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Keep it or Get Rid of it?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by RockSet N' Grade, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    For any of you actually in the business: At what point do you decide to get rid of a piece of equipment? Is your decision based on depreciation, repair costs, life expectancy? Do you ever buy used and fix it up to new or has it been better to buy new - use it and dump it ? I know this has been discussed, but I am still searching for insights........
  2. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,136

    For me it's when I try anything that sure as hell feels alot better than the crap I'm running now.
  3. Construct'O

    Construct'O LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Sw Iowa
    Messages: 1,387

    Over the years,started out new,then added used,then keep working my way up to new and then leveled off from there.

    Of course that has been ages ago now,and new is out for me now because of the big hit when it leaves the dealer.If younger it would be new again.

    Most of my new(old mchine) are still working hard because of the strict care i have given them.Work them hard but don't abuse them.

    The last go around for me as far as the big iron was low hour older machine used.It is working out good so far.

    CTL was new,traded high mantience machine and large repair bills for the furture stareing me in the eye.Dependablity was getting to be a big issue,plus more options as for uses with the CTL.

    Sometimes you do it because it makes you feel better.Again need to have a plan in place to make it earn enough money to make it pay it's way in the business.Alway like for each machine to pay it's way in the company.

    Always hating having too take money from other working machine to carry the others,but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.If the work doesn't come for that machine it needs to hit the road and try something else or flip the real working machine for a new.

    As for me, used big iron, from now on and new for the lower end stuff.Hard going ,working days are coming closer to the end.A person need to realize nothings for ever.

    If you have family that can or wants,plus as the ability to make it work still for you into your golden years then that might give you another option.

    Good luck on your decision!!!!!!!:usflag:
  4. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,136

    It's always better to make equipment payments that repairs, that's the way I see it now.
  5. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    We've had new equipment only, don't really have any experience from the other side of the fence yet. I know when I get going on my own I will be buying used for sure, without question.

    A buddy of mine is looking to pick up a really rough Hitachi EX200 and get it going again. It needs a lot of work, probably $20K worth of work, but after it's all said and done he'll have a relatively low hour 200 for pretty cheap. He says he doesn't mind wrenching on it even if it takes a whole year to get it running, he enjoys working on stuff and has the space to do so.
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    The contractors I worked for if the repairs are exceeding the the cost of a payment on a new machine then its time to buy a new machine. Most contractors will keep a old machine and use it for site work.

    One of the local contractors had a 150 Hitachi it was getting up in hours he decided to keep it. Then the major problems started happening then the repair bills started rolling in. At the end of it he bought a new machine and sold the old one for a big loss. It started with some minor engine problems then the main hydraulic pump went from there is snowballed.

    Sometimes you got to cut your losses and loose some money because dumping money into a dead horse doesn't work :laugh:
  7. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    RSG, for me it's a combination of repair costs, depreciation, and life expectancy, although if you really want to dump money into a machine you can keep it working for as long as you want. Like said earlier, some machines just don't have the life span like others... i.e skid steer versus a larger excavator.

    For me, I try to keep my primary machines (dozer and CTL) new and updated, and the other pieces of equipment that aren't used daily just need to be reliable and not a money pit.
  8. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    I look at the advancements made on the new iron verse the used or model I may have. If the I think that the productivity advancement is significant enough I will make the purchase. Dependability is an issue. When I bought the new roller this Fall I could not take any more down time. The resale was decent and I want a machine I could depend on. ConstructO looks at this as I do it appears. Sometimes other pieces may have to carry a new purchase for a while, but that is how we expand our business. I will never buy a new excavator (160 size) the one have is a great machine and I love the zero payment. I will continue to rotate the smaller iron fairly regularly.
  9. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,793

    For what I do part of the time, I keep my skidsteers updated because of the demands of brush mowing. For chippers, I try to keep them running as long as possible and just paid off my big one. For trucks, as long as they are running and not spending more time in the shop than on the road, I will try and keep them. Ditto for attachments. I own a lot of Bobcat attachments from tree shear to grapples, grader, auger, etc., and as long as they do their job without tons of repairs I try and keep them. Skid steers are different for me as I stated above. Technology changes pretty fast on them compared to dozer technology so turnover is part of my business plan.
  10. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    I am still new to this game but it is pretty much the same as farm equipment. I try to buy equipment that is three or four years old that has been taken very good care of. I also compare that price to a new machine. If the price is way less than the new machine I go for the used as long as I feel it is very, very reliable almost as much as new. Like ksss, said i compare what the new has to offer versus the used. Usually on a machine no older than that there is not too many differences. As for skid steers though I can see many differences especially now with pilots starting to get popular and so on. Like my cousin and me where talking over the weekend that is also a equipment operator. He says they find in allot of cases the old machinery working just as good if not better than the new stuff. Granted they take very good care of there old stuff but that is how it should be. I try to take care of my equipment because I feel it takes care of me. So I guess in the end number one is down time. Down time cost allot of money. Just think of the money you could be bringing in if it was not broke down. Trade in value is also nice because it helps make your payments cheaper and you do not have to cough up the down payment. Another is speed of the machine. Allot of times newer stuff can make the job quicker than an old piece of equipment but this is not true in all cases. Now if I was going to buy a big D6 dozer there is no way I could afford one even three or four years old. I would at least have to go back 10 years.

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