Is Used Ground Support Equipment Worth It?

When your team is out on the apron, reliable ground support equipment is crucial. Speed, efficiency, and accuracy are the three hallmarks of quality GSE. When everything works together, you can easily keep turnaround time at a minimum throughout the day. However, quality often comes at a high price that not all operations can afford.

Inevitably, you might turn to used ground support equipment to find a more affordable solution. The question is: Can used GSE stand up to the task? Is used GSE worth the reduced price? Or will your purchase be more risk than reward?

In this article, we investigate used GSE and how it holds up against new GSE.

New vs. Used Equipment

Lektro aircraft tug

New versus used equipment is a longstanding debate for just about any item with a price tag. However, when it comes to the heavy-duty tools of ground support equipment, every dollar counts. Your operation needs to move now, move quickly, and have funds available for the future to ensure lasting success.

To understand whether new or used is best for your operation, you’ll need to look at the pros and cons of each to decide which offers the most value for you.

New Ground Support Equipment

New GSE tends to be synonymous with quality. When something is brand-new, it should work exactly as you expect. Whether you’re putting a new tug on the ground or you need a few more hydraulic jacks, buying new tends to give you something in perfect condition.

In this case, buying new can also help to get your operation up and running as soon as the equipment is on the field.

New ground support equipment doesn’t require much maintenance because it’s already in good condition. To make things better, new GSE tends to include a manufacturer’s warranty just in case things go wrong earlier than they should.

While the risk of breakdown is low for new equipment, if a defect is found, parts and labor will most likely be covered for repair.

However, with new GSE comes two important problems. The first is cost. Your operation will be paying a premium for brand-new equipment. This can eat into your budget and limit your short-term growth.

The other problem is lead time. If you’re lucky, lead time is minimal at just around a few weeks. On the other hand, when demand is high or materials are scarce, lead times for new equipment can be as long as several months. Having to wait that long can greatly affect your business, so it’s important to keep this in mind before pulling the trigger on a new purchase.

Used Ground Support Equipment

Eagle: A Tronair Company

Some organizations are wary of used ground support equipment. However, shying away from used ground equipment might make you miss an opportunity for savings.

For new facilities or operations with limited budgets, used GSE can mean the difference between getting off the ground or not.

The most obvious benefit of used GSE is reduced cost. Used GSE is often available at a reduced cost, potentially saving thousands of dollars per purchase. This money can go toward operations, staffing, and other equipment.

You also won’t be faced with extensive lead times. Used GSE is already manufactured, so it’s ready to go right now. This will allow your operation to make a larger investment upfront to get work started in the short term.

Maintenance may be more of a concern with used equipment. You can expect to spend time inspecting and tuning your equipment more often. This could cause delays for your teams.

With used equipment, you’ll be limited to whatever happens to be available from suppliers and facilities at the time you’re ready to purchase. This can make it difficult if you need specific types of equipment to support your operations, especially when demand is high in the market.

Warranties are another concern when you’re considering used GSE. Most of the time, used GSE will not include any type of warranty. With this in mind, you’ll want to set aside a portion of your budget to address any repairs that may be required.

With proper maintenance, care, and a little luck, you can get the most of your equipment. But, breakdowns can still happen, causing costly delays and increasing demand on your maintenance teams.

When a used piece of equipment breaks down, you’ll have to choose between paying for the repairs or replacing the unit entirely. While used equipment comes at an attractive price, it also comes with significant risks.

Refurbished Units and the Viable Middle Ground

aircraft tractor tug

When new equipment is too expensive and used equipment isn’t reliable enough, refurbished GSE is your best option. Refurbished or reconstructed GSE is essentially as good as new, but with a conveniently reduced price.

This achieves a few key benefits for your organization. With refurbished equipment, you can expect functionality to be about as high as it would be brand-new. This reduces maintenance to start and minimizes risk.

Refurbished equipment also gives you the opportunity to save money while enjoying a fully inspected and professionally repaired item. This can provide peace of mind for your crews while getting the equipment that you need right away.

Best of all, if you choose FlyTek GSE for your refurbished GSE, we’ll help you with ongoing maintenance so that you can make the most out of your investment.

Affordable Ground Support Equipment with FlyTek GSE

FlyTek GSE works with a large number of trusted GSE brands to provide reliable new,  used, and refurbished equipment for a variety of operations. We can even set up a maintenance plan for your refurbished equipment so you can get the best value out of your purchase.

Get the equipment that you need at a price that makes sense for your organization. Reach out to the team at FlyTek GSE to learn more or to explore our equipment today.