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Refining your Equipment Roster

Monday, January 20, 2020

When it comes to job site equipment versatility, nothing beats a compact excavator. 

As every firm has different requirements, manufacturers have created excavators that are highly customizable.  The challenge happens when you actually have to decide what you need, and the ROI associated with each add-on.  The process can become cumbersome, complicated, and expensive.  You don’t want to spend thousands on something you may only need once or twice – nor do you want to neglect to add a custom item that could save you thousands of hours and dollars in the long term.

How to decide:

  1. Do a self-analysis of needs and budget. Before you even consider a new purchase or lease, you should spend some time looking at your past jobs and future projections.  What do you need, how often will you use it, and what’s your budget.  This data will be invaluable when you sit down to spec out your new excavator.
  2. Determine the size. Look at your past job sites and future projected projects – make sure that the size you are ordering will work.  Does it have the capacity, can you access the sites easily, do you have the proper equipment to transfer it? 
  3. Tail swing options.  If the majority of your jobs are in an urban setting, you’ll want to opt for a zero or minimal tail swing option.  The lessened tail swing allows you to maneuver in tight spaces and get close to buildings and structures without risk of damage.  Firms that do road construction have embraced the low tail swing models allowing them to easily work along roadsides without interfering with traffic flow.
  4. Choose your arm: Standard or Long  Going back to your data gathering, the type of work you do will determine the type of arm you need for your new excavator.  The Standard Arm is great for digging performance and will have enough power to tackle most jobs. If you need further reach and dig depth – opt for a Long Arm. It will allow you more flexibility without constantly repositioning.  The best of both worlds is the Extended Arm offered by some manufacturers – which combines both the power of the Standard and the flexibility and depth of the Long Arm. 
  5. Add-ons…and more add-ons.  Just like your cars and trucks, construction equipment is continually evolving with a list of customizable add-ons – the excavator is in front of the line.  One you should absolutely consider is a mounting system that will allow you to easily use plate compactors, grading buckets, augers, hydraulic breakers and trenching buckets – when you need them.  The mounting system reduces the amount of labor and increases proficiency tenfold.
  6. User creature comforts.   A little goes a long way when it comes to employee comforts – put yourself in their shoes (or seats).  Simple things as heat, air conditioning, and ergonomic seats will make for happier and more productive employees.
  7. Safety First!  Not all excavators are created equal, so it’s important you spend the time to dig into the fine print and do a hands-on inspection to ensure it fits your level of safety standards.  From roll bars to automatic shut off controls to retractable seat belts – the more safety features the better.  Next is ensuring you do your part with routine inspections and maintenance and training your team on safety protocols and best practices.

Ramping up your equipment repertoire, albeit an investment, can make you more productive and profitable in the long run.  Take your time to gather the data and determine the exact excavator that is right for your construction firm.

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.