1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Do I just go big or just go home? Buying a used wheel loader

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by dr.diesel, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. dr.diesel

    dr.diesel Junior Member
    Messages: 6

    So im thinking of buying a wheel loader for snow removal. I have a guy who rents a skid steer from me that has a decent sized snow removal company. He takes care of my equipment and uses experienced operators to run the machines. I personally dont run my machine but have talked with him about possibly getting a wheel loader and having him use it this winter. He as the ability to get a contract at $140 a hour. With that being said I have been looking for machines the last few months. Since I wont use the machine except for renting it to him I am looking to spend under 20k. I have a place to keep the machine for basically free in the off season and I also have a friend with a semi and lowboy who will move it for me super cheap.

    With that in mind I am looking a used Cats or Deere as 2 parts/dealers are close to me (I am in the NW suburbs of Chicago). So I have my eye on a late 70's (79 I think) 644b that was owned by a feed company that has alot of service history. Hour meter says 3000 but the guy I spoke with dosent think its original. In the last 2k hours its had a rebuilt hydro pump, rebuilt rear axel, turbo and water pump, and has been serviced regularly. Im working on getting pictures as we speak but he says is not the prettiest machine out there. I also will be able to get receipts for this service history in addition to whatever else has been done. All the above work was done at a dealer to the tune of about 30K in the last 5 years and the machine was traded in for a new one.

    So aside from a motor, trans or front axel going bad I think most of the big ticket items have been fixed. They are asking $12.5k I plan on going to see it in the next week or two. Ive read alot of feedback on both sides of getting a older machine. Either it works great or its a big pain and expensive and things are always breaking.

    Im looking for some feedback. Should I go for it and buy the machine or just walk away and look for something alot newer?
  2. Landcare - Mont

    Landcare - Mont Senior Member
    Messages: 351

    We have a 1977 644B which is used now only as a spare. It has been a good, strong, reliable machine. One of the major pluses with the older machines is the lack of electronics so they are serviceable and reparable by any competent mechanic, not just a dealer. One of the major minuses of the older machines is parts availability.

    That being said - why do you want to lay out up to $20,000 to purchase a machine you're not running on your own contract? You won't be clearing $140.00/hour; the operator gets paid, the fuel, repairs, insurance, licencing, transport, etc. get paid. If you clear half, you'll be lucky. That means the machine will have to work about 300 hours to pay back your $20,000 investment. That's a lot of hours on snow clearing, even here in Montreal.

    Just saying.