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Thread: FLU419 SEE, how much did you buy yours for? and some other questions

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    Colonel 319cssb's Avatar
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    Default FLU419 SEE, how much did you buy yours for? and some other questions

    How much did you buy your FLU419 for and is it making you money?
    these are my two first questions I have for all you owners here

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    Colonel Speedwoble's Avatar
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    I have hesitated to respond because what I paid is not what you will pay, and it is not what the FLU419 is worth. I have bought 3 and paid the most money for the worst one and the least money for the best one. Coincidentally, I knew the most about them when I bought the best one. So educate yourself and find a member with one to check out in person. A cheap one can end up very expensive if the electrical harness is chewed or the transmission is toast.

    Most have been sold on online auction sites where you can easily see past sales.

    I have not yet made any money with mine. It’s a toy for me.

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    I agree that asking for what someone paid for a generic SEE is not very useful. I do see quite a disparity between asking prices and actual sales prices on Ebay and many listings time out with no sales (or the sales went off line). Shipping is also a significant factor. Many of the SEEs that get auctioned are in Texas and transportation can be significant. I paid around $4000 to have mine shipped to Northern New England.

    Conditions vary significantly on these units, hours and miles on the odometer are relative as the military will replace hour meters and odometers during rebuilds. The military also would send units out to rebuild shops to have these units refurbished and on rare occasions these units went directly from the rebuild shop to the surplus yard. Far more often the units sitting at the depot are missing parts or have hidden issues that need to be resolved. This may be simple or may be at the point where its not worth the time and effort to resolve it.

    There have been some "junkers" apparently bought at auction that have been shown back up on Ebay. One of the members on this site almost bought one that was misrepresented as to its condition. I believe when he went to look at it, the deal was canceled and he ended up buying a different one and the one he had looked up apparently popped back up on Ebay with the same deficient description. In my opinion there are individuals who attend the auctions and roll the dice on the condition of the units they buy as they are not familiar with the equipment and then flip them not really knowing or caring if the equipment is functional. The government auction firms have some gross liability for lapses on condition but reportedly its very gross. The techniques they use to move these units and test them at the depot do cause damage to some SEEs. Frequently suspension components are damaged, exhaust systems are smashed and starters can take it rough. There is a fairly well known problem with vermin building nests in the wiring harnesses, gnawing through the main harness behind the dash in a hidden location behind the dash at the depot. The equipment can be started and major components like the loader and the backhoe will be able to run to a limited extent but fixing the wiring damage to make it a runner is a significant exercise in frustration.

    The hydraulic power tool accessories are also in demand by some SEE owners. I suspect some folks have figured that out and sell them separately before they resell the unit.

    C&C Equipment seems to be the largest reseller of these units. I expect they have enough experience with them that they know which ones are worth buying at the auction. I don't know if there is wheeling and dealing outside of Ebay but they are probably the best way to see what a SEE in running condition would sell for. They generally sell them without the tools and offer to sell them individually to someone who buys the SEE. The tools are Stanley Hydraulic painted green and if one goes on Ebay unless they want the green paint there are plenty available plus several tools that the military never used.

    I personally have mine for my own use, I can cover mine with homeowners insurance including road use as long as its for personal non commercial use. I expect insurance for commercial use would be significant.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 02-01-2018 at 12:08.
    Unimog SEE, Unimog 1300L Ambulance (for now)

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    Colonel 319cssb's Avatar
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    This is the thing I don't know what a cheap, fair priced or an expensive FLU419 would cost. Would cheap be ~$5000?

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    4 Star General porkysplace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 319cssb View Post
    This is the thing I don't know what a cheap, fair priced or an expensive FLU419 would cost. Would cheap be ~$5000?
    If it is running ,operating without issues yeah that is cheap . But most likely a $5000 FLU419 needs $10,000 in repairs.
    If you want something to make money with buy a 580 Case ( the backhoe on the FLU is from a 580C or D , the twin cylinder design was the worst model Case built ) or 310,410 or 510 John Deere.

