Save money by checking construction equipment when it arrives on the project
When equipment arrives on your construction project it’s important to check for scratches and damages. Remember that the owner/hirer will expect the item to be returned in good condition. You need to report all damages, including cracked and chipped windows and lights. Your construction project will probably be charged for all damages on the equipment unless you reported and recorded them when the item arrived. Of course reporting damage means reporting it in writing – unfortunately people forget verbal conversations. Taking photographs of damage is an effective way of recording the extent of pre-existing damages.
Check that the item works correctly, that it has all the necessary licenses and paperwork and that where necessary it’s roadworthy. Check the condition of tyres – badly worn tyres are dangerous and they can be more easily punctured or spring leaks, which will cause disruption while they’re repaired. Check the condition of cutting edges, blades and excavator bucket teeth. Badly worn cutting edges will reduce productivity and cut less easily. But generally construction equipment hire companies charge for replacing cutting edges. You don’t want to receive construction equipment with badly worn parts which wear out completely after a few days and then your project is charged for a replacement new item. On large machines these items can cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Check for oil and fuel leaks.
Check that the machine has arrived with all the parts and components it’s supposed to have. For instance, hired vehicles would normally have a spare wheel, a lifting jack, warning triangles and maybe some tools. If the vehicle is returned without these items the construction project will be charged for them. It’s not fair to be charged for items that the project never received, so ensure that missing items are recorded when the equipment arrives.
It’s important to check and record the quantity of fuel in vehicles and large construction equipment. Construction equipment hire companies generally expect the equipment to be returned fully fuelled and if the item isn’t full they’ll charge the project to fill the machine or vehicle with fuel. Now if the item was empty when it arrived that could be lots of fuel you’re paying for. The average vehicle might have a 50 litre (13 gallon) fuel tank, but a large construction truck or bulldozer could have a 200 litre (50 gallons) or bigger tank. Why would you donate a tank of fuel to the hire company?
Always record the time the equipment arrived on the project. If the item arrives at say 4pm you wouldn’t want construction project to be charged the hire for that day. The project shouldn’t be paying for hours when the item wasn’t on the project. In fact, any delivery 4 hours or less from the end of the day shouldn’t be charged to the project on that day, because it’s unlikely that you’ll get the equipment setup and working before the day’s finished. It’s also important to record when there’re missing items and paperwork which prevent the equipment from being used. The project should only pay for the item when it’s fit to use for the purpose that it was hired for.
Even when the equipment belongs to your company it’s good practice to carry out the same checks. Many contractors charge the project a rate (hire) to use company owned equipment. Normally the project also has to pay for new tyres, cutting edges and to repair damages for company equipment.
This is an extract from the author's book 'The Successful Construction Supervisor and Foreman' available from Amazon and other online bookstores. On reader on Amazon said "Honestly, this book is damn readable. It's more practical than I thought. It's can be called "concise construction management manual". It should be read by all kind of construction professionals. The author is simply a great construction professional. I am really appreciate him. Keep calm and read more book by Paul Netscher!"
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The opinions expressed in the attached articles are those of the writer. It should be noted that projects are varied and different laws and restrictions apply which depend on the location of the contractor and the project. It's important that the reader uses the supplied information taking cognisance of their particular circumstances. The writer assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss of any kind arising from the reader using the information or advice contained herein.
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