Don’t Accept Machine Mistreatment

Heading home from work tends to be a rewarding experience for me; I just tune my radio, take a quick trip down the highway, and wind down from my day. One commute in particular has been sticking with me, but not because it was pleasant – it was appalling.

Before I get to my story, let me share some tips for when you’re purchasing a used or refurbished machine for your sheet metal fabrication shop. Make sure you ask the following questions:

  1. Has any tooling, electrical component, or hydraulics component been replaced or rebuilt? When did that take place?
  2. Does the used machine come with a warranty?
  3. Can I have the serial number for the machine?

With this information, you can make a more confident decision when purchasing a rebuilt machine. As OEM for Roto-Die hydraulic benders, Roto-Die will always keep a record of rebuild actions taken with used machinery and provide it upon request. Make sure your machine has been cared for – or you could be left out in the rain.

Here’s my story:

Roto-Die Bender in the rain

A Roto-Die bender being transported in the rain

I pulled out from my office to head home, my wipers running at full speed to combat a late afternoon storm. With the rain blowing in sideways like it was, I had no desire to linger in it, so I made my way onto the highway and followed my usual route.

I was about halfway to my exit when I saw a flatbed truck ahead of me in the next lane over, carrying some large cargo. At first glance, I couldn’t quite make out what it was, but as I pulled alongside it, I recognized the Roto-Die nameplate – it was one of our used benders, most likely on its way to its newest owner’s facility. Uncovered. In a rainstorm.

I swung behind the truck to follow the bender to its destination. This can’t be a resell, I thought to myself, there’s no way there would be that little care for the machine. Sure enough, however, the flatbed pulled into a fabrication workshop before coming to a stop.

There isn’t a lofty moral for this story, but do yourself a favor: purchase your used machinery straight from the source, where you know the proper maintenance and respect has been paid to the equipment.

Author Jack Pennuto is the Sales and Marketing Director with the Formtek Group, Inc., parent company of Roto-Die. As a sheet metal fabrication industry professional for over 15 years, Jack has authored editorials and educational material concerning metal forming practices and strives to assist fabricators in achieving their production goals.