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    $23,000 to 25K plus shipping will probably get you a "good one". This most likely will be a very recent government refurb with little or no hours on it. I would guess the low end is about $15,000 to get one without obvious damage. It most likely will have sat for longer in a depot. Some may have sold for less and as other posters have described sometimes they got lucky and the one they bought for a spare ended up being better than their original one. It really depends on why they were parked at the depot. On occasion some very good looking units may have been parked for major issues and the auction firm might have picked it up during the cursory inspection but then again they may not. The only other option is to buy one sorted out by someone who knows what they are doing. These folks are few and far between. You are far more likely to find one listed by someone who picked it up at an auction and is going for a quick flip or on occasion one that was bought by someone who got in over their head and is admitting they don't have the time skills or interest to go through the unit. The prices can be all over the place. My opinion is whenever I see an auction posting by an equipment dealer its highly likely that they are doing a flip or got handed it in a trade in and just want to dump it. They don't really want to sell it local so they dump it on Ebay.

    Sure I have heard of some great deals because people like to talk about them, not many people like to talk about how they made a bad decision and paid too much for a junker.
    Unimog SEE, Unimog 1300L Ambulance (for now)

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    4 Star General The FLU farm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 319cssb View Post
    How much did you buy your FLU419 for and is it making you money?
    Not a completely fair comparison as I needed a backhoe. So I bought a SEE, because I liked them better than a traditional backhoe.
    I also like '65 Cadillacs, and bought one.

    Does either make me any money? Of course not. But I like both, and the SEE is quite useful.
    Lastly, almost every time I hear about someone buying something to make money on or with it, they lose money. Buy what you want or need would be my advice.

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    I think peakbagger gave a good logical answer and FLU farm gave a good realistic answer. Me, I purchased the SEE for personal projects. I like the Unimog history and off-road capabilities. The backhoe and loader justified the purchase, giving the "cool factor" a practical use. I have years of experience in commercial underground work and would not recommend purchasing a SEE if you plan to start marketing underground work. Look into a traditional backhoe or Mini-X and skid steer.

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    If you are buying an FLU419 for commercial purposes or for a business, DON't. If you are buying it for fun, as a collector, to play with on your property or just because, then pay what it is worth to you.

    The guys transporting mine, moved it in the middle of the night from one trailer to another and I had to hire a crane to remove it from the trailer They did some damage and I had it dropped at the local afreightliner dealer....which was a mistake. It sat for 9 months waiting for parts and repairs until I finally ordered parts myself and found someone to help me with repairs. BTW, Ricky Haislip is a former Army Wheeled Vehicle Mech & great guy that saved my butt on this stalled project and does military Vehicle work on the side in the San Antonio area.

    Cheap just means it needs more work. Is it fun to use, yes. Could I have bought more accessories for my John Deere, yes, but then I would I wouldn't own a SEE.
    John Hermann
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    1998 LMTV M1079 Shop Van
    1998 LMTV M1078 Cargo truck

    2004, 2005, 2007 M1082 LMTV trailer x 3
    1988 Freightliner FLU419 Small Emplacement Excavator
    1998 M1101A2 Trailer
    Pribbs M105A3 Trailer
    1991 M101A2 Trailer x 3
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    Sergeant Hermannator's Avatar
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    BTW, I am a former member of SCANG member and "Swamp Fox" I couldn't overlook the Easley, sc on your heading. When I lived in Clarks Hill, I traveled to your way for kayaking.
    John Hermann
    Hermannator
    Lead & Brass Racing, LLC
    Survival Medicine
    San Antonio, TX


    1998 LMTV M1079 Shop Van
    1998 LMTV M1078 Cargo truck

    2004, 2005, 2007 M1082 LMTV trailer x 3
    1988 Freightliner FLU419 Small Emplacement Excavator
    1998 M1101A2 Trailer
    Pribbs M105A3 Trailer
    1991 M101A2 Trailer x 3
    m796 Bolster Trailer
    M1061XM Utility Trailer
    EZ GO 975 XP Utiltiy Carts x 2

    2006 BMW Z4 M COUPE
    2009 MAZDA RX8 Renesis


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