Author: Christina

How to measure the undercarriage on used machines?

Is this service included in an Mevas inspection?

Yes, on request and for larger machines this service is included for tracked machines from Caterpillar. We do measure all components. Remaining life values will be calculated with the CAT CTS Undercarriage Handbook. When inspecting machines of other brands, we assess the remaining service life based on our experience. Click here for our video explaining the measurement of the undercarriage step by step.

Since the undercarriage is one of the most expensive components on these machines and can be very expensive to replace, we recommend special attention to inspection here. If you are looking to buy a second hand machine in Europe – get the remaining life of the U/C confirmed by MEVAS.

Meassurement of the carrier rollers on a dozer

Which tools can be used to measure U/C components?

To measure undercarriage components of a track type tractor or an excavator, the following tools can be used:

  1. Track Gauge or meter – It is used to measure the track gauge, or the distance between the tracks, to ensure that it is within the manufacturer’s specifications.
  2. Track Roller Caliper – It is used to measure the diameter of the track rollers and the wear on the bottom of the track roller.
  3. Idler Pin Gauge – It is used to measure the idler’s diameter and the wear on the idler’s bearing surfaces.
  4. Ultrasonic Gauge – It is used to measure the thickness of the track links and the wear on the bushings.
  5. Chain Wear Gauge – It is used to measure the wear on the track chain and to determine if the chain needs to be replaced.
  6. Shoe Height Gauge – It is used to measure the wear on the track shoe and to determine if the shoe needs to be replaced.

By using these tools, it is possible to accurately measure the wear on the undercarriage components and determine when they need to be replaced or repaired, which helps to extend the life of the track type tractor and reduce maintenance costs.

Who can inspect used heavy construction machinery?

Where can I find a professional inspector?

We would like to introduce ourselves briefly: Mevas has been testing the condition of heavy used machinery for over 16 years. The idea came about because the owner of the company, in his previous job, had to realise when buying used machines that the machines sold were often in worse condition than stated by the seller.

So the idea was born to check the machines carefully before purchasing them. We do this for a growing clientele from all over the world. In the same way, we offer this service to sellers to make it easier to sell the machines with an inspection by an independent third party.

Used machines inspected by Mevas

What does an Mevas inspection report contain?

We have structured inspection report for each type of used construction machinery or construction vehicles. First, the inspector notes the equipment of the construction machine or crane. He pays attention, for example, to whether the machine has air conditioning, additional hydraulic lines, if the excavator has a dozer blade, a CE certificate or whether it has a quick coupling. Now the actual inspection begins. The technician checks the condition of the cab, seat, switches, display instruments, air conditioning, windows, mirrors and windscreen wipers. 

Now it is time to inspect the engine. After checking the operating fluids such as coolant and oil condition, the engine is started. The inspector checks if the engine smokes unusually, makes noises or shows other signs of increased wear. 
After checking the engine, an inspection of the machine’s external components is done. This involves checking the frame, boom or lift arm and, of course, all doors, hatches, storage compartments, lighting and paintwork. After this inspection, we focus on the hydraulic system. We inspect the hoses, look for leaks in the cylinders, listen for noises from the hydraulic pump and check for leaks in the pump or valve block. Now the functional test starts. During this, the inspector checks whether there is play in the joints, whether the drive functions properly, whether there are any unusual noises, whether all functions work normally? Depending on the type of machine, of course, different things are checked. The attachments, such as buckets or shovels, are also checked and their data recorded. Then the tyres or undercarriages are checked for wear and analysed. In the last section of our inspection report, any problems that do not fit into the previous sections are noted. Finally, the inspector leaves a comment on the general condition of the machine. At the end, the transport dimensions are usually given.

Which used heavy machines can be inspected?

