Telehandler Buying Tips
Masonry asked some of the industry representatives to offer a few buying tips for the business owner who is preparing to buy his or her first telehandler, as well as for those mason contractors who are considering adding to their fleet. Here's what they had to say:
According to Blondeau, you should talk with an experienced dealer or salesperson, someone who knows what would work best for your projects and changing needs. He also suggested leasing. Pettibone's leasing terms, he said, are competitive with the rental rates around the nation. Plus, the lessee would not have to worry about maintenance costs, depreciation, etc. "They just run their machine and do their job" he said.
Challoner said that first, you need to have confidence in the stability of the machine. "Definitely take a look and understand load charts. ... The machine has to do what the manufacturer says it will do," he said.
Second, he offered, make sure that the machines have components that are compatible to the industry (engines, axles, etc.). In other words, ensure that there are readily available parts. "The number one thing that the mason contractor is concerned about is down time. ... They need a reliable, durable machine that has parts common to the industry."
Last, he also recommended finding a reputable dealer. He said to find a dealer that can take care of you if the machine requires parts or service, a company that can respond quickly. "Make sure you have confidence in that dealer's ability," he suggested.
Webber said to first understand the application needs. To be truly successful on return on investment (ROI), productivity, etc., he said, size the telehandler for the application and not for the unknown possibilities. Also, be aware of potential job site obstacles that would make a swing, rotating carriage or a variable-reach truss boom an efficient and productive tool for picking and placing materials.
Next, he said to understand that most of the options offered by manufacturers are there to help you on ROI or job site productivity, such as foam-filled tires. Understand the technology built into each machine.
Webber also highly recommended a detailed review of the telehandlers' specifications, comparing the different manufacturers lifting performance, lifting height and horizontal reach. In many cases, he said, you could be spending more money on a machine that can't lift as much or as far as you need.
And finally, look at the overall value of the product. What is the manufacturer willing to do for you? Webber said that one thing that is sometimes overlooked is how the service support, warranty, training and financing can greatly affect the overall value of the machine.
About the Author
Masonry, the official publication of the Mason Contractors Association of America, covers every aspect of the mason contractor profession - equipment and techniques, building codes and standards, business planning, promoting your business, legal issues and more. Read or subscribe to Masonry magazine at www.masonrymagazine.com.