Buy used or buy new? This is one of the many questions that run through people's minds when they've decided to purchase heavy equipment.
If you're in the market for a pipelayer, buying used can be as good—if not a better value—than buying new for four reasons:
1. A pipelayer is a specialized piece of equipment
In general, used heavy equipment holds its value because it can do the same job as a new piece of heavy equipment but for a lot less money.
The same holds even more true for such a specialized piece of heavy equipment like a pipelayer.
Yes, other heavy equipment could serve as stand-ins to do a pipelayer's job, but these replacement machines would lack the precision and efficiency of a pipelayer designed specifically for lifting, bending lowering and, overall, handling pipe.
2. A pipelayer requires certification before it's work-ready
Before putting a pipelayer to work on a project, owners are required to have their machine inspected and certified to ensure it is in compliance with regional authorities.
This process usually involves regular maintenance and an annual boom inspection. When buying a used pipelayer, there is a good chance the machine has been well-maintained and is already certified, which saves the buyer time and money.
3. Lower on the job utilization
Because of its specific role on a project, a pipelayer is considered a piece of support equipment and is utilized during a defined phase of the project lifecycle, not for the entire duration of the project as dozers and other mainline equipment.
Lower utilization means a pipelayer will have many operating hours left when it's liquidated at the end of a project to recoup expenses.
Depending on the length of a project, the price paid for the pipelayer and the project costs, buying a used pipelayer with few operating hours can help owners get their money out of the machine well before the machine is worn out.
4. Global demand
From DCP Midstream's 700-mile Sandhills Pipeline in Texas to the Burma-China $3.5 billion oil and natural gas pipelines—oil and gas pipeline projects are planned or underway in almost every corner of the world.
Couple the increased demand for fuel delivery infrastructure with the fact that pipelayers can work all over the world because of uniform legislation and job specifications, and it's easy to understand why global demand for these machines exists, especially for larger models as Caterpillar's 500 series, and why used pipelayers hold their value and can be just as good as buying new.