Monthly Archives: August 2016

It makes sense to buy attachments of heavy equipment

Once you are a part of the construction industry, you have to deal with many things and there are few things where you decision to buy some machinery or take it on rent will matter a lot to the company. So when it comes to buying heavy equipment or taking them on rent, it completely depends upon the situation you as well as your construction company is in. If you have surplus funds available and can easily buy a machine or two, you can opt for buying them but if you see scarcity of capital and are struggling to keep your business afloat then you better go with taking it on rent.

However, when it comes to the buying attachments of heavy equipment and you know that you will always need them irrespective of the project you are in then it makes more sense to buy some attachments rather than taking that on rent. You will simply pay monthly rent on an item that you know you will need as long as you are in the business. Therefore buying the item altogether will solve the problem of contacting an owner to provide you with the attachments.

Since we know that heavy equipment are highly expensive items their attachments are not less expensive and can cost a good amount of money especially when you are buying them from branded makers. You also can’t compromise on the quality of your work and therefore can’t use an attachment that is manufactured by company that you have never heard of. You have to buy the attachment of a branded company to keep the pace of your project going. So what you can do is get hold of dealers or companies that deals with used machines and attachments.

There are a lot of such dealers who sell attachments of almost every company under the sun and that you can name of. In case if they do not have the stuff in their shop then they will make sure that they get it for you in few days so that your business does not suffer. They sell these attachments at a comparatively lesser price. They usually buy old and dilapidated attachments from people and then give it an altogether new life. At times they buy it directly from the company and sell it to someone with a promise that they will buy it back from them at a decent price.

This is why many people buy attachments from such dealers and take the assurance home that once it gets old they have a place to sell it off. This is how you get different kinds of attachment of different heavy equipment and that too of different heavy equipment companies at a lower price. By taking attachments on rent will never let you own one. You will simply use and return it to its owner. Your only gain is that you get to use the stuff when you need it the most but for the next project you again have to hunt for another owner making the entire process complicated. This gives enough reason why one should buy the attachments than taking it on rent.

Process to buy Caterpillar Excavators

Excavators are type of heavy duty equipment used mainly during construction work. They can dig through the concrete, transfer loads of bricks and break down entire huge structures. Due to their wide applications, they are very much required in any construction project. Caterpillar Inc. ranks foremost in selling the best quality of ~300 different types of construction related equipment. Generally, Caterpillar Inc.’s excavators are preferred by any commercial user. They manufacture excavators which are easy to operate, possess good mobility, speed and have safety features. In addition, these are upgraded with latest technology and are easy to maintain.

Caterpillar provides two types as, crawler and wheel excavators. There are 54 and 17 different models of crawler and wheel excavators, respectively. These models differ from each other in their maximum speed and operating horsepower. In addition to the brand new models, Caterpillar also sells used excavators which are in good working conditions. Due to the wide variety of Caterpillar excavators, it’s a challenge for a commercial user to choose the suitable type of model.

Any heavy equipment including excavator is highly expensive, the buyer needs to be careful while selecting the right type of excavator. The following guidelines will be helpful for the buyer during the process of buying an excavator:

  1. Buyer should learn about the applications of excavators. They should be set their own needs and expectations.
  2. They should gain knowledge of the parts of excavator and understand their functions. Further, they should learn the application of different types of models by referring to the available options and product specifications. Also check for reliability and ease of use.
  3. Buyers should keep in mind the conditions at the construction site and whether an excavator can function well in these conditions. Also they are required to consider weather conditions and excavator storage and transport.
  4. To decide on the type of excavator required. The crawler excavators are most commonly used. They move on steel tracks and provide stability on the uneven spaces. The wheel excavators are less commonly used, which move on wheels instead of tracks. This gives them more mobility than crawler to move from one job to another.
  5. To decide on the excavator model type and size. Mini excavators are small sized and used for work in small construction spaces and cause minimal damage to the landscape. While large excavators are huge machines used for heavy construction work.
  6. Generally excavators are provided with standard buckets. However, buyers should be aware of other attachments such as specialized buckets (heavy duty, severe duty tilt, sorting buckets), augers used for drilling, thumbs to grasp objects, hydraulic hammers, rakes, mulches and rippers. Possessing multiple attachments allows excavator to perform a variety of tasks, simply by switching the attachment.
  7. Buying used excavator: Since these machines last long and can operate for long hours, user can try this option of buying a used excavator. The user should ascertain the working condition of excavator and the cost of repairs.

