Africa is experiencing a sustained upsurge in demand for secondhand heavy equipment, including graders. According to a 2018 report, the used heavy machinery market has been growing at an estimated 4.5 percent, year on year, for the past three decades.

This increased demand for secondhand motor graders and other machinery is explained by:

  • the high costs of new machines, especially given weak local currencies
  • a sustained construction boom, with large-scale infrastructure development and increased foreign investment in many African countries
  • more avenues for obtaining reliable, used equipment, both online and off.

Below we explore some of the reasons why secondhand (especially reconditioned) motor graders can represent better value than new models for businesses.

High-tech features can be a hindrance

Buyers of secondhand machines forgo the technological advancements built in to the newest motor graders. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially on a continent struggling with skills shortages and a widespread lack of technical know-how.

High-tech features, from multi-function joysticks and digital grading functionality to blade bounce sensors and computerised controls and diagnostics, are standard in latest generation machines. Unfortunately, they’re not always easy to fix – needed parts and know-how may have to be obtained overseas, resulting in high costs and long delays.

Also, existing operators aren’t necessarily trained or able to use them, and it may be a struggle to find operators who are.

In older graders from leading manufacturers, the focus was less on dazzling “tech” and more on toughness, reliability and durability. For many companies, investing in these tough workhorses makes more sense than paying for new tech.

New graders cost a fortune

The vast majority of new motor graders are manufactured in the United States or China. The costs of shipping heavy machines to Africa, along with comparatively weak African currencies, add to the high price tags on new motor graders.

Many companies can’t afford to invest in new heavy equipment – or, even if they can, are seeing better value in buying secondhand motor graders or reconditioned equipment.

Sinking capital in new equipment could make companies less agile

Automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and other new technologies are transforming the ways work is done, and it’s not yet clear how industry will be affected or where the real benefits lie.

New heavy equipment might feature more new tech, but – given the scale and scope of the changes now underway – that tech is likely to become obsolete faster than ever before. At this point, companies may benefit from something of a “wait and see” approach.

This isn’t an argument for backward thinking – but giving way too easily to modern hype may put unnecessary financial strain on already cash-strapped businesses. Adapt and innovate, but do so in the smartest possible ways.

In a rapidly changing landscape, limiting investment in new equipment may actually help companies stay agile.

Reconditioned graders from KH Plant: the best of both worlds

A Caterpillar 140G, 140H or 140K motor grader reconditioned by KH Plant offers the best of both worlds, including:

  • the dependability and familiarity of a well-trusted Caterpillar model
  • much lower cost than a new motor grader
  • performance and life span comparable to those of a brand new machine
  • a full warranty and after-sales support.

Our stringent grader rebuilding process involves rebuilding every grader from the ground up, according to OEM specifications, and then subjecting the grader to rigorous testing. Along with a full warranty and after-sales support, this eliminates the risks typically associated with buying secondhand motor graders.

With a reconditioned, secondhand grader from KH Plant, you can get the benefits of a new motor grader at a fraction of the cost of a new machine. Contact us for more information or to discuss your needs.

Contact us for more information