“The biggest benefit of heavy construction equipment is that, it can ensure time completion of the job. However, there are a few crucial things that executing engineers need to take into consideration before acquiring the big-size construction equipment. An OEM report.”
With job schedules becoming time-bound, it is becoming quite imperative for construction companies to acquire bigger size equipment. The demand for bigger size equipment is also becoming necessary as government is increasingly emphasizing on construction of mega projects to cater to the growing economic requirements. However, prior to adapting heavy construction equipment, factors like technology involved in the equipment, design, ease of maintenance should be taken into consideration. The selection parameters are important to abide, as capital cost of heavy construction equipment is colossal.
The prime aspect before selecting big construction equipment
is the engineering technology involved, facts like technology for cooling the engine and fuel injection should be taken into account. As this would be a major reason behind efficiency of the machine. Multi-purpose utility of the machine should also be taken into consideration. Performing factors like engine horse power, digging strength, dump depths, dump heights, ground clearance are of crucial importance.
Factors like trouble-shooting electronic capabilities, electronics involved in the engine are of utter importance. This is because electronics would synchronise operation of the machine.
Additionally, factors like the operator’s console, ergonomics, visibility, seating cab design, controls should be looked into with care. This is so because ergonomics is important for the operator’s comfort which in turn closely relates to performance of the machine itself. An enclosed cab with an option for air-conditioning would allow the operator to work efficiently in all weather conditions. But most importantly, before procurement of heavy size construction equipment, the operator to be deployed for using the equipment should be properly trained.
Taking into account the technology involved is important, it would not only provide the desired high output, but significantly give a better resale value to the owner of the machine.
Machines have to be rugged to perform in harsh working conditions with minimal breakdowns. Machines have to be structurally well-built with wear-resistant parts to take the beating and quality engine to support engine performance. Well-built structurals are important as that will minimize down time. This is because frequent breakdowns can inflate the project cost to a sizeable extent, as this will involve replacement of parts, involving huge cost involvement, not to mention time involvement.
Maintenance is an important issue that should be taken into dire consideration before procuring heavy equipment. Capability of manufacturers to ensure steady parts availability has to be examined. This is important if the machine is working in remote areas. Consumables and frequently wear-down parts should be stocked by the equipment owner. In accordance with this, the manufacturer should be selected having a wide network and quality sales support capability. To arrest frequent breakdowns, equipment owners should enter into an annual maintenance contract with manufacturers.
Moreover, for better performance, equipment should be tracked on a continuous basis. This can be done through usage of advanced information technology. Data created through monitoring of the equipment will facilitate its easier maintenance. However, minimal maintenance can be ensured by following guidelines provided by equipment manufactures. This broadly involves selection of site conditions and using the machine accordingly, replacement of oil filters and lubrication oil at regular intervals, minimal overstretching of machines, not deputing machines for different jobs than the due job prescribed, etc.
However, the most important consideration before buying heavy equipment is the safety standard involved in the machine. Heavy construction equipment is risk-prone. This is due to their weight and height. With heavy structurals involved, the presence of live wires, inflammable fuels, heavy working components, sub-components and working flexibility is vital. The machines can turn out to be hazardous in working conditions.
This could cost life and material dearly. For example, the track of excavators could cause a critical crushing effect to the person standing on the track unaware. This could also be with loaders as the chassis part joining the front and rear wheels make uneven movements during the operation of the machine, causing labourers working at the site get trapped. The bigger size crane booms or buckets can cause a serious damage to the project site during its slewing operation.
To prevent such accidents taking place, the safety instructions provided should be taken care of by the equipment manufacturer. The performance of the safety of equipment should be examined. This can be undertaken through examining the equipment through its performance. While testing the equipment, areas of low visibility during operations should be identified, during operations like digging, lifting, etc.
Similarly, sensitivity of the controls too is an extremely important aspect, as response of heavy equipment, particularly during critical operations, is crucial in averting a possible accident.
All this could be ensured by thorough equipment examination, deputing a skillful operator and proper project site planning to a great extent. This will make owning of a heavy equipment complete in itself for the job contractor.