The most important guideline during process of buying an excavator is the nature of construction project and which model can best perform that type of work.

Equipment used in construction

A construction jobsite will give us the picture of laborers working tirelessly with their supervisors directing them to work and several types of heavy equipment digging deep inside the ground and rest busy carrying something or the other. Overall we will find nobody being idle. Everybody and everything is doing some or the other activity. Having said this, the construction industry is heavily dependent on the kind of heavy equipment being used on the site. The owner of a construction company invests good chunk of money in procuring heavy equipment and post buying takes immense care to ensure that the machines work fine. He spends good deal of money to keep them well maintained and so that it performs when it is needed the most. In a big project, you will see numerous heavy equipment. However, the most common types of machines that are seen on the sites will be discussed as follows.

Excavator:-

Excavators are machines that are required to excavate earth using its boom or stick. It has the potential to dig deep inside the ground and extract the soil. It is one of the most common types of heavy equipment that can be seen in almost every construction site. This is because every construction site requires some amount of digging to be done and they can’t have a better choice than using an excavator. Some companies also make use of alternatives which are undoubtedly good options but may not be able to deliver the result that an excavator can do. It can also carry the soil and dump it on a dump truck. So there is no need of heavy equipment like wheel loader to do this work.

Bulldozers:-

This is yet another common heavy equipment that can be seen in most of the construction sites. As the word goes bulldozers are used to demolish anything that comes on its way. Well, not literally anything but it is ideally used to break any existing structure and build something new in its place. Lot many construction companies depend on dozers during the initial phase of their project. Most of them prefer buying machines manufactured by Caterpillar and John Deere. However there are other players who have made their presence felt and are giving healthy competition to the pioneers thus giving rise to more innovative dozers.

Wheel Loaders:-

Wheel Loaders are primarily used to ferry huge pile of soil from one point to another. It has huge space to dump the soil which is not available in any other form of heavy equipment. It can also cover a lot of distance in less time as compared to other construction machineries that are capable of carrying debris. Therefore, a wheel loader is often used in big construction projects where the chances of accumulation of dirt is more and which can be ferried easily to the dump truck.

Dump truck:-

Last but not the least; a dump truck is also widely seen equipment on a construction site. It is basically used to carry the dirt and debris from the jobsite to the dump yard. Almost every construction company need a dump truck to do away with the huge proportion of dirt it yields on a daily basis.

Construction Equipment Management


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Competition in heavy equipment industry

Today the heavy equipment industry is in great demand due to the huge growth in urban population and infrastructure projects. Heavy construction equipment is a critical tool for any construction project since they reduce the labor cost and time. A variety of these are present in market to serve different purposes of heavy construction work. Although all may not be required, it is imperative for the owner/builder to buy a sizeable amount of these equipment to ensure that work proceeds smoothly.

 

The existing heavy construction equipment market is dominated by large firms such as Caterpillar Inc. (U.S.), CNH Global N.V. (The Netherlands), Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (South Korea), Volvo Construction Equipment AB (Sweden), JCB Ltd. (U.K.), Komatsu Ltd. (Japan), Deere & Company (U.S). These companies provide advanced heavy construction equipment and by gaining considerable expertise and experience over the years, they have optimized their processes and practices to become even more efficient. These key players use different strategies such as expansions, agreements, contracts, joint ventures and partnerships to garner share in the market. They also focus more on the emerging markets in developing countries with inclination towards industrial growth. They also rely on regional and local distributors to increase their profits and presence in geographical markets. They also acquire companies or other business to meet the demands of heavy construction equipment.

 

There are challenges faced by these key players too. There is demand for machines which are highly efficient, safe, and reliable, with highest productivity and lowest environmental impact. Further, if fitted with the latest technology which is user friendly and with numerous applications it becomes more popular among users. In addition, there are changes in the heavy equipment industry due to advent of big data, analytics and advanced technology. Some new entrants in the market produce complex products using big data analytics which are cost effective, hence are in demand. Further competitive business analytics allows new analytics to assist in pricing, budgeting, improving management of demand and supply, minimize costs and risks and maximize profits. This has lead to a tough competition within the heavy equipment industry. Industries which are not interested in being tech-savvy will find themselves difficult to survive in such a competitive market.

