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Buying Chinese Imported Equipment vs Established Brands at Auction

3 Min Read

Buying cheap imported machinery and trucks can be pretty tempting when you look at price alone, and in the right situations importing middle-range Chinese equipment can be a smart move.

However, it pays to consider what you are getting in to. If you’re smart you can find awesome prices on trucks, machinery, equipment and more in our Perth and online auctions without throwing money away on imported equipment.

The Risks of Cheap Imports

To avoid the pitfalls of buying sub-par equipment it’s much safer to purchase through your favourite WA auctioneers (that’s us). Here are a few reasons why:

  • Quality and reliability

The saying ‘you get what you pay for’ is 100% relevant for big ticket items like machinery, trucks and cars. Chinese equipment can sometimes be a little basic and it often cannot stand up to Western Australia’s tough terrain. Some manufacturers for example, tend to use outdated technologies such as dry disc brakes and open centre hydraulics because they are cheaper to manufacture.

From the quality of the steel, to the manufacturing standards, down to ride comfort and strength of the componentry used, there is a good reason this equipment is cheaper – and that translates to the resale value.

  • Lack of Quality Replacement Parts

Your new piece of machinery might be fitted with componentry branded Caterpillar, Allison or Deutz but is it the latest and best from these manufacturers or is it old technology that is difficult to source parts for. When a part fails and you need a replacement in a hurry you may be out of luck or waiting a long time for the repairer to source It from the manufacturer.

  • Servicing and Warranty

Many Chinese manufacturers have set up regional sales offices, but does the after purchase care and warranty match up to that offered by the main stream brands such as Caterpillar, Volvo and Komatsu? Does the warranty mean you are back on the road immediately or are you left with an inoperable machine while parts and service are sourced?

When is it OK to buy Chinese

It’s not all doom and gloom! Cheap imports certainly serve a purpose for many cash conscious buyers. We see a lot of buyers in agriculture, construction, road maintenance and mining who look to Chinese brands for their machinery needs for a few reasons:

  • Support Machines

If the machines are working less than 500 – 1,000 hours per year as secondary to the main equipment then you could save money by using cheaper Chinese models that don’t have the same stamina or capabilities as the same size Caterpillar, John Deere or Volvo.

  • Quick Replacement

Operators working in high corrosive environments like salt mines, fertiliser plants, and other corrosive environments sometimes choose cheaper brand machines because the replacement cost is far less than the market leading brands. The high attrition rates mean long term resale value is irrelevant and the lower ownership costs over a short period make the investment in cheaper machines economically prudent.

  • Fleets and Rentals

Managing a rental fleet of smaller earthmoving or agricultural equipment is a lot easier when the machines do not have high end technology or complicated interfaces. Customers renting the equipment for backyard DIY jobs just want something that works, and if it stops working the replacement cost is a lot lower.

The major brands are more expensive for a reason – if you’re relying on machinery to get the job done or you are located on a remote site, they are worth the investment every time. We understand the need for high quality workhorses and low investment machinery, which is why our truck and machinery sales cover the spectrum from high end long life equipment, both new and used, to cheaper Chinese equipment for those secondary and short life uses.

As WA’s trusted auctioneers, we sell the machinery you need, at the price that fits your budget – each time, every time. If you have any questions contact your Gregsons team!

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