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5 Tips to Help You Pick the Right Construction Equipment

Posted on by Greg Wiesen
Categories: Construction Equipment

Whether you have an expansive construction business working on multiple projects as once, you’ve started small, and you’re looking to expand, or you’re still making your business plan and working on getting started, one of the most important things you have to consider is your equipment. Although the proper tools are important in most fields, when it comes to construction, forestry, and similar trades, the right machinery is vital for getting your work done. That is why the construction equipment you choose is so important, and we understand that.

High-quality construction equipment isn’t cheap, so when you buy a new piece of machinery, you’re really making an investment in your business. That’s why it’s so important that you get just the right machine that will work for you and meet all of your needs. The last thing you want to do is spend some serious money on a machine only to find out a few months later that a different option would’ve worked better for you.

Here at Quality Fleet Service, we provide long-term, ongoing assistance to our customers, and that often starts with helping you find the right machine for your needs. We’re not going to focus on tips for choosing specific types of machinery (better to save that for another discussion), but rather on some general guidelines that can help you out.

Tip #1 – Consider Current and Future Projects

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when shopping for or choosing construction equipment is to only think about what you need “right now.” That’s an easy mindset to get into, especially if you need a piece of machinery right away due to having something break down or you find that you’re dealing with an unexpected situation. While you definitely want to choose equipment that can handle whatever you need to do now, you also want to future-proof your choice as much as possible.

Consider the kinds of jobs you have coming up – especially any that you are already contracted for but haven’t started yet. Also, think about the kinds of jobs you have been bidding on lately and want to take. If you’ve missed out on getting a contract because you lacked a certain piece of machinery or what you had was too small, keep that in mind the next time you need to buy construction equipment.

You can’t completely future-proof your choice, of course, but you can do your best. The more you try to think ahead and plan for future projects when buying construction equipment, the less likely you are to regret what you buy a few months or a year later.

Construction equipment is shown working in a dirt area.

Tip #2 – Don’t Be Afraid to Specialize

Generalization is pretty common when people are shopping for construction equipment – after all, when you spend that much money, you want to be sure a piece of machinery can handle a wide range of tasks. That’s a good thought, but it can also be a bit of a trap. It might seem a little counter-intuitive to choose a more specialized piece of equipment, but it can be the right choice.

For example, let’s say that all the work you’ve done for several years, and will likely continue to do for the foreseeable future, has been on paved roads and similar areas. In that case, when shopping for something like an excavator, you’d probably want to choose a wheeled excavator over a crawler. Similarly, if you almost always find your excavator working in cramped quarters, a compact model might let you get your work done more efficiently and faster than a full-size model.

You don’t want to specialize so much that you’re not prepared for future jobs (see Tip #1), but it’s worth keeping in mind as you look at your options. This goes for choosing equipment attachments too. You might be able to pick the right piece of machinery for a wide range of jobs, and then get a few specialized buckets or other attachments to handle specific tasks.

Tip #3 – Go Big, When Necessary

There are two aspects to this one: make sure you buy a piece of construction equipment big enough to handle your jobs, but don’t go overboard. You certainly don’t want to buy an excavator or wheel loader only to later wish you had chosen a larger model. While these types of machinery can typically have different buckets and other attachments fitted onto them, there are size limits based on the size of the machine itself. Keep Tip #1 in mind here: think about future projects you want to handle and make sure you pick equipment that will be up to the task.

But, at the same time, you don’t want to buy construction equipment that is too big for the kind of work you do. For example, if you typically work in small parking lots or between buildings in an urban setting, then a compact excavator might be the best choice to handle what you need.

Similarly, if you work in forestry, a massive machine might make your work faster, but you could find getting it through a forest and other areas impractical or downright impossible if it’s too big. You need to find that sweet spot where you get a piece of equipment large enough to handle what you need, but without the size becoming a liability.

A machine for forestry is loading large logs near Springfield, MA.

Tip #4 – Research is Key

Before buying construction equipment – or making any major purchase, really – research is going to be your best friend. Do as much research as you can about different models on the market, their specs, and what they can handle, and how they will work for what you need. Pay attention to things like warranties and look for write-ups from people in your industry to see what they like. Ask around to friends or family that might have experience with the equipment you need and see what they say.

And don’t be afraid to ask professionals that sell this equipment about their opinions on what you need. Sure, a salesperson is looking to make a sale, but if they’re good at their job, they’ll want to have you as a client for a long time. That means making sure you’re happy with what you buy – so there’s a reason for them to keep your interests in mind. You don’t have to follow the suggestions of friends, coworkers, or salespeople, but asking for help and hearing their advice can help you see things you might have missed or consider options you didn’t know about.

Tip #5 – Try Before You Buy

You wouldn’t buy a new truck without taking it for a test drive, so why would you invest in a crawler excavator without trying it out first? There’s no better way to know if you’ll be happy with a piece of construction equipment than to try it out and see how it performs in real-world conditions before you buy it. Choose a retailer that lets you try out the equipment they sell so you can see if it will work for you.

Here at Quality Fleet Service, for example, we have a massive test area dedicated to letting you try out the line of fantastic Hyundai construction equipment that we sell. About a full acre of our seven-acre facility is dedicated to testing with different types of materials available for you to try out with any piece of Hyundai machinery we offer. There’s no guess-work involved, just a chance for you to feel how they perform and see what would work best for you. Call or come visit us to see our test pit and try out a piece of construction equipment today.

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