So, are we optimistic about used equipment availability during the next year? While I’m not shouting the good news from the rooftops, I am less worried than some others after a few challenging months (or was it years?) of rising interest rates and unstable markets. To optimize productivity and get the most bang for your buck, here are things to remember when looking at rental or used equipment solutions.
1. Cut fuel costs by considering compact equipment and technology
According to Reuters, oil prices have risen since June following a similar OPEC announcement that it will cut crude oil production through 2024. Following that announcement, oil prices have climbed 30%, and continued geopolitical uncertainty may cause this to continue.
As oil prices rise, consider offsetting those higher fuel costs using compact construction equipment to complete jobs instead of larger machines. We still may be a few years from the electrification of equipment of all sizes, but some smaller machines, like WIRTGEN Group Hamm Rollers, can be used now to reduce fuel costs.
Larry Herman Jr., Telematic Support Supervisor at RDO Equipment Co., who oversees both John Deere and Vermeer equipment, explains how a Module Telematics Gateway (MTG) system recognizes factors causing excessive fuel consumption, sometimes even before they happen. John Deere Operations Center™ can track all machine utilization data, including idle time and fuel consumed while idle. Using the John Deere Operations Center, project managers will know not only how much fuel each machine is using but can also compare that data across the fleet to identify opportunities for improvement.
More than ever, contractors should ensure an efficient system for continuously monitoring their machine's health. Besides watching fuel efficiencies, machine monitoring software recognizes problems before they occur through automated notifications sent to a support team. RDO's Connected Support team receives manufacturers' alerts and can help determine whether operators need to be connected to the closest technician. With this support, contractors reduce the time it takes to troubleshoot an issue and figure out the needed parts or service so the operator can get back into the cab as quickly as possible.
When machines have an MTG installed, plus a technology support team, annual inspection notifications remind project managers when to plan for downtime or rent another device to keep operators working on a job site. Watch a technician explain the importance of annual inspections.
Most project managers I’ve talked to agree that machine control makes a difference in consistent productivity. During a recent job site visit, Hammett Excavation's Project Manager Darin Stroud, an operator who's worked with GPS technology for over 20 years, said machine control technology has made a significant difference, increasing productivity by 70%. Now, nearly all of their fleet, including machines of different ages, are fitted with some type of machine control and GPS technology. Depending on the type of machine, some of these solutions can be added to your existing equipment, even if it’s a few years old. Talk to a trusted partner to consider the options. What questions should you ask about technology to ensure it fits your unique needs?
Watch this episode of The Track to discover the questions you should ask before buying technology. Depending on the market you live in and work in will determine the opportunity for selecting the right used or rental equipment. While we anticipate market changes in the first two quarters of 2024, contractors can take advantage of technological advancements, replenishment of equipment inventories and less competition in demand in other sectors.