VIDEO: Construction Equipment Daily Cab Routine

November 18, 2016 at 10:52 AMRing Power
use these pointers to be safe, comfortable and aware once inside the heavy construction equipment cab.

As a contractor or heavy equipment operator in Florida, your daily routine should begin with a machine walk-around and inspection. Watch the video below for a few pointers to keep you safe and comfortable once inside the heavy equipment cab.

- Be sure the machine's backup camera is clear of debris
- Buckle the safetybelt and lower lapbars
- Adjust air ride seat for visibility
- Adjust the construction machine's controls for comfort
- Check your backup camera's in-cab display is operating properly

Remember, be safe, comfortable and aware!

Follow Ring Power's YouTube Channel for more Quick Tips.

Posted in: Cat Rental Store | Heavy Equipment | Safety | Training

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Raynor Shine relies on robust Cat equipment

November 4, 2016 at 12:49 PMRing Power

Heavy Equipment, Construction Equipment, Wheel Loaders, Florida Construction Equipment, Ring Power, Caterpillar

As a youth, Tony Raynor’s father told him to go to college and not make a career out of the Orlando landscaping and irrigation business that his dad founded in 1975.

But blessed with a green thumb and passion for the work, Tony eschewed a college education and stayed in the family landscaping business. Then, six years after his dad’s passing in 1991, Tony decided to follow in his father’s entrepreneurial footsteps by specializing in tree service, site clearing and storm recovery.

At the outset, the tree service consisted of Tony and wife, Tami, working with a Chevy van and U-Haul trailer.

“We started off very humble and small,” Raynor recalls. “I climbed the trees and Tami worked with me dragging the limbs. After doing 22 named storms and traveling around the country, we decided to put our roots down deep here in central Florida.”

As the Orlando tree service and landclearing business grew, so did the amount of wood chips and tree debris. Tony got tired of wasting natural products that could be recycled and put back into use in the environment. So Raynor Shine started its first wood recycling yard and processing its own material in 2009.

[Watch Raynor Shine's Cat Front End Loader in Action]

A full-service sustainable recycling company processes organic vegetative debris from landclearing, tree and landscape companies as well as yard waste from municipalities. Raynor Shine’s RSRS division hauls debris with large grapple trucks to one of nine recycling facilities in central Florida.

“With our large grapple trucks we are able to haul larger amounts of debris at one time, which leaves a smaller carbon footprint on the environment and saves money,” Tony says.

Having grown to just over 100 employees, Raynor Shine has successfully completed many large debris and hauling contracts, handling millions of cubic yards of debris. The company serves the I-4 corridor from Daytona Beach to Tampa. Some of the company’s larger clients include Swan, Dolphin and Marriott Resorts. It also contracts with municipalities to handle huge volumes of yard waste.

“We’re also geared up for hurricanes being situated here in central Florida,” Tony says.  “When hurricanes hit we’re ready to get right out there and help support any municipality that needs to get back on their feet.”

The clever company name tends to draw favorable comments from customers. Plus, it neatly encapsulates Raynor Shine’s mission in two words.

“Our goal is to shine for our customers, so that was the theme behind the name that my father and grandfather came up with,” Tony says. “Plus, when it rains we talk about that, too. We tend to get the job done either way.”

Integrated approach

Raynor Shine provides clients with the most practical and environmentally friendly methods of recycling. Everything is recycled, reduced, and re-used. The company manufactures premium colored mulch products and soil amendments.

Raynor Shine has four divisions, including a grapple division that collects trees, limbs and organic material, a transport division for hauling, a processing division that grinds the organic material into mulch, and a blowing division that delivers and spreads mulch at residential and commercial sites. The company has nine processing yards throughout central Florida, with Apopka just outside Orlando as the largest facility.

Raynor Shine, Cat Equipment, Wheel Loaders, Heavy Equipment

“We take that same material that we collect or that’s dumped at our facility and we reprocess it into a reusable product,” Tony says. “We make high quality mulches for our blower trucks. We’ll deliver it in bulk, or we’ll go out there with our truck and our whole fleet of express blowers that are able to blow up to 1000 feet away from the truck.”

Cat® equipment is at the heart of Raynor Shine’s operation. Every grinder has a Cat powered engine, as do many of the blower trucks. At its main yard in Ocoee, the company utilizes a Cat 950M Wheel Loader, and a 324E Cat Hydraulic Excavator. Altogether, Raynor Shine has nine pieces of Cat equipment, along with three CT660 on-highway trucks—two of which are configured in tractor form and pull-100 yard mulch trailers.

