In some trades, heavy equipment may be a necessity. In other cases, you may be able to get by with or without it. Obviously there are major pros to having machinery on your side, but there are also cons to consider. For those undecided, here are some factors that can help you weigh up the decision to buy such equipment.
In many cases, heavy equipment gets the job done quicker. If you’re landscaping and want to dig out a pond or foundations to a patio, it could all be done in a matter of minutes with an excavator. Similarly many demolition tasks can be easily carried out with a truck, where manpower may take hours or days.
The nature of the projects you take on will generally determine whether such machinery would be realistically convenient. If you’re working on residential homes in small areas, it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to manoeuvre heavy machinery in there. However, if you often work on commercial properties or new construction sites or work in agriculture, heavy machinery is likely to be well suited.
Heavy equipment isn’t cheap and there are extra maintenance costs to take into account too. When buying, many small companies may consider a loan as an outright purchase could cost thousands. Second-hand machinery will be cheaper, but you should always consider the age and use that it’s had – an older machine may need to be repaired more regularly.
Of course, hiring a machine is often a cheap option and is ideal for those that may only need heavy equipment for odd jobs. Be aware that you may have to familiarise yourself with a new machine each time you hire one, although by developing a good relationship with some rental companies you may be able to keep renting the same model.
Whilst you will spending less time and effort on manual labour, buying a machine will mean having to spend time and effort on regular maintenance. On top of servicing your machine, you may need to keep stocked up on fuels and lubricants. You may want to keep a record book of everyone that uses it and do inspections to report any damage. Also consider where you will be keeping the machinery – have you got the premises to store what could be a truck?
Hiring a machinery will cut out the need for servicing and regular maintenance as they will do this for you, although you may have to take greater care of the vehicle as some companies will charge for damage repairs or have a deposit insurance scheme in place.
You’ll need a heavy equipment operator license for most vehicles. This may mean training yourself and your staff up. This will cost extra money on both training and insurance and will take extra time. You may even have to up your recruitment requirements when hiring new staff, which could limit your employment base.
You will however have ever qualifications to shout about when advertising your business. Training staff in heavy machinery may also give prospective employees another incentive, giving them a new skill.