Successfully completing a drilling or pile driving project requires managing numerous moving parts from field crews, equipment and accessories, engineering specifications, and project milestones. As contractors and rig operators grow and expand their business, they may look into purchasing their own equipment instead of renting pile driving equipment or CZM drill rigs. In some cases owning this equipment can make financial sense, and working with local vendors to perform regular service, preventive maintenance, and repairs can help keep your used pile driving or drilling equipment operating at peak performance.
Many vendors that offer drill rig rental also sell used equipment that has been professionally maintained and can sometimes be financed with in-house solutions tailored to smaller operations that are looking to expand. Also, contractors and operators that specialize in a specific field may benefit from purchasing over renting. At the same time, this may be less dynamic for operators who take on projects of varying scope that require equipment that can accommodate multiple capacities or materials.
Before an operator or contractor decides to purchase used equipment, they should ensure that they are prepared to account for the variable costs associated with maintenance as well as the storage implications for machinery when it is not in the field. Another essential consideration is transportation and whether or not to rely on third-party logistics operations or bring that in-house as well.
New vs. Used
Another factor is the cost of used vs. new equipment which can be considerable given the price of heavy drilling rigs, foundation drill rigs, hydraulic piling rigs, and all-in-one CZM drilling equipment. Used equipment often offers substantial savings but should be purchased from reputable vendors who can prove documentation of regular service, maintenance, repairs, and other wear and tear, including lubricant replacement and work hours logged.
Different equipment also requires further analyses depending on its application. For instance, a side clamp vibratory hammer has fewer mechanical parts than an all-in-one deep foundation drilling rig. The distinction being that the former is an attachment while the latter will require maintenance to multiple systems including hydraulic, electrical and mechanical systems, as well as other engines and components that can wear with time and use.
Specialists may look into purchasing new equipment since they likely will not need different pieces of equipment to complete their projects. However, most operators require equipment that is tailored to the job’s unique site conditions, engineering specifications and capacities, and the material of the pile being driven or the earth being drilled.
New equipment may also be financed in some cases, which can help offset upfront costs and amortize the total costs for a fixed term. Also, consider that if you plan to finance equipment, you need to account for the interest in your payments which can impact your bottom line and fiscal performance.
Used Pile Driving or Drilling Equipment Maintenance
Downtime can be a costly thing in the pile driving and deep foundation drilling industries, and if equipment is not regularly inspected, maintained, and serviced, it can lead to malfunction and outright failure. If you’re looking to purchase used equipment, you should design and implement a comprehensive maintenance schedule for daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual inspection and preventative maintenance. Doing so can save you considerable money down the road, not only in hard costs like parts and labor but in labor costs or crews experiencing downtime, which can lead to scheduling delays and other costly issues.
Partner with trusted service technicians who are experienced with your particular equipment to develop a realistic timeline for repairs and maintenance. Also, make sure they are able to troubleshoot every system to identify the correct course of action immediately.
Due to the nature of most large-scale construction projects, multiple pieces of heavy equipment may be required through different phases of the project. This can make renting a more practical option than purchasing in some instances. Also, consider the duration of your project and determine if renting pile driving or drilling equipment may make more sense in the short term while developing long-term equipment needs.
One final consideration is your site conditions and how that can decrease your equipment’s lifespan. Rigs and hammers that operate in marine conditions are exposed to corrosive elements that shorten their lifespan and require more regular inspection, maintenance, and repair than equipment that is used in drier or less extreme conditions.
RPI Equipment has been renting and selling drilling and pile driving equipment for more than fifty years, and our knowledgeable sales staff has helped owners and operators identify the right equipment and make the right decision to keep their crews in the field longer and get the job done right the first time.
Our dedicated team of service technicians can inspect and troubleshoot vibratory hammers, CZM rigs, hydraulic piling rigs, and more to keep your equipment up and running without costly downtime or malfunction.