In the right hands, a sledgehammer is an admirable tool – you can break up small pieces of concrete and drive fence posts. But you wouldn’t use a sledgehammer to hang a picture on a wall. You have to consider the task before the tool. And that holds true when it comes to heavy equipment as well.
Start by defining the work you want to do. Then select the right attachment—the work tool that will directly engage the material you want to manipulate or move. Then choose the machine that will support the work tool.
The choice of the machine should always come last. Otherwise, you may find yourself with a machine unsuited to the work at hand.
The Selection Process in Action
Your job is to tear down a 10-story building made of concrete and reinforced steel. It’s an old building near other buildings of roughly the same age and height. That’s the task.
Explosives are out because of the neighborhood and regulations. So, to successfully complete the job, you need another solution: an attachment with concrete-crushing jaws and a knife to handle the rebar. That’s the tool.
Finally, you need something capable of raising and controlling the tool. So you select a demolition machine based on a hydraulic excavator that is matched to the weight and capabilities of your attachment. That’s the machine.
You’re ready to work. And because you made your decisions in the right order, you have a safe, efficient and productive solution.
Consider more than your current or next job. Instead, make a decision flexible enough for future projects. If your business is focused on low-rise demolition, think about where your company will be in five years. Your goals can affect your buying decisions.
Likewise, if you’re involved in the demolition of higher buildings, consider the difference between the top and bottom of the building. A smaller work tool combined with a longer boom-and-stick assembly may be the right choice for the top floors, while a bigger tool on a shorter boom and stick can make short work of heavier supports in the lower floors.
That might lead you to select two machines with different front ends or one machine that can accept taller and shorter front ends. Or because you don’t expect a lot of high demolition work, you might sub out the taller portion of the job to another contractor.
You always have choices. The task, tool, machine strategy—used throughout conversations with your Cat® dealer—can help you make the right decisions for your business.