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4 Ways Quality Construction Equipment Equals Improved Efficiency

By: Grant King - IndustrySearch Writer
24 April, 2015

How can we do things faster and more efficiently? That's the million dollar question facing construction bosses. Or in plenty of cases, the multimillion dollar question.

Construction is notoriously reluctant to adopt new technology, often relying on a tried and true formula of fluctuating manpower and familiar machines. While the former modifies itself by a simple process of hiring and firing, the latter can remain unchanged and unmoved by technological advancement project after project.

Does this approach undermine the potential of sites? And what improvements could be made to enhance overall efficiency? Here are four ways quality equipment and machinery can make a significant difference.

Machines do have use-by dates

Construction sites that persist with old or obsolete machinery do so for one obvious reason: replacement cost. But unlike us humans, machines don't know when to retire. Instead they embark on a journey of decline that can be so slow and steady it falls under the site's productivity radar.

Occasional downtime for maintenance and repair gradually sneaks up until finally site managers notice that their trusty excavator has spent more time digging its own grave than actually working.

So work it out. How much is that piece of equipment costing you in downtime? What is it costing you each year in repairs? Just as importantly, how productive is such a problematic machine when directly compared to a new or reasonably new replacement?

More often than not the upfront pain of forking out for an upgrade will be offset by a marked increase in output. Initial maintenance costs should also be lower if you've chosen a new machine or a quality used one with a good service record.

Give your site a new lease of life

Purchasing new machinery can place an onus on its ongoing usage time and subsequent productivity. Fortunately there is a viable alternative, especially for heavy machinery with short term or irregular roles on the construction calendar.

Lease for the duration of its usefulness and no longer. One, you aren't stuck with it until it becomes another ageing retiree-to-be depreciating and decaying its way into another 'if only' story. Two, if you deal with the right leasing company, you'll not only get a high quality piece of equipment, it will come with its own fully qualified driver. So there's no need to have a driver on staff or go through expensive training.

Safe sites are successful sites

When we think of improving construction site efficiency through better equipment, we tend to think of machines – bigger, better trucks and excavators and cranes to get the job done faster.

Yet an important bit of equipment to get right on any site is the equipment your workers wear on the job. Hard hats, safety glasses, gloves and boots all need to be durable and dependable. The same goes for safety harnesses when working at heights. Ensure all this equipment is always of the highest quality and your downtime through accidents and injuries will be greatly reduced.

Employ a quality computer system

Studies of worksite efficiency show that construction workers are only productive for about half the duration of their shift. What are they doing the rest of the time? Waiting for equipment and building supplies to arrive. Why? Often because the necessary computing systems aren't in place to flag needs ahead of time.

A quality computer system keeps you on top of requirements and helps to ensure that all equipment and materials arrive when they're needed, not two days later.

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