The Track: Used Equipment from RDO

Buying Tips, Helpful Information, and a Pulse on the Industry



The Track is your resource for all-things construction equipment.

Led by RDO Vice President and equipment expert, Dennis Howard, The Track brings you the latest on used equipment for sale, helpful buying tips, and answers frequently asked questions to help you find, buy, and maintain your used equipment fleet. 


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December 10, 2019 | Video Duration: 5:31

State of the Construction Industry and RDO Equipment Co. in Texas

2019 was a good year for RDO Equipment Co. in Texas. From strong customer partnerships to optimism surrounding the expected, continued strength of highway projects in Texas, the team is heading into 2020 ready to have another successful year.

In this all-new episode of The Track, Dennis Howard visits RDO in Fort Worth and sits down with General Manager, Matt Daniell. Matt shares a closer look at how the RDO team approaches partnerships with customers, both locally and across the company’s seven stores in Texas.



January 15, 2020 | Video Duration: 6:30

John Deere Compact Construction Equipment Across RDO Equipment Co. Regions

What is John Deere compact construction equipment? How do I switch attachments on different machines? And what if I have a mixed fleet of construction equipment? These questions and more are answered when Dennis Howard gets together with Regional Sales Managers, Brian Holland and Tory Williams.

The three discuss the fast-growing segment of Deere compact construction equipment. They also highlight the different options suitable across RDO’s regions, including the Midwest, Southwest, and Texas, buying compact construction equipment whether used or new, and opportunities for used equipment attachments, even with mixed equipment fleets.

Watch to learn more then, for those interested in buying used construction equipment, visit to browse all current options across the RDO footprint.



February 5, 2020 | Video Duration: 2:06

3 Frequently Asked Questions About Buying Used Construction Equipment

If you have questions about used equipment, you’re not alone. Used equipment is more popular than ever in the construction industry and the RDO Equipment Co. team gets a lot of questions about used construction equipment, many of those come from hesitations about buying used equipment.

Dennis Howard shares three of the most commonly asked questions about the used equipment buying process, along with three answers to understand what to know when buying used equipment.

Watch to learn more then, for those interested in buying used equipment, visit our website to browse all current options across the RDO footprint:


February 12, 2020 | Video Duration: 3:16

Diesel Exhaust Fluid Questions and Heavy Equipment Diesel Engines

DEF: Diesel Exhaust Fluid. There are a lot of diesel exhaust fluid questions out there. What is diesel exhaust fluid? Do I need to use DEF? Where do I buy diesel exhaust fluid?

If your heavy equipment fleet includes Final Tier 4 diesel engines, DEF is a must. Fortunately, it’s easy to manage, buy, and use. Dennis Howard and RDO Equipment Co. Service Manager, Jon Alcorn dive into DEF and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about diesel exhaust fluid.

Watch to learn more. For those interested in learning more about DEF, or to quickly and easily buy DEF from RDO, visit the RDO website:


February 19, 2020 | Video Duration: 3:17

Day's Excavating Succeeds with Help from Used Construction Equipment from RDO

There are several reasons to buy used construction equipment from RDO Equipment Co. Depreciation, hours of remaining productivity, and used equipment and technology among the reasons Rodney Day of Day’s Excavating in Tucson, AZ runs a, primarily, used equipment fleet. 

Dennis Howard talks with Rodney about his business, an excavation company specializing in earthwork, asphalt, and underground utilities. The two talk about why used equipment is a good investment and a few of Rodney’s tips to successfully buy used equipment. 

Watch to learn more then, for those interested in buying used construction equipment or looking for all used equipment for sale, visit our website to browse all current options across the RDO footprint:


February 26, 2020 | Video Duration: 5:41

Popularity of Compact Excavators and the John Deere 35G Mini Excavator

One of the fastest-growing jobsite machines is the compact excavator, also known as the mini excavator. Their size, maneuverability, and production capabilities are all contributing factors to growth for compact excavators. Additionally, newer design features on John Deere’s 35G compact excavator are also making it smart and valuable to buy a mini excavator. 

Watch as Dennis Howard talks with Adrian Cortez, a Compact Construction Equipment Sales Professional, about the trend in compact excavators. The two also walk around the new Deere 35G mini excavator.

For those interested in more information about compact excavators and all Deere Compact Construction Equipment, visit the RDO website:


May 26, 2020 | Video Duration: 4:45

Reasons to Rent Heavy Equipment - Advantages, Election Year, and Uncertain Times

No matter the year, there are always reasons to rent heavy equipment for construction.

This week’s new episode of The Track features bonus footage from an unreleased episode, as Dennis Howard talks about how uncertainly from an election year and the pandemic are combining to grow interest in heavy equipment for rent.

It’s easy to rent from RDO Equipment Co. Learn how to find and rent equipment for your next job.

Used Equipment Outlook

Used Equipment Outlook for the First Half of 2019

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As the construction industry prepares for the first half of 2019, there’s good news and bad news – or, to better rephrase, there are going to be opportunities along with challenges.

Several 2019 forecasts have already been released so it’s not news to most that the construction industry likely isn’t going to grow as much this year as 2018. In fact, there’s good reason to believe that it may remain flat year over year – not exactly what most would hope for but, after a strong 2018, not a bad outlook.

When focusing on the used equipment outlook for the first half of the year, the market should stay strong. Supply of good used equipment is still low, and demand is high. As the broader market begins to slow the need for quality used will remain strong for the first half of the year.

