When Should You Upgrade Your Construction Equipment?

Owning a construction company comes with various challenges—the biggest one being maintaining high-value, heavy-duty equipment. Recent research shows that equipment maintenance expenses come second after ownership costs. That means a poor maintenance routine can attract serious financial ramifications, not to mention slow productivity caused by unplanned downtime. Moreover, malfunctioned equipment affects the general performance and organization of your team. 

Fortunately, construction company owners can avoid these mishaps by practicing regular preventive maintenance to know when their machinery requires an upgrade. Here is a quick guide on what construction equipment maintenance or upgrade entails, its benefits, the ROI of upgrading your equipment, and signs that signal an overdue equipment upgrade. 

What is Construction Equipment Maintenance?

Any expert in the construction industry will tell you that spending a dime on routine equipment maintenance can translate to thousands, if not millions of dollars saved in the long haul. Construction equipment maintenance entails scheduling proactive repairs instead of reactive approaches when the machinery breaks down completely. Simply put, this maintenance prevents expensive future repair costs by fixing a hitch as soon as it manifests.

There are two types of construction machinery maintenance, including routine and preventive. As the name suggests, routine maintenance happens on an ongoing basis. On the other hand, preventive maintenance entails running diagnostics when the equipment is still fully functional to prevent unexpected breakdowns. Either way, both practices enhance your machinery’s longevity and smooth workflow all year around.

In most cases, routine maintenance for construction equipment can include:

  • Lubrication
  • Pressure tests
  • Safety and hazard inspections
  • Tire and packing brake inspections
  • Transmission fluid and engine coolant inspections 

Preventive maintenance can also include scheduled inspections after certain usage, say, every 10,000 miles. This maintenance aims to ensure all machine parts run optimally after a possible burnout and determine whether the machinery needs an upgrade in the first place. However, preventive maintenance can be pretty expensive than routine. That’s why it’s imperative to take this approach on specific machinery only, especially high-value equipment that may need a regular upgrade. 

The Benefits of Upgrading Equipment Maintenance

Whether whole or parts, construction equipment upgrade is vital and goes beyond saving you expensive future repair costs. Here are the other benefits of timely machinery upgrades in the construction industry.

  • Increased Productivity All Year Around

Old construction equipment can affect your overall productivity in many ways. For instance, employees will be taking a long time to complete certain tasks due to machinery unreliability. They might have to pose every now and then to ensure that the fluids aren’t leaking or the tire pressures are okay. On the other hand, upgraded equipment is reliable even during high-demand applications. You’ll never have to postpone any project, provided you maintain the machinery regularly, as highlighted earlier. 

  • Reduce Accident Risks at Work

We lost about 5,333 people in 2019 due to work-related injuries. For the lucky people who survive, the costs of treating fatal and non-fatal injuries can be pretty high, which often gets passed to the employer. Besides driving losses, workplace accidents can stall your projects or damage your brand reputation if employees file multiple lawsuits. 

Upgrading construction equipment can reduce the number of accidents in high-risk activities. Actually, it’s more prudent to spend a significant investment on equipment upgrade than meet work-related accident costs.   

  • Build a Healthier Workforce

Construction workers often get exposed to harmful emissions, which also affect your immediate environment. Upgrading your equipment can mitigate these risks by offering reliable engines with a lower carbon footprint. Also, new equipment doesn’t spill fuel anyhow, even on high-demand applications. Embracing greener technology through construction machinery upgrades keeps your workers healthy and ready for jobs, even when the prevailing demand requires overtime hours. As a plus, you’ll also avoid fines from environmental agencies.      

  • Enhance Employee Morale

Having a motivated workforce is the secret to running any successful business, regardless of the industry. Upgrading your construction equipment can motivate employees in two main ways. First, they’ll be happy to leverage new technology that makes their work easier. For instance, purchasing new articulated trucks can help the workers can help workers haul materials and aggregates on steep surfaces with ease.

Secondly, your employees will likely feel valued every time you pay attention to their working equipment. This helps you retain most of them and mitigate the risks of project delays due to the talent shortage in the industry. 

