All entries for May 2016

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.