When it comes to getting your construction project completed safely in the proper time with as little expenditure as possible, the right machinery makes all the difference. But choosing the right machinery for your specific operations can take some skill and experience.
To shed some light on this important aspect of construction projects, we would like to pass along some of the extensive experience we have on the subject. But before we get into the details of how to properly choose your construction equipment, let’s take a closer look at the five different categories of machinery in the family of construction equipment.
The Five Categories of Construction Equipment
It takes all types of construction equipment to transform an undeveloped lot into a practical commercial, industrial or residential location. Construction equipment can be categorized into five distinct types of machinery grouped by their purpose, as follow:
- Earth Moving
- Concrete (mixing, pouring, pumping, etc)
- Material Handling
- Material processing
- Road Construction
Now that we can clearly see the difference between these various machines, it will be time to consider which is the best for your situation and needs.
Finding the right construction machine
Human innovation has gone a long way in making difficult jobs easier, but it will be up to your caution and footwork to take full advantage of the mechanical opportunities afforded you. Here is how to choose the right construction equipment for the job.
1. Due Diligence
A good piece of construction machinery will represent a considerable investment and the perfect tool for your operations will probably cost a little more than that. The takeaway: this is an investment for the long haul and you must consider the value of the item and the reputation of the manufacturer.
With the right acquisition, you could even recoup some of that investment on resale. But that only comes from finding a quality product that is perfectly suited to your operations. This way wear and tear will be minimal and the investment preserved.
2. Type of Job
When choosing construction machinery, but especially when choosing those items that will serve a variety of purposes, take a moment to draw up a full job description. Will you need something to demolish structures, clear ground, move heavy objects, break asphalt, lay pipes, pave roads, landscape, or all of the above? Backhoes loaders are especially versatile pieces of construction equipment. Even here, backhoe loaders come in a great variety of makes and models, so choose carefully.
3. Size of the Project
Now that you know the types of jobs that will be covered by the piece of construction machinery. It is time to begin thinking about the capacity. As you can probably imagine, heavy-duty labor intensive operations will require something especially suited to that line of work, the same as lighter projects need lighter equipment.
4. Identify the job conditions
What sort of terrain and environment will your equipment be facing? If there is no road access, some pieces of equipment may have a hard time getting to the construction site. Uneven terrain can also make certain machines ineffective. You should even consider the climate and weather conditions you can expect. Certain types of equipment may be better suited to working in the rain and mud than others.
5. Size and Weight
Now that you have a clearer idea of the work, capacity, environment and type of equipment you will need, it is time to consider the size and weight of your machinery. As you can imagine larger machinery will be able to pull larger workloads easily, but they will be very expensive if used at half-capacity. It would be cheaper to have smaller machinery working full tilt. Other important considerations will be the needs for spare parts, storage space for spare parts and additional equipment. But larger equipment is sturdier and this does provide an advantage in all kinds of working environments. As you can see, there will be many finer points to consider here.
6. Cost of operation
By this point, you will be getting a clearer idea of the type of equipment you will need in your work, but the finer points will help you save big in the long run. Time to determine the costs of operating your construction equipment. Make sure you factor in the costs of transportation, insurance, commissioning, and anything else that may be specific to the equipment in question.
7. Consider the price
Now you can compare the price tags for your equipment. You will have to consider how much you have for this project before you even go into the market. But now you can choose which option suits your financial plan best.
8. Spare parts
As mentioned, this could be a long-term investment. Make sure you have chosen a make, model, and manufacturer that supplies support and spare pieces if the machinery should be needed. Also, take a look into the maintenance plans for this specific item. This will keep your machine running well for the longest time, and bring the possibility of a higher resale value.
9. Consider equipment versatility
Take a moment to consider the versatility of your machines. If you will be buying more than one item, you should consider which items can perform more than one task. Perhaps a different selection of tools will allow some machinery to be redundant. This could save you a small fortune, but make sure you consider your needs carefully. Better to have it and not need it than the alternative.