For manufacturers and contractors, industrial hardware is nothing short of a lifeline. It’s impossible to complete any project on time without highly functional and suitable equipment. Take a construction project, for example. It requires dozens of industrial equipment, ranging from tower cranes and excavators to steel wire ropes and boring machines.
Although all industrial hardware is durable, it won’t last forever. The heavy equipment undergoes plenty of wear and tear daily, making it susceptible to breakdowns. The question, however, is what to do when a heavy machine breaks down? Should you repair it or replace it?
Repair or Replace: Making the Hard Choice
This is a never-ending debate. Repairing a piece of heavy equipment is certainly cheaper than replacing it. Also, repairing takes less time than replacement. Even if you have the best industrial hardware supplier, delivering brand-new equipment will take a few days, if not weeks. This means your project will likely come to a standstill until the piece of hardware gets delivered.
That said, there are situations where you have no choice but to replace the equipment. So, how do you know if it’s time to replace your industrial hardware?
Here are a few things you should be looking for in this regard.
- Your Industrial hardware Is Too Old
Honestly, is a 30 years old tower crane going to be as efficient and safe to use as a new one?
You can’t expect old equipment to be as efficient as its latest variant even if it’s in excellent condition. Fuel/energy efficiency can be a huge problem for most old industrial hardware. For all you know, you could be spending a fortune on utility costs.
Secondly, as technology improves, old machines and their parts become obsolete. One day your industrial hardware supplier will tell you that the part you want is no longer available. Do you wish to wait until that day?
Imagine how much time and money you would waste if you waited too long to replace your heavy equipment. The bottom line is, if your equipment is a few decades old, replacement is a better choice than a quick fix.
- Breakdowns Are Too Frequent and Very Costly
Frequent and costly breakdowns are also a loud and clear cry for replacement. In this regard, the “50% Rule” can be your guiding angel.
Say the total cost of replacing a piece of hardware is $10,000, and you have spent around $6,000 on repairs already. Still, the equipment randomly keeps breaking down as if possessed by a poltergeist. Does pouring more money into repairs make sense?
In other words, when the repair costs exceed 50% of the total replacement cost, the latter is the better choice. Of course, this isn’t an industry standard. However, if you are spending a fortune on repairs, it is time to call your industrial hardware distributor and get the new equipment as soon as possible.
- Failed Inspections
Regular safety inspections are in place for a reason. They help you identify equipment that’s unsafe for use. Even if a simple piece of industrial hardware such as a wire rope fails inspections, you need to scrap it right away.
If your heavy machine isn’t living up to the inspections, you need to look for a replacement proactively. This will protect your workers from deadly accidents and your business from costly legal repercussions.
- Change in Usage or Work Process
Another common reason to replace your industrial hardware is a change in usage or work process. For example, if you start lifting heavier loads than usual, you’ll need a new crane, wire ropes, slings, and the whole outfit that meets the desired specifications.
Don’t wait until the last minute. Make the replacement right away. It’ll keep your productivity from taking a nosedive. But most importantly, the new equipment will keep you and your crew safe. Nothing matters more!
- Consider Long-Term Benefits of Replacing Equipment
Finally, don’t think short-term when replacing a heavy machine. Think of all the long-term benefits of investing in a new piece of heavy machinery.
- It’ll keep you and your workers safe for years to come.
- Your fuel costs will be under control, thanks to its higher fuel efficiency.
- The new technology will help you stay a step ahead of your competitors.
- Your productivity will increase, allowing you to take on more projects.
- You’ll spend less on repairs.
- Also, financial losses due to unplanned breakdowns will be virtually zero, at least for a few years.
- Certain types of industrial equipment may be eligible for tax credits and rebates. Talk to your industrial hardware supplier when placing the order.
Repairs often outweigh the cost of replacing a piece of heavy equipment. We get it. But there comes a time when replacement is inevitable. In this regard, instead of putting your brand reputation, safety, and productivity on the line, you should consider replacing the hardware. As you can see, replacement, although expensive, does come with a few upsides. If you take your decision carefully, you can save considerable time and money in the long run.
Author Bio: I am Randy Gonzales. I am the President of Elite Sales Inc, a rigging equipment and wire rope distribution company based in Miami, Tampa, Houston, and Dyer. I have more than 30 years of experience in the distribution and supply of industrial hardware industry.