 

To retain the position of a being a key player in heavy equipment industry, one has to have key strategies such as:

  1. Product and technology: Top priority of many key players is innovation of their products. Hence, they invest more in research and development activities.
  1. Improvement in operations: global expansion increases level of complexity which makes it important to improve basic capabilities and processes.
  2. A Go market Approach: to expand operations and business in the developed countries.
  3. In addition they should have winning strategies and should be prepared for the new changes in market. Although there is competition in heavy equipment industry, yet the companies which will have right business strategies, innovative products and can adapt to changing markets will survive and grow to make huge profits.
  4.  In addition they should have winning strategies and should be prepared for the new changes in market.Although there is competition in heavy equipment industry, yet the companies which will have right business strategies, innovative products and can adapt to changing markets will survive and grow to make huge profits.

Learning the basics of heavy equipment

Heavy equipment if learnt from the very basics can prove to be quite useful for the person who deals into it. For instance, a salesman whose job is to pitch construction equipment to big construction houses and to contractors needs to know almost everything about what he is selling. He might come across any sort of question and he needs to answer them to win their confidence. It is true that we do not want to buy a thing from a person who does not know much about it. Frankly, we will not have the confidence to buy it from him no matter how technologically advanced the stuff it is. We will always have this doubt that the person is not selling us the right thing because he couldn’t answer all our doubts. So when the salesman is dealing with heavy equipment, it is also dealing with large amount of money and nobody will want to buy the stuff from a guy who has less knowledge about the product.

Not only salesman but you can take for that matter anybody who is related to the industry that has need for heavy equipment, they need to have excellent understanding on the subject failing which can have serious consequences on their work and simultaneously on their career as well. So how do we go about learning the basics of heavy equipment and why we should start with the basics? Well, whenever you are about to learn a thing, you start from the scratch. It is because if you try to jump to the next level you will presumably and quite rightly not understand anything about the subject. They will be all interlinked to the first level which is ideally the basics. This is why you should also focus primarily on the basics of heavy equipment and learn it well. You can then steer into other dimension once you are pretty clear with the basics.

There are many institutions who teach people on heavy equipment. You can probably join one such place and gather books that will help you to learn about earth moving equipment. Books related to these subjects will be really helpful. You get to learn a lot from them. They consist basically everything that will help you know the basics of heavy equipment. Simultaneously you can also relate what is there in the books with the machine you have at your place. Please do not open up the machine because if you do so you may not know to put it back again. If you find that to be difficult then the next best solution is to use internet and check some videos that talks about the basics.

YouTube and other such websites contain a lot of videos that are referred by the best in the industry. They prefer to check out the YouTube videos if they want to know anything or fix up something on their machine. You can find them to be really helpful as far as learning the basics of heavy equipment is concerned.

Servicing of heavy equipment can become quite a profitable business

After having bought heavy equipment, we experience the real problem when we see the need to service the machine. Though the user manual also speaks about how you should maintain your machine to lengthen its life but getting the equipment regularly serviced by a mechanic is also very crucial. It has been lately found that people possessing heavy equipment see dire need of guys who can also service their machines. Heavy equipment manufacturing companies also have their servicing department but many of the times they are full with work and one has to wait for days and even months to get their equipment serviced. Getting good mechanics has become a big problem.

Construction companies big or small are in dire need of servicing stations that are reachable and can send their mechanics to service the machine without much delay. It is understood that mechanics will always be engaged with enough work to keep them occupied for days but they expect the servicing company to have surplus men who can be sent across to service the machine. Therefore people who are intending to open up such a kind of business can be assured that they will end up making good profits in this business. It can get you a lot of clients who are ready to pay you good money for your service.

Few important things are needed before you start the business of servicing heavy equipment.

Installing right infrastructure for the business:-

When you are thinking of starting up a service center, you got to be sure that you have the infrastructure in place. Servicing of heavy equipment is a task of huge responsibility and it also requires machines that do the work for you. It is pretty obvious that you can’t use your hand to clean the dirt that has been set in the interiors of the machine. For that you may need a water spray that will flush out the dirt from the system. In the same manner, you need other equipment for different kinds of work. So you need to ensure that you have the set of equipment ready before you start advertising about your business to others.

Having the right set of men to do the job:-

Having men who know their job is a very crucial point in this business. Before you start up the business, you need to have people who are good with servicing heavy equipment. You need guys who have worked as mechanics and have repaired different types of heavy equipment. Alternatively, they should also be aware of the places from where you can get heavy equipment parts because you may get machines whose parts needs to be replaced. So you buy the parts from that place in bulk and charge the customer as per the market price. So people who are experienced in servicing machines are the type you need for your business.

