Erosion Control March/April 2017 : Page 34

• Carry loads in the lowest possible position to improve machine stability. • No riders should ever be allowed. • Don’t ever pass under a raised boom or bucket. What Maintenance Is Required? The equipment companies that sell compact equipment have detailed maintenance plans and agreements. John Deere has a plan called Condition Based Maintenance that aims to extend machine life, increase productivity, and lower operating costs. The plan depends on actual machine health to show what maintenance is needed. The company also offers maintenance agreements so that maintenance can be scheduled to be performed by a John Deere technician at a convenient time. Caterpillar provides service and operation and mainte-nance manuals for each of its machines. They have planned maintenance schedules to ensure that the operator knows what must be done to keep the machine running smoothly. Any downtime for a repair that could have been prevented is loss of money and might mean missing a work deadline. A well-maintained machine is also a safer one. Rent, Lease, or Buy? One big financial decision for compact equipment is whether to rent, lease, or buy. Major manufacturers have a variety of programs available. Rentals are usually for short times, such as a week or a month. Leasing terms are longer, up to three years. There are advantages and disadvantages to each option. Here are some guidelines for the decision. Renting can be a good idea if the equipment is only used part of the year. One advantage is that the long-term mainte-nance, repairs, parts, and storage are the responsibility of the rental place. Also, you are guaranteed the right machine for the job, as you can turn in one machine and rent another at any time. A disadvantage arises the longer the rental contin-ues; the price can soon be much more than leasing or buying. A long-term lease is a good option if you don’t have upfront cash to buy the equipment or the ability to finance a purchase. In lease agreements, the company will figure the cash-value depreciation into your payments. You will not have to worry about resale when you want new equipment. At the end of the lease, you can return the machine for newer equipment. Renting or leasing gives contractors a chance to try out equipment to see what is best for the projects they have. These are especially good alternatives for a new business owner or one who is expanding into new lines of business. Buying can be attractive because manufacturers will often have great offers. You will build up equity in the machine while using it. This option is usually the lowest total cost for the machine, although maintenance costs will be paid by the owner. Purchase of compact equipment can be accomplished with cash or through a financing plan. See your dealer for details and benefits of each option. Some dealers also sell used equipment, which might be a good path for your company. EC Roberta Baxter specializes in science and technology topics. 34 EROSION CONTROL WWW.EROSIONCONTROL.COM Introducing ground reinforcement mesh Scour & Pipe Outlet Protection Slope & Erosion Control A new produ product ct from | 800-2 800-233-1510 33

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