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What to Consider When Purchasing Your Next Piece of Equipment

What to Consider When Purchasing Your Next Piece of Equipment

Are you considering upgrading or adding a new machine to your family of equipment? Before investing in a certain make or model, explore all of your options to truly find the piece of equipment best suited to you and your business. We’ve listed some of the most important factors to consider below to help you be sure that the equipment you’re investing in will continue to provide value for years to come.

1. Production- Is the equipment productive enough to handle the incoming waste stream or workload? What we really mean is, does the piece of equipment match up to your processing needs and have the ability to produce your desired end product? Will it be able to stand up to the capacity of your workload, and will it be able to grow with your business and your industry? Alternately, is the machine you’re considering simply too big for your needs, and will it create unnecessary downtime by inhibiting you from transporting it quickly and efficiently to your next job site? Does the machine require supporting equipment and multiple employees to help you get the job done? Having a piece of equipment you cannot operate efficiently because you don’t have proper supporting equipment or workforce is like having a big house but not enough furniture to fill it- either way, you are not going to get the maximum value out of it! Depending on your industry and your processing demands, it’s important to also consider the amount of setup time and daily inspection required to operate the machine safely. If you have to transport your machine multiple times throughout the day to different job sites, you won’t want to have a piece of equipment that requires intensive maintenance and setup time. You should also consider whether it’s more beneficial to have tracks or wheels on your machine. Tracks may provide greater on-site mobility, but wheels offer more ease of transport from one location to the next. Lastly, think about where you’re going to be operating your machine. If you work in a residential or municipal area, are there any noise restrictions you have to follow? If so, it’s important to find out if your manufacturer offers electric power options.

2. Simplicity of Operation/Maintenance- Is the design easy to operate, maintain, and service? Not only should you consider how much time it will take every day to perform routine maintenance procedures, but also how simple the machine is to inspect and work on. How much training is required to safely and effectively operate the machine? How much training will you have to undergo if you do not already know how to operate the machine? How many updates and new features will you have to maintain on your machine in order for it to run at its highest level of productivity? These are all questions you should take into consideration since routine maintenance, safety, and operation are some of the most deciding factors in the level of productivity that your machine will be able to give you.

3. Safety-Is the machine safe to operate, and does the manufacturer provide sufficient safety information? What is the manufacturer’s reputation for safety, and how familiar are you with the proper precautions that must be made when operating the equipment? Does the machine come supplied with an up-to-date operator’s manual, and will the manufacturer alert you to any new updates to parts and how to correctly perform maintenance that keeps the machine running safely? Educate yourself on thoroughly understanding the safety measures required for operation, and be sure that all members of your team are also up to date on the importance of ongoing safety training.

What to Consider When Purchasing Your Next Piece of Equipment

4. Durability: Can you expect the equipment to be productive for an extended period of time with little significant downtime? Down-time is inevitable, but it’s the average amount of downtime you can expect when you have to service your machine that is important. It’s important to determine your machine's daily (or hourly) run-time before it requires routine maintenance and inspection. If there is something you need serviced on your machine that you can’t perform yourself, how far away is the closest dealer that can do it for you? How much downtime can you expect before you can be back on the job site running your equipment again? What is the discrepancy between the cost of maintenance, repairs, and downtime vs. ROI? Invest in equipment that is durable, reputable for high levels of productivity and performance quality. You show up to work every day, so why wouldn’t you invest in a machine that you can count on to be up and running every day with you?

5. Return on Investment- What long-term benefits can you expect from your initial investment? The number one thing to remember when it comes to price is that the machine you are buying is an investment in your business and yourself. When selected properly, the right piece of equipment will provide you with a revenue stream for years to come. Weighing the capital of the machine vs. the return you can expect on your investment will help put into perspective what your budget should be. Think of it this way- when you invest in a quality machine, it helps you avoid costs that could pop up down the road, leaving you with large expenses due to prolonged downtime, expensive repairs, and less productivity. Also, consider the resale value of your machine. You want equipment that is durable, reputable, and will hold its value over time. Look into if your manufacturer has financing options available, and make sure that you are comfortable working with their customer service team in case you have any questions that arise. Remember, investing in your machine upfront will only benefit you in the long run!

6. Product Support- Does the company have the resources to provide parts and service support quickly and efficiently? Does the manufacturer of your machine provide resources on how to safely operate and maintain your machine? Do they continually provide updated training and information regarding new parts, features, and discontinued equipment? What is their reputation for customer support, and how regularly do they answer customer questions, address feedback, and stay up to date with the newest industry technologies? Do they provide dealer networks and resources for you to connect with other people within your industry? The buyer’s journey should not stop after the purchase is complete. You will need continued support throughout the entire life of your machine, so choose a manufacturer that you know will be happy to provide it.

Morbark provides a dealer finder and support network depending on your location, so there is always someone available in your area to assist you with parts, service, and sales. Access our dealer finder above by clicking “Find A Dealer” in the upper right-hand corner. In areas where a dealer is not located, the dealer finder will show you the closet dealer and provide contact information to a sales representative that will be able to assist you.