You’ve decided to make the investment in an overhead gantry crane. You know that you can expect a healthy return on your investment, as it will make your business more efficient and productive, and create a safer workplace for your team.
One thing you don’t know, however, is the shape that this investment will take. Should the crane that you purchase be brand new, or should you look to the second-hand market?
As highly regulated, heavy duty and generally bespoke pieces of equipment, there can be significant risk associated with purchasing second-hand overhead and gantry cranes, and that’s only if you’re able to find a used crane that matches your needs. Investing in a brand new crane gives you confidence that you’re getting exactly what you need, that it will work as advertised, and that you’ll minimise the risks that your workers face.
In this article we’ll take a closer look at the purchase of brand new overhead cranes vs second-hand overhead cranes: the pros and cons of each, the considerations you’ll need to make, and the challenges you may face.
Let’s begin by gaining an understanding of the basic pros and cons of new and used crane purchases.
Should I buy a new overhead crane?
- You can order the exact crane that you need, and you’ll know exactly what you’re getting.
- You’ll be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.
- It’s a relatively simple process to gain the necessary certifications.
- New cranes tend to require a larger upfront investment than used cranes.
- You may have to wait some time for the crane to be designed, produced and installed.
Should I buy a used overhead crane?
- A used crane tends to require a lower upfront investment than a new crane.
- If the right second-hand crane happens to be available, you can take delivery almost instantly.
- It can be tricky, perhaps impossible, to find a second-hand overhead crane that meets your exact needs.
- It will be your responsibility to ensure the crane is free of issues, and you may not be covered by warranty.
- The process of gaining the necessary certifications can be far more complex.
Things to consider when shopping for a used crane
While these lists give a sense of the basic considerations of a new vs used crane purchase, in truth there’s far more to the decision than these pros and cons make out. This is particularly the case for the purchase of second-hand overhead cranes, as a wealth of rules and regulations govern their installation, use and maintenance.
If you feel the arguments for an investment in a second-hand overhead crane outweigh those against, you’ll need to consider a few things before you lock the purchase in. At a base level you’ll need to know the following about your prospective second-hand purchase:
- What application the crane has previously been used for.
- Its total operating hours.
- Relevant certifications and maintenance records.
- Whether the crane was used in accordance with rules, regulations and the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- If it has, or has had, any issues, including breakdowns, damage, part replacements, rust or general wear and tear.
How you buy your crane will determine how easy this information is to get, and how trustworthy the information is. If you purchase a used crane from a certified dealer, you’re more likely to get all the information you need, and for it to be accurate. If you purchase the used crane online or unsighted, you’ll be taking a far larger risk, and may need to take the seller on their word. The quality of the product isn’t guaranteed.
This fact can leave you exposed to safety issues and system failures. Buying a second-hand crane might at first seem like a great way to save money, but it’s a gamble, and one that can often leave you more out of pocket than you would’ve been if you simply bought new.
The major risks of buying a used overhead crane
Used cranes don’t tend to come with warranties, and system malfunctions can be incredibly expensive, not just because repairs can be expensive – equipment downtime can seriously impact productivity and your ability to make money.
At Stratalign our new overhead gantry cranes come with up to 5-year factory warranties against manufacturing defects, giving customers confidence that issues beyond their control will be fixed and fixed fast.
Buying a used crane can be a gamble on another major front: support. Second-hand purchases generally see an end user selling to another end user. The relationship ends once the transaction is completed. If you have any post-purchase problems, they’re yours to sort out.
When you buy a new crane from a reputable dealer like Stratalign, however, you’ll have support on-hand whenever you need it. After-sales support sees the relationship between dealer and customer extend beyond the point of purchase, and the expertise the dealer brings to the table can mean that any issue, no matter how unique or complex, will usually be able to be sorted. Tips, tricks, advice and support are only ever a call away.
Gantry cranes can be rather bespoke pieces of equipment that are designed to meet the specific needs of each customer. You’ll need yours to be capable of lifting certain items of certain weights, you’ll need it to fit within your space, and you’ll need it installed and maintained to all relevant standards.
It’s exceptionally rare that you’ll come across a second-hand gantry crane that ticks all the necessary boxes. In most cases it will be far more efficient and cost-effective to invest in a brand new system that has been designed from the ground up to be fit for purpose.
One of the biggest challenges in buying a used gantry crane is in getting it certified. Amongst other things, an inspector will look to review the crane’s engineering design and maintenance records before certifying it for use, and if those records are missing or incomplete, the path to certification becomes far more challenging, and in some cases may prove impossible.
There are no such worries with a brand new gantry crane from Stratalign, as commissioning and certification forms a key step in our process.
Second-hand gantry crane purchasing checklist
If you’ve weighed up all the factors and still believe that a second-hand overhead crane is a worthwhile investment, it’s critical that you ask the right questions when you browse the market. The following list of considerations can help to clarify whether a given gantry crane is right for you.
- Does the crane precisely match your needs, both now and into the future?
- What condition is the crane in? Will it need servicing or repairs in the near future?
- How close is the crane to the end of its service life?
- Does the crane come with all the parts you need?
- Do you have access to replacement parts should a breakdown occur?
- Are all mechanical and electrical systems in good order?
- Will the crane be supplied with complete maintenance records?
- Will the seller offer any guarantees that the crane will work as promised?
The perks of buying a new gantry crane with Stratalign
Given the difficulty in finding a used overhead crane that matches your exact needs, and the risks involved in purchasing a second-hand crane, most businesses instead opt to buy new. And when you invest in a Stratalign gantry crane, the confidence that comes with the purchase is particularly high.
All Stratalign overhead cranes are made with the highest quality materials and are built to do the exact job you need them to in the most efficient and productive way possible. We begin with an on-site consultation to understand your needs, then we design, produce, install and commission a bespoke solution.
Stratalign overhead cranes also feature generous warranties, and come with market-leading after-sales support. If there’s an issue with your crane you can be confident that our team of experts will have it fixed in quick time, and we’re always on call to offer advice on how best to use your crane.
Simply put, buying a brand new gantry crane from Stratalign isn’t just the safe choice – it can be the most efficient, most productive, and in some cases even most cost-effective option too.
Enabling New Zealand businesses to work smarter, quicker & safer
Ready to experience the Stratalign difference? Our gantry crane experts are ready to offer up their knowledge and expertise to get your business humming. Over the years we’ve built a reputation as trusted advisors to Kiwi businesses who are in search of lifting solutions.
We help you to avoid the manual handling downsides – the low productivity, the non-compliance, the worker risks – with innovative lifting equipment designed to make your business better, faster and stronger.
Get in touch with our friendly team today for an obligation-free consultation and quote.