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Pre-Purchase Inspections and Certifications

The first time I went to buy a vehicle, I thought I was diligent. I had read horror stories of people being conned into purchases that were in need of thousands of dollars of repair work, had undisclosed accidents, and even some that were UNSAFE to drive! I did research on what I wanted, what was a reasonable price and even what to look out for.

I made an appointment in advance, went to the dealership and talked at length with a sales rep about what I wanted. After the talking, we went out and he showed me the vehicles they had that fit what I had been searching for. I informed him that I had hired a mechanic and he was on his way to look over the vehicles for me. The sales rep seemed a little annoyed, but what could he do.

When the mechanic arrived he looked at the first vehicle for a whole three seconds before he said, “Nope! This one has been in an accident.” He proceeded to inspect the other vehicles right there on the lot. He crawled underneath them, started the engines and went over both the exteriors and interiors with a fine-tooth-comb. Even though I had done research and knew what to look for, the experienced mechanic was able to identify items on the vehicles that I wouldn't have realized the significance of.   

A small sedan purchase is obviously different than the purchase of large piece of equipment, such as a sign crane; however, the purchasing process shouldn’t be. NOT FOR THE BUYER! When you are going to spend large amounts of money on anything, there are certain reassurances you NEED to make sure you have, even with an "As-Is" purchase! 

Sometimes it’s ok to purchase a vehicle that needs a little work. If you are mechanically inclined, it can be cheaper to do some repairs yourself. What IS IMPORTANT is that the seller discloses to you the complete condition of the vehicle, to the best of their knowledge, prior to any money being exchanged. There are some things that happen that can not be foreseen, but for the majority – the seller should be aware of the vehicles condition.

Monster Equipment Inc. (M.E.) has developed their own in-depth inspection checklist with over 250 individual line items. They use this SAME list on both trucks they are selling and trucks they are considering buying! Some of the areas do not apply to every vehicle, BUT every single item that does apply, IS inspected before the item is sold. For their actual owned inventory, they make sure all items are in good working condition and the equipment is ready to work. 

Some of these areas include (but are not limited to):

·          All Safety Areas/Sections

·         In the Cab

·         Under the Hood

·         Outside of the Truck

·         Under the Truck

·         Crane Operation

·         Digger Functions

·         Bucket Controls

·         Platform Functions

·         Material Handler

·         Pressure Digger

·         Boom Condition

If you are purchasing a truck or piece of heavy equipment out of state, you still want to make sure you know what you are dealing with. Did you know that a lot of heavy equipment mechanics will do on-site inspections for you, at a minimal cost? Just like I hired a mechanic to come inspect the vehicles with me at the dealership, you can hire a local mechanic to go inspect a vehicle for you, before you spend money traveling to see the vehicle yourself.

When M.E. is ready to sell a consignment vehicle (for information on consignments, please click here.) they have a local mechanic, not affiliated with the equipment owner, perform an inspection similar to the inspection they perform on their own inventory. They don’t do this upfront because a truck can take months to sell and/or the condition can change. Unlike with their owned inventory, they can not control if the equipment is used after it is listed for sell. To ensure the inspection is the most recent and as accurate as possible, they have the inspection completed before closing a sale. They typically like to sell for people they work with regularly and know, but on a rare occasion the inspection comes back with major repairs. The first thing they do is TELL THE CUSTOMER! They would rather risk not making the sale, than selling a piece of equipment they wouldn’t be okay with buying themselves.

When this does happen, M.E. provides FULL disclosure to the customer, reasonable repair options, cost analysis and they even look for alternative pieces of equipment that would suit the customers needs. Because of their longevity as a company, their reputation with consignee’s and their thoroughness, this truly doesn’t happen very often. They let the consignee’s know upfront what their process is, to eliminate as many bumps down the road as possible.

ALL BUYERS should make sure a vehicle has been properly inspected before they purchase. Depending on what you are purchasing you can also request to have a truck/piece of equipment DOT Certified (D.C.) and/or Boom Certified (B.C.).

