If you’re a contractor or dealer working in, or serving the site and surface preparation, and construction industries- you know that investing in equipment is a reality of the line of work. Purchasing a piece of equipment is an investment in your business as well as your future so it is important to be able to answer a few basic questions if you’re thinking about investing in a new machine or piece of equipment.
Although every company and person will have a series of things they consider before making a purchase, the following questions are a few that we recommend adding, if you haven't already considered them.
What is unique about one model vs. others?
With hundreds of different models and manufactures of similar types of equipment it can be hard to wade through all the specs and features to decide on what you want or need. After you’ve narrowed it down to a few models that you’re considering- that’s when this question becomes important. On occasion, you’ll come to a point where you have a few machines that you feel are equal- so in these situations, price can be a determining factor; but often you find that one stands out. Whether it’s a smaller frame, or a heavier weight, something will be more of a benefit to your business. - Sometime you get lucky and the answer is obvious from the start, but other times it may take more intentional research.
What is unique about the manufacturer/dealer you’re looking to purchase from?
Most people don’t think to consider this when purchasing a piece of equipment but it will have a definite influence on your short term and long term experience. What is the warranty policy? Do they have good customer service? Are they reasonable and eager to help, and answer your questions? If you keep coming up with negative answers to these types of questions, that is a red flag. You do not want to be stuck working with a manufacture or dealer who isn’t going to be helpful in situations when your equipment breaks down… because it will- that’s the nature of dealing with machinery. You can have the best built, most efficient, perfect piece of equipment, and at some point, when you least expect it, it will break down. So, you want to make sure you can work through those situations with a company that respects your business and loyalty.
Is there a problem you’re trying to solve?
When machines get old it can be tempting to upgrade to a newer one, even if you don’t need it. Or maybe, you’re looking to grow your business and aren’t sure which piece of equipment will be most beneficial. Identify your equipment related challenges or problems, and then figuring out which piece of equipment will help to solve them, so you’ll be able to make more intentional, directed decisions.
What are other people in the industry saying about this machine and its manufacturers?
Do some research within the industry. See what your competitors are doing and using. What do people have to say about working with specific manufacturers or dealers? What do people have to say about their experience with the equipment you're interested in? Are the answers mostly positive or negative?
If you have the opportunity to attend trade shows, like World of Concrete for example, we highly suggest it. -Those are great opportunity to do a lot of research in a short amount of time. You can talk with people from all over and hear the different opinions about equipment, manufacturers, and their first-hand experiences.
Can you book a demo, or rent first?
It’s like test driving a car. Ask for a demo, if a demo isn’t an option for your location, then ask if you can rent the equipment first, before making a purchase so you can see if it will do what you need it to do.
Let’s be honest- this industry is not cheap, and equipment can be very expensive so it’s important to do research. The questions above are a few great questions to consider before you even looking at pricing. Investing in quality machinery that’s built to last and working with a great manufacturer and dealer is important and will make or break your buying experience.