Mevas inspectors can perform inspections for:

  1. Excavators (track excavators, mobile excavators, min diggers, quarry shovels)
  2. Bulldozers and Tracked Loaders
  3. Loaders (Wheel Loaders, Skid Steer Loaders, Backhoe Loaders)
  4. Graders and Wheel dozers
  5. Dump Trucks
  6. Compactors for Soil and Waste
  7. Rollers (Vibratory Rollers, Pneumatic Rollers, Tandem Rollers)
  8. Scrapers and Bucket Dozers
  9. Off-Highway Trucks and on the Road Trucks
  10. Drilling Rigs, Pile Drivers, Surface Drills, Civil Engineering Machinery
  11. Concrete Mixers, concrete pumps and readymix trucks
  12. Pavers for Asphalt and Concrete
  13. Telehandlers, Telescopic Forklifts
  14. Trenchers, Milling Machines, Reclaimer and Recycler
  15. Reach Stackers and Container Handlers
  16. Agricultural Tractors, Combines, Harvester

This list is not exhaustive, but covers the most commonly used earthmoving and construction machines. The specific machines used for a construction project depends on the type and scope of the work, as well as the local conditions and regulations.

Mevas service – Oil analysis on used machines

Why take oil samples from heavy used machinery?

Analyzing the oils used in construction machinery can be useful to get information about wear from the contents of the used oil. An analysis of the existing oils only makes sense if you have an approximate idea of ​​how long the oil was in use. If the oil has only recently been changed, an analysis of the condition is not very useful. There are then too few analyzable particles in the oil. If the oil used is much older than permitted, i.e. the change intervals have been significantly exceeded, the values ​​will also be incorrect. But if the oil is in a normal change cycle, you can read a lot of information from the trace elements. It is therefore important to know whether the prescribed maintenance intervals on the construction machine have been observed.

How to take an oil sample from heavy used machinery?

For meaningful results, it is necessary to warm up the machine first. Otherwise there will be many particles deposited on the bottom of the oil pan or in the filter. The oil must therefore be vigorously moved and the viscosity increased in order to obtain meaningful results. Then use a very clean container and a pump to remove the oil, e.g. from the engine/the hydraulic circuit or from the gearbox. The extracted oils need to be sent to a certified laboratory. There, the lubricants are analyzed for their ingredients using various methods. It can be used to determine whether there are increased levels of silicon, sulphur, copper, coolant or other trace elements in the oil.

Inspector Wolfgang just took an oil sample
Heavy Machinery Oil sampling

What can I read from the results?

A professional laboratory for the analysis of construction machine oils usually provides us with an interpretation of the analyzed values. Too much silicon means dirt gets into the machine’s systems and you have to look at where and how dirt gets into the system. If coolant is found in the engine oil, there is a problem in the cooling system. If traces of aluminum are found in the transmission oil, one can conclude that there is increased wear in some components. The same applies to the presence of chromium, copper or magnesium.

Mevas offers oil sampling as additional service during inspections. As soon as we have the results of an oil analysis, our technicians will advise you and describe the possible causes. A hint is given on what to do to avoid early problems. Do you have any questions? Feel free to comment below the blog or send us a message.

What is an oil analysis useful for on excavators and wheel loaders?

Oil analysis, also known as fluid analysis or lubricant analysis, is a valuable diagnostic tool used in the maintenance and management of excavators and wheel loaders, as well as other heavy equipment. Here are some of the key benefits and purposes of oil analysis for these machines:

  1. Condition Monitoring: Oil analysis provides a way to monitor the overall condition of the equipment. By analyzing oil samples regularly, maintenance personnel can detect early signs of wear, contamination, and potential issues, allowing for proactive maintenance.
  2. Component Health Assessment: Oil analysis can reveal the health of critical components such as engines, hydraulic systems, and transmissions. It can help identify wear and tear on internal parts like bearings, gears, and seals.
  3. Early Problem Detection: Detecting problems at an early stage can prevent costly breakdowns and major repairs. Oil analysis can identify issues such as abnormal wear, contamination, and fluid degradation before they lead to major failures.
  4. Fluid Quality Assessment: It assesses the quality and condition of the lubricating oils, hydraulic fluids, and other fluids used in the machine. This information helps ensure that the fluids are within the manufacturer’s specifications, promoting optimal performance.
  5. Contamination Detection: Oil analysis can identify the presence of contaminants, such as dirt, water, and other foreign materials in the lubricants. Contaminants can cause damage and reduce the efficiency of critical components.
  6. Fluid Change Intervals: By monitoring the condition of the oils and fluids, equipment operators can determine the optimal time to change or replace them, reducing unnecessary maintenance costs.
  7. Extended Component Life: Effective oil analysis and timely maintenance can extend the life of key components, such as engines, hydraulic systems, and transmissions, resulting in cost savings over the long term.
  8. Performance Optimization: Oil analysis can help ensure that the machine operates at its peak performance by maintaining clean, properly lubricated components.
  9. Environmental Impact Reduction: Proper maintenance, guided by oil analysis, reduces the risk of fluid leaks and component failures, minimizing the environmental impact of equipment operation.
  10. Cost Savings: Regular oil analysis can lead to cost savings through reduced downtime, lower repair and replacement costs, and improved equipment reliability.
  11. Warranty Compliance: For equipment under warranty, oil analysis can help ensure that maintenance practices comply with the manufacturer’s requirements, preserving warranty coverage.