“My operators enjoy running the Cat equipment,” Tony says. “The 950M Wheel Loader with its cab guarding package is a mean looking machine. And when you’re feeding material to a grinder with a loader, the support that you have to give a 1200 horsepower grinder, you better be mean and lean, and the Cat wheel loader definitely is a powerful machine.”

The latest configuration of the Cat 950M has wider, lower profile tires along with auto diff lock—two new features that Raynor Shine’s operators appreciate for greater stability and traction.

One of the biggest challenges in Raynor Shine’s business is physical damage to the equipment, says operations manager Edward Lee. 

“We’re dealing with logs and brush, and it has a tendency to stab and jab all over the machine, resulting in broken windshields, torn off fenders, cut hydraulic lines, and bent belly pans,” Lee says. “So, the robustness of the machine and the guarding package are big things for us.” 

All of the 950M Wheel Loaders have variable pitch fans and front window guards. The most recent wheel loader purchased by Raynor Shine is outfitted with heavy-duty steps borrowed from the waste-handling package for the 950M.

Raynor Shine depends on its Cat equipment to be up and running at all times, and enjoys uptime in the mid-90s.

“Cat machines are reliable, robust equipment that we love working with, and the uptime has exceeded our expectations,” Tony says. “The attachments that we use with them enhance their capabilities. And we like the fuel efficiency of the Tier 4 machines.” 

Dedicated support

Raynor selected Cat equipment because it’s a strong brand that enjoys a worldwide reputation for quality and reliability.

“We love that we have total support from our Cat dealer, Ring Power,” Tony says. “They have such a large team of technicians in the field, and when we need a part they’re quick to deliver it. The majority of the time they have it on the shelf, and if they don’t they have it the next day. Their support team is phenomenal.”

Adds Lee: “Cat machines are premium products, and the service is extraordinary. Ring Power has a lot of depth to be able to respond to equipment issues in the field. Basically, it’s about maximizing uptime, and what Ring Power brings to the table is the size, depth, and capacity to respond in timely fashion to maintain and repair equipment.”

Tony appreciates the ease of acquiring equipment through Cat Financial.

“Caterpillar has been a strong vendor to us in every respect, and they stand behind us, financially,” he says. “They’ve been a great partner to us in that regard.”

Raynor also appreciates the dedicated sales support he has received over the years from his Ring Power representative, Scott Starkweather.

“Even before our company grew, he was showing me every different thing that was available to help us grow our company,” Tony says. “Even when we were a small company and had only a few pieces of equipment, he still took the time to bring ideas to me and keep me informed about new equipment that was coming on the market.”

Raynor Shine has a preventive maintenance agreement with Ring Power, which provides regular maintenance on all of the company’s Cat equipment.

“To not have to handle or deal with maintaining equipment at our various locations has definitely given us time to just keep focusing on what we do best,” Tony says. “Having that partnership with a solid dealer like Ring has made a big difference and helped us with our growth.

“For any company, at the end of the day you’re only as strong as the support that you have,” Tony adds. “They get us what we need when we need it—they keep us rolling. And if it wasn’t for that relationship, I don’t think we’d be as successful as we are today. So we strongly recommend Cat equipment for anybody.” 

Posted in: Governmental | Heavy Equipment

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Not Your Average Used Construction Machinery

September 30, 2016 at 4:40 PMRing Power

In an effort to provide customers with more value for their investment, Ring Power has introduced Cat Certified Used Equipment

Cat Certified Used construction machines are low-hour, fully serviced heavy machinery, brought up to date and required to pass a rigorous inspection process. By fully inspecting and servicing lightly used Cat construction machines to a good-as-new state, our customers get the performance and reliability they need backed by Ring Power's service and parts departments.

With a strong Cat warranty, Certified Used machines provide remarkable value and dependability.

Cat Certified Used quality standards:

Passed 140-point Cat Certified inspection

Most recent maintenance completed

Serviced with genuine Cat parts

Operating and Maintenance manuals provided

Includes 12-month power train and hydraulic protection program

Ongoing dealer service and support

 

Posted in: Cat Rental Store | Heavy Equipment

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ThinkBIG Program Enrolls Largest Group Ever

August 3, 2016 at 3:31 PMRing Power
ThinkBIG, Technician Scholarship, apprentice

On Aug. 1, 11 ThinkBIG applicants and their families gathered in St. Augustine, Fla. for “signing day.”

