Get it right, and a used baler purchase could be one of the smartest business decisions you’ll make this year. But, rush into buying the wrong machine, on the other hand, and it could actually prove a costly waste of time and money.
So, to protect your investment, large or small, we’ve compiled a handy list of 10 things to consider before you part with your cash:
1. What materials must the machine be capable of handling?
In much the same way you’d create a specification for a brand new machine, you need to understand what a used baler is capable of. Whether you’re baling cardboard packaging waste, plastic film or paint tins, make sure the baler can handle the materials you’re going to put inside it.
2. Think about capacity
Whilst you may come across a used baler with a bargain price tag, it still needs to be able to fulfil your requirements. So, if you’re handling numerous tonnes of waste materials every week, or particularly bulky recyclables, a compact machine is unlikely to fit the bill. Calculate how much waste you need to bale and ask the supplier/vendor about the capacity of the machine in question.
3. Take your tape measure
The exact same advice would apply if purchasing a new machine – measure the height and footprint of the baler to ensure it will fit into your space!
4. Know your budget
Be clear on what you can afford and stick to that limit. This is a business investment after all. If it becomes apparent that the desired machine specification is beyond reach, enquire about options to hire or lease the baler. Most reputable suppliers will offer this procurement alternative. It might also be possible to negotiate a ‘trade in’ deal.
5. And calculate the likely wear costs of the machine?
Price plays a big part in most modern business decisions, but any initial savings may soon be outweighed by ongoing wear and maintenance costs if the upkeep of the baler is excessive. So, look at the condition of the machine and also enquire as to the typical servicing regime/interval, as well as the prices of spare and wear parts.
6. Is anything else included?
Just because a baler may be second hand, it doesn’t mean it should come supplied without any helpful extras! Many machines are sold inclusive of warranty, operator training, servicing and maintenance – if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
7. Is the condition appropriate for the price?
Admittedly a used baler may not be in a comparable condition to a new machine, but with a number of suppliers offering fully refurbished models it is not unusual to come across a second hand press that looks like it has just come out of a factory! Assess the baler for signs of wear and tear, and if it does appear aged, ask if a refurb is possible. If not, ensure the price tag reflects the state that you find the machine in. Some wear is fine, especially on balers renowned for their robustness. But the investment should be more affordable if not ‘like new’.
8. What is the baler’s ‘health’ status?
Very few people would buy a car without an indication of its true condition and, where possible, its service history. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the machine’s previous usage, any faults, the integrity of the baling chamber, and so on. Most vendors should be able and willing to supply this information in a written report. If they’re reluctant to do so, this may be indicative of underlying issues or a lack of background insight.
9. Have you carried out your due diligence?
It is important to assess the condition of the machine, the reliability of the vendor/supplier and also the suitability of the baler for your requirements. So, ask the right questions, request to see the equipment in operation if possible and perhaps even speak to other users of the technology to check it does what it says on the tin. Customer testimonials or case studies may go some way to answering your queries, if they are available on the supplier’s website.
10. Is it safe?
Employers have a duty of care to ensure their operators are supplied with safe machinery that is fit for purpose, and training must be delivered to ensure they fully understand how to utilise the equipment. If you have any doubts in either of these respects, this isn’t the right baler for you, however attractive the price tag.
We stock an ever-changing selection of used balers, which are available to browse on our website or you can see them in the flesh at our North Yorkshire HQ. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to chat about the machine you’re on the lookout for, please call 01423 325038 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.