A time comes when all successful construction firms have to look at upgrading their fleet with bigger earthmoving machines like excavators and wheel loaders. It’s a serious investment, of course, and there’s a lot to mull over when determining how practical, feasible, and important it is to buy or rent larger heavy equipment.
If you’re thinking about this subject, that’s probably a good thing. It likely means you’re taking on more and bigger—and hopefully more profitable—projects. So let’s look at some of the key questions you should ask yourself when deciding whether or not it’s the right time to upgrade your fleet with larger earthmoving equipment.
Does the equipment you have now get the job done?
If you’re meeting productivity goals without stretching resources with the machines you already have, you probably aren’t ready to step it up. But if you’re redirecting too many resources or struggling to stay on schedule due to earthmoving equipment limitations, an upgrade will improve things.
Can your current equipment support any growth?
Maybe you’re getting by at the moment, but will the earthmoving equipment in your fleet suffice with the increase in demands that comes with company growth? If you’re not making full use of your earthmoving capabilities, you should still have room for growth. But if things are maxed out already and you have an increase in the size or complexity of projects on the horizon, you’re probably going to need to upgrade your fleet with larger earthmoving equipment.
Will larger equipment be able to access your job sites?
With all the logistical and legal limitations, will you be able to use bigger machinery at your current job sites? Will you be able to use it at future job sites that are similar to your most common types of projects?
How will larger machines affect your fuel costs?
Fuel and other fluid costs are an important part of your overhead and need to be carefully controlled. Larger machines require more fluids. Today’s leading heavy equipment is highly fuel efficient though, and it usually has an array of standard and optional features to further improve efficiency. So, newer, larger machinery may still not be more expensive in this respect than smaller, older machines.
Can you store and transport larger earthmoving equipment?
Look at the various costs and logistics involved in housing and transporting bigger machinery. Do you have the space for them between jobs, or will you need to expand your fleet storage space? Do you have vehicles that meet the legal requirements to tow them, or will you need to buy those too? Also, how will acquiring and transporting larger equipment affect your insurance rates?
Are you prepared for the maintenance needs of bigger machines?
When you upgrade your fleet with larger earthmoving equipment, it can mean an increase in maintenance costs. Sticking to the recommended maintenance schedule, being diligent about pre- and post-operation equipment inspections, and buying or renting from a dealer with highly trained techs and great support will significantly limit costs and surprises. Still, the reality is that bigger machines can mean bigger bills when it comes to maintenance, repairs, and part replacements.
Who should you talk to next?
Consult a reputable dealer of high-quality heavy equipment who can discuss your needs and limitations and offer expert guidance. Here at Trekker Group, we pride ourselves on being trusted advisers to all our clients. We’re not about the hard sell or upselling. Our longtime success has come from offering honest, reliable input and understanding that when our clients succeed, so do we.