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Heavy Equipment Guide

Heavy Equipment Guide

Investing in a new machine means your business can diversify its offerings and tackle new projects. The key to making the best buying decision is understanding the basics of construction equipment.

When you are ready to expand your fleet, a few considerations will help you pick the right model for your applications. Explore this heavy equipment guide before choosing your next machine.

Different Types of Heavy Equipment

Construction equipment comes in all shapes and sizes to meet unique project requirements and deliver efficient results. Choose from various options, including:

  • Pipelayers
  • Compactors
  • Wheel loaders
  • Forest machines
  • Hydraulic mining shovels
  • Wheel tractor-scrapers
  • Cold planers
  • Electric rope shovels
  • Off-highway trucks
  • Dozers
  • Skid steers and compact track loaders
  • Drills
  • Backhoe loaders
  • Excavators
  • Telehandlers
  • Draglines
  • Motor graders
  • Road reclaimers
  • Articulated trucks
  • Material handlers
  • Track loaders
  • Asphalt pavers

Consider what machines are currently part of your fleet. You may want to upgrade an outdated model or add something new. In addition, buying heavy equipment from a trusted manufacturer helps maximize your investment.

Choosing the Right Machine for the Job

It’s important to analyze the following factors when purchasing heavy machinery for your operation:

  • Project requirements: Consider your business’s typical applications, standard project requirements and job site conditions. Which options will help increase overall efficiency for your routine tasks? The model you select should be well-suited to the work you do to maximize productivity and profitability.
  • Attachments: Do your projects require specialized attachments? If so, it’s important to select ones from the same manufacturer as your machine.
  • Equipment Size: Larger models can help your team increase workload but are less maneuverable, especially for jobs with limited space. Smaller machines are often easier to handle but do not accomplish the same productivity due to their size. Equipment dimensions will also impact transportation logistics from site to site.
  • Machine Condition: If you want to purchase a used model, inspecting the machine with a fine-toothed comb is crucial. Consider the equipment’s operating hours and if it has any imperfections or worn parts. Ask for detailed service records to verify that the machine has been properly maintained. Always check the controls and test the machine before buying.
  • Maintenance & Repair Costs: Regular preventative maintenance is essential to get the most out of your construction equipment, and larger machines may be more expensive to maintain. Keep future maintenance and repair costs in mind when selecting a new or used machine.
  • Availability: Whether you are looking to buy or rent, keep in mind that some models may have a waitlist and not be immediately available. Determine the expected availability of your prospective machine and any required attachments.
  • Budget: Your business’s financial position will determine which equipment you can afford. Depending on your situation, financing, leasing or renting may be more advantageous for your operation.

Safety and Training Considerations

Safety is always a top priority when working with heavy equipment. Before putting your new machine to work on a job site, it’s crucial to be well-versed in safety protocols, including:

  • Training: Schedule in-depth training sessions that are dedicated to operational best practices and avoiding injuries. Enforce standards so that only individuals who complete these programs can operate the equipment. Check to see if your equipment dealer offers professional operator training, site assessment and safety training.
  • Safety checklists: It’s important to establish safety-related checklists for each operation phase. All operators should also review the manual for each piece of equipment.
  • Proper habits and protocols: Operators should wear all necessary protective gear and thoroughly inspect the machine before each use. While operating the equipment, your team should always wear a seat belt and stay vigilant while scanning the surrounding area. When the job is complete, equipment must be parked on even ground, and the operator should turn the engine off before exiting.
  • Inspection schedule: Machines should be inspected on a regular basis to determine any necessary maintenance or repairs.

Renting vs. Buying Heavy Equipment

It’s important to determine whether renting or buying a piece of construction equipment would be more beneficial for your company.

Renting is a great option if your business does not have the funds to cover upfront costs, or if you need the equipment for a particular short-term job. Buying is often the better choice if the machine is required for long-term use, and you can afford to cover the costs without tying up too much capital. If you’re considering highly versatile equipment that can serve multiple purposes, purchasing is usually a smarter option than renting.

Used vs. New Equipment

Weigh the pros and cons of new vs. used equipment options to make the most informed decision.

The benefits of a new machine include:

  • The latest technology: New heavy equipment models feature advanced technology and controls to support project efficiency and operator safety.
  • Long-term operation: A recent model can offer a longer working life so your business can get the most time out of your investment.
  • Lower repair costs: Brand-new machines come with warranty coverage and typically require less maintenance than older models with higher operating hours, saving time and money.

On the other hand, brand-new equipment can involve higher initial costs and the potential for waitlists and longer lead times.

Buying used equipment has its own advantages:

  • Lower upfront costs: Buying or renting used machines means you can avoid the higher initial investment associated with brand-new equipment.
  • Slower depreciation: A machine’s market value decreases over time, especially when it is brand-new. Used equipment typically does not depreciate as quickly as a new model, which is ideal if you plan on selling your machine in the future.
  • Lower insurance rates: Used machinery has a lower price tag, which helps reduce insurance premiums and improve overall affordability.

When buying used, it’s a good idea to choose trusted industry brands and to have an expert inspect any machines you want to buy.

Contact Warren CAT for All Your Heavy Equipment Needs

Warren CAT is the authorized Cat® dealer serving Oklahoma and West Texas. As a full-scale solutions provider, we have a vast selection of new and used machines available for sale as well as rentals, parts, service and more. We take a long-term partnership approach, working with our customers to meet their specific needs and help find the right model for any application. In addition, our team of technicians receives state-of-the-art training for expert diagnosis and repair.

Contact Warren CAT or find a location near you to discover the best equipment for your next project.