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FREE Simple Advice When Buying A Used Compact Loader

In this segment, we offer some simple advice for those looking to buy a used compact loader. Whilst this article focuses heavily on Avant loaders, the same concepts will often apply to other makes and models.

First of all, unless you find a distressed seller people do not usually sell cheap compact loaders, so if you do come across one, BUYER BEWARE! Be sure to do your due diligence.

Your due diligence should start before traveling to site and potentially having a wasted trip.

Questions To Ask

Ask the seller questions such as:

  • What is the serial number? You can ask your local dealer to run this through the Avant system to make sure it is indeed what it is advertised as. Your local dealer can also run it through an asset write off register to make sure it has not been written off or stolen.
  • Has it got service history? Under normal situations an Avant Compact Loader should be serviced to manufacturer recommendations after the first 50 hours then every 400 hours or annually (whichever comes first). Regular servicing can seriously prolong the life and reliability of agricultural machinery. If service has been neglected, you should expect to pick up further costs down the line.
  • Ask your local Avant dealer for advice on the pricing. Ask them if they too may have any used equipment stock for comparison. A responsible dealer will make sure their equipment is up to scratch and offer some warranty by means of comfort and support. A dealer could also offer a finance package on new and used equipment.

Inspecting The Loader

When you go to inspect the machine, here are a few tips on checking it over:

  1. Check the general condition. You can usually tell if a machine has been abused or neglected at first glance. Be wary though as occasionally we find repairs which are well disguised. Check the boom components in particular for distortions and peculiar welds and plating. If it’s not right, then it could prove expensive to rectify.
  2. Lift the bonnet and check the engine. Pull out the dipstick and see if the engine is breathing heavily. Check the exhaust for blue, black of white plumes of smoke. All these are signs of engine wear. Both Kubota and Kohler engines fitted to the Avant Compact Loader range are robust and reliable engines, but neither will tolerate neglect of service.
  3. Check the headstock pivot pins for wear. The headstock is where the attachments are mounted, and this area absorbs most of the impact when the compact loader is hard at work. If it has been regularly greased it will endure but without regular grease, the pins, bushes and even the frame will wear. Check this by removing the attachment and manually moving the headstock up and down. If there is wear, you will spot it without doubt.
Checking the headstock pivots on an Avant loader.
Be sure to check the headstock pivots on the loader.
  1. Remove the hydraulic oil dipstick and check the level and condition of the oil. If the oil is milky or has signs of contamination, this could prove costly down the line and cause contamination to other attachments you may want to fit. You could go the extra mile by fitting a hydraulic test gauge to test the pressure (this is usually a job for an Avant technician). Be sure to check the hydraulic level with the boom in the down and closed position.
Check the level and condition of the oil.
Check the level and condition of the oil.
  1. Finally, test drive the machine. Make sure that the drive and functions are smooth, and the controls are responsive. If there is a hill nearby, take it up and test the power. Listen for unusual noises and vibrations and make sure the brakes work. If there is a rotary attachment available, use this to check the auxiliary hydraulics.
Test driving a used compact loader.
Test driving the machine should be an important part of your checks.

Shake the steering and check for excess wear in the articulated joints and have a good look around the tyres.

Checking for excess wear in the articulated joints.
Check for excess wear in the articulated joints.

If you are happy with your findings, then the chances are you have found a good compact loader. If you are still unsure, ask your local Avant Agent to go out and give you a report. The value of a good report from a bona fide Avant Technician will give you the knowledge to make the right decision.

We hope you find this helpful, but for further professional advice on purchasing new and used compact loaders call our friendly team on 01977 643595 or email us at

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