In summary, oil analysis is a valuable tool for excavators and wheel loaders, as it aids in the early detection of problems, extends the life of components, optimizes performance, reduces maintenance costs, and contributes to efficient equipment management. It is an essential part of a comprehensive maintenance and reliability program for heavy equipment.

Truck and concrete equipment inspections

When is a pre-delivery inspection recommended?

Beside our core business of used machine inspections for earthmoving machinery we have qualified within the last years also for inspection of used mixer trucks, tractor heads and concrete pumps.
The service can help buyers to find the right equipment in good quality for a fair price.

Concrete equipment is constantly in use and subject to high wear. If you want to buy a mixer or a concrete pump in used condition, it is therefore recommended to check the visual condition and the functioning carefully. Because you do not want to have a machine on the construction site, which doesn’t work. With a pre-delivery technical inspection you can plan possible repairs and check if the purchase price is ok. If you want, we can do that for you. We have been inspecting and evaluating used heavy machinery throughout Europe since 2006.

What kind of used equipment do we inspect?

  • Concrete pumps
  • Ready mix trucks
  • Used (tipper) trucks and tractor heads

MEVAS is performing inspections on used concrete pumps and mixer trucks of various brands. So far we have done pre-delivery inspections on machines of Schwing, Stetter, Liebherr, Sanny, Putzmeister and some others, mounted on Mercedes, Scania and MAN trucks. Depending on the machine, we have a detailed checklist on which all components are listed. In the case of a mixer, we look at the mixer drum and whether it contains hard concrete residues or whether the drum has holes. When inspecting a concrete pump, we carry out a water test and, of course, also check whether the remote control works. Our service is to helped our customers to select the best equipment.

Renault Kerax chassis with concrete pump during Mevas inspection

What advantages do I have when I order this service from Mevas?

We are well connected with technicians all over Europe, which means we are quickly on site. You will receive an all-round inspection in which everything is documented in pictures and a report. Even if you are not familiar with the technology, you can use our documentation to understand any weak points. For mixers and concrete pumps, we also create a video. An inspection costs you less than you can lose. Either you get confirmation that the machine is in good condition or the actual condition shows that buying it is not a good idea.

Where are Mevas Truck Inspectors available?

The service for inspection of used trucks is available in all countries in Europe. Additionally we have inspectors in the U.A.E., the USA, in some countries in Africa and in Turkey.

Used Caterpillar for sale?

Who can inspect heavy equipment in Europe, Middle-East and Africa?

Mevas can! We help buyers with independent valuations of used construction machinery. Our inspection service helps selecting reasonable machinery. Leave the bad equipment for others and just buy equipment in good condition. We check used machinery from all brands, such as Volvo, Komatsu, Liebherr, Doosan and several more. For Caterpillar machines we download of the ECM-report (PSR). This is very useful to get information about the machine history and to check if the displayed working hours correspond to reality. Unfortunately, there are some dealers who install “matching” hour meters in order to get a better selling price.

What does a Mevas inspection include?

