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What affects the price of an excavator?

If you’re in the market to purchase an excavator, you’ll need to understand the factors that influence the price so that you can determine whether you are getting a good deal or not. An excavator can have a hard life because it’s used to move heavy loads, dig into hard rocks and soil, and traverse rough ground. They are often left out in all weathers.

Excavators lined up

Hours used

Excavators have a meter which logs how many hours they have been in use. This is a crude measure because the machine may have been idling a long time or could have been in full swing. It’s best to consider this with the overall condition.

Overall condition

An excavator that has obviously been looked after will attract a premium. This means a minimum of cosmetic damage, hoses that are in good condition, a bucket that is not rusted, etc. Taking a look in the cab, assess the wear on the seat and controls. Ideally it should be clean and tidy when you are assessing it (anyone selling an excavator without cleaning it is probably not the type of person who would have looked after it through its life).

Ease of use

Some excavators are known to be easier to operate. This might be because of the calibration of the controls or that they have equipment such as reversing cameras and . All operators should undergo excavator training to learn safe operation on a worksite.


Usually, the bigger the capacity of the excavator, the bigger the price as it can move more material. However, there are excavators that are so big that they have a limited market, and there’s a sweet spot of excavators that many people want.

Attachments included

If it comes with attachments, such as different-sized buckets or an auger or demolition hammer, these have a value. Attachments can cost from a few hundred dollars to many thousands. If the attachment is hydraulic, ensure that you check it works.

Price when new

The original price will have some bearing on a resale price, but as time goes on this gets less and less.

Local market demand

If excavators are in demand in a particular area, then there might not be enough supply to be able to satisfy demand, therefore prices could increase.

Delivery costs

You’ll need a truck and trailer for a large excavator, and this adds to the cost (unless you can transport it yourself).

Ease of transport

Some excavators are easier to transport than others due to their features and size. This could affect demand for that particular excavator, pushing up its price.

Ability to get parts and servicing

In a local area, if there is no service agent, then it will be harder to sell an excavator as there’s an additional cost to keep it running. There are people bringing in brands from Asia which are new to the market, and may not have an established service network (or even people willing to work on them). Take this into consideration with your purchase.


If an excavator has a reputation for reliability, this can influence its resale price.

Warranty remaining

If there’s some warranty time remaining, this is appealing to a purchaser who will know that in the event of a qualifying breakage or failure, it will be covered or partially covered.

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Darren has written over 3000 articles about driving and vehicles, plus almost 500 vehicle reviews and numerous driving courses. Connect with him on LinkedIn by clicking the name above

Posted in Advice, Excavator