I bought a USED Trotter 540 last year from a health club. I knew the club
manager, and he convinced me that a used Trotter was far better than any
of the new units in the $600 - $1500 price range. A new 540 runs about
$4200. I bought a 3 year old unit for $1000. I'm told that is a steal -
that the unit should sell for around $1500. But, I knew the club
manager.....He said the Trotter is built for heavy duty use, and is an
especially good unit for heavy men or long workouts. The unit was
serviced regularly by a local sporting goods store. I went there and
inspected the service records and talked to the service folks. They
confirmed that the used Trotter was a better choice - and they had new
Precor's on the sales floor! A couple of good tests: Stand on the side
rails of the unit and see if the frame "gives at all". Then, stand on the
tread, and slowly turn the motor on to 1 mph. If the unit has a heavy
duty motor and good tread platform design, the tread will pull you slowly
to the end of the platform without any groans,moans or strain on the
motor. And, when you step off of it, the unit should not speed up.
My wife uses ours daily for 7 - 9 miles each time.We've had it a little
over a year and haven't had any trouble with it. We service it ourselves
- consists of pulling a cover off, vacuuming around the motor and other
components, and lubricating the wooden tread platform with a can of
special aerosol lubricant that you can buy at any sporting goods store.
We also bought a thick, *** treadmill pad to put under the unit. Cost
about $50, and worth it. The pad absorbs a lot of the pounding.
Hope this helps.