Most of the construction projects involve laborious work which is to be handled by people and the equipment designed for doing the work undersigned. It is difficult for workers to accomplish all things in a project and so there comes the need for machines, particularly the construction equipment (machinery) that is widely used nowadays almost everywhere. For speedy and economic construction of a project, proper choice of equipment is of preliminary importance for construction professionals. The versatile range of equipment available commercially involves the decision of people. There are few basic things that are considered in selection of suitable equipment. They are as follows:
Use of available Construction Equipment:
Where the full utilization of new equipment for its entire working life is not foreseen, or its utilization on further projects is uncertain, it may be desirable to use existing old equipment even if its operation is somewhat more expensive. The depreciation cost of the new machine is likely to be high, and this would raise the owning cost of the equipment and thus the unit cost of work.
Suitability for Job Conditions:
The equipment chosen should suit the conditions of the job, soil, valley, working conditions and climate of the region.
Uniformity in Type:
A minimum number of types should be acquired so that there is uniformity in the type of equipment on a job. A common type of engine should be selected for the different types’ machines such as excavators, dump trucks, dozers and loaders that are on the project.
Size of Construction Equipment:
Larger equipment gives higher output on full load, but its cost of production on part load is usually greater than that of smaller units working on full load. Larger equipment needs correspondingly larger size of matching units, and shutting down of one primary unit may render several other large units idle. Transportation to works is generally difficult and costly. Servicing, maintenance and repair facilities have to be greater for larger units. However, larger machines are usually more sturdy and suitable for tough working conditions. It is desirable to have equipment of same size on the project. With standbys, the cost of larger size standby equipment is more than that of smaller size.
Use of Standard Construction Equipment:
Standard equipment is commonly manufactured and is available. Such equipment is manufactured in large numbers and so readily available and moderately priced. Spare parts of standard equipment are easily available and are less costly. After the work is over, disposing off standard equipment and its spare parts is generally easier than disposing off non-standard or specialized equipment.
Unit Cost of Production:
The economics of equipment is one of the most important considerations in the selection of equipment. When calculating owning cost, all items of expenses, like freight, packing and forwarding, insurance, erection, commissioning, etc. should be included with the price paid to the supplier.
Country of Origin:
It is preferable to consider a brand origin from USA, Europe or Japan
Availability of Spare Parts:
The availability of spare parts at reasonable costs during the entire working life of the equipment should be ensured while selecting a particular type or make of equipment. Downtime due to shortage of spare parts commonly accounts for long idle periods during the working life of equipment.
The machine selected should, if possible, be able to do more than one function and should be inter-convertible wherever possible.
Selection of Manufacturer:
It is good to have equipment of the same manufacturer on a project as far as possible and to have minimum number of different makes of equipment. The quality and commitment of local dealers is important. They should be sincere and capable of extending prompt after sales service like UTE CAT in Sri Lanka.
Suitability of Local Labour:
The locally available operators and technicians should be able to handle the equipment selected. A special equipment may have excellent performance but it may be difficult to handle it through available know-how.
Adaptability for Future Use:
If the machine is required to work for only a part of its useful life then possibility on of disposing it off or its employment on some other job should be considered. Obsolescence of the machine should not be overlooked.