What to Ask When Buying a New or Used Diesel Generator

Eleanor Hanson

Buying a new or used diesel generator is a big acquisition and, rightly so, you want to feel confident that when you choose to make that purchase you’re buying the correct product for the purpose you have in mind. To ensure this you (the customer) must ask questions!

If a dealer or manufacturer isn’t interested in answering your questions then we’d seriously advise you to find another supplier who is – after all, if this is their pre-sale approach, imagine what their after-sell care will be like!!!

So what should you ask?

Think of specific features. Think about the brand of generator (including the component engine and alternator), and don’t be afraid to question the sellers understanding of these brands, e.g. are they reliable, do they require much servicing etc..?

Think of the job in hand. Obviously you must consider the output (kVA) of the machine. If you’re unsure of what kind of output you require for a job you have in mind, ask the seller. A good supplier will also be able to advise whether you need a single or three phase machine. For dealers and manufacturers who are selling, this is their opportunity to demonstrate the value they bring to you. Again if they can’t or won’t help you with the selection process, you have to question their suitability as a supplier.

Think of the track record. This especially applies if you’re buying a previously owned machine. If the generator has been previously owned, find out a) what purpose the diesel generator was previously used for, and, b) how many hours it was used for in this role. Both are vitally import factors that should be considered, especially the latter – be aware diesel generators can suffer from both over and under use!

Think of the practicalities. Some of the most obvious things buyers occasionally overlook are simple details such as size dimensions and weight factors. Also ask about delivery; will the goods be supplied “Fully on Board” or “Ex-Works” – details which have a huge impact on the overall cost of a supplied diesel generator.

Ultimately questions are the key to buying a new or used diesel generator, and suppliers of these high-tech and expensive goods must be prepared to answer them. If you feel you dealer is giving you the cold shoulder when it comes to buying a diesel generator then simply walk away – there’s plenty more competition who will be happy to talk to you!

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