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Is Secondhand Mining Equipment Safe?
21 December 2017
Is Secondhand Mining Equipment Safe?

When trying to save money or implementing green practices in your mining company, one of the steps many people take is to buy secondhand equipment. However, it is important to consider whether or not secondhand mining equipment is safe for use. 

There are some considerations to think about before making a decision about purchasing used mining equipment. Taking out mining equipment finance is no small matter, and so you should think about the following carefully. 


Consider how old the equipment is

This is the first consideration and is arguably one of the most important. Find out from the seller how old the equipment is, how many hours it has been used for and how many parts have been replaced over time. The older the equipment, the more likely it is that you will need to perform regular maintenance on it. 

Older equipment does not necessarily have to be overlooked, especially if you are buying from a reputable second hand equipment dealer. Older mining equipment may be made from sturdier materials or you may find a piece of machinery that is no longer being made but suits your needs perfectly. However, be aware that you will need to look out for repairs in the future. 


Be wary of buying equipment “as is”

This is important for any equipment purchases. Buying something “as is” means that you will be purchasing a piece of equipment that could be in a terrible condition and may not function safely or correctly. It could mean that the equipment has not been repaired or maintained before purchase too. 

It may save money to buy as is, but if you are looking to use the equipment on a daily basis then it is best to buy equipment that has been serviced and repaired before selling. Secondhand equipment can work just as well as new equipment but this is only possible if the seller you are buying from is offering it in good condition. 


Be sure you are getting what you pay for

Mining equipment is heavy and sometimes dangerous to operate, so knowing that you are getting the correct equipment with the correct specifications is highly important. Buying from a private seller is risky, especially if you are unsure of their reputation, so be sure to look for a reputable used-equipment dealer. 

If you take out equipment finance, the bank will usually give you a list of dealers that they prefer interacting with, all of whom are legitimate and will not sell you the incorrect equipment. It is also important to ascertain whether the secondhand equipment has been or will be repaired and maintained before you purchase it. 


Always try before you buy

Depending on what equipment you are buying, you should always conduct a visual and physical inspection of it. You will also need to conduct a functional inspection to find out if it is still in working order and if you will need to repair or replace any components in the future. 

Be sure to perform the inspection yourself or send your own mechanic to do the inspection in order to get the most honest and accurate feedback. Used mining equipment needs a specialised person to look over it and if you cannot do an in-person inspection, ask the seller to send you high resolution photographs of the equipment and a detailed description of it. 


Can you view service records and maintenance logs before you buy?

Reviewing the service records and maintenance logs of a piece of equipment will show you how often it has been repaired, serviced and maintained. These records tell you kind of work has been performed on the equipment, so if you see a repeated service or repair being done to a certain piece of machinery, this may make it unsafe to use second hand as this component will be weaker than the rest. 

These logs will also tell you in what capacity the equipment was used. A dump truck that was used on a small, private mine may not have been used as frequently or to carry as heavy a load as on a large scale commercial mine and therefore may be in better condition. You should also find out why the seller is getting rid of their equipment in order to ensure you are not buying something that will be troublesome at a later date. 


Final verdict

Secondhand mining equipment is ideal for companies who need to replenish their equipment stock or for mining companies that are just starting out and have a very tight budget. Take into account the age of the equipment, the condition of the equipment and whether the seller allows you to try before you buy. It is safe to use secondhand equipment as long as you are willing and able to maintain it more than you would a new machine.

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