Five Important Things to Consider When Buying or Renting Heavy Equipment

Sweep trucks

The construction industry is definitely booming. The worldwide market for construction equipment is worth an estimated $145.5 billion, and in the United States alone there are about 7.8 million workers on the production side of the construction industry, contributing the manufacturing of that equipment. On the construction side, about 8.7 million Americans worked to build residential, commercial, and industrial buildings as of 2010, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Clearly, the United States construction industry is doing particularly well. In fact, The U.S. is the second largest construction market in the world, with a market share of about 10%.

And the industry is slated for major growth. Thanks to an uptick in green building in the residential sector, the industry has been able to recover after the 2008 recession, according to the Dodge Data and Analytics 2016 Construction Outlook report. Green building currently represents 26-33% of the residential market.

The Construction Outlook report also predicted overall growth of 6%, and anticipated that construction starts would be valued at an estimated $712 billion. Dodge Data forecasts a 20% increase in single-family construction starts this year, and a 7% gain in multifamily construction starts.

If you’re a contributing part of this booming industry, chances are you have a pretty consistent need for heavy equipment. If you’re looking to buy or rent some new or used construction equipment, don’t forget to consider these five important things.

  1. Does the dealer have the equipment you need? You should know what heavy equipment you need to complete your project, but not all heavy equipment dealers offer everything. For example, to get your equipment where it needs to go, you may need lowboy trailers. Lowboy trailers are especially useful for taller equipment, because lowboy trailers feature an extremely low deck.
  2. Does all the equipment work well? This seems obvious, but it’s always better to check, just in case. Before you sign anything, ask the dealer to start the machine and let it run for a few minutes to ensure that everything works properly and runs smoothly.
  3. Is your safety protected? “Safety first” is an old saying for a reason. Construction can be a dangerous business: machine accidents are responsible for about 35% of on the job injuries each year, and 14% of deaths related to work. Be sure you understand the dealer’s insurance policy before you sign any paperwork. If someone gets injured, or the machinery malfunctions, will the dealer cover the associated expenses? If you don’t feel comfortable with their level of coverage, look for your heavy equipment elsewhere.
  4. Does the dealer impose any extra fees? If you need the equipment for longer than you originally anticipated, what happens if you return it an hour, a day, a week, a month late? Be sure you’re aware of all late fees so you can anticipate the expense as soon as you know you’ll be keeping the equipment for longer.

    Also ask your dealer about who is responsible for refueling and cleaning the equipment. If you’re supposed to return each piece of equipment with a full tank and a spotless exterior, be sure you know, just in case, how much you’ll be charged if that doesn’t happen.
  5. Did you shop around? Especially if your dealer doesn’t offer everything you need, don’t be afraid to look for other dealers in the area that might have a larger selection, better prices, or more favorable terms.

If you keep these five important things in mind during your search for heavy equipment, the process should be easier and smoother than ever.

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