Plant Machinery Buyers Guide |

Things to do before buying

Research the market and compare prices so you know the price you’re paying is a fair one. It is common for criminals to advertise machinery at just below market value to make it  sound attractive to buyers, but not so low as to arouse suspicion – beware! Use the internet to view different ranges of makes and models and read online reviews.

Each machine has distinct operational features such as the maximum load it can carry, its torque, height range, etc. Distinguish what your primary requirements for the plant is and search for a machine that meets that criteria. Shortlist up to 5 machines which best suit your requirements. If your unsure about the best machine for you, please visit our vehicle sourcing page for assistance from our team.

Consider the availability of parts and maintenance on the machines you have shortlisted. Plant machines are made designed to last so age is not an issue if the machine has been treated well.

If the advert is accompanied by a photograph, copy the photo into google images to search the web for similar images. It is common for criminals to search the internet for pictures of machines then use those pictures in the advert, therefore, if you find that the picture is of a machine that matches one from a different listing, be wary!

When viewing the machine or dealing with the seller

Always ensure you complete a close up, ‘physical’ inspection of your intended purchase to help determine its age, its condition and its value before handing over any money. We recommend that you inspect the vehicle in daylight and only at the seller’s premises. Check that the address matches the address on any paperwork. For added protection, make a note of any vehicles and registration numbers – these will be useful for the police should you later discover a problem with your purchase.

Check that the stamped in serial/chassis number and VIN plate is intact and complete, and make certain that it has not been tampered or interfered with. Don’t forget to check for theft & outstanding finance, run a check with Datatag/CESAR/HPI provenance check (

Always ask for servicing and ownership papers. If possible, arrange to view the plant machinery whilst it is in use

Examining the machine

We highly recommend checking the mechanical soundness of the machine – if the seller has objections – walk away from the deal! If you are not familiar with the mechanics of plant machinery, take someone who is along with you!

Check the hydraulic systems to ensure they are functioning properly, along with all air pipes for cracks and leakes.

Check around seals and major components for deposits of oil, cracks or corrosion. Oil or hydraulic fluid deposits could be a sign of fatigue or major mechanical failure so be especially careful if you notice this.

Make sure the ignition is smooth and the machine starts up quickly. Check the dashboard to ensure no warning lights are visible. Examine the temperature and oil guage to ensure they remain constant. Take note of any excessive smoke coming from the plant machine as blue, white or black smoke could point to engine issues. Manoeuvre each control to its maximum and discover if the machine has an even balance of movement for both left and right, up and down