5 Things to Consider When Shopping for Your Next Excavator
Excavators have become a must-have for every type of contractor. Their tremendous versatility makes them top producers, and that can do wonders for anyone’s return on investment. However, just because they’re versatile doesn’t mean every excavator is the best choice for every one of your dealership’s customers.
A great excavator is like a chameleon.
No, it cannot change colors, but you can certainly change its buckets and other attachments. That means one machine can do the work of several. Customers can take on more types of jobs and complete jobs faster. Equipment that is on the job rather than sitting in the yard is a money-maker.
These days, excavators come in lots of models. The goal is to choose one that offers maximum versatility and plenty of power to handle assigned jobs, without being wastefully oversized or overpowered. Productivity is essential, but so is controlling operating costs.
Your job as a dealer is to help customers select the right piece of equipment. The following list of factors to consider when shopping for a new excavator makes it easier to do that. Use it as a checklist as you navigate the decision-making process together.
- Working conditions.
Where and how your customer plans to use the excavator is the single-most important consideration, because some machines are better-suited for certain conditions. Will this machine:
- Work one jobsite at a time, or move around from one site to another?
- Perform essentially the same type of work throughout its years with you, or do you expect to use it in multiple capacities?
- Be required to work in confined spaces?
- Need to travel over paved surfaces?
Different types of working conditions present their own challenges:
- Site development work such as excavating and grading is common, but a machine that can do more than just heavy digging will be more valuable.
- In building construction, space to maneuver is often limited – especially for remodels, renovations and landscape work. Reduced tail swing makes it much easier to function efficiently and safely around fixed and human obstacles.
- Transportation infrastructure jobs often require excavators to travel on already-paved roads. Tracks can cause damage, so a wheeled excavator is the better choice for utility installation, maintenance of existing roads and bridges or roadside ditch cleaning.
If two-way hydraulic flow attachments such as tilting buckets or shears or hydraulic thumbs will be used frequently, the excavator will require an appropriate hydraulic kit.
- Production expectations.
How much work will this excavator need to accomplish in an average day? It must have be big enough and have enough capacity to do the job, based on the density of the heaviest material it’s likely to handle. Because time is money, investing in a top-quality, automated coupling system will pay big dividends down the road. Some experts say you could save as much as 25% of your total operating time.
- Vital statistics.
The measurements that make one excavator most “beautiful” to one customer may not be as appealing to another. Excavator specs do matter, to help your customer configure the right machine for their job(s). Key stats include:
- Engine horsepower.
- Operating weight.
- Hydraulic flow.
- Arm breakout force.
- Maximum reach at ground level.
- Maximum digging depth.
- Maximum dump height.
- Carrier clearance with boom.
If the excavator will work multiple sites, can your customer transport it efficiently with existing truck-and-trailer configurations? Transportation costs can eat up profits.
- Lifetime cost of operation.
The best excavator is one that provides maximum production versatility plus lowest total cost of ownership. Like transport costs, maintenance and repairs over the machine’s lifetime can make or break ROI.
Whether your customers are shopping now for an excavator to give this season a big finish or a machine to boost their bidding and project planning capacity for next year, using these considerations as a checklist will help you help them find the right equipment.