In addition, we also measure the Undercarriage on tracked Caterpillar machines. Since we have reference values, we can determine the remaining service life. Our engineers perform a machine test, take photos & video and write a detailed inspection report. The inspection is adapted to the needs of our customers, if necessary we measure hydraulic pressures or take oil samples.

In addition to construction machinery such as tracked excavators, wheeled excavators, wheel loaders, track loaders, motor graders, rollers and pavers, we also test material handling and recycling machines.

CAT D8 inspected by Mevas

We regularly post some impressions of our inspections on our Youtube channel. If you are interested, please take a look. Here, for example, you can see the inspection of a CAT 990F wheel loader.

Where can we find used CAT machines?

If you are looking for used Caterpillar equipment have a look at www.used-equipment.de. It is an independent selection of used machinery websites. There is not only CAT machinery but many other brands.

Don’t miss these items when a used excavator is being inspected

Where can I find a excavator inspection checklist?

Inspection of used excavators is not everyone’s daily business. Less experienced technician sometimes miss important items such as a leaking swivel, play in swing bearing, cracks in boom or worn idler guides. A good strategy before you inspect used equipment is using a detailed inspection checklist. For excavators or any other machinery you need to check or get checked. So you make sure to check every component and make sure no important item will be missed. Here you can find a sample for such an checklist.

Mevas checklist

If no own engineer is available for the inspection – talk to us. We have local technicians in many countries.

CAT 374 tracked excavator

Which items should be inspected during an excavator inspection?

During inspection of a used track excavator, the following items should be inspected:

  1. Engine and transmission (wheel excavator)
  2. Hydraulic system and pumps, pump drive
  3. Undercarriage components and tires on wheel excavators
  4. Cab and controls
  5. Boom and stick
  6. Bucket and teeth
  7. Electrical system, ECM, ECU, monitoring system and alert lights
  8. Swing bearing and swing gear

It is important to inspect each of these items thoroughly, as they are critical components that affect the excavator’s performance and overall condition. Some of these items are more critical than others, such as the engine and hydraulic system, which directly impact the excavator’s power and operation, while others, such as the cab and controls, affect the operator’s comfort and safety. The importance of each item will depend on the specific use case and requirements for the machine.

Tracked Excavator Inspection

What are the important assemblies of a crawler excavator?

A crawler excavator is a complex piece of heavy machinery designed for digging, excavation, and earthmoving tasks. It consists of several important assemblies and components that work together to perform various functions. Here are the key assemblies of a typical crawler excavator:

  1. Crawler Tracks: The crawler tracks are a critical component that allows the excavator to move on various terrains. They consist of a system of tracks or chains, sprockets, and rollers.
  2. Undercarriage: The undercarriage includes the lower frame of the excavator and houses the crawler tracks, rollers, and sprockets. It provides stability and mobility to the machine.
  3. Upper Structure: The upper structure houses the engine, operator’s cabin, and hydraulic systems. It is the part of the excavator that rotates and pivots on the undercarriage.
  4. Engine: The engine is responsible for generating the power required to operate the excavator. Crawler excavators typically use diesel engines for their high torque and reliability.
  5. Hydraulic System: The hydraulic system powers the various functions of the excavator, including the boom, arm, bucket, and other attachments. It controls the flow and pressure of hydraulic fluid to operate the machine’s movements.
  6. Boom: The boom is an extendable arm that is attached to the upper structure and is used for reaching and lifting. It can be raised, lowered, and extended.
  7. Arm: The arm, also known as the dipper arm or stick, is connected to the boom and can be extended and retracted. It plays a crucial role in reaching and digging.
  8. Bucket: The bucket is attached to the arm and is used for digging, scooping, and loading materials. Buckets come in various sizes and configurations for different tasks.
  9. Operator’s Cabin: The operator’s cabin is where the machine is controlled. It houses the controls, displays, and a comfortable seat for the operator.
  10. Counterweight: The counterweight is a heavy weight placed at the rear of the excavator to balance the weight of the front-end attachments and prevent the machine from tipping over.
  11. Hydraulic Cylinders: These are responsible for moving and controlling the boom, arm, and bucket. They extend and retract to perform digging and lifting operations.
  12. Control System: The control system includes joysticks, pedals, and buttons in the operator’s cabin that allow the operator to control the various movements and functions of the excavator.
  13. Attachments: Crawler excavators can be equipped with various attachments such as grapples, breakers, thumbs, and more, depending on the specific job requirements.

