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Priming to Sell: Best Practices for Getting the Most from Construction Equipment Before Selling

Data Blocks
Data Blocks

Depending on the situation, there are clear benefits of buying vs. leasing construction equipment. Fleet owners that buy equipment will most likely eventually sell their old equipment. Used equipment must be in good shape in order to sell, and it can be tricky for fleet owners to find the sweet spot between maximizing equipment productivity while they own it and priming it to sell down the road.

Here are three best practices for equipment managers who eventually plan to sell their used equipment, but still want to get the most value from it while it’s still on their job.

1.  Don’t over- or under-maintain equipment.

The old adage says tools must be properly maintained if they’re to live out their full life, but many fleet owners actually end up over- or under-maintaining equipment and incurring unnecessary costs. Without adhering to a maintenance schedule or using GPS fleet tracking technology to alert when it’s time to service a vehicle, it’s easy for fleet owners to incur bills worth hundreds or thousands of dollars – either from over-preventative service or expensive, avoidable repairs. If equipment is under-maintained, it may see unexpected failures, and this can be catastrophic for equipment managers – production comes to a stop, they may need to pay overtime to mechanics for unplanned work and may need more expensive fixes down the line. All of this information will remain in the records and could scare potential buyers, as well. Who wants to purchase equipment that went through a catastrophic failure?

Fleet owners should take special care to keep track of any maintenance so all team members are aware of the maintenance schedule, and to keep a record for potential buyers. GPS fleet management systems can automate this process, eliminating the need for a paper trail and offering buyers proof of how the equipment was cared for.

2.  Teach employees how to properly use equipment.

There are two million pieces of construction equipment in the U.S., and they consume over six billion gallons of fuel per year. Some of this fuel use comes from employee inefficiencies, be it unnecessary idling, excessive throttling or harsh braking. Fleet owners can maximize their equipment’s value and keep it in good shape for potential buyers by educating all fleet members on proper techniques. One way to do this is to use telematics to identify weak spots and host a refresher training course, one that’s personalized for each driver/operator depending on their individual behavior.

Some fleet owners also use a rewards system to recognize proper equipment use. Performance-based bonuses and employee appreciation events have proven effective in motivating employees to do their best, and correct equipment use is vital in making sure it is working to the best of its ability.

3.  Know when equipment is under-utilized, as it may be time to sell.

It is common for certain construction equipment to be under-utilized, or even forgotten about on the job site. If it’s not being used, it’s not adding value to the fleet. Fleet owners must monitor each piece of equipment for hours on the job so they can recognize when it’s time to sell, and many use GPS fleet monitoring to do so. Not only does this ensure every piece of equipment is accounted for at all times, it also provides fleet owners with essential data on usage so they can maximize value.

The extra income from selling a piece of under-utilized equipment can be put back into maintaining the machinery that is being used on a regular basis. Knowing when it’s time to sell a piece of equipment is just as important as priming it to sell – reselling used equipment at the proper time will increase its value to potential buyers.

Fleet owners who properly maintain their construction equipment, teach employees to use it correctly and know when it is under-utilized will yield higher profits when reselling. These factors also have the added benefit of helping a construction site run smoothly. Adhering to these best practices will help fleet owners who plan to resell their construction equipment in the future, and also those who are looking to add more value to their equipment so they can use it for years to come.

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