“You guys are the cream of the crop,” Teri Brown (Customer Training Manager) told the newest ThinkBIG interns. “We chose you not just based on your mechanical aptitude tests and interviews, but also your attitude.”

The 11 students make up the class of 2018, and are the largest group ever to enter the program through Ring Power.

Over the next two years, they will rotate in eight-week intervals between classroom instruction at South Georgia Technical College and hands-on training at Ring Power.

In addition to the heavy equipment technician track, a generator technician track is now available. Ring Power worked closely with Caterpillar to develop the curriculum for the new track — the first power systems ThinkBIG program in the world.

ThinkBIG is a technician scholarship program offered by Ring Power and five other Southeast Cat dealers in partnership with Caterpillar and South Georgia Technical College in Americus, Ga.

Welcome, Class of 2018!

Posted in: Corporate | Heavy Equipment | Power Systems

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Ring Power Machines Assist in River Restoration

May 19, 2016 at 4:36 PMRing Power

In March, Ring Power delivered two Cat 725C articulated trucks and two hydraulic excavators — a 349FL and a 336EL — to customer Herve Cody. These machines are currently in use on the largest river restoration project in the world!

The Kissimmee River Restoration (KRR) will be done in four construction phases and will restore flow and function to the beautiful, meandering river that became stagnant and lifeless after a government-authorized “channelization” project started in 1960 turned it into a 56-mile-long canal. South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) scientists are already finding that the flora and fauna that had disappeared are making a comeback and report that scientific data indicate that the restoration is meeting or exceeding their expectations.

 

Posted in: Heavy Equipment

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David Alban Named Chief Operating Officer & Corporate Secretary

December 21, 2015 at 3:14 PMRing Power

David Alban has been named Chief Operating Officer & Corporate Secretary for Ring Power Corporation. The move was effective December 3.

In this role, Alban will oversee all of Ring Power’s equipment divisions’ sales and product support operations, as well as Phoenix Products, Human Resources, Training, Purchasing, Facilities and Security.

Prior to this appointment, Alban was Executive Vice President & Corporate Secretary, with responsibility for Heavy Equipment Product Support, Power Systems Division Product Support, Phoenix Products, Human Resources and Training, Purchasing, Facilities and Security. 

Alban’s career with Ring Power dates back to 2001 in the Sales Training program, where he spent time working in the service shops, learning firsthand what happens day-to-day. He also worked in the Heavy Equipment Rental department and was promoted to manager of the newly launched Agricultural Equipment division in 2003.

In 2004, when Ring Power’s Six Sigma initiative began, Alban was selected to be a Black Belt project leader. In 2008, he was named Vice President of Lift Trucks. The next year, Alban was promoted to Vice President & Corporate Secretary, with responsibility for Power Systems Product Support. In 2010, he added Heavy Equipment Product Support, Training & Safety to his responsibilities.

In 2013, Alban was named Executive Vice President & Corporate Secretary, overseeing Power Systems and Heavy Equipment Product Support, Training & Safety.  The following year he added Purchasing, Facilities, Security and Phoenix Products to his responsibilities.

In his new role, Alban will continue to report directly to Chairman and President, Randy Ringhaver.

Posted in: Corporate | Heavy Equipment

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12 Month Warranty On All New Cat® Parts

August 13, 2015 at 2:10 PMRing Power

DOUBLE THE WARRANTY. DOUBLE THE CONFIDENCE.  

Last month, the warranty for most Cat heavy construction machine parts doubled to a full year—from 6 months to 12 months. The overriding goal for the increase in warranty period is to encourage you to extend the lifecycle value of your equipment by using genuine Cat parts, because of the quality and reliability manufactured into every part.

INSIST ON QUALITY CAT PARTS FOR ALL YOUR CAT MACHINE REPAIRS

This longer, stronger warranty term also reflects Caterpillar’s absolute confidence in the proven reliability of Cat parts. As the owner of Cat equipment, we think the new 12-month warranty period will reinforce your confidence in Cat parts, too.

We also think you’ll find using or insisting repair shops use Cat parts for all your machine repairs is a smart business decision. That’s because Caterpillar engineers design our parts to keep your Cat machines up and running at peak performance.

WHY CAT PARTS FOR CAT MACHINES?