These are the fundamental assemblies and components of a crawler excavator. The combination of these elements enables the machine to perform a wide range of excavation and construction tasks with precision and efficiency.

What is different between a tracked and a wheel excavator?

A wheel excavator, as the name suggests, differs from a crawler excavator primarily in its mode of mobility. While the basic functions and components are similar, the wheel excavator is mounted on wheels instead of crawler tracks. Here are the key differences between a wheel excavator and a crawler excavator:

  1. Mobility:
  • Crawler Excavator: It is equipped with crawler tracks that provide excellent stability and traction on uneven or soft terrain. Crawler excavators are often used in rough and challenging terrains, including construction sites, mines, and forestry operations.
  • Wheel Excavator: Wheel excavators are mounted on wheels, similar to a typical vehicle. They are more suitable for operating on roads or other solid surfaces. Wheel excavators offer greater speed and mobility on paved or firm ground, making them well-suited for urban construction or roadwork.
  1. Undercarriage:
  • Crawler Excavator: It has a heavy undercarriage that houses the crawler tracks, rollers, and sprockets, which provide stability and distribute the machine’s weight evenly over a larger surface area.
  • Wheel Excavator: The undercarriage of a wheel excavator consists of wheels and tires, which are more similar to those of a truck or a vehicle. This undercarriage is designed for improved road travel.
  1. Ground Pressure:
  • Crawler Excavator: Crawler excavators have a lower ground pressure due to the larger surface area of their tracks, making them suitable for work in soft or sensitive terrains without causing as much ground damage.
  • Wheel Excavator: Wheel excavators typically have a higher ground pressure compared to crawler excavators. This can make them less suitable for soft or sensitive ground conditions.
  1. Versatility:
  • Crawler Excavator: Crawler excavators are known for their versatility in off-road applications and rough terrains. They can handle a wide range of tasks, from digging and lifting to forestry work.
  • Wheel Excavator: Wheel excavators are more specialized for tasks that involve frequent movement between job sites on solid surfaces. They are often used for urban construction, road maintenance, and tasks that require frequent relocation.
  1. Speed and Travel:
  • Crawler Excavator: While crawler excavators are slower when it comes to road travel, they excel in off-road mobility and stability.
  • Wheel Excavator: Wheel excavators can travel at higher speeds on roads and are better suited for tasks that involve longer travel distances between worksites.

In summary, the main difference between a wheel excavator and a crawler excavator is their mobility and undercarriage. Wheel excavators are designed for jobs that require frequent movement on roads and solid surfaces, while crawler excavators excel in off-road applications and challenging terrains. The choice between the two types of excavators depends on the specific job requirements and operating conditions.

Why inspect used equipment before buying?

Be carefully when you purchase from unknown suppliers

Searching for dependable used equipment can be a challenging endeavor. It’s crucial to thoroughly assess the condition of any secondhand machinery before making a purchase, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the seller.

What should you consider and investigate?

  1. Evaluate the Seller: If you’re unfamiliar with the seller, exercise extra caution. We’ll delve deeper into this aspect in the following section.
  2. Working Hours Analysis: Scrutinize the machine’s working hours. Do they align with the machine’s overall condition and its year of manufacture? Try to gather information about the machine’s history from the seller to gain a clearer picture.
  3. Inspect for Wear and Tear: Examine the machine for any signs of wear and tear. Check the condition of essential components such as the ROPS, chassis, boom/stick for dents, bends, re-welded areas, or small cracks. Avoid purchasing equipment that might lead to costly issues down the road.
  4. Hydraulic System Assessment: Take a close look at the hydraulic system. Are the hydraulic oil levels within the normal range or too high? In the case of excess hydraulic oil, investigate for potential leaks.
  5. Tire and Undercarriage Examination: Tires and undercarriage components can represent a substantial cost. Assess the remaining service life of the tires and drive components to gauge potential future expenses.
  6. Functional Test/Test Drive: After scrutinizing the above aspects, conduct a function test or a test drive. Start the machine to observe its performance, and listen for any unusual noises or exhaust emissions. This step is vital in ensuring the equipment’s functionality.
  7. Attachments Inspection: If attachments are included in the sale, perform a thorough visual inspection to verify their condition and compatibility.

