When buying used tractors or construction equipment, consumers may find they get the benefit of less-expensive prices.
However, they should also make sure they watch out for the warning signs that the equipment was stolen, which can lead to them losing their investments. Recently, the National Equipment Register published a guide with tips on how to avoid buying hot machinery.
For example, a serial number plate that has been altered or changed should be one thing to look out for. Furthermore, any "odd story" of how the seller got the equipment may be a warning sign, as is a price that is well below market value.
When using an auction, buyers should inquire as to how the company ensures the equipment is not stolen.
"Keep in mind that a Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) search does not by itself indicate anything about the machine's theft status," the NER said.
While avoiding buying stolen equipment is important, so is ensuring that machinery doesn't get nabbed. Construction equipment and other machines should be secured at a job site, which could include disabling them if they won't be used for a time.