For starters, the longer Cat machine parts warranty is backed by Caterpillar and supported by Ring Power.

More reasons why you should exclusively choose Cat parts for your Cat machines:

  • Designed with stringent specifications to work as a system on your Cat machines
  • Built by the industry leader and manufactured to demanding, high-quality standards for long life
  • Help you get the most from your equipment investment

FAQ’s

Q. When does this new, longer warranty term for Cat parts go into effect?

The 12-month warranty applies to Cat parts purchased on or after July 1, 2015.

Q. What Cat parts specifically increase in warranty from 6 months to 12 months?

All of the parts previously covered by Caterpillar’s 6-month Standard Parts Warranty will now feature a 12-month warranty. For more specific information, review the new full warranty statement.

Q. When Caterpillar increased the parts warranty to a full year, did you raise the price of parts too?

No. Caterpillar has no hidden conditions on our parts. When you buy an original Cat part for your machine, you now get a full-year parts warranty under the same conditions as our previous six-months warranty.

To contact Ring Power with questions related to the new Cat heavy machine parts warranty, click here.

 

 

Posted in: Heavy Equipment

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Ring Power’s Training Department Teaches High School Students About Career Opportunities in Heavy Equipment Industry

February 3, 2015 at 1:28 PMRing Power

As a high school student Niels Ackerman attended Construction Career Days in Orlando, Fla. The program is designed to introduce school students to the wide range of career opportunities available to them in the construction industry in a hands-on environment.

The event sparked Niels’ interest in the industry and led to him participating in the Think Big program. This two-year, hands-on service technician scholarship program is offered by Ring Power and five other Southeast Cat dealers in partnership with South Georgia Technical College. Last year Ackerman graduated from the program and is now employed as a Heavy Equipment Service Technician at Ring Power’s Orlando branch.

Last month Niels returned to Construction Career Days along with members of Ring Power’s training department.

Niels, Bob Delp (Technical Training Manager) and Gabe Sacco (Training Instructor) put together a presentation with a running 2.2 engine and various hands on parts and photos of Ring Power and the Cat® products and allied lines Ring Power supports.

 In addition to learning about career opportunities in the industry, students were divided into teams of two to compete for a Cat hat. They were handed the tools necessary to swap bolts and nuts on two sprocket segments. The team that first completed the task correctly was given the choice of 1 of three new Cat hats.

After that exercise students moved to the 2.2 engine which was hooked to ET and started, in “real time graphing” the display showed: engine speed, percent of torque, requested throttle.

18 sessions were conducted over the three days, with more than 300 students attending.

Posted in: Heavy Equipment | Training

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What Tier 4 Final Emissions Really Means

December 30, 2014 at 3:57 PMRing Power

Since 1996, a “tiered” series of emissions regulations has been in effect, establishing progressively stringent standards for allowable levels of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) released into the environment by new off-road and non-road diesel engines and equipment.

Essentially, Tier 0 engines are unregulated and most often mechanically rather than electronically controlled; Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 engines include technologies that have become increasingly sophisticated with each successive generation, using electronic engine controls, higher injection pressures and turbocharging systems to meet the emissions standards at each level.

The Tier 4 standards currently in force were actually initiated in 2008, with a goal of reducing PM and NOx emissions to a level 50-96 percent lower than the existing generation of diesel engines by 2015. A transitional step – Tier 4 Interim – was introduced in 2011, which required substantial reduction in PM while allowing for flexibility in lowering NOx. Tier 4 Final, which went into effect earlier this year, has tightened the standards for further reductions in NOx and hydrocarbon (HC) emissions.

To meet current emissions standards, Caterpillar and many other manufacturers have incorporated selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology into their engine and equipment design. As a result, Cat dealers have had to learn how to service and maintain the innovative new systems and componentry that comprise this new technology.

For example, open crankcase ventilation filters (OCVs) need to be serviced or replaced periodically and diesel particulate filters (DPFs) need to be cleaned at regular intervals by a qualified technician. You may also find that belts, hoses, radiators and alternators require more frequent inspection due to the higher temperatures and operating pressures.

In addition, Tier 4 engines require ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel (ULSD) and CJ-4 low ash oil for a cleaner burn. Engines and equipment outfitted with SCR technology have a separate, on-board storage tank to hold the diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) used in after-treatment, which in turn requires special handling – and special mention here.

