8 Benefits of Buying Used Railroad Equipment

Category: Equipment and Solutions

The U.S. freight rail network is an essential and irreplaceable part of our economy. The nearly $80 billion industry spans over 140,000 miles of track that must remain in top condition to keep consumer and manufacturing good moving across the country. That’s why it’s vital to invest in quality equipment for maintenance of way.

For many, quality means only considering the purchase of brand-new MOW equipment for sale at dealers. However, buying new isn’t always the right choice. Investing in used hi-rail equipment may be the best choice for not only your company’s bottom line but for reliability, selection, availability, and more.


Benefits of Buying Used Railroad Equipment


  • Lower upfront costs. Buying used allows you to get more out of each dollar spent on railroad maintenance equipment. Most — if not all — used MOW equipment goes through detailed inspections before going up for sale at a licensed dealer, so they’ll run as well as new equipment.
  • Greater variety. Used railroad equipment is available from a wide range of sources, including private sellers, dealerships, and auctions. This means you have more options when searching for the right excavator, backhoe, wheel loader, or other high-rail equipment.
  • Shorter lead times. Used railroad equipment is often available immediately or within a short time. New equipment can take months to arrive, especially with ongoing global supply chain challenges.
  • More flexible payment options. Used railroad equipment may be available on a lease or rental basis, which can be more financially beneficial than investing cash flow — or taking out a sizeable loan — for new equipment.
  • Lower depreciation costs. Used railroad equipment depreciates at a much lower rate than new, which means you can get more value from used equipment over the lifetime of ownership compared to buying new.
  • Extended Service Coverage Options: Even the best used railway equipment eventually need repairs, which always seem to happen at the worst time — right in the middle of a big job, when cash is tight or just after the warranty expires. An extended service coverage plan can provide coverage for parts and labor, and protects you from unplanned repair costs. Let our team help formulate an extended service coverage plan to meet your needs. Contact Us
  • Lower insurance premiums. Investing in pre-owned equipment can save your company a lot of money in the long run by reducing insurance costs, which are usually more expensive when dealing with brand-new machines.
  • Access to advanced features. While car manufacturers roll out new features each year, the makers of heavy machines used for maintenance of way are less concerned about adding new bells and whistles. This means that you could find the latest available technology in equipment that’s a few years old for way less money than buying new.

What to Look for When Buying Used

When you’re looking for used railway equipment, you must do your due diligence before signing the bill of sale.

First, make sure the price is right. The price should be competitive with other used items of similar age and quality. It’s also important to personally inspect used railroad equipment before purchase. Be sure to check for damage, wear and tear, proper function, and any undisclosed issues.

In addition, the condition should reflect how long ago the item was manufactured, and you should ask for — and receive — any maintenance and repair records kept by the previous owner or owners.

Finally, make sure you clearly understand any warranty (or lack thereof). If a warranty still applies, make sure it’ll transfer to your company when the contracts are finalized.

At Vancer, we’re committed to providing a diversified selection of MOW equipment for sale, including customized and conventional solutions for on- and off-track use, with nationwide service and support. Shop our website for more information on our current inventory available for rent, lease, and purchase, and contact us for a customized quote.