10 Steps to Help You Prepare Your Equipment for Sale


Written by Trusted Dispatch

May 15, 2023

Are you preparing to sell a piece of equipment or machinery? Whether you’re selling a combine, an excavator, or a dump truck, there’s lots of planning involved in selling heavy equipment. You’ll need to put in a few hours of time and research to ensure that your sale goes as smoothly as possible.

Fortunately, selling heavy equipment isn’t as complicated as you might think. Once you have made the proper preparations, selling and delivering your machinery will be a breeze. In this article, we’ll review everything you need to know about preparing your heavy machinery for sale.

1. Know Your Equipment’s Worth

The first step in selling a piece of machinery is to do your homework! Knowing the worth of your equipment is crucial to the selling process. Start by researching the most common pricing for similar machinery, and note any trends you find. Be sure to look for the most recent pricing available; attempting to sell your equipment based on old prices will do you no good.

You’ll then want to establish a reasonable price range for your machinery using the information you’ve collected. Having a standard range will help you negotiate with potential buyers, and it will also give you realistic expectations for the sale.

2. Get It Tuned Up

Does your equipment need any work done? If it’s a minor tune-up, it’s best to get it done as soon as possible. If it has been a while since your machine has had maintenance, an inspection and tune-up should be performed by a professional. If not, take some time to inspect the machine and determine if it requires maintenance:

  • Turn on and operate the machine
  • Listen for noises that shouldn’t be there
  • Check the engine compartment
  • Inspect the cab

We recommend hiring a professional to take a look at the machine, diagnose any issues, and perform the necessary repairs.

If there are any significant issues that need to be fixed, you can choose to repair it or sell the machine as-is. Either way, be completely candid about the work that has been done or needs to be done.

3. Be Transparent

Transparency is key when selling heavy equipment. Purchasing heavy machinery is a considerable venture, and part of your responsibility as the seller is to be open and honest about the machine in question.

Dishonesty typically creates more trouble than it’s worth and can often affect your future equipment sales and purchases. If you’re selling your equipment at an auction, you can even be banned from future auctions if your falsehoods are discovered. Overall, transparency and honesty will result in a better experience for everyone involved.

If your machine has any imperfections, don’t attempt to hide them. Instead, be candid about the issues the machine has and how much impact those problems have on its function and safety. Always supply potential buyers with high-quality photos of the machine.

4. Showcase Your Machine at Its Best

Though it’s important, to be honest and open about your equipment’s imperfections, that doesn’t mean you can’t show off its highlights. Before taking pictures of your vehicle or taking it to an auction, we recommend giving it a thorough cleaning and possibly even having it detailed by a professional. At the very least, cleaning road film from the machine with a pressure washer will give it a cleaner, nicer look.

With a clean, well-kept machine, you can attract many more potential buyers who will consider paying a better price. By showcasing the equipment in its most immaculate state, you’re showing buyers that you have taken the time to care for and maintain it rather than letting it collect dust over the years.

5. Research Auction Options

When choosing to sell your equipment in person, you have several options. Most in-person equipment sales will happen at an auction. Many auctions are held throughout the year, particularly during auction season, which occurs between April and August. 

There are two kinds of auctions: reserved and unreserved. In a reserved auction, the seller is able to withdraw the equipment at any time before a sale is made–meaning that if their minimum sale price/reserve is not met, they can choose not to sell the item. 

In an unreserved auction, the seller will be unable to withdraw the equipment once the auction has begun. Which auction you choose is up to you. Unreserved equipment auction will increase the number of buyers participating and increase your chances of selling your machine sooner rather than later. 

6. Research Online Equipment Dealers

If you would prefer not to sell your equipment at an in-person auction, you may also want to consider selling online. There are several fantastic options for selling heavy equipment online. You may want to create a private listing on a website such as Kijiji.

Alternatively, you can use an online marketplace or direct used sales company to sell your machinery. There are several trusted, high-quality online used sellers out there. We recommend companies such as Ritchie Bros. or Farmzilla, both of whom are valued partners of Trusted Dispatch.

7. Advertise Widely

The best way to attract potential buyers to your equipment is to advertise it as much as possible. You can list your equipment in multiple places to maximize your visibility–for example, if you’re doing a private listing, you may want to post your equipment to several listing sites at once.

Be sure to target your advertisements to the proper audience. If you’re selling farm equipment, try to target farmers; likewise, if you’re selling construction equipment, your target audience should be construction companies.

8. Screen Your Buyers

Unfortunately, not every potential buyer is trustworthy. There are plenty of scammers out there, so it’s critical to keep scams in mind when selling heavy equipment. But how can you ensure that potential buyers aren’t trying to scam you out of your equipment?

The solution: thoroughly screen your buyers to verify their legitimacy. In the same way that buyers will often verify your legitimacy before purchasing equipment, you’ll need to ensure that any potential buyer is entirely genuine. Otherwise, your sale could fall through, and you could lose a significant amount of money.

