What To Look For In A Used Excavator

Whether you're a new company or a company with a long-standing reputation, purchasing a used excavator offers an excellent way to save money while still being paired with the equipment you need. If you're looking to purchase a used unit, make sure you know what to look for to ensure you're protected.


Start your inspection efforts by looking for any signs of a leak. A leak, particularly within the hydraulic pump, often serves as an indication that there is damage to one of the cylinders, lines, or hoses that support the system, which could lead to permanent damage.

It's also wise to look for any fluid leaks around the swing bearing or slew ring as leaks in these areas often mean that the unit has undergone an excessive amount of movement and play. This concern could be a sign of significant wear and a shorter life expectancy.


A quality used excavator needs to still have a great deal of movement left in order for you to get any use from the unit. If there is any damage to the slew ring, you will have movement concerns. In order to check for movement, power on the unit, activate the housing of the hydraulic excavator, and start rotating it in different directions.

With a well-functioning unit, this movement should almost be seamless and unrestricted. If it is difficult to rotate or you can't turn it into certain positions, this could be a sign that the slew ring is damaged and this may not be a unit you want to consider.


Even if all the other components of the excavator are functioning correctly, if there are issues with the bucket, using the unit will be less than efficient. To protect yourself, it's always a good idea to inspect the bucket for any signs of scalloping. Scalloping can occur between the teeth of the bucket and appears in the form of small, round indentations along the surface of the teeth.

Mild scalloping is not a major issue, but significant scalloping will make it harder for the bucket to properly move loads. If this is the only issue, a replacement of the bucket can generally offer a solution.

The purchase of a used excavator is a significant investment -- an investment you want to be sure is able to yield a return for your business. Ensure you are taking your time to choose the right unit for your needs. Contact a company like Sonsray Machinery to learn more.