As is usually the case with the government, here’s something that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but is true none-the-less. D.C.s do not transfer from state to state,  but they are very similar. What this means is: if you buy a vehicle from M.E. that has been D.C.'d in Florida and you live out of state, you will still have to have it D.C.'d in your state! Some people don’t get the D.C. if they are buying out of state because they know they will just have to turn around and get it certified again! I always recommend to go ahead and have the seller get it D.C.'d anyway, because then you can be pretty confident you won't have any issues when you go to get it certified at home.

While the Department of Transportation sets the requirements for the D.C.s the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (you know them as OSHA) sets the requirements for B.C.s. This is good because it means that the B.C. is accepted no matter which state it is completed in. Not all heavy equipment mechanics can perform a B.C. inspection. They have to be specially licensed and maintain up-to-date training with OSHA. It’s always a good idea to request information from the seller regarding a B.C. as one less item you need to worry about later.

Monster Equipment Inc. really believes in customer satisfaction and honesty. They do everything within their power to make sure they are selling something in a condition and process they would appreciate themselves as buyers....

There are many fish in this sea of heavy equipment buying and selling. If you are working with someone other than Monster Equipment Inc., take the few extra steps to make sure you’re protected when you purchase. Call a local heavy equipment mechanic to inspect a vehicle for/with you and ask the seller about DOT and Boom Certifications. 

Time To Let Go (Info for equipment owners looking to sell)

When you specialize in a particular industry, you develop and learn as you spend time in that specialty. For instance, a dentist will know more tricks and procedures after 10 years working in their field. They grow as time moves forward, but they also had to learn the basics before starting out. A good dentist does not just wake up one morning and start working as a dentist. They study, practice and get licensed.

 The buying and selling of heavy equipment is not that far off from any other specialized industry – like dentistry. True that an individual does not have to go through years of schooling before owning a company, however, the good ones, like Monster Equipment, learn the industry first, study and get licensed. Also, the longer they are in the industry the more they know.

You might be wondering why this is important to you as an equipment owner. Just like the dentist, you specialize in your industry – maybe that industry is signs, forestry or construction. Whatever that industry is, you have learned the trade and continue to grow at your specialty.

Companies like Monster Equipment (M.E.) specialize in the industry of buying and selling heavy equipment. They have years of experience, and the good ones study, learn and get licensed. This can be such a benefit to you when you decide it’s time to let go of your equipment. You don’t want your podiatrist to clean your teeth, in the same sense, why would you want to sell your equipment on your own, when you could work with a professional in that industry.

Let’s talk about consignments. A consignment is a physical contract between an equipment owner (that’s you) and a licensed dealer (like M.E.). Agreements like this can be setup in many different ways. I’m going to talk about the way M.E. handles their consignments, since I am familiar with that process.

When M.E. consigns a piece of equipment, like a truck, they ask for several things:

1)    Pictures and condition of the unit

     -       This enables them to appropriately price what the equipment is worth, where to market the equipment for sale, and how much is a reasonable asking price.

2)    Your bottom line

     -       They need to know what the lowest amount is that you will accept because for them to make a profit (and make this process worth doing) they need to sell it for more than your bottom line.

     -       This also enables them to not charge you for the process. We have all heard those TV ads for the personal injury attorneys “We don’t get paid, unless you get paid!” It’s the same concept for consignments. The company doesn’t charge you anything; they just sell the equipment in a way that is profitable to both them and you.

3)    Proof of Title

    -       This one is necessary to ensure the equipment is actually owned by you and being sold legally

4)    Signed Contract

    -       While consigning for you, the company is going to market your equipment. This will take hours of work, phone calls, ads, and marketing materials. Yet there is no cost to you. A signed contract just protects the investment the company is making in selling your equipment for you.

    -       A standard consignment contract includes your bottom line, an expiration date, and a clause that says you won’t try to sell the equipment yourself or with anyone else. Again – this makes sense. If the company is investing time and money upfront in getting your equipment sold, then it’s a fair trade to make sure you only sell through them.

