Access platforms such as cherry pickers and scissor lifts can seem like a significant investment when you’re on the lookout for a brand new model. However, buying a new MEWP isn’t your only option when it comes to equipment for working at height. Selecting a used access platform can invariably be more cost effective.
It is important to ensure you’re buying a pre-owned access platform that will meet your individual needs, whilst of course complying with all safety requirements.
What Are The Benefits of Buying a Used Access Platform?
The most obvious benefit of buying a used access platform is the cost. It’s generally cheaper to buy used and refurbished cherry pickers or scissor lifts compared to buying brand new equipment.
If you know exactly what type of equipment you’re looking for, buying used boom lifts and other access platforms can present a great opportunity. You won’t need to compromise on brand or quality – instead, you can procure a top-of-the-range machine without breaking your budget.
Whether you’re looking for the latest addition to a large fleet or a specific MEWP to complete a job, you may be wondering if it’s more cost effective and convenient to hire or buy equipment. Looking for used access platforms strikes a great balance as you’re able to own and take full responsibility for your MEWP without the significant financial investment associated with buying brand new equipment.
Buying Top Brands Without Breaking the Bank
A main advantage of buying used access platforms is you’ll have access to quality brands that may otherwise be unaffordable. Reputable brands construct their machines carefully, using quality parts and the latest technology. They also have robust manufacturing processes and production standards in place to ensure they develop safe, sturdy, long-lasting machines. Of course, all this comes with a hefty price tag but buying a high-quality used machine could reduce the cost.
Choosing the cheapest used access platform on the market might seem appealing but, instead, you should select a good quality machine from a reputable brand that will perform safely and stand the test of time. It’s also important to buy your second hand MEWP from a reputable business, such as Horizon Platforms, so you can be certain your machine has been properly serviced and maintained prior to being put up for sale.
Considering Return On Investment for Your Used Access Platform
There are pros and cons to buying equipment versus hiring it. To ensure you’re making the right choice, calculate your return on investment carefully. Will buying an access platform prove more cost effective over time, compared to the price of continually hiring MEWPs for individual jobs?
If you need a certain cherry picker for just one project, then hiring equipment could be the best option. This is because, when buying either new or used access platforms, you’ll need to consider the cost of storage and maintenance in addition to the initial purchase price.
If your business can make use of the access equipment all year round and you have the capacity to store it, investing in your own machinery may be the best option.
If you’re not ready to take the leap and buy brand new equipment just yet, used access platforms could be the best way forward. Plus, you’re more likely to see a quicker return on your investment as generally the price of pre-owned equipment is lower.
The Negative Impact of Buying Brand New Access Platform Equipment
It’s understandable to want the very latest cherry picker model. However, you’ll pay the price for enjoying that shiny new equipment. As with all vehicles, the price will depreciate the first time you use your brand new cherry picker – in some cases it will lose up to twenty percent of its value. If you choose to sell the MEWP, you’ll be facing an almost certain loss.
You can avoid depreciation by purchasing a used access platform instead. Should you choose to sell it again later down the line you could be in a much better position compared to selling equipment you bought as brand new.
Refurbishing Used MEWPs
There may be a preconception that used access platforms may look obviously second hand, but that isn’t the case. Many suppliers will sell used cherry pickers if they have recently upgraded their fleet, or if a MEWP no longer suits their requirements. In many cases, used equipment will look (and perform) as good as new or will be refurbished to a high standard ahead of being put up for sale.
Looking for older equipment that still has plenty of life left in it, but want it to look on brand and fit in with the rest of your fleet? Horizon Platforms offers a full, bespoke refurbishment service for used platforms that allows you to choose your overhaul requirements, select specific brand colours and add your logo.
What to Look Out for When Buying Used Access Platforms
So you’ve decided upon buying a used access platform – but now you need to know how to choose the right one.
Research Your Access Platform
Selecting the right type of access platform for your business is key. Research what machinery you need, taking into account height reach and the amount of weight your equipment will need to lift.
Each cherry picker or scissor lift is suitable for a specific purpose or job type, so you will need to carefully consider which powered access platform suits your business needs.
Physically Inspect the Machine
It sounds obvious, but you should always physically inspect pre-owned machines for any signs of rusk, leaks or damage. Make sure the access platform works as it should, too. Don’t just take it for a quick test drive – check every functionality and speed setting.
You should also check that the serial number on the MEWP is consistent with all other documentation, such as its service history record and operator’s manual.
Take Safety Into Account
All used machines should meet safety specifications. They should perform ‘as new’ and be completely fit for purpose.
Once you’ve selected the right make and model for your needs, you should make sure your team is fully trained to operate the used powered access platform. Operators should not only be trained to use the equipment, they must also be able to inspect it for potential faults. This will ensure your team operates the cherry picker or scissor lift safely, minimising the chance of an accident occurring.
Inspect the Service History Record
You wouldn’t buy a second-hand car without asking about its service record, would you? All second-hand MEWPs should be inspected thoroughly by qualified engineers before being sold, but it’s your responsibility to check this too. Ask for a full service history record to ensure your used access platform has been well maintained. You should also ensure your MEWP comes with an operator’s manual.
In addition, make sure your used access platform comes with a full six-month Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) certificate. This means the equipment has been through a thorough inspection and is considered safe to use.
Once you’ve bought your used access platform, you should continue to carry out regular servicing and repairs.
Choose a Reputable Supplier
Access platforms are professional pieces of equipment, and you should only buy a used access platform from a trusted supplier.
Here at Horizon Platforms, we offer a range of used scissor lifts and cherry pickers. Every one of our used access platforms comes from our own fleet and has an impeccable maintenance record including regular services and inspections. For more information about our used access platforms, please contact our team.
If you’re looking for more information and access platform advice, bookmark the Horizon Platform blog to keep up to date.