Minimizing Losses From Idle Construction Equipment

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Minimizing Losses From Idle Construction Equipment

Like we always say, there’s so many moving parts on any construction site and one of the most parts you’ll see there is the equipment. With so many heavy materials to transport and position, you will need more than just a forklift.

But construction equipment is very expensive to own. If you don’t know how to manage them, you will end up seeing some of them on idle. And when it sits idle, it doesn’t contribute to your bottom line. Hence, you are losing a valuable amount of your funds. Yet, it’s so easy to neglect equipment, especially when it’s not  scheduled for use. This is why some contractors would rather that they rent than buy.

But of course, there are numerous benefits that come with buying your own equipment including availability and being worry-free that you might pay double for damaging a piece of rented equipment. Later on, you can sell them too when they are no longer needed in your firm or when you decide to update. And the key to managing them well so you can profit from them is to monitor them using your construction project management software.

Troubles Caused by Idle Equipment

Heavy equipment is present on nearly every job site in the world. Whether you own them or you are renting them, idle equipment can cause major cost overruns.

Another inevitable problem that comes with idle equipment is the construction schedule delay. And here are other common mistakes involving equipment that are simpler to avoid than you may think.

1.Idle Construction Equipment

If you think unused equipment will help you save money on fuel or on the salary of the operator, then you are wrong. When it’s rented, heavy equipment that sits idle on job sites will still pay for its daily rental. So it’s better to make use of it than paying for rent when it’s not being operated.

If you own it but you don’t use it because you are using alternative equipment, then it can delay projects and cause budget errors.

Every second that an item of equipment is left sitting on site is money being thrown in the trash.

But why does a piece of equipment often go unused? Usually, it comes down to disorganized reporting or last-minute change orders. If there is no written record of the usage of equipment or its location, the contractor, the construction subcontractor, or the project manager has no way to know whether or not equipment should be moved to another site to support other tasks so they won’t sit idle. This is why it is vital to your operation to include construction project management software where you can track the daily schedule and operation of all equipment and determine which job site can make use of those that are on idle.

2.Untimely Equipment Maintenance

Equipment can go idle when they are scheduled for maintenance. Because just like any other piece of machinery, your construction equipment will also need some break time to get their badly needed maintenance works.

But maintenance works should be on the right timing and the person-in-charge should be aware of the schedule so that the equipment maintenance won’t be mistimed. This can lead to the equipment’s shorter lifespan or poor performance.

Negligence can often lead to grave damage than can put the operator at risk and often result in higher costs for larger fixes or replacements. If a machine is needed on a job site but hasn’t been maintained in time, the entire project can be held up.

By properly documenting the activities of the equipment, the project manager will know the right timing for maintenance works. And this documentation can be effectively done and delivered on time to the project manager with the use of a construction project management software like Pro Crew Schedule.

It’s difficult to keep track of maintenance schedules and equipment care but it will be easy with a management program at hand. The double-whammy of additional costs that come from mistimed maintenance ultimately hits a project’s overall productivity and profitability.

Dealing With Idle Equipment

It’s obvious where these issues are coming from – poor planning and lack of documentation.

It is important to write equipment reports and they should be sent to the project leader so he can weigh whether or not having the equipment on the site is beneficial and whether or not it’s time for it to go through maintenance works. Do not create room for error by implementing a web-based construction management software on your firm.

Thoroughly recorded data and photo logs to help you maintain a clear record of usage, and can be compared to a rental agreement in case of a dispute with a supplier.

Other Suggestion for Handling Idle Equipment

If you own the idle equipment, then there are ways you can profit from them than when they are rented. Although a certain amount of downtime is inevitable when project workflow varies, you’re wise to look for ways you can put idle assets to profitable use.

If you think you won’t need the idle equipment again, then you can sell it to other firms. If you will still need it in the future, then you can put it up on lease.

Posting Your Idle Construction Equipment for Lease


There are a lot of online marketplaces where you can post your listing. But make sure that you choose one that has a good reputation.
There are a variety of online networks that can connect you with trustworthy, professional contractors who need to rent equipment. Sites like Craigslist serve as third party organizations that can help you verify the credibility of the renter. You can also have a third party company to write you a report that your equipment is well maintained, ready for work, and are good to rent.

Consider getting insurance before you put your equipment up for rent. This will help you protect your investment from costly damages or repairs. So talk with your insurance company and find out about the risks involved when you have the equipment rented by others.

Be sure to research the market for the right price too. When you place your equipment on lease at a very high price, then it’s unlikely that there will be someone who will rent it.

Be realistic about how long you can part with your machines. Your ad may run for a couple of months before someone closes the deal with you so be sure you have the time between projects to keep your listings up.

And finally, write a clear contract. Make sure that the renter understands the terms and conditions and the additional fees that should be paid when there are extensions or damages incurred.

Sale of Idle Equipment

The market for used construction equipment has been pretty robust. Startup construction firms are the biggest clients of used equipment since they have a limited budget for buying one unless their client backs them up on the purchase. A recent survey shows that there is an increased demand for pre-Tier 4 construction equipment like backhoe loaders, excavators, wheel loaders, dozers, dump trucks, and compact equipment. 

Look into your previous projects and see if there’s and equipment that you rarely use or no longer use. If you think you can manage without it or if it’s cheaper to rent it on your next project, then you can go about selling it.

Likewise, check if there’s an equipment that you’d like to sell – say if you want to upgrade to a new one. See to it, though, that it is still working fine and that there will be no complaints when the new owner starts using it. Remember, faulty equipment can be fetal and you will have to go through litigation when there’s such an accident at the new owner’s site.

Once you decide on the equipment to sell, you can connect with a used-equipment dealer and talk about your options. The dealer will help you find out about the right price for the equipment and will later notify you when a buyer gets in touch with them.

Another option is to post it online. There are a number of sites and services that can get your asset out in front of an international pool of interested buyers. By using an online resource, you can sell equipment directly from your yard.

Overall, there are several ways you can do to gain some profit from your idle equipment. The secret is to review the equipment reports and see if there are idle equipment that you no longer need and can give up for lease or for sale.

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