Published on June 14, 2023
The importance of having your construction machinery inspected : Ensuring safety and efficiency
We had the pleasure of interviewing Wolgang Buhn from Mevas, our partner in the inspection of used machinery.
What is your company's role in the inspection of used machinery ?
When I worked for Zeppelin Baumaschinen in machine sales and purchasing, I often bought machines from dealers. Since the machines were usually too far away to inspect, I often bought without inspection. In many cases, there was a discrepancy between the seller's condition description and my expectations. So the idea was born to establish a service for buyers, which helps to get certainty about the true condition.
What are the main advantages of having a used machine inspected before buying it ?
In many cases, a construction machine is made pretty by the seller. The untrained observer then often thinks that the machine looks pretty good. The risks and hidden defects are then often overlooked.
What are the key aspects you look at when inspecting a used machine ?
Our inspectors are trained not to pay too much attention to appearances. Much more important is the inspection of the structure and the important components. Are the engine and hydraulic pump efficient? Are there any mechanical problems? Very important to us is a functional test and an assessment of the remaining service life of tires or undercarriage.
How do you determine the general condition of a machine and its level of performance during the inspection ?
Our inspectors examine many machines. Thus, they often quickly notice reduced performance. For many types there are test methods and you can measure the cycle times of the working movements. Comparing those with the manufacturer's specifications helps to understand the real condition.
Wolfgang and Chris
What are the main causes of failure or common problems you identify during inspections ?
In many cases the remaining life of tracked undercarriages is overestimated. Sometimes we find unauthorized repairs to guards like the cab ROPS. Engine faults allow coolant to enter the oil, causing increased wear. And occasionally the operating hours on the counter do not match reality.
How are the results of your inspections communicated to customers? Do you provide detailed reports?
We have a special inspection form for each type of machine or vehicle. The inspector proceeds step by step and enters his observation. This ensures that he does not overlook an important point. All data and documents are made available in a cloud folder. The customer can access his inspection online for a year.
Can you share concrete examples of where a pre-inspection has revealed significant problems with a used machine ?
In most cases it is a matter of a sum of minor defects. It happens, however, that significant defects are not known or the operating hours are not correctly specified. In such cases, the remaining life of the machine is significantly shorter than expected.
Inspection in the UK
What preventive measures do you recommend to buyers to ensure the quality of used machinery ?
I always recommend the buyer to send someone to inspect. If not us, then someone else. Or he should buy a machine from the dealer around the corner. The dealers authorized by the manufacturer are often trustworthy and selling with a warranty.
How does your company keep abreast of the latest technology and safety standards for used machinery ?
We are in regular contact with the manufacturers' service personnel. We also hold an international meeting of our inspectors once a year. An exchange of experiences takes place there and we conduct training sessions.
What criteria do you use to assess the reliability and reputation of a seller of used machinery ?
After more than sixteen years of activity and with more than 600 used machine inspections per year, we know most of the traders in Europe and can share our experiences. A few vendors are now barring us from the Yard. We uncovered too many flaws there and saved buyers from serious problems. This access-rejection speaks for itself.
Are there any specific certifications or accreditation's that your company holds in the field of used machinery inspection ?
There are no specific certifications or accreditations for inspection or evaluation. The field of activity is probably too special and too small for that. But the fact that many buyers use Mevas instead of the manufacturer's service for an inspection says something about our reputation.
What recent trends or developments have you observed in the inspection of used machinery ?
For the past five years or so, we have occasionally dealt with startups that would like to implement and scale the inspection process. However, we find that the experience of a long-time technician cannot simply be squeezed into an app. We are still waiting for the data glasses with which the inspector describes everything he sees, snaps photos with a wink and when he leaves the construction site his report is online.
I always recommend the buyer to send someone to inspect.
Manager of MyScrapMachine