There are a many great benefits to purchasing a pre-owned or low-hour used generator. Companies that are both large and small routinely purchase used generators because they are often the most economical way to buy high-quality industrial assets. However, there are a number of key factors to take into consideration when purchasing a used generator that you wouldn’t have to consider with a new purchase.
Consideration #1 Written Guarantee
Is The Seller Offering a Written Guarantee/Limited Warranty?
If the seller IS NOT offering a guarantee or warranty in writing, DO NOT proceed any further! Do not under any circumstances purchase any used generator without a warranty. Remember, you will be buying a secondhand unit that could potentially have undetected issues. A thirty to ninety day warranty buys you a little time to help determine if you bought a dud or a winner. True professional sellers typically provide warranties because they stand behind what they sell.
Consideration #2 Physical Wear And Tear
Do You See Extensive Physical Wear and Tear On The Unit?
You should have the generator inspected professionally. Trust us when we tell you, the cost is worth it. A pro knows what to look for in terms of spotting wear and tear that could make this a bad purchase. They will check mechanical components, bearings and bushings, bolts and fasteners, welds, electrical components and wiring for fatigue, wear or breakage. They will check the engine for leaks, cracks, warps and odd sounds.
Consideration #3 Age, Hours And Usage
What is the Age, Hours and Usage of the Unit?
Most generators are like automobiles, motorcycles and trucks; they have a meter, (called an hour meter) that reveals how many actual hours the unit has run. Just like a vehicle, you want to know how many hours it has run, its age and what it was used for. If you can’t obtain that information from the seller, pass on that generator.
Consideration #4 For Maintenance
How Well Was The Generator Maintained?
Buying a used generator is a lot like buying a used car; you’re taking greater risks. That’s why you should make every effort to acquire the service records. This is crucial because a well-maintained used generator will have a much longer life versus one that has a poor maintenance track record. To be honest, (and this is my personal opinion) if you can’t obtain the original service records, don’t take a chance.
Consideration #5 Reputation
What Is The Reputation of The Brand?
Buying a used generator from a trusted manufacturer makes good business sense as opposed to purchasing a unit from an unknown manufacturer. Some generator manufactures have a reputation for cutting corners, scrimping on the materials and putting out cheap generators that are not dependable. Industry pillars such as Cummins, Caterpillar, Onan, Kohler, Honda and a few others, have a proven track record of producing high quality equipment that lasts for years when properly maintained.
Consideration #6 Load Test
Can It Pass The Load Test?
A load test reveals if the generator has proper output and frequency and its overall efficiency. This test is a standard test that any reputable dealer should be happy to run. You want to know how well the generator responds to varying loads. You may need to repeat this test three to five times to ensure there are no unexpected power breakdowns or other issues that could effect your circuitry.