4 Tips for Selecting the Right Used Crane for Sale

Maxim Crane used crane for sale

Buying a crane is a significant investment for most companies. Quality used cranes for sale can be a money-saving option, but many companies avoid them because they fear there will be unforeseen problems with used equipment. If you are considering buying a used crane but are concerned that it may be a bad investment, read on to learn four tips that will help you determine the quality of the used crane for sale before putting any money down on it. 

Benefits of Buying a Used Crane

The most apparent benefit of considering a used crane for sale is the cost savings and significant decrease in cost. A new mobile crane, like an all terrain crane or hydraulic truck crane will cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars,  but you may be able to get a high-quality used one with plenty of service years left for a fraction of what you’d pay for new.

If you are in the market for a larger crane, you could pay millions for a new one; consider the savings of buying a quality used crane instead of incurring the ongoing, recurring costs of crane rentals. You may experience significant savings by buying used equipment, which may allow your company to invest in a higher capacity crane instead of a smaller capacity crane.

Another reason to consider a used crane is the ability to purchase it, pick it up, and begin using it right away. Many crane manufacturing companies, both large and small, are backlogged in their orders. You may wait months or longer for a new crane to be manufactured and delivered to you.  

Tips To Ensure Finding a High-Quality Used Crane for Sale

If you are like many in search of cranes, the high price tag means you need to buy the right crane the first time. This can make many crane buyers leery of purchasing used cranes. They fear that if they buy a crane with hidden problems, they will waste as much money on repairs and downtime as they saved on the original purchase. 

It is essential to take the time to ensure that the used crane that gets purchased is of high quality and can offer you years of reliable service. Here are four tips to help you feel confident that the crane you are considering is worth the cost:

1. Find a Crane Seller with a Good Reputation 

Purchasing a crane, whether used or new, is a significant investment. It is worth your time to research the person or company selling it to you. Here are a few places to get more information about the company or person selling the crane: 

  • Online reviews: While these are not always 100% reliable, if you can find enough of them, you can get a pretty good sense of how the entity you are working with does business and whether people trust their vehicles. Facebook and Google are good places to look for these reviews because on those sites, once the reviews are published, no one can alter them. This may be the best way to get information about an individual selling a used crane. 
  •  Testimonials from previous customers: You should be able to find these on the company’s website. If you do not see testimonials from customers who have purchased used cranes for sale by this company, contact them and ask them if they can provide you with contact information for previous customers so you can ask their opinion yourself. Be wary of a company that does not publish testimonials on its site and is hesitant to help you make contact with previous customers.
  • Review public records of the company: While this will not tell you anything about the quality of the specific crane you are considering, it may provide insight into the company’s success and if any lawsuits have been brought against them. 
  • Visit the Better Business Bureau: Visit your area’s Better Business Bureau website. They can provide you with contact information for any company and tell you what, if any, complaints have been lodged against a company. 

2. Check the Ownership 

In a perfect world, everyone would be honest, and you could rely on the person selling the used crane to be the rightful owner of the crane in question. Take the time to check the vehicle identification number (VIN) and sales documents to ensure that the person or company selling the crane is the rightful owner and that there are no outstanding liens on that equipment. 

3. Inspect the Equipment  

Things To Look at on the Walk Around 

Nothing can replace giving the crane a thorough once over before putting any money down on it. Set up a time to inspect the crane. If the seller hesitates about having you view the equipment, you might be better off finding a different seller. During the inspection, check the following things: 

  • Fluid under the machine: Puddles of liquid under the machine are not a good sign. If you see puddles under the machine or other evidence of leaks, it means the equipment is not in top condition and may need expensive repairs before you can use it. 
  • Welded spots: Obvious welds in the crane may be a sign that the equipment has been damaged in some way. Also, hand welds done post-manufacture are not as strong as the originals and may not hold up to the rigors of the workday. 

Things To Look for When Testing the Operation

As with any other asset, you cannot know how a piece of equipment runs until you get into it, turn the key and operate it for a bit. Keep an eye out for the following things during a test operation: 

  • Strange noises: All engines have unique cadence and sounds, but a well-maintained engine should never hiccup, emit smoke, stall unexpectedly, or rev without movement. If you notice these things or other sounds or vibrations you cannot account for, it may be best to find a different used crane to purchase. 
  • Slippery brakes: Over-the-road cranes are large, heavy pieces of equipment, and it is essential that the brakes work well every time you engage them. If the crane does not stop quickly and quietly — squealing or grinding brakes are a bad sign — consider looking elsewhere. 

If you are buying the crane from an online site and an in-person inspection or test drive is not an option, ask the seller to provide you with detailed photos of the equipment and, if possible, a video of it being driven. Study the images and video for any of the above-mentioned red flags. 

Used crane for sale from Maxim Crane

4. Ask the Seller Questions 

Whether it is an individual or a company that has the used crane for sale, they should be able to answer some basic questions about its history and provide you with paperwork to back up their answers. If they can’t or won’t do these things, shop elsewhere. 

Questions to ask and paperwork to review include ones on these topics: 

  • Service history: Check the service history of the vehicle. Ensure that all maintenance and repairs were done on time. If the maintenance has not been kept up with, there may be unseen wear and tear on the engine or hydraulics of the crane. 
  • Operating history: Ask what kind of work the crane was involved in. Continuous and heavy workloads damage more than lighter, less frequent use.
  • Ownership history: What type of companies or individuals have owned the crane? Companies that own a fleet may have more resources to keep their used equipment maintained.
  • Equipment history: Has the crane ever been involved in an accident or flood? These things can leave unseen damage that may require extensive repairs or shorten the service life of a crane. 

Visit Maxim Cranes Marketplace for Used Cranes for Sale

If you now feel a bit more confident about the prospect of buying a used crane and are ready to begin your search, visit the Maxim Marketplace. Here you will find a large selection of high-quality used cranes for you to consider. 

The Maxim Marketplace is a respected and trusted place to find used cranes for sale. The Maxim Marketplace boasts one of the largest inventories of used cranes and heavy equipment in the world today, so you are sure to be able to find the crane that best fits your needs at a price that fits your budget. Furthermore, the Maxim Marketplace will happily answer all your questions and provide you with all the necessary documentation to ensure that you feel confident in the purchase. Visit to the Maxim Marketplace today to view their most updated inventory lists of used cranes.

Disclaimer Statement:

We hope you found this article informative. Our content is intended for general informational purposes only and does not constitute advice or necessarily reflect the range of services Maxim Crane Works, LP provides. Readers should not act upon this information without first seeking assistance from a qualified industry professional. For crane recommendations for your specific project, consider speaking with one of our sales professionals. Although we attempt to ensure that postings on our blog are complete and accurate, we assume no responsibility for their completeness or accuracy.


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