Motor scrapers are one category that easily shows the value in purchasing a used machine vs. new. Motor scrapers statistically drop in value by 33% the first two years, 40% by the third year and by the fifth year they’ve lost half their value. Considering a new motor scraper can easily exceed $500,000 to $1 million, this equates to a lot of movement or lost value.
Traditionally, the best buy for a motor scraper is one that is 4 years old or older. Data shows that after 10 years, values tend to stabilize and remain fairly constant, depending upon hours and condition. However, considering that a 10+ year scraper has lost 80% of its original value, it’s no wonder why so many buyers are purchasing these older units.
As with any used equipment purchase, usage and the overall condition need to be considered when deciding on a purchase. Many sellers believe the installation of a new motor or significant repairs means the value of one 10-year-old machine would be considerably higher than a similar unit without those repairs. Unfortunately, a detailed analysis of residual value of heavy equipment done by G. Lucko of Virginia Polytechnic Institute shows this is ultimately not the case. Can you recoup some of your repair costs? Yes, a very small portion can be recovered, but overall; buyers of used equipment have a reasonable expectation that the previous owner was keeping up with needed repairs and maintenance. So, when a seller does these repairs, he is simply doing what is expected and not adding much more value to the scraper.
In the end, the takeaway is if a buyer wants to save a few hundred thousand dollars on a scraper purchase, find a scraper that is over 4 years old and has been regularly maintained.