You also need to make sure that you pay your men real well so that they stick with you and do not move away to some other company just because they are offered more there.

 

Construction industry is a rewarding sector. One must simply stick to it

Not many industries can reward you with a great career and one of the industry that can really offer all that we desire is the construction sector. It can offer you with plenty of money, goodwill in the industry, job satisfaction and a career that can set you apart from others working in some other domain. There are many other industries that offers good sum of money but they lack job satisfaction. Some even lack a long lasting career but construction industry is perhaps the only industry that one can be a part of as long as he wants. So earning a lot of money, having a good reputation with your peers and being completely satisfied with your job sounds so merry but it takes a lot of pain to sustain in this industry as you do not get much help from people wanting to keep your business alive.

One has to go through tremendous pressure if he is new to this business. It is so obvious that people will not want to have much competition and therefore the new guy has to find his way on his own. He has to learn from his mistakes and then be careful to not to commit the same mistake all over again. We would be discussing what one should do to stick to the business despite of all the problems one has to encounter.

It should be your business every time in your mind:-

Handling a stiff competition where people are eying your business and are always ready to take it over if they find a slightest of chance is never an easy task. Your business got to be in your mind all the time. This actually gives a kind of impression on people how serious you are with your business and if you are the guy who will be able to take the business to the next level. People who are completely focused with their work are liked by others and then you may find guys who will come to you with good advices. You may start getting guys who would want to work with you and be a part of a growing company that seeks no height as unachievable. Having constant focus on your business will give you the strength and capacity to fight back your competitors and will also help you to get businesses from new clients.

A good strategy is all you need to keep the business running:-

Having a good strategy in place will work as a roadmap for you. You only need to follow the plan and check if you are able to attain what you have planned on a regular basis. Just having a sound strategy may not be the only thing you need to be in the business but knowing how far you have been able to attain stuffs you have planned is of huge importance.  You should be ready to face challenges that comes up your way. At times, things may not move your way and you may have to change the strategy a bit. You should not be adamant and should be ready to bend a little when the situation needs.

Heavy equipment sell by performance or by mere brand name

One of the most important component that has the potential to keep the construction industry moving is heavy equipment. For a person who wants to buy a heavy equipment, he is often baffled with the question if he should be buying an equipment that has a history of good performance or something that simply has a good brand name to back it up. Not all the famous and big brands have produced the best of machines and not all the low market brands have manufactured vulnerable machine is a point worth noting. Though brands like CAT, John Deere, Hitachi and alike are famous for producing real good machines but there are not so famous brands that have produced some machines surpassing the ones produced by the famous brands. In other words, one must go by a brand name as that develops a kind of confidence in the minds of the buyers but simultaneously, if one gets to know that a local company has come up with a real good machine, then they should also show interest in buying that.

We will discuss how a machine with a brand name is an easier selling product than the one without the name of a famous brand.

Brand creates confidence and trust in the mind of buyers:-

What happens when somebody tries to sell you a product that you have not even heard of? The product may be exceptional in terms of quality and performance but you do not know that. This means that the product though being highly productive and excellent in quality lacks the most important feature which works as a constraint from getting it sold. The product lacks a brand and people buy things that has a brand name attached with it. The reason they go for a brand is that other have used the product of this brand and they are content with the quality which in a way suggests that this brand produces goods of high quality and one can easily lay their trust on it.

Brands give importance to the quality of equipment:-

Since brands know that people have huge expectations from their products, they will not want to play with the quality of the equipments. They will want to give the best to the clients. However, knowing the needs of the clients become a must. They can’t produce stuffs that are overtly expensive and that no one is ready to buy it.  They try to maximize the feature components in the machine and try to offer it to the buyers at a reasonable amount.

Performance is more important than just the name of the brand:-

Without a brand’s name, you will find it almost impossible to sell a heavy equipment. Similarly, one can also create a brand name by producing quality machines. It is not that the famous brands were born famous. They had to make their way in. If they stop manufacturing quality machines that gives importance to performance, you will soon find them to be history and they will be replaced by someone who sells machines based on its performance.

Crane Hand Signals on the Jobsite

It is not that the operator does all to operate heavy equipment. At times, it is also the guy who gives signals to the operator and asks him to do what he wants him to do. Especially when the operator is working on a crane, he is more dependent on signals coming from the man he can see. He has to work precisely on those signals and can’t afford to do things on his own. Therefore it is necessary that there is a good understanding level between the operator and the man who gives signals to him.

