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Advantages of Purchasing Used Power Generation Equipment




Diesel Service & Supply has been helping customers by supplying new and high-quality used power generation equipment (namely Automatic Transfer Switches, Transformers, and Industrial Generators) for nearly 40 years. One primary advantage of buying used is immediate availability. Also, used equipment almost always includes a lower purchase price point than new items. Another critical aspect buyers should consider is all the unique features each piece of equipment already has included in the package; options like advanced control panels, sound attenuated enclosures, fuel tanks, battery chargers, etc. These are a few examples of items you would typically be charged for as add-ons if ordering brand new from a dealer. Low-Hour Used Caterpillar Power Generator

Purchasing any type of large, used equipment can be a stressful event. It must perform as desired without additional unplanned expenses. This article offers basic considerations to follow when deciding on new vs. used equipment, how to evaluate options for your application, and insight into these variables so you can make the most educated decision for your organization, business, or facility.  

Benefits of Buying Used Power Generation Equipment (like Generators)

  • Immediate Availability - Ready to Ship Now
  • Lower Cost Than New
  • Includes Pre-Packaged Features
  • Maintains Long-Term Asset Value Better than New
  • Buying from Reputable Dealers with Long History Reduces Your Risk
It is always good to do research and talk with at least a few knowledgeable solution providers to understand what you are getting into before purchasing used equipment. This helps you properly map out options to compare. It can be difficult to directly compare units from one dealer to the next since most have different features, models, hours and years, and varying degrees of testing and services they provide. Considerations such as what you will be using the equipment for, special requirements you may have, the physical location where the equipment will be used, and for how many hours a day, grid location and fuel access are variables that should be accounted for. 

Types of Used Equipment

There are many types of used equipment available for purchase, and many reasons to consider purchasing used instead of new. A few divisions of equipment that can be purchased used are:
  • Construction - Backhoes, tracked backhoes, bulldozers, graders, vibratory rollers (including sheep's foot), and cranes are examples of some pieces that support construction activity. Diesel engines help provide power to many of these.
  • Industry - Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines, heat treat machines, grinders, milling machines, factory air compressors, and robotic process automation machinery are a few of the types of equipment that can be purchased pre-owned.
  • Power Generation - Diesel powered generators are used in buildings with emergency and/or critical power needs. They are also used in locomotives powering individual drive motor and marine applications for ships electrical power.
Replacing a building generator that is obsolete, construction equipment worn beyond repair, or upgrading, are some of the reasons to consider purchasing a used piece of equipment. 

Initial Investment

Purchasing a used piece of equipment offers a lower cost option to a new equipment purchase. The savings can be used to upgrade the piece of equipment and supporting systems for day-to-day operations. 

Very Low Depreciation & Fast Delivery

After a new piece is sold and received by the owner or business, it is considered used. Depreciation is defined as the reduction of the value of an asset with the passage of time. New equipment can depreciate as much as 20% to 50% within the first year in service, and the wait time can be reduced to the equipment shipping time. 

Diesel Service & Supply has 40 years of experience in the industrial generator industry. Our passion is supplying dependable pre-owned diesel and Natural Gas (NG) powered generators. All used generators must pass a 31-point inspection prior to sales. View our in-stock inventory. Many times, we can arrange for shipping within 24-hours of purchase.

Considerations for Used Equipment

Low Operating Hours on Hour Meter
Selecting the right size equipment is the first step in purchasing the proper piece of machinery for the job. "The right tool for the right job" is still a concept that should be exercised. Undersizing equipment for the needed tasks can reduce its life and increase the task completion time. However, it is not uncommon to size for future expansions. 

