Rebuilding Can Be Cost-Effective

By Aram Kalousdian, Editor | September 28, 2010

The rebuild programs offered by Caterpillar and Michigan CAT can be a cost-effective way of purchasing and maintaining construction equipment.

Caterpillar and Michigan CAT offer Cat Certified Power Train Rebuild (CPT); Cat Certified Power Train Rebuild plus any additional parts, systems or components (CPT Plus); and Cat Certified Rebuild (CCR — a full machine rebuild) programs.

The CPT program includes the radiator, engine, transmission, torque converter, final drive, and axles. The CCR program includes rebuilding the power train and the entire machine down to the frame. The components are reconditioned.

"We replace all of the electrical components, gaskets and seals, and we make sure that all of the bearings are up to specifications. A CCR includes reconditioning the cab. If there were any updates that were made for a particular machine, we'll include that as well," Mike Lazzara, product support sales manager for Michigan CAT, said. Rebuilding a machine can extend the life of the machine at a significantly reduced cost of purchasing a new one. Larry Moran, Parts and Service territory manager for Michigan CAT, said that it is cost-effective to rebuild a machine if the cost of rebuilding it is 60 percent or less than the cost of purchasing a new one.

American Aggregates Company of Michigan, which is located in Wixom, rebuilds a lot of its construction equipment and has bought rebuilt equipment.

"We have found that when we run a rebuilt machine and a new machine, our operating costs are very comparable," Michael W. Czajkowski, mobile equipment manager for American Aggregates Company of Michigan, said.

"We have rebuilt several machines. I think just about every machine I've had in my fleet has been given a second life. There are people that rebuild machines two or three times. Looking at the amount of frame hours on the machine is what helps to decide whether or not it's worth rebuilding." Czajkowski explained that sometimes purchasing a rebuilt machine is the most practical way to go.

"If you need a certain machine for a certain application and for some reason Caterpillar decides to discontinue that machine, then you must rebuild your machine, purchase a used machine and rebuild it, or purchase a rebuilt machine," Czajkowski said.

Czajkowski explained that availability can also be a reason for purchasing a rebuilt machine that is immediately available instead of ordering a new one and waiting for it. Czajkowski said that Caterpillar's rebuilt machines are very dependable. Caterpillar's rebuilt machines have the same warranty that their new machines have. Different types of warranties are available.