9. Take Advantage of Tax Breaks

If you’re in the market for selling heavy equipment, it’s helpful to be aware of potential tax benefits. If you’re in the U.S., a tax deduction called Section 179 may be beneficial when selling heavy equipment. 

Section 179 offers a substantial tax break for the sale and purchase of heavy machinery. Instead of depreciating the equipment’s value over several years, Section 179 allows you to deduct the full purchase price in the year of sale. This results in significant savings!

Whether you’re a construction company upgrading your fleet or an individual looking to sell a piece of machinery, understanding and leveraging tax deductions such as Section 179 can make a substantial difference.

10. Hire a Professional to Sell the Machine

If all this sounds like a lot of work, there’s no need to worry. You can also choose to hire a professional to sell your equipment for you. By hiring an expert, you can reap the benefits of selling machinery without having to do the hard work of planning, advertising, and screening potential buyers.

There are a couple of options when choosing to hire a professional. Firstly, you can hire an agent. Agents typically work for auctioneers or similar service providers. You may also want to hire an independent seller. Regardless of your choice, it’s essential to ensure that the seller has plenty of experience and a good reputation in the industry.

Transporting Machinery Before and After the Sale

Transporting to Auctions

When planning to sell equipment at an auction, transportation is always a primary concern. How will you get the equipment to its destination? We recommend working with a reliable shipping company like Trusted Dispatch to ensure your machine gets to its destination safely and on time.

Transporting Independent Sales

When selling independently, your buyer will likely want to move the machine as soon as possible. Always keep the phone number of a reliable heavy haul company like Trusted Dispatch on hand. When the time comes to transport it, you’ll be able to ship it to its destination quickly.

Transporting From Online Sellers

When you have successfully completed a sale online, the next step your buyer will need to take is transport. Having the details of a reliable heavy hauler to refer your buyer to will help ensure you move your equipment faster. 

If you’re using Farmzilla as an online auction site, you’re in luck! Trusted Dispatch is Farmzilla’s embedded hauling service. So you know your pick-up and delivery to the new owner will be safe, secure, and punctual.

Tips For Transporting Heavy Machinery

Plan Ahead

Plans don’t always work out the way they’re intended to. The longer you wait to plan transportation, the bigger the risk you’re taking. You never know what obstacles might come up during the shipping process–from challenging weather conditions to unexpected roadblocks; there are several ways your original plan might veer off-course. As such, it’s critical to plan your shipment well in advance and have a backup plan in place.

Ship a Few Days Early

Picture this: your equipment is set to arrive at the auction site the day before the auction. Everything is going great until your driver finds out that the highway they were planning on travelling through has been closed. They now have to reroute, and you could end up missing the auction entirely. By shipping a few days earlier than necessary, you can stop nuisances like road blockages and poor weather conditions from becoming disastrous.

Take Pictures of the Equipment Before Shipping

Before loading and shipping your equipment to the auction or its new owner, be sure to take photos of the machine itself. These photos should be a comprehensive view of the machine, including its flaws. If the machine is damaged during transport in any way, you’ll be able to verify that the damage was not pre-existing.

Maintain Communication With the Driver

Open communication is the best way to ensure the transportation process goes smoothly. Your communications with the driver don’t have to be constant, but it’s a good idea to check in every once in a while to ensure the transportation process is going well.

Choose a Reliable Shipping Company

Transporting heavy machinery requires planning, the right equipment, and experience. When selecting a company to transport your equipment, always ensure you are choosing a reliable, professional, and reputed company.

Trusted Dispatch’s network of professionally vetted truck drivers is dedicated to shipping heavy equipment with expertise. With TD, you can rest assured that your equipment will be transported safely and efficiently to its destination. 

Transport Machinery Across North America With Trusted Dispatch

With the help of Trusted Dispatch, transporting heavy equipment across North America is as simple as 1, 2, 3! Our easy-to-use online system connects customers directly with drivers, making it simpler than ever to transport across the continent.

The process starts with a free, instant quote. You’ll need to enter just three pieces of information:

  1. The pick-up location
  2. The drop-off location
  3. The dimensions, including height, width, length, and weight

Don’t know the dimensions of your machine? No problem! Our powerful Specs Tool has over 60,000 makes and models of equipment pre-loaded. Just input the make and model of your machine, and the Specs Tool will instantly display the closest match. 

After receiving your free, instant quote, you will be able to post your load details on Trusted Dispatch’s load board. There, drivers will be able to see your load. If they have space and are on a relevant route, they can claim the load and connect with you to set up the shipment. 

Have More Questions?

Do you have questions or concerns about shipping heavy equipment? Get in touch with us. Our team will be glad to help you with any questions you may have regarding Trusted Dispatch or heavy equipment shipping.

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