A  consignment is beneficial to both the company and the owner. For the company it means not having to buy a piece of equipment which is thousands of dollars. They can use their resources to focus on the selling of the unit.

For the owner there are a lot of benefits. The first of these benefits is marketability. Dealers like M.E. know where to market and how. They have spent years, and make their living, on the right ways to get a unit sold. This opens up a whole new world for you. M.E. markets world-wide so their potential buyer list is bigger. This leads to another benefit for the owner – not selling to your competition. Let’s face it, even if you don’t want a particular piece of equipment anymore, you probably don’t want you competition to buy it. With world-wide marketing you have a stronger chance of someone, not local, purchasing your unit.

Another item to consider is that a lot of individuals and companies alike, when buying a piece of equipment not locally, want to work with a licensed dealer. They are afforded a certain level of security and with thousands of dollars, and miles, on the line, that’s something they require. Most dealers who have been in the business for several years (like M.E.) also have an established client base. This is another benefit to you because these clients call up, want a specific thing and sometimes only want to work with their dealer.

All of these things just help you sell your equipment faster and stress free.

So if you have equipment you are ready to part with, even if you don’t use M.E., seriously consider using an industry specialist. If you don’t know what to look for or where to start, feel free to call Julie and Mike with Monster Equipment. They have over 10 years of success in this industry and are ready to help you, in any way they can.

Before you make the purchase...

It's Time! You are in need of a bucket or sign truck! Before you lock yourself into a deal that's going to cost thousands of dollars, there are a few things to look for and consider.

1) Price! Price! Price!
     There are a lot of pieces of equipment and utility trucks out there for sale. If you don't have a clear idea of what you are looking for, and a reasonable price range, you may end up over-paying. There are a few ways you can protect your wallet during this process. To start, figure out exactly what you want. Drive, Transmission, Boom Height, Mileage and Body Model are all really important factors to focus on! Once you know what you are looking for, don't stop with the first person who has it for sale. Shop around! Take a look at what's out there, and the price ranges, and come up with an average idea of what the truck is worth. Once you know what you want and about what you should spend, you are ready for the next step.

2) Know the Seller!
     This industry has created quite a market for Brokers. A broker is a third-person or middle man. They often times can be a benefit to a buyer because they research and have first hand knowledge and experience with multiple sellers. They also use the industry tools regularly, such as marketing websites and auctions, so they can find things a bit faster. But BEWARE there are a lot of brokers out there who aren't legit and will end up costing you more money.
     While Brokers can be an asset in a sale, they are an asset you pay for. The fact still remains that you will get a better deal buying direct from a dealeror an owner as they will not be adding a broker commission to the sale. You are also afforded certain levels of protection when you buy from a licensed dealer. Licensed dealers are regulated by the state, so the first thing you should do is verify that the dealer is licensed. Then check their reputation. Don't be afraid to google your dealer. A truck purchase is a huge investment, and you don't want that investment to turn into a regret.

3) Personally Inspect the Equipment
     If you are considering a purchase that is out of state for you, get as much information from the seller as you can upfront. You can ask for photos and videos of the truck running and the boom being operated. THEY ARE THERE TO SELL IT, so ask away. Don't spend time and money traveling to inspect a vehicle with a major problem you would have seen in pictures or a video.

4) Close The Deal
    After you find the perfect vehicle or piece of equipment and you have checked out and verified who you are buying from, it's time to close the deal! Don't Wait! You don't want to take the chance of your dream truck getting away from you! Another plus if you choose to buy from a dealer, is the option to put a deposit down. This will often satisfy the seller long enough for you to finalize and secure financing. There are always additional legit fees that are added to a sale like this, registration fees, dealer fees, taxes etc. Just make sure they make sense and are not extreme.

*There are a lot of trucks and equipment out there for sale, if you need assistance finding what you are looking for at a decent price, give Monster Equipment a call! We'd love to make this experience a great one!