Top Safety Features to Look for When Buying Used Heavy Equipment

by Mike Langthorne
May 17, 2024
2 Min Read

At Bright Star Auctions, we understand that safety is paramount on any construction site. That's why prioritizing safety features is crucial when purchasing used heavy equipment. Here's a breakdown of some key areas to consider:

Operator Protection …

  • Seatbelts and ROPS/FOPS: Inspect the seatbelt condition and ensure it functions properly. Look for Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) and Falling Object Protective Structures (FOPS) on machines like excavators and loaders. These metal canopies safeguard the operator in case of rollovers or falling debris.
  • Alarms and Warning Systems: Check that all alarms and warning lights, including backup beepers, malfunction indicators, and temperature gauges, are operational. Functional alarms can prevent accidents by alerting operators to potential hazards.
  • Guards and Shields: Ensure all guards and shields around moving parts like belts, chains, and flywheels are present and undamaged. These barriers prevent entanglement and other contact injuries.

Machine Functionality …

  • Brakes: Test the brakes for responsiveness and stopping power on both level ground and inclines. Uneven braking or a spongy pedal feel could indicate needing repairs.
  • Hydraulic Systems: Inspect hydraulic lines and hoses for leaks, cracks, or signs of wear. Weak or damaged hydraulics can lead to sudden equipment failure and potential loss of control.
  • Tire/Track Condition: Look for uneven wear, significant cracks, or bulges on tires. For tracked equipment, check track tension and alignment. Properly inflated and maintained tires and tracks improve stability and overall machine control.

General Safety …

  • Fluid Levels and Condition: Discolored or contaminated engine oil, hydraulic fluid, coolant, and other fluids can signal underlying issues. Regularly changed fluids promote optimal machine performance and minimize the risk of breakdowns or malfunctions.
  • Maintenance History: Request and review the equipment's maintenance records. A well-maintained machine with a documented service history is a safer bet compared to one lacking such records.
  • Pre-purchase Inspection: Don't skip a thorough inspection by a qualified mechanic before finalizing the purchase. This inspection can reveal hidden problems and potential safety hazards that a visual check might miss.

Remember ...

  • When in doubt, prioritize safety. If a piece of equipment raises safety concerns, it's best to walk away and look for alternatives.
  • Bright Star Auctions encourages potential buyers to research specific safety features relevant to the type of equipment they're interested in.
  • By keeping safety at the forefront of your used heavy equipment purchase, you can create a safer work environment for yourself and your crew.

Bright Star Auctions is committed to providing a safe and transparent equipment buying experience. Contact us today to learn more about our upcoming auctions and available equipment.

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