They should be in sync with each other and the operator should not have any problem in comprehending the signals he is getting from the man in front of him. He needs signals because it is not possible for him to judge things properly and for which he needs a helping hand. Now the helping hand need not be in the form of somebody working along with him inside the cabin. He requires someone who is outside the cab and guides him all along to do a particular job which he can’t do sitting alone inside the cabin.

Now when an operator does requires a man to give him signals. He requires him the most when he needs to either load or unload a heavy thing and his view is obstructed by an object. This means that he can’t see his intended path and therefore needs someone who can guide him there. The most common and preferred form of signal used is the hand signal. The operator in this case does not want to rely on any gadget and want a person to guide him. He may not be as comfortable with a gadget and if he is not comfy with something he can’t complete a critical thing with accuracy. Moreover, as mentioned earlier there needs to be a good understanding between the signaler and the receiver. If by any chance the co-ordination between them goes wrong, it may have serious repercussions.

At a point in time, there should be only one signaler. There should not be multiple people giving signals to the operator. He may get confused if there are multiple signals given to him and end up in a disaster. Also not any person should be given the work to give signals to the operator. Only a person who is qualified and knows which signal means what should be assigned this job. Different gestures have different meanings and the signaler should be aware of every signs. Also the operator should have thorough knowledge about signals so that he can comprehend it well and act accordingly.

If there is a change of signaler that should be informed to the operator and the signaler should also wear the badge which indicates that he is now authorized to give signals. Ideally, it is recommended to have one signaler for one operator. The operator should take one signal from no matter who gives it and it is the STOP signal. If the signals are followed religiously, then the chances of accidents happening will be drastically reduced.

Buying a trailer for hauling your heavy equipment

A trailer is an unpowered vehicle towed by a powered vehicle. It is commonly used for the transport of goods and materials. There are different types of trailers for carrying equipment. The choice of trailer depends on the size and weight of the heavy equipment. While selecting the trailer one should also consider the purpose, type, brand, price, future maintenance and quick availability of replacement parts.

Hauling of heavy vehicles such as cars, trucks, bulldozers, excavators, and heavy equipment is not an easy task. It is necessary to choose the right type of trailer with a proper payload capacity. It requires careful planning and execution in order to be successful. If care is not taken then it will lead to accidents and loss of heavy equipment.

 

A special type of trailer called as Lowboy trailer (LT) is used in securing of heavy equipment. It is a low bed trailer or a semi trailer that has two height drops in the deck and sits very low to the ground. According to Entertainment Transportation Network Inc, a lowboy or double-drop trailer refers to a type of flatbed trailer that has a well or middle section that is of lower height. They are very low and flatter and, are legally allowed to carry load upto 12 ft in height. They are also called as Heavy Haul Trailers since carry bulldozers, industrial machines and other hefty material. They are popular in Canada, South Africa and Australia.

 

Lowboy trailer comes in several types for a wide range of tasks such as the Fixed Gooseneck (FGN), Hydraulic detachable gooseneck (HRGN), Mechanical detachable gooseneck (MRGN) and mechanical folding gooseneck (MFGN). Among these the HRGN is the fastest and easiest to detach and is most common and versatile of lowboy trailers. Thus, choosing from different types of lowboy trailers may be helpful for hauling heavy equipments. Some additional things may be also considered while purchasing a LT, such as the electronic brake controller, spare tires and tire carrier, lighting accessories, proper hitch hardware, trailer ball, taillight protector, trailer utility rack, ball mount, pin, clip, and coupler lock, and receiver tube.

 

Only trained and experienced drivers should secure load safely and operate the hauling of equipment. The load should not exceed the trailer or the truck capacity. The load should be secured and distributed properly over the trailer before it leaves the place. In US, securing of heavy equipment falls under the regulatory requirements of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) when transporting across the borders. Hence, one needs to be familiar with regulatory requirements to allow smooth transport of the equipment.

 

Overall LTs are expensive and only fit to carry heavy cargo material. Hence rather than purchasing a new one, one can even buy a used LT. The price range for used LT is based on year of manufacture, make, size type and general condition. One should choose the right type of trailer to save money and time. It will make reliable business and lead to less of frustration in future.

How To Get Into The Hauling Business


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