Factors to consider before investing in new heavy equipment

By Samer Ismail, earthmoving & excavation product manager, Al-Bahar.

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Investing in heavy equipment is one of the most expensive decisions you will have to make. The decision to invest in heavy machinery is especially hard because you are not just adding new machinery to your fleet but your adding maintenance costs also. This is why it is important that you make that decision very carefully after calculated scenarios and costs. Here are some of the crucial points to consider.

Versatility

Generally, most heavy machinery are designed to perform more than one task. You will need to identify the functionality of the equipment you are trying to purchase in order to ensure that it will fulfill the construction tasks successfully without causing any additional expenses. Sometimes, construction site managers invest in a wrong type of equipment that does not offer wide-ranging applications. This can lead to additional investment in other equipment.

Machine features - functionality, ease of use, operator comfort, fuel efficiency etc.

Consider the machine specifications thoroughly before deciding. Check the engine utilized and whether it is the kind, your project demands. It is recommended to talk to a product expert to understand the pros and cons of the machine for your particular job. Operator comfort is an important feature directly leading to increased productivity. Hence, it is an essential aspect to consider.

The design and the features of the equipment define their capacity and functionality. Analyze your site requirements and ask your dealer to help you find equipment that will readily fulfill those requirements.

A quality machine always results in fewer fuel emissions and better fuel economy without compromising the machine’s performance.

Buy, rent, or lease

Depending on the nature and duration of the project, you will have to decide what opinion will best suit your budget and the project requirements. As a general rule of thumb, investing in new heavy machinery is far more profitable than investing in leased or rented equipment.

Cost per hour calculations

ROI calculations are very essential to understand the profitability a new machine shall bring, if bought. It is good to have a 5 year and beyond utility plan for the machine. If you are planning to spend a lengthy amount of time on a variety of projects, you should consider purchasing your equipment, as there will be smaller recurring costs.

Telematics

Technology now dominates most of our operations in day-to- day life. Our job sites are no different. It is always good to know the location and status of equipment, monitoring utilization, availability, and health of the machine. It also helps you effectively respond to repair and maintenance indicators. Consider the availability of such industry leading equipment management for the machine/s you plan to purchase.

Warranty

Always look for the manufacturer's warranty. With Cat equipment, you will receive annual or bi-annual warranty based on the type of equipment you purchase.

After-sales support

Guaranteed uptime is crucial to the construction and manufacturing industry. Unscheduled downtimes can damper the overall project timelines and profits. Hence, it is essential to understand what are the after sales services are offered by the vendor.

It is extremely crucial that you inquire about the support as it will ensure proper maintenance and repairs in the future. Caterpillar ensures unmatched support across the world through its dealer network.

Parts availability

Can you easily purchase the equipment parts in your area? Do not invest in equipment that has
complicated parts you can’t find in your local area. You can buy Cat Parts online easily and quickly now through parts.cat.com. With a stock of 115,000+ line items, Al-Bahar warehouses across the region are equipped to ensure you do not have to worry about parts availability.

Delivery charges

Some suppliers offer free delivery while some charge a reasonable price. This price can add up to your overall cost of purchasing the equipment especially if you are buying the equipment from somewhere outside your area. Inquire about the delivery charges and if they seem exaggerated, consider moving the equipment yourself.

Resale value

You should be able to resell your equipment, in case needed in future. Machinery can become obsolete over a number of years and therefore it is wise to sell it and invest in new equipment that better suits your project goals. So, make sure that the equipment has a considerable resale value.

Above all, choose quality over price because of its long-term benefits.Buying a new machine is always an opportunity for building your team equity while ensuring consistent access to quality machinery. Especially, if you have a backlog of work and know you can afford the investment, buying a new heavy machinery is always the best option for your long-term goals. Hence,once you decide to purchase the equipment, consider the above-mentioned points to make an informed decision.

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