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Let’s Talk about Trackhoes

Apr 4, 2024 | Blog

Whether you’re breaking ground on a new project or digging into demolition, a trackhoe, also known as an excavator, can be your best friend on the construction site. This hefty piece of machinery, with its distinctive tracked chassis and versatile digging arm, is a powerhouse for a range of tasks. Here’s your no-nonsense guide on what to look for when buying a trackhoe, the kind of work it’s cut out for, top brands to consider, and the eternal debate: to rent or to purchase?

A trackhoe, or excavator, is like the Swiss Army knife of heavy machinery. Picture this: a set of tracks (like a tank’s) that lets it climb over rough terrain, a rotating cab for 360-degree swivel action, and an arm with a bucket at the end for digging, lifting, and pretty much whatever else you need done. From tearing up asphalt to digging trenches, from demolition jobs to heavy lifting, the trackhoe’s versatility makes it indispensable.

What Kind of Work Requires a Trackhoe?

If your project involves any of the following, a trackhoe might just be your go-to machine:

  • Excavation and Trenching: Ideal for creating foundations for buildings or laying pipes.
  • Demolition: Smashing down structures is a breeze with a trackhoe.
  • Heavy Lifting: With attachments, it can lift large objects easily.
  • Landscaping: Yes, it can even help in creating or modifying outdoor spaces.
  • Mining: Excavators are key in both open pit and underground mining operations.

What to Look for in a Trackhoe

When shopping for a trackhoe, keep these key points in mind:

  • Size and Weight: Match the machine to your job’s demands. Smaller models are great for tight spaces but might lack the power needed for heavy-duty tasks.
  • Engine Power: More horsepower means more digging power. Simple.
  • Bucket Capacity: This determines how much material you can move at once. Bigger isn’t always better—it should match your typical job size.
  • Hydraulic Systems: The heart of the excavator. Look for systems that offer power, efficiency, and reliability.
  • Durability and Maintenance: Downtime is a killer. Go for brands known for durability and ease of maintenance.
  • Tech and Comfort: Modern trackhoes come with tech upgrades like GPS and comfortable cabs. Don’t overlook the operator’s comfort and safety features.

Top Trackhoe Brands

Several manufacturers stand out in the trackhoe market. Here are a few top players:

  • Caterpillar: Often called “Cat,” it’s the heavyweight champion of construction machinery. Known for durability and resale value.
  • Komatsu: A close competitor to Cat, offering innovative technology and efficient machinery.
  • Volvo: Renowned for comfort and environmental friendliness, Volvo machines are also power-efficient.
  • Hitachi: Offers a range of excavators known for advanced technology and reliability.
  • John Deere: Known for agricultural machinery, but don’t let that fool you. Their excavators are tough and dependable.

To Rent or to Purchase?

Ah, the big question. The answer? It depends.

Renting might be your best bet if:

  • You need the trackhoe for a one-off job.
  • You’re keen on avoiding maintenance costs.
  • You want to test out a model before committing to a purchase.

Purchasing makes more sense if:

  • You regularly undertake projects that require a trackhoe.
  • You’re looking at long-term cost savings.
  • You want the flexibility to customize your machinery.

The Rent-to-Own Path

A middle ground between renting and buying outright is the rent-to-own option. Here’s the deal: you rent the trackhoe, and a portion of your rental payments goes towards the purchase price of the machine. Over time, you could end up owning it outright. Why consider this route?

  • Flexibility: You get the machine you need for your projects now, without the full commitment of buying.
  • Cost-Effective: It’s a way to ease into ownership, spreading the cost over time and making it more manageable.
  • Test Drive: You essentially get to ‘try before you buy,’ ensuring the excavator meets your long-term needs without the immediate financial plunge.
  • Investment: Each payment is not just a rental fee—it’s an investment towards owning a valuable asset.

This option combines the best of both worlds, offering the flexibility and lower upfront costs of renting while still paving the way toward ownership. For businesses looking for financial flexibility while still planning for future growth, rent-to-own can be a savvy choice.

A trackhoe can be a game-changer for your construction projects, but it’s a significant investment. Take the time to consider your needs, do your research on different brands and models, and carefully weigh the pros and cons of renting versus buying. Remember, the best trackhoe for you is the one that matches your project requirements, budget, and long-term equipment strategy. Happy digging!