The passing of the $1.2 billion Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment Act opened the door for a flood of road and utility construction projects focused on rebuilding America’s infrastructure. While this presents a huge opportunity for contractors, success depends on having the right equipment to tackle projects effectively, efficiently and safely. Sometimes the most cost-effective solution for contractors means maximizing the fleet of equipment they already have.
One way to do that is to look at equipment attachments. Skid steers, wheel loaders, graders and other equipment are staples with almost every construction crew. While it might not always be the first product one thinks of for road and utility projects, the versatility offered by innovative industry attachments makes host machines invaluable.
Here are five ways attachments can help enhance productivity and profitability.
1. Tackle More With Less
Attachments increase the versatility and flexibility of the equipment contractors already own. Instead of bringing heavy equipment, they can bring additional attachments to a jobsite. Material placement and offset vibratory rollers are a new generation of attachments that go beyond traditional material loading and digging to create innovative jobsite solutions, improving efficiency and safety.
Purchasing additional attachments helps to increase the host machine’s ability to tackle more jobs. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment Act doesn’t just support road construction. Attachments like the material placement and offset vibratory roller safely allow operators to lay a multitude of materials, including things like topsoil, gravel, hot mix asphalt and more. Each attachment expands an operation’s repertoire without having to invest thousands of dollars in new machinery. The best part is that, because attachments are placed on the equipment contractors already own, crewmembers don’t need to be trained on how to use a new piece of equipment.
2. Reduce Labor Demands
Training operators on new equipment is too time-consuming during labor shortages. As of January 2022, 11.3 million jobs needed to be filled throughout the United States, many of these contractor positions. When running on a skeleton crew, every second not spent working is money lost. By working with the equipment operators are already familiar with, businesses can cut back on equipment training times and increase operator confidence.
Using attachments is also great because it doesn’t require as many equipment operators on-site. When finding a good crew is hard, attachments give the best advantage on a jobsite when there are few people. One person can do multiple jobs without having to know how to run more than one or two machines. This increases productivity and decreases on-site crowding. It also helps increase operator safety.
3. Enhanced Safety
Material placement and offset vibratory roller attachments both increase operator and jobsite safety. The biggest benefit of using an offset vibratory roller is allowing the host machine to remain on the solid, flat ground throughout the compaction process due to the offset arm that lowers the drum during the compaction process.
Most traditional roller attachments connect to the front of the host machine. When compacting road shoulders and edges, this pushes the machine off-balance, leading to a risk of tipping. Tipping is a huge danger that can lead to injury and even death. One worker’s comp claim pays for an entire offset vibratory roller attachment. The attachment is also small enough to be transported safely with the host machine instead of requiring additional hauling equipment.
4. Reduce Transportation Expenses
When cutting back on the size of the machinery an operation is using, they don’t just save gas costs and maintenance fees, but they also save on transportation expenses. Heavy equipment haulers usually require additional fees to transport equipment to a jobsite. When the host machine is the only thing to be hauled, operations can fit both the host machine and the attachment onto a single trailer that can be pulled by a standard pickup truck. Overall, this reduces cost, though this isn’t the only way attachments can save money.
5. Minimize Maintenance Costs
Another big expense for many businesses is maintenance fees for heavy machinery. Each piece of machinery a business owns requires a set maintenance schedule for oil changes, transmission checks, and more. Attachments don’t have individual motors. This means the only maintenance that will need to be invested in is the routine maintenance of the host machines, which are already scheduled. The only cost to worry about when it comes to these attachments is the cost of the attachments themselves. This is also true when examining equipment transportation costs.
Operations can maximize their fleet and capabilities by working with a manufacturer that specializes in attachments strategically designed to improve jobsite efficiency to increase profitability and productivity.
Lynn Marsh is the president of Road Widener LLC and has 20 years of experience in the road construction industry. Learn more about Road Widener LLC here!