by David Phillips
March 26, 2012

Consider customization capabilities when purchasing or renting construction equipment.

When purchasing new or used construction equipment, owners must find the best ROI to make the right decision. And many decide to purchase multifunctional equipment to boost profits and increase worker productivity.

Increased Productivity

To illustrate an example of businesses that have actively developed multifunctional equipment to boost profits, consider the outdoor signage industry. A sign truck includes all of the work functions required on a typical jobsite on a single machine, allowing a sign company to travel a geographic area to perform outdoor work. 

With their tools, crane and an aerial on a single truck, sign companies can travel to multiple work sites throughout the day without returning home, which increases revenue. Without a multifunctional machine, a sign company would need to bring an aerial lift truck, a truck-mounted crane and a tool truck to each jobsite—drastically increasing costs.

While this combination of a crane and aerial is a smart decision, other companies have found even more innovative ways to increase productivity. For example, aerial work platforms that have a cable carrier system on the boom make it possible to run welding, a pressure washer and electrical and hydraulic tool lines from the bed into the platform. 

This turns the platform into a mobile jobsite, permitting operators to perform a wide range of work with a single truck. 

The same philosophy applies to cranes. The standard boom truck, or truck-mounted crane, is simply a truck with a flatbed, telescopic crane and control system for lifting 10 to 50 tons of materials on the jobsite. If you add a pin-on work platform that can lift workers and steel beams at the same time, you will increase efficiency. 

Lowered Costs

Adding a pin-on basket to a crane or a lifting jib on an aerial costs one-tenth of the price of having a second machine that performs the same task. By adding a few simple options to your equipment, you can drastically increase that equipment’s performance.

Some companies customize their customers’ machines with many other add-ons such as post hold diggers, ANFO (ammonium nitrate/fuel oil) lines for mining and glass curtain wall installation. 

These additions cannot be added to any piece of equipment, but understanding the potential options available in the equipment market should be a key element in the purchasing decision process. 

Find manufacturers with customization capabilities and experienced engineers who can design products that will accommodate the addition of special options during or after the sale. Taking advantage of different options available can increase your worker’s productivity and your business’ bottom line.

Pre-Purchasing Questions 

Ask these questions to make a smart choice. 

  • What tools do I need on the jobsite?  Can my tools be powered or managed with this piece of equipment?
  • What activities do I commonly perform on the jobsite that can be integrated into a single machine (e.g., lifting loads, lifting people, etc.)?
  • What challenges do my workers currently face at the jobsite? How have we solved these problems in the past? Will certain products on the market help solve these problems?
  • Can I share my ideas with any equipment dealer or manufacturer that will help me locate a solution that improves my bottom line?
  • Can I add any features to my purchase that will allow me to be more versatile (such as an integrated welding system on an aerial work platform to capture new welding business)?