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Equipment World 2013 Spec Guide

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on record | by Richard Ries Finding the right machine for today's economy The recovery means different things to different contractors. The 2013 Equipment World Spec Guide delivers value to each of them. W ell-planned resource management will be critical if contractors are going to make the most of our erratic economic recovery. Managing equipment, a key resource, is made easier with the 2013 Equipment World Spec Guide. Whether used online or in print, the Spec Guide provides the information needed to make the right decisions regarding equipment. One of the first management decisions is whether to rent or own. For an increasing number of contractors, renting makes sense. The American Rental Association launched the ARA Equipment Rental Penetration Index in February 2013. The index shows what percent of total equipment investment goes into the rental market. That number increased from 40 percent in 2003 to 50 percent in 2011. (The index for 2012 had not been completed at the time this is being written.) Dan Kaplan, CEO of Daniel Kaplan Associates, says, "There's really no need for a contractor to own unless he has more than 65 percent utilization." John McClelland, vice president of government affairs for ARA, emphasizes that increased competency in the rental industry supports the use of rental equipment. "The industry has become highly professional. I don't think we're going back to the equipment ownership patterns that existed before the downturn." Kaplan and McClelland were speaking during a webinar hosted by Rental Equipment Register magazine. (For more information, see Marcia Gruver Doyle's online article "Will you rent more equipment in the future?" from May 31, 2013.) While utilization rates influence the decision whether to rent or own, they also affect the return on investment, especially with equipment ownership. Performance specifications that determine utilization include those that define a piece of equipment such as dig depth, dump height, breakout force, and tipping load. But flexibility plays a big part in utilization and the ability to run attachments often keeps machines operating and making money instead of sitting idle. Lift capacity and hydraulic flow and pressure are among the specs that must be considered when attachments will be used. The Spec Guide provides the information needed in selecting the right equipment, whether that equipment is rented or purchased. Even before getting to the specs, machines denoted as "new" deserve special attention. Manufacturers continue to find ways to improve productivity by applying new features such as longer-lasting undercarriage components, quieter cabs, more intuitive controls, and multiple levels of monitoring via telemetry. While incremental improvements may be applied to a given model from one year to the next, OEMs often bundle all the advantageous features they can into new models. EW September 2013 • Equipment World Spec Guide 3

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