repair, rebuild or replace heavy equipment

Knowing when to repair, rebuild or replace heavy equipment can help optimise the value a business gets from the equipment. It also helps prevent unnecessary costs and frustration.

When to repair heavy equipment

There are a few factors you must consider when assessing if you should repair heavy equipment.

When it stops making sense to repair equipment

Depending on the nature of work and the age and condition of the machine, a time will come when the cost of repairs outweighs their efficacy in restoring operations.

Waiting too long to rebuild or replace equipment can lead to unexpected machine failure. The knock-on effect is protracted downtime, potential safety issues and project delays.

The 50/50 rule

Assessing exactly when repairs are no longer economical or expedient can be a challenge. You must evaluate the cost of repairs against replacement costs.

In this scenario, the 50/50 rule of equipment replacement can be illuminating. It states repairs are not a viable maintenance strategy once the cost of repairs exceeds more than half the cost of new equipment.

You should consider the pros and cons of repairing heavy equipment.

Pros of repairing heavy equipment:

  • quick turnaround time
  • no equipment depreciation
  • lowest cost.

Cons of repairing heavy equipment:

  • difficulty finding replacement parts
  • performance and technology upgrades are not an option
  • shortest life expectancy
  • no improved capacity
  • potential reveal of additional issues. 

When to rebuild heavy equipment

The decision to rebuild heavy equipment involves a different set of considerations.

Equipment rebuilds as an ideal option for South African companies

Limited opportunities, fierce competition and rising costs are putting pressure on companies operating in the local construction sector.

Equipment rebuilds restore machines to prime performance – at a fraction of the cost of new equipment.  

Pros of rebuilding heavy equipment:

  • complete equipment overhaul
  • as-new performance
  • zero depreciation
  • extended life expectancy
  • technology and performance upgrades   
  • enhanced resale value.

Cons of rebuilding heavy equipment:

  • lengthy downtime
  • variable build quality
  • more costly.

When to replace heavy equipment

When the latest technology is essential to a project, or only a new model has the capacity and capabilities to perform a specific task, purchasing new equipment is the only solution.

Pros of replacing heavy equipment:

  • latest technology
  • advanced mechanical, comfort and safety features
  • repairs and maintenance cost savings
  • longest life expectancy
  • covered by equipment warranty.

Cons of replacing heavy equipment:

  • greatest outlay
  • significant depreciation of investment
  • potential operator training costs
  • logistical delays in delivery.

The weak rand and high shipping costs are adding to the exorbitant cost of heavy equipment for South African businesses.

Expert rebuilds of Caterpillar motor graders

KH Plant offers quality Cat-certified rebuilds of Caterpillar 140G, 140H and 140K motor graders and grader components.

Machines are restored to as-new condition and covered by machine and power-train warranties. We buy, rebuild and sell motor graders to businesses in South Africa and across the continent.

Call to learn more about our rebuild process or to view a restored Cat 140G, 140H and 140K motor grader at our premises in Boksburg, Johannesburg.

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