June 2014

Qualified vs. Rebuilt vs. Remanufactured vs. Used Railcar Movers

Often online you will see machine listed as claimed Remanufactured or Rebuilt railcar movers, don’t be fooled by a plain used machine.  Customers can easily be swayed by a machine that has been rebuilt or remanufactured because they feel the machine has been fixed, or upgraded to the point that they will not need to expect repairs when the unit arrives at their location.  It should be ready to work!  Regardless when past rebuild or repairs happened, this should have be completed currently, one -five-ten years ago does not count. Here is what I view as the level of condition or what qualifies as rebuilt or remanufactured:

Used – Seller is not going to repair or rebuild the machine, it is sold like it sits, in an as is condition.  This typically is the case on units that are at the end of their life with a particular customer they don’t want to spend the money to fix it or the operation cost is too high for their liking.  The machine is going to be worn out, damaged, have leaks, need engine work, whatever…. Just be aware that it is not expected to be 100%.  This is the lowest cost level of used machines, often from owner direct or a dealer trade-in. Unlikely has warranty. Buyer Beware, inspect the machine personally.

Qualified – The unit has been inspected and all issues have been repaired.  This machine should work 100%.  It does not mean that the engine/transmission have been rebuilt, it just means it runs when you start it.  Smoke or rough shifting could still be a problem, hydraulics may not be the best but it all works.  Dealers should at least sell at this level to end users. If the unit comes with warranty it is likely a 30-60-90days on parts or something on the lighter side. Buyer Beware, inspect the machine personally.

Rebuilt – A claim of a rebuilt machine is at least this, some dealers have higher expectations:

  • Entire machine is inspected and all faults are repaired
  • Engine and Transmission have been rebuilt or replaced with remanufactured components. Painting does not count as rebuilding, and unlikely to see the 4-53 without leaks even after rebuild.
  • Axles have been disassembled and inspected, seals and questionable parts are replaced when out of tolerance.
  • New brakes, tires and rail wheels (when needed) all around
  • Cab interior has been cleaned and seats repaired, controls all function and all gauges are working.  No wires hanging, no insulation falling out, no pliers holding the parking brake cable.
  • Hydraulic system has no leaks, or weeping cylinders.
  • Everything should work very well.
  • Painting the machine is optional but if is done, should be sandblasted and primed and new decals installed from the original manufacturer
  • There is likely a warranty tied to the drivetrain and some sellers offer it on the machine for a short time.

Remanufactured – This is a tough claim, and most used machines do not have this completed, unless the machine is worth the treatment and the market will hold its value.   Remanufacturing a machine is very labour intensive and uses lots of shop space.  Here is a quick summary of what happens, often the list is pages long:

  • Unit is entirely stripped to the frame, in pieces, all apart, nothing is together.
  • Sandblast and paint entire frame, platforms, cab and all sheet metal.
  • Engine and Transmission are replaced (Reman or New) and new wiring
  • Axles are Completely Rebuilt or Replaced with Reman or New
  • Cab is completely re-wired and new gauges and all controls are new.
  • New Seat, wipers, door handles, horn, lights, anything that functions is new…
  • Hydraulics – Cylinders are completely rebuilt or replaced new hoses throughout the machine and manifolds are rebuilt.
  • New Logos, Safety and Operation decals from the manufacturer
  • In Essence the machine looks Brand New. Zero faults and should come with warranty.  The seller would have pictures of the process likely on file.
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