Construction Equipment Executive Institute

Learn the fundamentals of fleet management from our collection of articles and videos. The best in asset management for the construction equipment professional.

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I got into a lot of trouble as a young field engineer by telling my boss that cost overruns were not a problem. I told him that the real problem lay in the way we built our work and that cost overruns were a symptom of the fact that something was not going well. My job was to find and fix the cause…
How do you reconcile actual costs with what is actually charged to the construction project? Relationships between construction operations and the equipment-management team are often strained. Operations see the equipment they use as a means to an end—as a way to build the job safely, on budget,…
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Few questions have concerned me more than: “I want to lower my bid, so why must I include depreciation for machines that are fully written off?” It is a tough question because it combines semi-valid short-term logic with a mindset that has dangerous long-term implications.

When faced with…

The singer Bob Dylan had it right. The times, they are a-changin’. I recently was preparing a presentation for a group of equipment managers and listed the major changes we are encountering. It’s scary how many significant changes are happening simultaneously. Sure, most of the changes are good…

As an equipment manager in 2011, you’re probably faced with managing an older fleet than ever before. Your organization and owners aren’t spending the usual dollars to replace old iron, and this economic picture will probably continue in one form or another for many years. Asset managers will…

Owning costs make up between 25 and 30 percent of the total cost of owning and operating a fleet. It is a big portion and, fortunately, a manageable portion. Most of the costs are defined when you ink the deal, and most of the money is spent up front when you take possession of the asset and put…

Many large-fleet equipment managers are proud of the fact that they own most or all of their fleet. But, to quote a friend, “Profits accrue through the successful use of equipment; not its ownership.” With a shaky economy and uncertain construction future, rentals make more sense than ever.…

When asked, “Do you use work orders?”, equipment managers respond in frustration and talk about systems that are “too complicated,” “unnecessary,” or “just paperwork.” It is time to think seriously about work orders, define the essentials of a good system, and then make sure that it works for us…

Your selection of suppliers, support organizations, and information sources will probably be one of the most important sets of decisions you will make. Think of these work relationships as any other management tool: They must be carefully chosen and developed.

Excellent relationships don’…

Many folk accuse me of spending too much time on trick plays and forgetting the basics of the business. Trick plays are fun, but they only work if your blocking and tackling are excellent; you have to know the basics. 

Let’s look at three things you have to have to attack the causes of…

The companies that seriously manage their spare parts are likely to be the ones that survive in the long run. Parts costs for most construction equipment, especially dirt fleets, run about two-thirds (yes, 67 percent) of all repair costs. That’s way too important to mismanage or manage casually…

I frequently hear talk about comparative shop labor rates and outsourcing. A lot of it makes sense, and it certainly is important to constantly check that the services you deliver are competitive with those you can buy from dealers and other outside sources. Deciding on how much to do in-house…

The companies that seriously manage their spare parts are likely to be the ones that survive in the long run. Parts costs for most construction equipment, especially dirt fleets, run about two-thirds (yes, 67 percent) of all repair costs. That’s way too important to mismanage or manage casually…

The November 19 edition of The Wall Street Journal ran a front-page story about how insurance companies use online purchasing data to identify individuals to whom they can sell life insurance and make a better than average return. The next time you buy a $2,000 elliptical training machine, your…

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