Industry Factors
Two key drivers of the health of the industry and equipment are already looking a bit down in early 2019: housing starts and oil. While housing starts aren’t expected to pick back up in 2019, oil remains an area of potential – yet very cautious – optimism.

As I write this, WTI is at $46.71 a barrel. While this is up from 2018’s low price of $42.53, it’s down from the high of $76.41 we saw in October.

Oil prices are volatile, and the only thing known for sure is that there’s no way to know when the next low or high will be. If the low for 2018 is the low for 2019, we will see the oil industry continue as is and it will bring with it the equipment demand experienced in 2018, especially in key producing states like Texas and North Dakota.

The other part of the oil business is the pipeline business. With pads and roads completed, and drilling done, the next area to look at is what to do with all the oil. It must be piped out of the oil fields. With record levels of production, the need for pipelines has expanded. This need will drive the need for heavy equipment, both new and high-quality used.

Quote1_UsedIndustryOutlook_Jan19One more key area that looks optimistic, and one that greatly contributes to industry and equipment livelihood is roadbuilding. Anyone who drives in this great country knows we have an issue with our roads. In November of 2018, voters approved transportation initiatives generating more than $30 billion in transportation revenue. This is a great news for this issue and for the construction equipment industry. The building of roads takes all kinds of construction equipment and, with weather and contract deadlines, the equipment must be quality.

With housing starts not looking optimistic, oil and roadbuilding will be the two areas to closely watch in 2019. Pick-up in oil and/or roadbuilding will no doubt see an increase in used machinery demand and values follow.

Labor Factors
There’s one more factor that continues to dictate the construction business, including equipment and technology needs. This one also won’t surprise anyone in the equipment industry: labor.

The continuing issue of a qualified labor shortage isn’t going anywhere this year and virtually everyone with an interest in the subject is doing their best to help address it.  

What is changing related to the shrinking workforce is the growing technology opportunities on machines. While it can’t replace workers, it can help existing teams work well with fewer people. It also can help inexperienced operators work more effectively, with less time needed for training and more forgiveness in terms of simple productivity mistakes.

Used equipment continues to show its worth when it comes to technology integration. Late model used machines present nearly the same opportunity to outfit with valuable technology, often in a more cost-effective way.

Equipment Factors
Longer lead times on new equipment is a continuing trend in 2019. 60-day waiting periods are no longer realistic for new machines; depending on the manufacturer and machine, six to nine months is now the typical lead time for a piece of new equipment.

While this is becoming the new normal, there’s still room for adjustment and adaptation from companies. Better planning and seeking out different avenues now must be part of the fleet management strategy, and dealer partners need to do their part to work with customers in addressing this challenge.

Conversely, used equipment availability looks to be better this year. Quality pre-owned machines were scarce in 2018, good news for values and those potentially looking to sell but more challenging for those interested in buying. In the latter half of 2018, more used machinery was available at auctions. The quality was still not what we have seen in past years, but it shows a trend of more used equipment being available in the market. That’s expected to hold true in 2019, great news again for those looking to invest in used machines. 

Rising interest rates are another important piece to 2019’s equipment puzzle. Whether new or used, equipment comes with a significant price tag, so a seemingly small interest rate increase can become big. And, while a challenge to both new and used, the larger cost magnifies even more with new machine purchases, which are higher this year because of 2018’s steel and aluminum tariffs.

Quote2_UsedIndustryOutlook_Jan19On a related note, rental equipment prices and availability typically affect the health of used equipment. This year, rental rates look to rise along with interest rates. To better manage risk and keep assets low, rental fleet managers will continue to place high emphasis on fleet size and utilization, affecting the availability of the units needed for projects and when they’re needed. Companies that rely on rental equipment throughout the year need to prepare for the likelihood that some machines may not be as readily available and find alternate sources.

Areas of Opportunity
Even with an overall, tempered optimistic outlook for the first half of the year, there are bright spots and areas of opportunity on which smart companies can capitalize.

For those looking for a used machine, the combination of more availability and lower demand makes it a great time to pursue a purchase.

Those not looking to purchase any machinery, new or used, should consider a different kind of investment: fleet management.

Fleet management has become somewhat of a trendy topic, with areas like telematics leading the way. It can be a bit overwhelming, turning off the idea entirely to many companies.

However, at its most basic, fleet management is daily, simple steps taken to better the health of a fleet. Monitoring machines’ locations on a jobsite, tracking preventative maintenance, and watching operator productivity are simple steps that can pay off large dividends in a company’s overall efficiency.

Those who operate John Deere construction equipment, learn how to maximize JDLink for your heavy equipment fleet.

Final Thoughts
Whether it means devoting more time building a fleet management program or training on new technology, companies need to make the best out of a potentially slower time and create opportunities to better position themselves for the future. 2018 was a great year for the used equipment industry especially for those who had inventory to sell. In 2019, new equipment availability will improve, and the market will stabilize, making it a good year for used equipment industry. 

The construction industry is a great industry and 2019 will be another exciting year full of opportunities.


About the Author
Dennis Howard has spent more than a decade with RDO Equipment Co.’s construction equipment division, working with teams in the company’s Texas and the Desert Southwest regions. As a Vice President, he focuses on fleet management, with used construction equipment values and heavy equipment sales two of his key areas of expertise. He’s a member of the Association of Equipment Management Professionals (AEMP) and a regular contributor to Connect with him on Twitter @RDODennisH.

Browse listings of available used construction equipment from RDO Equipment Co. or find options by visiting your local RDO Equipment Co. store.