racking in B.C. and Alberta

ARPAC provides a full range of products and services that can help you manage your warehouse. Whether you need a used Crown or UniCarriers forklift, brand-new racking, scheduled maintenance, or repairs, we can help. We’re proud to serve material handling companies in Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver. Contact us today to find out what we have in stock.