Examine the tires, as well. “There are six of them and they do catch a lot of side wear because they usually operate in deeper mud and dirt,” says Oelfke. Pay attention to the deeper cuts before they become worse. “With today’s technology, you can have those side patches repaired unless they are down by the bead.”
Make sure the tires have been well maintained and that they are properly matched. Beware of trucks with mismatched bias-ply and radial tires.
Documentation and research
“Maintenance records are worth their weight in gold on any asset such as this,” says Olive. “The more component history based on the reports, the better feeling you are going to have on sale day buying that truck at unreserved auction.”
Be sure to do your research. “Check the maintenance records,” says Olive. “Get a feeling for the work environment the trucks came from. Are the trucks coming from a contractor with a good reputation? Are they coming from a distressed situation? Or are they coming from a contractor who is updating his fleet? That bears a lot of weight in your decision.”
Be sure to ask if any recent inspections have been performed. “We run everything that we trade through a shop,” says Oelfke. “We can potentially catch anything that is coming up so the customer isn’t surprised. We don’t want him to feel like he isn’t getting what he purchased.”
Also check comparable prices and understand the current market value. Companies such as Ritchie Bros. post the results of their auctions along with machine descriptions. This can be a good indicator of the current market value.