Renting construction equipment is a popular trend that’s growing in the construction industry. But rentals can only go so far—sometimes, it makes more sense to buy. According to Ritchie Bros, the five factors you should consider: your current financial situation, the cost of owning versus renting, the length of a project or job frequency, equipment availability, and fleet management and inventory control.
Buying heavy construction equipment isn’t an easy purchase for many construction business owners. The purchase can be hugely expensive—even into the high five and six figures—and a risk if owners haven’t worked with the equipment before.
To help avoid some of the perils of buying heavy construction equipment, we’ve assembled a list of seven websites that offer affordable deals for new and used options.
If you’re looking for construction auctions, look no further than Construction Equipment Guide. While you can’t bid directly on the site, Construction Equipment Guide aggregates construction equipment auctions onto a calendar page view. Potential heavy equipment buyers can then see what’s near them to bid on the product directly.
For those not in proximity to the physical auction, many of the sites that Construction Equipment Guide links to offer online bidding as well.
Ebay offers a surprisingly good selection of heavy construction equipment options. The best part about the site is that it’s quick to search for exact equipment options that fit your construction firm’s needs.
Unlike the rest of Ebay, the heavy equipment section has fewer bidding options and far more “Buy It Now” sales. This is a double-edged sword; while many of these sales are offering heavy construction equipment at a reasonable price, buyers should be prudent to practice Ebay best practices and due diligence to make sure they’re getting the exact item they want at a fair cost.
Equipment Trader offers over 99,000 pieces of equipment in both new and used categories. Specializing in earthmoving and industrial equipment, this is a great resource especially for commercial firms.
And if you’re looking to get rid of old equipment or are a dealer, Equipment Trader is fairly easy to use to create a listing. Owners can list their equipment through their seller portal—but user be warned, there is sometimes a 72-hour waiting period because Equipment Trader verifies every listing.
Run entirely online and via call-center fulfillment, IronPlanet has been making waves as the “Netflix of Construction Equipment.”
The process works like this: the seller cosigns the equipment they want to sell, then IronPlanet inspects the equipment and lists it on their site. IronPlanet takes care of the marketing and eventually the asset is sold. IronPlanet boasts that most items are sold as quickly as four to six weeks. IronPlanet is easy to use, has a beautiful site, and has lots of reviews that quickly point to quality customer service.
Offering free listings for sellers, potential buyers, and potential renters, Machinery Trader is a great resource for anyone looking to buy heavy construction equipment without spending too much in the process. Machinery Trader also offers parts, components, and attachments at a discounted rate, along with dismantled machines for the more adventurous construction company owner.
Machinery Trader can be a little difficult to use for the end user, unfortunately. There’s no way to narrow your search down by zip code and the basic search function leaves a lot to be desired (for example, one can only search by product number in the “Parts” section of the website).
Mascus’s construction section is filled to the brim with all relevant equipment, from loaders to compressors to backhoes to tires. This site offers new and used equipment sales, along with auctions and the ability to compare equipment specs. The site is also fairly easy to navigate—equipment is neatly sorted into relevant categories such as “road construction equipment,” “farm equipment,” and “asphalt equipment.”
Ritchie Bros, which is based out of British Columbia, is the world’s largest industrial auctioneer. They offer unreserved bids, meaning every item sells to the highest bidder, so the potential to snag a cheap piece of heavy construction equipment is pretty high.
Use their search function to first narrow down by location. Their auction calender can be filtered into two categories: Industrial Auctions and Agricultural Auctions. From there, potential buyers can be further narrowed by region, industry, equipment type, make, model auction location, year, serial number and much more, making it easy to drill-down and find a very specific item.
Buying construction equipment is a daunting and costly endeavor—it makes sense that so many construction owners are careful to pull the trigger. Check out these seven websites to make your construction equipment purchasing decisions a little easier.
Have you ever used these sites? What was your experience? Were there sites that I missed? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!