Updated:
June 29, 2022

How to Plan Your Construction Equipment Purchases

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Supply. Chain. Issues. Pick a field. Pick a product. Pick anything – supply chain issues. Combine that with labor shortages and increased demand, you’re looking at a big strain on the world of construction. Prices continue to rise on everything, including fuel and maintenance costs. The price of equipment is rising, as well, and it’s showing no signs of stopping any time soon. The price of earthmoving equipment alone rose 38% increase at the end of 2021.

For many contractors, the more pressing issue is not necessarily the price, but the scarcity of construction equipment. Machines are being purchased before they leave the manufacturer. Cue low inventory at dealerships. Consumers have very few options and even less time to make a decision.

Typically, people would turn to the used equipment market to supplement their needs. Nope. Can’t do that now. That market is also facing scarcity issues. With new equipment so hard to find, many fleet managers are keeping their machines for much longer. Even when these used machines do hit the market, they’re older than usual and have more wear and tear.

When times are tough, good planning can be the difference between sinking or swimming. There is a way to work around equipment shortages, it’s just a matter of how.

Purchase the Equipment You Need in the Future Now

The amount of time it takes for you to receive the piece of equipment you paid for varies from OEM to OEM. In general, you can expect the wait to be anywhere from six months to more than a year. The sooner you order the equipment you need, the sooner it will arrive. Being on a waitlist is less than ideal, but it’s much better than never knowing when a new machine is available.

Use Rentals in the Meantime

You likely already lease some of the equipment in your fleet, so you already know renting has a lot of advantages. You’re significantly less responsible for the machine, and you can off-rent it whenever you don’t need it. If you are already on a waitlist for a piece of equipment but you need something sooner, you can use a rental to fill the gap. Although, the rental market can be equally as competitive. Just like when buying a machine, you should act fast to get your hands on the rental before it’s gone.

Consider Other Options

No two machines are made the same, but a lot of them share similar functions. If you’re buying a permanent addition to your fleet, it should be something you intend to use fully. However, it might be time to consider alternatives if pre-buying and renting are not viable options for you. There are dozens of OEMs, sizes and models available. Identify what purposes your initial machine serves and it’s likely you can find something that serves a similar purpose.

Update Your Current Fleet

By no means is this the easiest and cheapest option, but updating your fleet has a lot of long-term benefits. Refurbishing a piece of equipment, for example, would cost a considerable amount of money. You also have to account for the downtime while it’s undergoing maintenance.The overhaul, however, would significantly lengthen the lifespan of your machine. Unfortunately, this strategy is difficult to scale, especially if you’re already using the vast majority of your fleet for your current jobs.

Take Advantage of Technology

Telematics trackers such as ours can monitor the health of your machines. And with technology like T3, you can view the health and status of every machine in your fleet from one screen. T3 can even send you alerts when the trackers catch something concerning, such as a low fuel level. Even if this does not improve the longevity of your fleet, it will help you prevent breakdowns that would normally waste a lot of time and money.

Even though supply is extremely short right now, demand only continues to go up. Growth is an exciting prospect for everyone. You just need to hang on a little longer to reap those benefits. It’s not easy, but with the right strategy, you’ll find what you need.

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