Tier 4 equipment owners need to understand the importance of working only with reliable vendors when purchasing DEF; and of storing their own supply in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area, out of direct sunlight. Manufactured to strict standards, DEF is a carefully blended solution of 32.5 percent high purity urea and 67.5 percent deionized water. Because temperature and time inevitably alter its concentration, DEF storage containers must be clearly dated. Contamination also affects concentration, which means storage containers must be clean and used exclusively for DEF.

 

The good news

By and large, meeting Tier 4 Final emissions standards is the responsibility of the engine manufacturers and equipment dealers. When the time comes to purchase new equipment, all you need to know is that your equipment dealer is prepared to provide the new maintenance practices required by the new components and technologies that come standard on Tier 4 Final engines.

Until then, you need not worry about Tier 4 Final at all. Tier 4 emissions requirements apply to new products only – not retroactively to any existing equipment – and at present there is no federal requirement to upgrade any existing engine to meet the new standards. Furthermore, Ring Power will be able to sell Tier 3 engines and equipment until the inventory is depleted and to service all previous generations indefinitely.

However, if your work involves bidding on governmental or public sector contracts, owning Tier 4 machines may give you a competitive edge. In that case, Ring Power has the inventory and expertise to assist you before, during and after your purchase – including Tier 4 classes for owners and operators – to help ensure you get the improved fuel efficiency, power and performance promised by the new emissions reduction technology.  

You are in good hands

Ring Power’s staff of training instructors and technical communicators have attended all of the Tier 4 training programs required by Caterpillar and are well prepared, not only to perform troubleshooting, maintenance and repair on Tier 4 Final engines, but also to instruct and train the service technician team.

Ring Power’s training department offers rigorous, ongoing Tier 4 Final training to bring service technicians up to speed with respect to the new, lower-emissions technology across all Ring Power equipment divisions. Any new machine – not just Cat, but any type, make or model of construction equipment, generator, air compressor, crane or forklift – that has a compression ignition diesel engine must now comply with Tier 4 Final regulations. To that end, Ring Power also requires all service technicians to enroll in the online curricula and hands-on training offered by their respective manufacturers.

 

The real bottom line

Although it sometimes seems a bitter pill to swallow, we need to remember that stricter emissions regulations were not imposed to punish companies that do off-road work or suppliers of off-road equipment. Every on-road vehicle has had to conform and comply, too. And, in the end, we all will be better off for it.

According to the EPA, reducing these emissions will annually prevent 12,000 premature deaths, 8,900 hospitalizations and one million workdays lost by the year 2030. Our children and our children’s children will thank us.

Posted in: Heavy Equipment | Power Systems

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How to Buy Used Equipment

November 20, 2014 at 9:40 AMRing Power

Used Equipment Buying Guide

In today’s economy, controlling the spiraling costs associated with buying and maintaining equipment can be an important part of staying profitable.

Too often, equipment purchasing decisions are viewed as an unenviable dilemma: pay a premium for a new machine or deal with the long-term added service costs of buying used.

However, reductive thinking such as this can easily lead to paying too much when a less-expensive machine will do. Taking the time to research your purchase beforehand is essential. When it comes to used heavy equipment, knowing how to shop smartly will allow you to choose a machine that will deliver a lifetime of reliable performance at a fraction of the cost of buying new.

About Ring Power

When it comes to buying new or used construction equipment, no one in Florida understands the needs of today’s construction companies, mining and agribusiness operators, building managers and other small, medium and large contractors better than Ring Power. Since 1962, Ring Power has been a vital ally to anyone in the market for CatÒ heavy equipment throughout the state and beyond.

With 26 locations in the southeast region, there’s no better partner to a growing business of any size. When you trust Ring Power for your new or used equipment needs, you benefit from:

Genuine Cat quality — As the legendary brand’s only representative in north and central Florida, Ring Power offers factory authorized repairs and exclusive service programs, such as the Cat Scheduled Oil Sampling (SOS) protocol. What this means is that your purchase will be maintained to the highest standards and will continue to deliver exceptional performance for as long as you own it.

The largest parts inventory — Ring Power maintains one of the largest inventories of Cat equipment parts in the southeast United States. Whether you need repairs or scheduled maintenance, we can quickly provide the items you need to minimize disruption to your fleet.

24-hour service — When an unexpected issue is threatening your productivity, only Ring Power can provide emergency repairs to the high standards set by the Cat brand. Our team of field technicians is available around the clock for service that gets you back up and running quickly. With more than 600 field service vehicles, there’s no repair, maintenance or diagnostic issue we can’t handle. One call to our toll-free number is all it takes to get a team dispatched to your location.

