Efficient Management of Heavy Equipment in Construction

  • Editorial Team
  • Heavy Construction Equipment
  • 14 July 2023

Construction businesses heavily rely on their machinery to complete projects successfully. However, not all companies effectively maintain and manage their equipment fleets. It is really important that construction organizations prioritize efficient management of heavy equipment so they do not face any issues down the line.

The Significance of Fleet and Equipment Management

Heavy equipment represents a significant investment for construction companies, often comprising a substantial portion of their balance sheets. Equipment-related expenditures can become the highest cost category on a jobsite when breakdowns or delays occur. As construction projects operate on strict deadlines with incentives for early delivery and penalties for late delivery, any time lost due to equipment issues can be extremely costly. Insufficient or unavailable equipment can lead to increased expenses, project delays, and dissatisfied clients.

Components of Efficient Heavy Equipment Management

Optimum Replacement Approach
To achieve cost-effective fleet operations, careful control of equipment age and quality is necessary. Extending the useful life of equipment allows businesses to recover the purchase cost over a longer period. However, aging equipment incurs higher maintenance costs and can result in lost productivity on the jobsite. If they leverage data analytics, managers can analyze information on equipment usage, maintenance, and other relevant factors. This enables them to maximize equipment utilization and identify the most opportune moment for replacement.

Promote Preventative Upkeep
Implementing an efficient preventive maintenance (PM) program is a must. Such a program reduces the likelihood of jobsite problems, lowers overall maintenance costs, and extends equipment lifespan. Construction businesses can make informed decisions about maintenance schedules, if they utilize data analytics and equipment data. Tracking equipment utilization metrics like mileage and hours allows for proactive maintenance planning, allowing timely parts ordering, mechanic scheduling, and adjustment of dispatch schedules.

Efficient Tracking and Dispatching
Knowing where and when equipment is needed is key to effective equipment dispatching, which ultimately increases equipment productivity, ensures timely project delivery, and reduces project costs. Managing large fleets across numerous projects can be complex. To simplify the process, construction businesses can utilize dispatching and tracking software. GPS systems integrated with telematics devices enable fleet managers to track and plan equipment placements, monitor equipment performance, receive maintenance alerts, and more. Implementing such technologies often leads to rapid productivity gains and improved operational efficiency.

Accurate Cost Allocation
For accurate job costing, companies must ensure that equipment expenses are charged to projects based on the actual hours used and the correct cost rate per hour for each piece of equipment. This includes considering factors such as the initial capital investment or replacement cost amortized over the asset’s useful life, equipment financing expenses, fuel costs, maintenance, insurance, and more. Implementing automated cost rate management by integrating heavy equipment utilization data with financial tracking software saves time and ensures accurate expense allocation.

Benefits of Effective Equipment Management

Efficient management of heavy equipment yields numerous benefits for construction businesses.

Cost Reduction
Proactive maintenance and optimized replacement strategies minimize equipment breakdowns and costly repairs, resulting in reduced maintenance expenses.

Timely Project Completion
Accurate tracking, dispatching, and utilization of equipment ensure projects are completed on time, avoiding delays and associated penalties.

Improved Productivity
Proper equipment management boosts productivity by maximizing equipment utilization, reducing downtime, and streamlining operations.

Client Satisfaction
Efficient equipment management contributes to smoother project execution, minimizing disruptions and meeting client expectations, resulting in more client satisfaction and repeat business.