Use the guidelines the next time your purchase attachments to find the perfect fit.

After 14 years in the attachment industry, I'm still amazed by how many people inquire about only two things: "How much is it, and when can I get it?" The decision is made, the attachment is purchased, and then, many times, the attachment doesn't perform as the buyer had imagined. When this happens, it costs valuable time and money for everyone involved. It's much better to take some time on the front-end to make sure you are purchasing the right tool for the application you will perform.

When you begin to look for a new attachment, you will find numerous resources and products with prices that vary and purchase options ranging from dealer to direct to Internet stores. On top of that, everyone will promise to help you make sustainable changes to your operation. The whole process can be overwhelming. 

When it comes to choosing an attachment, remember that you should seek the same value you strive to provide to your customers. For instance, you should expect efficiency, good quality, on-time availability and on-time delivery with an honest warranty. You may miss these key standards if you base your purchase on price and availability alone.  



In addition, as you start your search for a new attachment, be realistic about the application for which it will be used. Think about the skill level of the operators who will run the equipment, and consider all the uses that you may have for this attachment.  

Now that you know what to consider, you may be wondering where you should go. Your local machine dealer is the best resource for finding the best attachment because, chances are, you already have a relationship with that dealership. Reputable dealers will be able to provide you with service before, during and after the sale. Plus, a dealer can assist in making sure the installation has been done properly. Many times, dealers can wield their purchasing power to prompt manufacturers to respond more quickly to your needs as well as any warranty issues that may arise.

Want another reason to shop locally? Local dealers can help determine if the machine can handle the attachment in the application you have in mind. They will also recommend what reinforcements or modifications may be needed to be performed on the machine. 

In today's economic environment, saving money is very important. Sometimes the pressure to buy the least expensive attachment seems like the way to go; however, in most cases, you can also guarantee the cheapest option will not be the best quality. In the end, the value that you get from working with a dealer is priceless.

Be prepared. Have this specific information on hand to get the most out of the relationship with the dealer.

  • Know the make and model of the machine, including "the particulars" on the hydraulics. If you are unsure about the make and manufacturer, don't guess; call the dealer with the serial number of your machine, and get the information you need to make the right decision.
  • Complete a spec sheet from the dealer of the attachment manufacturer to help with the purchasing process. Consider how you will need to modify your machine to use an attachment, and think about the installation process. Installing an attachment incorrectly can cost you more than the initial price of the attachment, limit the life of the attachment or cause damage to your machine. It boils down to these basics: Read the installation instructions thoroughly, and if you have any questions, call your dealer or the attachment manufacturer for clear directions.
Construction Business Owner, September 2010