To find out more about what Ring Power can do for you, or to view our current inventory of new and used heavy equipment, contact a location near you today.

Why Buy Used?

The most obvious benefit to buying used construction equipment is the lower purchase price. When buying used, fleet owners can afford a higher caliber of machine than they would otherwise be able to afford if they were limited to new. This translates to increased productivity, greater fuel efficiency and lower operating costs overall. Some of the other benefits of buying used construction equipment include:

  • Loss value

    Avoiding depreciation — Depreciation schedules for used construction equipment aren’t linear. That means resale values don’t continue to depreciate at the same rate over time. While most machines will lose between 20-40% of their value within a year of being purchased, values remain relatively stable following that — as long as all major components are well-maintained. When you buy a machine that’s more than a year old, you effectively save this initial depreciation while still getting something that’s relatively new and good for a lifetime of use.
  • Resale value — Due to the uneven depreciation schedules of most construction equipment, a machine bought used will retain a large portion of its value if serviced properly. Be sure to keep records of all repairs and preventative maintenance, as these will increase your equipment’s resale potential.
  • Similar technology — Historically, the heavy equipment industry has been slow to adopt new technologies. This means that the important components of a given piece of machinery, on a year to year basis, are relatively unchanged. By buying used, you will save money while still getting a machine that’s well equipped to handle the challenges of the future.
  • Available warranties —  Most reputable used equipment dealers, such as Ring Power, offer comprehensive warranties, preventative maintenance plans, and other service agreements for all used construction equipment. This means you can shop with confidence knowing your purchase will be backed up by a reputable team you can trust to deliver on their promises.
  • Easier training — While the nuts and bolts of a used tractor, used dozer, used skid steer loader or other machine are unlikely to vary significantly, certain changes from year to year — particularly those relating to control systems — may require time-consuming retraining of your staff. Buying used allows you to purchase a machine your team is already comfortable with, so you can maintain productivity even as you upgrade your fleet.
  • No wait times — The training issue speaks to a larger concern when buying both new and used equipment for construction. We all know that time is money, and for most owner/operators, the expense of purchasing any machine will need to be offset by a quick return to full productivity. When buying new, delivery times can run to weeks or even months, particularly if additional work tools or other modifications are required. By buying used, you get a machine that is ready to be put into service immediately.

Is used construction equipment automatically a better value than new? Not always. For many contractors, buying new equipment represents an important investment in the future of their business. However, automatically dismissing a used machine as more expensive to operate and maintain can be a costly mistake. As with all things, exercising due diligence when shopping for machinery is essential. By looking critically at the value new machinery brings vs. the lower cost of buying used, you will be better positioned to evaluate your needs and make the best purchase decision for the long term.

The key to making a successful long-term decision involves knowing what to look for when shopping for used Cat equipment. We’ve gone into depth and created a general used construction equipment buying guide that will allow you to do just that.

How to Value Used Construction Equipment

Whether you’re in the market for used construction equipment, used agricultural equipment or any other heavy machinery, your primary consideration is likely to be purchase price. When setting your budget, you should consider how you will arrange financing, what the long-term implications of an equipment lease will be to your operating budget, and what the anticipated operating costs will be for a given piece of equipment.

How much money should you spend on used equipment?

Obviously, your goal should be to choose the machine that will offer the best long-term value. While there are clear advantages to paying extra for a newer or better-equipped machine, exceeding your budget by too much can limit your ability to grow going forward. When setting a budget, ask yourself:

How long do I plan on using this machine? How will it fit into my long-term business plan? Is buying outright really the best decision, or should I consider renting?

  • Will my purchase meet the future needs of my business? Is there a realistic potential for growth in expanding my fleet?
  • What will the operating costs be? Will future upgrades be required to meet emissions or other regulatory guidelines?
  • What will be required to train staff? Who will use this new machine, and what are the occupational health implications of expanding my fleet?
  • How will I service my purchase? Are my in-house technicians properly equipped to perform required maintenance and repairs, or will I have to outsource mechanical work?

A hard look at these and other important questions is essential to thinking broadly about your used equipment needs.

