Heavy Equipment Manufacturing: Renting vs. Buying

On how many occasions have you looked into renting or buying a tool or equipment? Still wondering if there is a right or wrong decision? Well, there isn’t.

The construction industry is so competitive now that even the smallest additional cost can bring you down from that top bidder spot. Construction equipment and tools are bought and/or rented in certain cases; however, the final decision is dependent on the frequency and methods by which you can allocate some of these costs.

Should you rent or buy construction tools and equipment? Let’s look at some intriguing points of view for you to consider.

Benefits of Buying

A general rule of thumb is that if you are utilizing a tool or equipment more than half of the time, then you should think of buying it.

Purchasing a tool or equipment is a choice that ultimately impacts your immediate opportunities for providing a lesser price to your consumers. If you are buying the equipment, consider the tax benefits it can offer and how the cost is depreciated or amortized through a straight line or compound declining balance.

Owned materials and tools like Heavy-Duty Caster Wheels, industrial Turntables, lifting jacks.

are regarded as assets adding to your balance sheet and which can always be sold in case of hard times. If you’re the owner of the material, it is easy to direct the pace and decide when to use, but remember to account for its transit costs.

Finally, there is an idea of joint ownership, when different companies join forces to purchase large equipment, so it can be available to all the parties, and the cost gets divided into many shareholders. Usually, loan installments are only a small fraction of rental rates, as this also includes fuel, maintenance, transport, and many other costs.

Renting Benefits

If you’re indecisive still, start by renting the material required for the job as it can give information about the cost and maintenance to estimate a payback period. Additionally, the rental experience is used to find out the efficiency of your production when the tools are used continually rather than being an option. Using rental tools such as heavy-duty caster wheels, industrial Turntables, lifting jacks, will normally bake the cost in and pass to the consumer as overhead or indirect costs during the project execution.

Rental costs are thought of as business expenses and deducted yearly. Renting is profitable when you don’t have plenty of funds to invest, and by renting it, you will gain access to the latest equipment while not carrying the burden of insurance or maintenance.

Buying or Renting Equipment

If we are examining heavy equipment, then it should be viewed a little differently. Reduced interest rates, tax, and other incentives (money) are making the buying decision more appealing than ever. But, be aware that the storage and upkeep costs can hugely affect your cash flow when the tools are not used efficiently.

There is the option of renting your material too, but you will have to ensure the appropriate insurances are in place, and there is sufficient money to cover operational expenses. Larger equipment demands extra analysis during the buy-or-rent equipment process, and distinct models and options should be considered. Don’t forget that every equipment maintains a different value over time, so do some research and compare the costs of used tools before purchasing.

Along with all of these items, be aware of the transportation costs and permits needed to move the equipment from one location to another, and consider if the storage space will be affected by road postings. If your material is rented within 100 miles, then minimum costs are associated with it, but when it’s used in remote places, remember to add travel expenses, repairs,  maintenance, and fuel if it needs to be serviced.

When to Buy and When to Rent Construction Tools & Equipment

The gist of this question can be obtained after you evaluate the following points:

  • If you are using the machine 176 consecutive hours or 22 days for more than 8 months a year, consider buying it.
  • If your tools are required by a specialty contractor that you are planning to employ temporarily or if only required for a single project, then simply rent it.
  • Whenever a project or a group of projects in your facility requires the same equipment over and over, just buy it.
  • Multipurpose tools such as drills, generators, rotary hammers, or tools like diggers, backhoes, or front-wheel loaders, needed constantly, buy them. Rental costs will accumulate quickly.
  • If your cash flow is not big enough or if creditworthiness is an issue for your business, rent it.

How do you go about getting your equipment and tools? Do you buy or rent? Spark a conversation down in the comments.

Moving Heavy Objects: Essential Tools for Your Lifting/Carrying Needs

When it comes to carrying, moving, and lifting a wide variety of objects in a warehouse or work site, some numerous devices and attachments can make the work more easy and efficient. The majority of work in conjunction with forklifts, expanding the uses of these already versatile machines.

In a warehouse, forklifts, a MatJack, industrial casters, and skate machines are exceptionally useful pieces of equipment, but there are novelty accessories and products that expand a machine’s level of functionality. This is where the specialty attachments, extensions,  and accessories come in, like self-dumping hoppers, drum handlers, and man-baskets, which increase your forklift’s safety and make it more versatile, for increased efficiency and higher productivity. The return on investment on this specialized equipment is very fast, with the majority paying for themselves within a bunch of uses.

A few of the most highly recommended accessories, extensions, and attachments for your needs of lifting, carrying, and Moving Heavy Objects include:

Carpet Poles: Rolled carpets are usually quite difficult and heavy to bear. In certain situations, they might also be stored on high or elevated shelves, making them dangerous for workers to pull down. Carpet poles or forklift rug rams allow the forklift’s driver to slide the pole into a rolled carpet’s center, lifting the carpet from its shelf and moving it to a different location.

Drum Handlers: If you utilize a steel, fiber, or plastic chimed drum, a drum handler is a perfect tool for you. They typically come in light, mid-size, and heavy-duty models with capacities that range from 750 pounds to 4000 pounds scale.

Forklift Forks: Forged forklift forks are produced in twin sets, giving you the confidence that every pair of forks you buy will be even in tip density and blade height. A standard locking pin kit comes along with a forklift replacement fork to hold the blade in place on the lift truck. They are normally available in several classes, such as Class 2 or Class 3 mount, in varying lengths of up to 96 inches.

Forklift Extensions: A forklift fork extension enables the handling of odd-shaped loads with greater stability and less product damage. Just slip the extension over the fork, and it will lie on top of your fork and secure to the fork hanger.

