What's old can become new again

Any construction manager or planner will tell you that when all is said and done, the most important question is always the same: How much will this cost? The planning and design that goes into a typical large construction project can be mind boggling. Blueprints, computer projections and manpower all go into the mix before a final cost can be assumed.

One of these critical elements is the actual equipment that is needed to get the job done. No doubt, this is a significant element in what the project will cost overall. A construction company often must face the difficult choices of what equipment it needs to properly execute the project and meet contract requirements.

If you are asking yourself the following questions, you might consider the option of remanufactured equipment to be helpful to your company’s operations:

  • Should I rent the equipment?
  • Should I purchase brand new equipment?
  • What if equipment I have been using is now failing?
  • What kind of investment should I make?

It is for these reasons that there has been an uptick in the interest in remanufactured construction equipment. Remanufactured equipment is the rebuilding of a model to the specifications of the original manufactured model using a combination of new, reused and repaired parts. Remanufactured equipment can give your business a viable alternative to purchasing new equipment or purchasing used equipment with a questionable track record.

Savings realized by the purchase of remanufactured equipment can be quite significant, with discounts sometimes in excess of 60 percent over the cost of new equipment. The tools that are available at these discounts run the gamut—from wrenches and drills to heavy excavating equipment.

Naturally, some reservations immediately come to mind. Long-term reliability is perhaps the most important, with safety being a priority on all jobsites. Certainly, where this equipment is purchased is also of primary importance. Decision makers should be keen to check the credentials of any dealer or company from which they are considering making a purchase.

A list of referrals is helpful in the process. Is the seller meticulous about the remanufacture process? Will he or she stand behind what they sell should something go wrong? The buyer should carefully inspect the product before purchase and upon delivery. In the case of large equipment, a walk-around and a full test of its functionality are essential before it ever hits the jobsite. One of the dilemmas that many builders have to deal with is, for lack of a better term, “one-timers.”

Sometimes, a builder needs a certain type of tool or piece of equipment to perform just one task at a jobsite. It may not happen often, but when there is a specific need for an action, the builder is again faced with yet another decision. If they do not have the correct machine or the correct tool to do the job, they must decide if they want to invest the money in something they may only use once.

This is where the value of reconditioned equipment makes the most sense. If the new piece of equipment needed for the one-time job is worth $5,000, but that same equipment can be purchased reconditioned for $2,500, then the decision is obvious.

Of course, the question may be asked, “Why not rent rather than purchase?” Renting may be a reasonable way to go. However, reconditioning used equipment makes the cost of keeping the equipment so attractive that even if it is only hauled out once per year, it still makes economic sense.

If an equipment manager decides it is time to sell the reconditioned equipment, the value will be much higher than if the older, non-reconditioned equipment was sold “as is.” Thus, reconditioned equipment can practically pay for itself. Additionally, with the cost of materials rising rapidly, reconditioned tools and equipment may make the most sense for all equipment needs. Proper reconditioning can provide construction companies with extremely cost-effective tools and equipment, no matter the size of the budget.

What’s more, most remanufacturers offer full warranties on their products, easing the anxiety of purchase. With a warranty, a remanufactured tool or piece of heavy equipment can provide the same durability and reliability as a piece of brand-new equipment, without the initial high-dollar outlay.

The realities of business are sometimes the mother of invention. Witness the green revolution that has impacted manufacturing—businesses are becoming keenly aware of environmental issues and so is the public. A responsible construction manager will do what he or she can to not only save the company money, but also properly serve the community in which the project is being executed.

Remanufactured construction equipment offers many benefits to the progressive construction manager or equipment purchaser. When you combine cost savings, reliability, guarantees and resale value, remanufactured equipment presents the best way for a construction company to save money.

The money saved on remanufactured equipment purchased can be used to hire more personnel to get the project done quicker, providing employment opportunities where perhaps none existed previously. All in all, this equipment purchasing option can be a win-win situation for manufacturers and business owners alike.