Knowing What to Pay

Unlike cars and on-highway trucks, there’s no particular resource for pricing heavy equipment. Because of the high degree of customizability for individual machines, those in the market for a used asphalt paver, used crane truck or other piece of heavy equipment can’t simply turn to the equivalent of the Kelly Blue Book for high and low values.

A few online resources, including the Equipment Watch Green Guide and Fastline, will make your search easier. However, neither can be considered a comprehensive or authoritative used heavy equipment price guide. (The Green Guide, in particular, requires a $1900 annual subscription fee, limiting its usefulness to all but dealers and auction houses.)

When you’re shopping for used heavy equipment, the only way to be sure you’re getting a fair deal is to do the research yourself. Prices for different machines can vary considerably from region to region. Check with your local used construction equipment dealer and account for any additional work tools or other upgrades you may need to configure a machine to your specific purposes.

For in-depth assistance, contact a Ring Power representative today.

Factors Affecting Purchase Prices

Knowing how to value used construction equipment is an inexact science. A number of different factors will affect the price a given machine will command on the market — often in unpredictable ways. When performing market research or shopping for a used machine, bear in mind the impact the following factors can have on pricing:

Age and Hours

The value of used construction equipment does not depreciate evenly over time. Instead, about a year after purchase, depreciation slows and values remain relatively consistent provided the machine stays in good condition. At this point, the number of hours on the machine begins to play a larger role in determining resale values. An older machine with low hours that has been properly maintained will fetch more than one that shows its age more evidently.

Manaufacturer

It should come as no surprise that the manufacturer’s reputation plays a large role in determining the value of used construction equipment. One of the reasons why Cat equipment holds its value so well is because of the company’s Certified Rebuild program. Thanks to modular components that can be reconditioned, rebuilt or replaced, Cat machines have a built-in “second life” that will continue to deliver productivity for years to come.

Options and Tooling

The ability to do more in the field is an important selling point for any piece of used heavy equipment. It only makes sense that a machine that is better equipped will command a higher price than a bare-bones model. However, it’s important to remember that additional features will require additional maintenance and increased training time — don’t be swayed by bells and whistles that won’t add long-term value to your fleet.

Seller Reputation

The vendor selling a used machine can play an important role in determining its market value — especially when compared to the uncertainty of buying from an unknown vendor. For example, many of the used generators, skid steer loaders and other equipment for sale at Ring Power have been sourced from our rental fleet. As a result, individual units have a detailed service history verifying that all regular maintenance has been performed to the highest standards. A reputable used Cat equipment vendor will also allow potential buyers to inspect and test equipment, and will back up everything they sell with some level of warranty support.

Market Factors

You don’t need a degree in economics to know that shifting market conditions play a role in how the value of a used construction machine or generator is determined. A slow economy means less money is being spent on construction and infrastructure development. In turn, this means fewer potential purchasers for used machines, which drives down prices and gives buyers more room to negotiate. Seasonal and location-specific variations can also have an impact on certain machines — during peak local construction and logging times, used heavy equipment will be in greater demand and will command higher prices.

Renting vs. Buying: Understanding Operating Costs

With the many factors that determine how to value used construction equipment, many fleet owners opt for the more stable costs associated with renting, particularly for short-term or one-off projects.

Is renting a better option for your business? The answer may not be as straightforward as you think. For an in-depth look at the bottom line costs associated with renting and owning used construction equipment, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers publishes a comprehensive Construction Equipment Ownership and Operating Expense Schedule that can be useful. The guide offers region-specific methodology for determining the operating costs of different types of heavy equipment, including local gas and diesel prices, electricity costs, import, tax and freight rates, and more. You’ll be able to determine hourly operating costs, which can then be referenced against rental rates to determine the best overall option for a one-off job.

Making a Smart Purchase

Once you have identified your equipment needs and settled on a budget that’s both realistic for the type of machine you want and within your means, you can begin the process of looking at potential purchases. Here, again, some research and a critical eye will be essential allies when making a decision.

To ensure you get a machine that delivers reliable performance and a solid return on your investment, you need to know a potential purchase is both mechanically and structurally sound. Any reputable used heavy equipment vendor will allow you to perform a thorough inspection before making a decision.

5 important Areas to Look at When Buying Used Equipment

  • Cab — Operator comfort and visibility are important considerations when inspecting the cab of any used machine. A well-designed and well-maintained cab means greater productivity, lower training costs and less time spent on rework. Some features to look for include adjustable seat height, back and lumbar support, armrests, steps, hand rails and adjustable, well-laid out controls.