Many equipment distributors market their product on the web. Specifications, photos, descriptions, inspections, and tests can be available on these sites. The sellers can also be contacted by phone or email for questions. The concepts below will aid in selecting the proper piece of equipment:
  1. Make sure the seller is reputable. Distributors and companies have large stock featuring full service are a good place to start.
  2. Check the hour or count meter on the equipment. A low hour count can indicate little use and wear. Emergency generators only operate during a utility power failure. Low run-time hours are common.
  3. Check the equipment maintenance and repair record. A properly maintained piece of equipment has less operational failures and maintains its value. Repair records are a valuable asset in determining the condition of the equipment that is operated on a daily basis.
  4. Buyer Beware of Auction Websites - many times these units are listed for bad reasons and something is wrong with them. This may not always be the case, but greatly increases your risk.
  5. Inspection by a qualified engineer, specialty technician, or operations specialist is an important step. They can determine the condition capability of the piece. This can be conducted by your company or a third-party company. Knowledge of impending repair and determination of remaining life can save the buyer from a bad purchase.
Making an informed selection is the key to picking out which piece of equipment is the correct one for the application. Use all knowledge resources to acquire available information. Explore equipment produced by different manufacturers. During the inspection phase, make sure to visit the supplier and view/inspect the equipment.

The saying "if it's too good to be true, it probably is" holds true in purchasing used equipment. Always employ industry practices for inspection of the unit. It is not advisable to buy sight unseen with a seller your business is not established with. To get more specific details on buying a new vs. used generator, see our other article here.

Correct Vendor Selection

Diesel Service & Supply, Generator Source Complex
The identical piece of equipment is often offered by many sellers. However, all sellers are not created equally, and there is more than one kind of vendor or seller. Verify all companies with potential for equipment purchase. Some points to remember below:
  • Companies will often sell equipment when going out of business. Pay careful attention to these deals. If a company is having financial difficulties, they may not be able to maintain and repair the equipment that is for sale. After purchase, the company may not have contact availability for questions or concerns.
  • Some businesses that sell used equipment do not have a service or limited service team. Only basic visual inspections are conducted. Limited or no repairs are completed, and equipment is sold as-is. Make maintenance and repair records are up to date. Additional repairs are possible.
  • Used equipment can also contain items that have been rebuilt with non-oem parts with sellers
  • Sellers that offer a full range of technical services are a good place to start. Many perform in-depth testing and repair to the equipment prior to sales. In-shop and field service platforms all indicate the ability to aid with maintenance or testing.

Additional Services

Preparing the used product for sale and delivering a good product is the primary objective for companies that sell pre-owned used equipment or machinery. Companies that stand out in their respective field offer additional services that demonstrate their knowledge and customer support standards. 

Diesel Service & Supply and Generator Source are an example of a full-service new and used generator supply company. After a pre-owned generator enters the shop, it is cleaned, inspected, and must pass a 31-point inspection prior to sales. We can upgrade the generators and offer fabrication services. When the generator ships to the customer, it is ready to be installed and commissioned into service.  Our knowledgeable backup power staff can evaluate your needs and direct you towards new equipment when that makes the most sense.

Our after-sales support includes installation and maintenance services in our regional support areas. Maintenance contracts featuring load testing are available. All contracts are manicured to customer needs. We also accept new customers that require troubleshooting or maintenance to emergency generation systems.

Importance of Proper Maintenance

Generator Maintenance Includes Load Testing
All mechanical and electrical/electronic components have a projected time in service. In order to meet or exceed the guidelines, successful maintenance, testing, and repair program must be in place. When a piece of construction, production, or supporting equipment has maintenance performed, it should be recorded, including receipts for materials.

It is desirable to identify and repair any issues identified in the maintenance inspection. It's not uncommon to find equipment that has been out-of-service and not maintained during this period. Often there is a laundry list of tests and repairs to complete. Ensure all items are checked off of the list as complete prior to commissioning or placing in service. Any item(s) not repaired on the list can cause failure.

Determining Maintenance Checks to Complete

Every machine has recommended maintenance inspections and tasks that are associated with it. This can be in the form of a checklist that is attached to it or in the owner's manual. Used equipment may or may not have the owner's manual or the maintenance schedule not readable. 

When this occurs, record all information from the machine. The manufacturer, model, and serial number often present the most searchable options. Research the manufacturer site for information. Many times, the owner's manuals and maintenance schedules can be found on-line free or at a reduced price. 

Used Equipment Summary

Purchasing used equipment and machinery can save big dollars on the initial purchase. Used equipment and machinery hold their value better than new equipment that depreciates 20% to 50% the first year of use after purchase. Size the piece appropriately and do not expect undersized to perform above design specifications. Verify maintenance records and repair records and purchase from a reputable company, and the piece of machinery can give years of service at a good price.
 
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