How Does Your Construction Equipment Utilization Compare?

Equipment costs you money every minute it sits idle

Excavators, dozers and other pieces of heavy construction equipment are the workhorses of every construction site. And those workhorses don’t come cheap. That’s why optimizing usage is key to protecting profits.

Too often, equipment sits idle, and it costs you money every moment it’s not being used.

"Reasons certainly vary but a few common reasons include: renting equipment longer than intended-forgetting to call it off, holding on to or hoarding equipment-because procurement processes are a hassle, and having poor line of site to the field-lack of visibility across operating groups or across projects. All these issues add up creating cost overruns," said Ty Campbell, director of sales - online services at United Rentals.

How do your equipment utilization rates compare? It’s impossible to know if you don’t track them.

The most efficient and cutting-edge way to do it is using a combination of GPS and telematics. You can also track utilization through gallons of fuel used or by asking operators to log engine hours or miles on paper (for a not-especially-reliable result).

Equipment management software can help you get the most out of your fleet and show you which pieces of equipment are costing you more money than they’re making you.

For customers who rent equipment from United Rentals, the equipment management system Total Control® helps you optimize utilization of both owned and rented equipment. You can clearly see all of your equipment on multiple jobsites and access activity reports, key performance indicators and other data at any time.

Total Control can cut your annual rental costs by up to one-third by helping you reduce consumption — for instance, by prioritizing the use of owned equipment before renting additional equipment and avoiding extra rental days on unused equipment. Customer results show that reducing consumption can deliver as much as six times more savings than price reduction.

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Marianne Wait is an editor and writer who creates content for Fortune 500 brands.