If you have the opportunity to try out the machine, check for visibility, vibrations through the seat or floor, noise and temperature levels, and any reflections, glares or other distractions. While many of these things may seem like minor nuisances at first, try to imagine yourself working an eight hour shift in the machine — what factors will impede your comfort and productivity over the course of the day? Can they be easily fixed or altered to provide a better user experience? If not, would a different machine be better suited to the task?

  • Chassis — A visual inspection of a machine’s chassis can tell you a lot about its condition. Look closely for evidence of leaks, particularly in the engine compartment, around hydraulic components and near any other hoses, pumps and rams. Check for parts that have been welded or other indications of a prior repair, particularly by sprockets, tracks, locks and arms.

Get underneath the machine and inspect the undercarriage for damage, repairs or worn parts that will require replacing. Make sure you look for cracked windows and other cosmetic damages that haven’t been fixed. While a well-used machine can be expected to display some wear and tear, the presence of potential safety hazards that are left unaddressed can indicate a lack of upkeep.

  • Engine/transmission — The engine and transmission are two of the most important components of any machine, so it pays to do your due diligence and thoroughly inspect both for signs of wear. If necessary, bring along an experienced operator who knows what to look for.

Start the engine and listen for any abnormal noises, look for smoke, and check to ensure all gauges are working properly and no error messages come up. Put the transmission into gear and see how smoothly it goes. Move the machine forwards and backwards, and listen for any squeaks or noises that may indicate worn-out rollers or other components. Lastly, step outside the machine and make sure exhaust emissions are properly vented and that all moving parts, hot surfaces and other potential safety hazards are guarded.

  • Hydraulics/work tools — While hydraulic cylinders can be rebuilt or replaced, doing so is often expensive and time-consuming. Knowing of any issues beforehand will help you make a more informed purchase decision. Look for leaks and worn seals in the pump compartment and along the swing bearing. Check for excessive play or other control issues that may indicate a history of improper use. Inspect all included work tools for wear issues, such as scalloping in excavator buckets. If you plan on purchasing additional attachments, make sure the machine has the necessary hydraulic lines to support them, if applicable.
  • Tracks/tires — Replacing work tracks and tires can be expensive. Check for any missing bolts or tracks on track-type machines. Check tires for bulges or cracks, both of which are common on machines that are stored outside. Bring a tread gauge to determine wear on tires. Tires that are worn unevenly may indicate suspension or drivetrain issues on certain machines. Visit the tire manufacturer’s website to check replacement requirements and costs. While this information should be included on any inspection report provided to you by the vendor, it’s important to double check for yourself to be sure.

Ultimately, your experience and intuition as an owner/operator is essential when shopping for used machinery. Be sure to ask questions and bring along other team members with expertise in a given piece of equipment. The more trustworthy eyes you have on a potential purchase, the more informed you will be about its overall condition and future maintenance costs.

The Importance of Diagnostics and Service Histories

Evidence of regular maintenance is one of the most important roles in determining the value of used construction equipment. A machine that has been treated well will have fewer problems in the long term, making it worth paying extra for initially.

Ask to see all maintenance records and confirm that the engine, transmission, hydraulics, suspension and other parts have been maintained according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Take note of any major repairs that were performed, particularly if they appear to recur in a specific problem area.

While newly-replaced parts can be an important selling point, they may also indicate a history of improper use or neglect. Ask both why a repair was performed and how it was done — the use of OEM parts and the following of manufacturer’s repair vs. replace guidelines all indicate an appropriate level of care has been taken.

One indicator that due care has been taken with a machine’s maintenance is a record of regular oil analysis, such as the Cat Scheduled Oil Sampling (SOS) protocol. The presence of metal particulates in a machine’s engine and hydraulic oil indicates wear on replaceable components. Tracking levels of different metals provides a key insight into the condition of these parts over time. While oil sampling is most effective when performed at regular intervals, it can also be helpful as part of a pre-purchase inspection. Ask that a full report and analysis be provided before making any decision to buy.

Contact Ring Power for Used Construction Equipment in Central Florida

Like any major purchase or business decision, buying used construction equipment requires a careful consideration of your needs, both now and in the future. By partnering with Ring Power, you’ll gain a trusted ally who will work with you to select the machine that delivers the most value for your purchasing dollar. If you’re in the central or northern Florida area, contact one of our 26 locations for immediate assistance with all your used construction equipment needs.