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Why Buying A Used Crane Is A Bad Idea

January 31, 2024

Cranes such as overhead cranes, jib cranes, workstation cranes and portable cranes can be a costly investment for any business. However, cranes are often required to increase lifting capabilities and ultimately improve safety and productivity across the business. 

To save costs, some business owners or procurement managers may be tempted to buy a used crane instead. However, what initially may seem like a good deal can often have many hidden costs not to mention dangers to be aware of.

Here at Metreel, we supply a variety of crane types for UK businesses. Based on our decades of experience in material handling, here is why in the case of cranes – buying new and genuine products is always the way to go.

Cunningham 05 scaled 1 from Metreel

Uncertain History

If you purchase a second hand crane, you have no idea of the real reason why the current owner wants to sell their crane. In addition, there is no way to tell when the crane was bought or what maintenance it has received. Therefore, there could be any number of serious issues which are not disclosed to you during the purchase process which could put your business at risk. 

In contrast, when purchasing a new crane from Metreel, that crane will be supplied by a UK-based supplier and be custom-built for your specifications. All of which provides confidence and assurance that you have made a legitimate purchase and that the crane will meet all required health and safety specifications. In addition, since the crane is new, it will not be hiding any poor maintenance or condition issues.

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Hidden Wear And Tear

As with buying a used car, purchasing a used crane means that the crane is not new. Having been used countless times, the crane is more likely to have wear and tear to its components and this may not be apparent until you go to use the crane.

Signs of wear can include damage to the hooks, cables, gears or structural elements. There is also no way of telling whether the structural load of the crane exceeded safe limits while used by the previous owner, which could also harbour hidden stress defaults.

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Outdated Systems

Purchasing a crane which was first installed many years ago inevitably means the technology of the crane and its overall functionality will not be as good compared to purchasing a new crane today. 

If the outdated or missing systems also extend to safety mechanisms, this is yet another way that a used crane can pose safety issues for your team. 

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Reduced Productivity 

When purchasing a crane in any capacity, there is a need to improve productivity in your workplace. This is due to the ability of cranes to lift and reposition loads far heavier than can be managed manually. 

However, this aim may not be reached if opting for a used crane, since the crane will not perform to its maximum potential due to age and general wear and tear. Therefore, the purchase may actually cost your business more in the long run, not least when you realise purchasing a new crane is warranted to gain the maximum amount of productivity. 

factory paper people warehouse 2022 01 31 23 24 19 utc from Metreel

The implications of buying a used crane can stretch far beyond the practical elements. That’s because as a business, you may struggle to insure the crane or even your business as a whole due to using potentially dangerous machinery. 

Employers have a legal duty to maintain a safe workplace as per health and safety guidelines. If using machinery whereby the history or condition is uncertain then this puts your employees at risk of serious injury. Longterm, the implications of buying a used crane could have any number of negative implications for the health of the business. 

Metreel – Shop Our Workstation Cranes UK

It’s clear that taking the risk of buying a used crane is just not worth it. The good news is that here at Metreel, we have industrial cranes to suit a wide variety of usage requirements and budgets. 

Head over to our material handling page to view our full range of cranes which we supply across the UK. 

Need any help choosing a crane for your business? Please fill out our contact form or give us a call on 0115 932 7010 to speak to our team.