How to ensure you end up with a reliable ex-rental machine

Did you know that Orange Hire has flexible hire-to-buy options, enabling contractors to get a great price on our used excavators?

If you’re in the market for a second-hand excavator, we can help with low hour machines that have been maintained by our safe, professional and switched-on maintenance crew.

Take a look at our current range of excavators and earthmoving equipment for sale here.

What to look for when buying a used excavator

Buying earthmoving equipment rather than hiring can be more economical over the long term. For contractors with long term site needs or who have a continuous need for another excavator in their fleet, it makes sense to buy or hire-to-buy.

An ex-rental excavator can be a great asset to your business, providing many years of solid work at a fraction of the price of a new machine.

However, it’s important to know what you’re getting, so make sure you know exactly what to look for when inspecting a second hand machine.

Here are 5 key things to look for if you are looking to buy a second hand excavator.

Check these 5 things before you buy an ex-rental excavator:

  1. Service history
  2. Machine hours
  3. Hydraulics
  4. Undercarriage
  5. General wear and tear

Checking the service history of an excavator

This should be number one on your list! Ensuring the machinery seller has a full dated and itemised service history will help set your mind at ease that the machine has been well maintained over its lifetime so far.

Look for low-hour machines

The logged hours of a machine give some insight of how hard it has worked: an older machine with low hours may have been better looked after than a newer machine with lots of hours on the clock. However, there are other factors to take into account too, for example, a machine with higher hours may simply have idled a lot more, whereas a lower hour machine could have been used on really tough sites. Assess the logged hours with an open mind, but know that low hours usually equal a healthier, more reliable machine.


The hydraulic fluid should be clean and at the recommended levels – you can check the fluids in the hydraulic tanks, as well as checking the operation of components like the boom and hitch. If you can, put the machine through its paces under load and as close as possible to a working environment.


Try and get an idea of the life left in the undercarriage, as this can be one of the most expensive parts to repair or replace. Check tracks, sprockets, link assemblies, roller plates and tracks and make sure there aren’t any missing or damaged parts.

Is the wear and tear at an expected level?

All second hand excavators are going to show some level of wear and tear from use in tough construction environments. However, the key components should still be in great working order, including the treads, bucket hitch points, cables etc. Any large dents are generally an indicator of careless use, and you should also look out for parts that are cracked or bent out of shape. Plus, be wary of shiny new paint jobs which can be an indication that there’s something to hide.

Get in touch with Orange Hire to talk to the team about designing a hire-to-buy arrangement that works for your business.

Because Orange Hire guarantees our day-to-day hire customers that they’ll get reliable hire equipment, we make sure we look after our machines with the utmost care.

Our equipment is better serviced than the average machine and is turned over more quickly than the average private sale. This means you get a relatively new machine that has low hours on the clock and has been well maintained.

Contact our team today to buy an ex-rental excavator in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and other areas up and down the East Coast.

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What our happy customers say

We promise fast, safe, professional and friendly service – here’s what some of our customers have to say:

  • Trent
    Orange Hire Customer
    Good range of excellent equipment.
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    Great company with very affordable prices compared to the bigger hire companies who charge a ridiculous price. Staff were excellent and Tara is lovely.

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    The best service and equipment. I highly recommend Orange Hire based on my experience. A friendly, helpful team and prompt delivery.

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    Mack Civil

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