  • Timely Projects Completion

It’s common to walk around your city and come across unfinished construction projects. The main reason for this is because the companies involved in the projects probably use old equipment that breaks down constantly. Upgrading your construction machinery makes it possible to leverage innovative technology for timely project completion. 

Most importantly, it saves the overhead costs of staying on one project for many years. Remember, you still have to pay some personnel, such as sub-contractors, who come to the site even when the project runs slowly.    

How Upgrading Construction Machinery Translates to Business Benefits

Besides saving costs and enhancing a smooth workflow, upgrading construction equipment is for the greater business outlook. Here are some ways in which regular upgrades give your company a competitive edge over other players in the industry.

  • Stay Ahead of the Game

Upgrading construction machinery helps beat competition and place on top of the scoreboard. A simple upgrade means leveraging a technology that is new to your competitors, putting you a step ahead of the industry. With new technology, you can complete projects in time with zero to minimum quality inconsistencies. 

This helps you increase the brand value of your company and more satisfied clients. Similarly, satisfied clients translate to more direct referrals to increase your clientele base or expand working territories. The more your brand grows, the greater its reputation and dominance in the industry.   

  • Stimulate Profits

Construction equipment upgrade stimulates profits in two main ways. First, it reduces your maintenance and operating costs. You don’t have to retain technicians on-site to check your machinery constantly. Also, you don’t have to incur unnecessary replacement costs because upgraded machinery can perform heavy-duty tasks with minimal wear and tear for a long time.

Secondly, upgraded construction equipment can perform multiple tasks without breaking down. You can take several projects at once and deliver all of them on time, increasing your profit margins. Since you’re also offering high-quality work, you’ll also command better rates from clients.      

  • Be Ready for the Future

Change can be scary or costly, but it’s inevitable. Upgrading your equipment now makes you ready for the future. Other players in the industry will soon start to upgrade their machinery and meet the ever-dynamic construction client needs while you’re still lagging. Moreover, upgrading now can be more cost-effective than waiting for a few years when the demand for innovative construction equipment will be high.  

Signs That Signal Time for Upgrading Your Construction Machinery

How soon should I upgrade my construction equipment? You don’t have to wait until the end of the year or when the whole industry is doing it. Some signs show an immediate need for an upgrade. They include:

  • Endless Maintenance Needs

Old equipment will break down often. It ends up spending more time in the repair workshop than on the construction site. This is not good for business, especially if you have to hire machinery from third parties to stay on schedule. You can solve this by upgrading to reliable and efficient machinery. 

  • High Fuel Consumption

Old construction equipment features obsolete engine technology that is not economical on fuel consumption. Thus, you would want to upgrade our equipment if the fuel costs are overwhelming, especially on high-demand tasks. Remember, the secret to running any successful business is keeping the operating costs as low as possible.  

  • You Can’t Find New Spare Parts

Manufacturing of construction equipment and parts evolves with technology. It comes a time when manufacturers stop producing parts for outdated machinery. If you can’t source any new part, whether locally or aboard, it’s time to upgrade your equipment because it is obsolete. It can be tempting to go for after-market parts, but that won’t help in the long term. They are more expensive, and you can’t guarantee their supply. So, upgrading is the better option.    

  • Diminished Capacity

It reaches a time when your team cannot meet daily deadlines, let alone finish the whole project on time. The equipment simply can’t handle the increasing workload. Or, you can’t even fulfill tasks on rugged and sloppy terrains. In that case, you would want to upgrade your equipment as soon as possible, lest you end up with unhappy clients, which translates to reduced profits. In worst scenarios,  some clients may even want to terminate the contract before delivering the whole project. 

Know When to Upgrade Your Construction Equipment

Leverage this guide and upgrade your construction equipment on time. This practice saves you resources and time from endless maintenance and repairs. Even better, you get to stay ahead of the competition by using the latest construction technologies and maximizing profits. Most importantly, you retain a happy and healthy workforce to drive your company’s growth.   

Contact us for more information.

About the author Steve Coffey

I am passionate about the building materials industry helping companies all throughout the channel see success and exceed the expectations of their audiences

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