By paying careful attention to these seven critical factors, you can make a more informed decision when considering the purchase of used equipment.

More technical details:

Check used equipment carefully

Another important note

We want to remind you to be carefully when negotiating heavy equipment which is offered on the Internet. A few of those sites have just been created for fraud.

Be attentive if: 

  1. Machine price is far lower than for comparable units
  2. The seller makes pressure to decide very quickly: He pretends other people are interested in the same machine.
  3. The seller has just a mobile phone number and no landline.
  4. The seller requests a down-payment to reserve the machine.

We are Mevas – die Heavy Equipment Inspectors

Hopefully our list has been helpful to you. If you are unsure about any of the points, just get in touch with us. This is our WhatsApp. We inspect machines like excavators, wheel loaders, dumpers, graders, rollers, material handlers and dozers every day and know these machines very well.

Is it a good idea to buy used machinery at auctions?

Who can inspect equipment at EuroAuctions Dormagen?

It can make sense to buy machines at auctions. However, to avoid problems, we recommend that you inspect the machine you are interested in before bidding.

Mevas has technicans available who can inspect the lots you are interested in at this auction. We offer quick inspections where we focus on the most important points and full inspections. You discuss with us what scope is required and what is important to you.

Of course, we can also be found at most upcoming auctions. Par example at the rb auction in France. We offer used machinery inspections in more than 25 countries with an international team of technicians. MEVAS provides inbiased pre-delivery inspections and appraisals for second-hand machines since 2006.

Inspection at an auction

How to order the inspection?

You can order this inspection online at our shop. But it is more easier if you contact us via our contact form and we will reply with an price offer. You can also contact us if you have any further questions. Our technicians analyse the condition of many different makes, such as Caterpillar, Komatsu, Hitachi, Cummins, Volvo and Liebherr.

How to estimate the remaining life of the undercarriage of a dozer?

Did you ever measure undercarriage components to know their remaining life?

The most expensive and most important assembly when evaluating a bulldozer is certainly the undercarriage. Therefore, when inspecting bulldozers, we pay special attention to the condition of the undercarriage. We have reference values for Caterpillar machines and measure all components. This allows us to accurately determine the remaining service life. We have created an instruction in which we explain our procedure step by step. Click here to watch it. After watching you know what to look for when measuring the track shoes, sprockets, track links, bushings and idlers. If you are not sure about measuring or have any questions – just contact us.

Do not forget to check

Other important points when inspecting a used dozer are the play in the joints and bearings, especially in the so-called equalizer bar. This cross member connects the right and left undercarriage frames on many bulldozers. Together with the pivots in the rear area of ​​the drive frame, this cross member enables the drives to move horizontally. If you want to know more – get here to a short film. Make sure  that you look for these points, otherwise very expensive repairs may become necessary.

Undercarriage meassurement at idler with caliber

Trained technicans for used bulldozers

If you need assistance in evaluating used machines, Mevas technicians can help you. We are trained for the special requirements when inspecting second-hand machines. We view a machine as you would as a buyer. Small things are noted, but not highly weighted. However, we thoroughly examine the condition of the expensive and important components.

Functional test for heavy equipment

How to perform the stall test on a CAT 777D?

Warm up the engine and the transmission, drive the machine to a flat area and engage the Service brake with all efforts. Activate the parking brake and put the transmission into Reverse. Rev up the engine and check the rpm gauge – this will be the stall speed. Compare the values with the factory specs.

Who can inspect used heavy equipment?

If you don’t have reference values or the possibility to look at a machine before buying, please contact us. We have experts who will do it for you. Not only in Europe, also in many other countries worldwide.

CAT 777
Caterpillar CAT 777D quarry truck – inspected by Mevas