Boxed Fork Extensions: A boxed fork extension is designed for extended capacity, handling 4,000 pounds per set, opposed to the 2,500 pounds capacity on regular extensions. They are intended to be used on shaft-mount forks but can be applied to almost all types of forklift forks.

Lift Jibs: Lift Jibs allow flexibility in the lifting of big, bulky loads, like bar stock, tubes, and pipes. The forklift lift jib glides over forks and attaches to the lift truck with a safety chain. Multiple hole spots and two standard swivel hooks with shackles offer you different lifting options.

Self-Dumping Hoppers: When you are striving to keep your job site clean or maintaining a plant, consider a self-dumping hopper. These inexpensive units help in collecting, storing, and transporting bulk materials, and it’s easier for a forklift driver to transport them by slipping forks into their fork pockets. When it has been moved to the right place, open the safety latch, and the hopper will tilt forward and let its contents loose. After that, the self-dumping hopper will return to its position, and it is reusable for a new load of materials immediately.

Load Backrests: Steel load backrests are manufactured to secure the load from falling toward the equipment operator. This allows the product to lay against a flat, square surface that makes loading processes safe.

Forklift Man-Baskets: These safety man-baskets are designed to lift employees above the ground with a forklift.

Snow Bucket: These are made for forklift use and are easily attachable with a safety chain. The snow bucket is a fast attach snow plow, usually with a self-dumping mechanism that activates with just a pull on the release cable by the forklift driver.

Trailer Mover: A fork-mounted trailer mover is a perfect way to make use of your forklift for moving towable trailers around in a facility. No more time is wasted in acquiring a tow vehicle connected to a trailer; simply insert your forks into the trailer mover, wrap the safety chain across the carriage, and voila! You are ready to go!

Industrial caster: An Industrial Caster is a heavy-duty caster that is manufactured and designed to carry heavy loads, in some instances up to thirty thousand pounds. These casters may have either a rigid caster design or a swivel

MatJack: MatJack can offer you high-pressure air lifting bags, medium pressure lifting cushions, low pressure lifting cushions with which you can lift several tons, with only a click of a button.

Material Handling Industry: How Automation is Affecting Flexibility

In one big sweep, automation improves quality, safety, and productivity. It can make your company more competitive and can even prove as an effective marketing tool, just like the robots from Amazon all over YouTube.

Yet, when thinking about an automated solution, the drawbacks need to be considered too. One of these possible downsides is flexibility. It is essential to fully comprehend the impact automation will make on the flexibility of your operation, as well as recognize the importance of this flexibility to the operation’s mission.

The Relationship between Flexibility and Technology

As an imaginary experiment, think of the 3 following situations for a pallet-level warehouse:

  • It doesn’t get more flexible than in a wide-open warehouse; you can do all things you want but will probably have a lot of wasted space overhead and extended drive times.
  • High-bay racking restricts our footsteps a little, but otherwise stores what you need. You can have some quite good storage density and no more digging in bulk bays for you to retrieve buried loads.
  • ASRS offers tons of speed, the storage density is incredible, and is extra labor efficient, but can only perform particularized processes and the inputs have to be exactly right.

3 varying levels of technology – racking, floor storage, and ASRS.  All of them have their place on the flexibility scale.  Due to the risk of oversimplifying, the number of options a management team has generally declined as the automation increases.

Price and complexity vs. flexibility

We’ve established that the equipment used in your operation affects how flexible your operation will be; that isn’t terrible. Sadly, there is another bigger impact on the flexibility that is related to automating a facility, and it involves the investment that is linked to the project – both human and financial.

Below are some examples of how the operation’s flexibility is affected by capital investment:

Don’t mess this up: There is a much higher price to failure with automation vs. a plain MHE-based picking process.  As the expense for a trial iteration of a new process increases, a team will begin to lose the experimental ground that would allow them to try as many sequential iterations required to dial a process in. For projects with bigger investments, you practically have to get it right on the first try. At  Hovair, we employ best practices and simulations to reduce the impact of this issue. It is one of the best Material handling Industry.

Good things take time: To get truly invested in automation, your team will have to pass through capital approvals, delivery installation, purchasing processes, testing, and on goes the list! This situation is immensely different when comparing to a small or zero capital project where you can execute a good idea within the day. At times, the ideal situation for automated solutions sounds like “I think we can squeeze it in next quarter IF we just concentrate on it.”

Sounds like a great idea but…: Causing to the nature of automation, it is extremely difficult to incorporate all of the little adjustments and process improvement initiatives that users find by working the process.  Surely, you could include some, but often some great ideas are left behind because it’s too expensive to make the automation or equipment work in harmony.

Finding a balance

Flexibility and automation don’t have a linear relationship. Automation can be planned to maximize the inherent flexibility of the solution– however, you have to plan it in that manner!  Consider a collaborative robot vs. a traditional robot cell.

Automation moves on a spectrum. Not only are there multiple levels of automation for one process, but you can choose specific things to automate and not others.  The intrinsic flexibility can be found in apparently unexpected places (imagine a full-scale WMS with pickers on pallet jacks). There are great opportunities for the physical process, but it may not be so for software.

Return on investment: A business aims to make money. This should go without saying, but two factors heavily influence the return on your investment from automation; the return and the investment. An innovative engineer would approach this by searching for an inexpensive type of automation to generate the same return, while a competitive operations manager would milk every ounce of return out of an investment.  Looking at only half the picture limits the available tools.

When reviewing the unique challenges of operations, and the best type of solution or automation, it’s crucial to look at the entire effect of each option– including on flexibility. What might work for one business may not fit for another in a similar market. Whatsoever your challenges, Hovair has a lot of expertise with operations and engineering methods, plus we can hook you up with vehicle turntables, rigging systems, and shipping container casters to suit your needs.