Wear and Tear: 9 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Construction Equipment

They say all good things must come to an end. The same applies to construction equipment. Over time, all types of construction equipment may need to be repaired or even replaced. While everyone in the construction industry wants their equipment to last forever, the reality is, there will one day come a day where it’s time to let it go if it’s no longer working as it once had.

The catch, though, is that not all construction equipment deteriorates at the same rate. For instance, a bulldozer might have a lifespan of 60,000 hours, or it might give out at just 40,000 hours. How quickly a piece of construction needs to be replaced depends greatly on how often it is used and how well you care for it.

Because the time for replacement may not be so clear cut, it’s important to look for certain signs that it’s time to purchase new equipment. That said, consider the following to determine whether or not that time is now.

1.  It’s out of date.

Your mother might have kitchen tools that have been passed down for many generations. She may claim they still get the job done, but are they still relevant today? Are they as easy to use and as efficient as newer models? Chances are, there are replacements that are better on the market today.

The same goes with construction equipment. Especially when it comes to heavy machinery and tractors, having up-to-date equipment is an absolute must to get the job done as efficiently as your fellow competitors. Newer equipment may have modern features and tools that significantly help speed things up and get the job done easier than ever before.

2.  Repairing it costs too much.

When your equipment is coming across some problems, but it has the potential to be salvaged, you have to make the decision between fixing it or completely replacing it. Although it might seem like the better and more affordable option to fix it, repairing it may actually be more expensive, especially if multiple things are wrong with it.

When making the decision between repairing or replacing equipment, figure out if fixing it would cost 50% or more of the cost of purchasing new equipment. If so, then financially, it’s not worth repairing. Sure, newer equipment may still cost more, but there’s only so much you should be willing to re-invest back into a piece of malfunctioning equipment.

Apart from price, another thing to consider when deciding if you should repair or replace a piece of equipment is how much longer it’s expected to last. If you’ve been holding onto equipment for years past its lifespan and have a gut feeling that other things will start falling apart with it in the near future, a brand new or lightly-used replacement might be the better option.

3.  It doesn’t meet safety standards anymore.

No matter what anybody says, safety always comes first. Especially when you have employees other than yourself, it’s critical to have safe, quality equipment available. The last thing you want is for an employee to get seriously injured, which can result in a construction accident lawsuit and/or the loss of your employee with your company.

Working in construction is already dangerous, so why put your employees and yourself in greater danger by providing faulty, unreliable equipment? It’s equivalent to voluntarily swimming in shark-infested waters, hoping that you won’t get bit. Bad idea. Playing it safe with the right equipment is important if you want the best for your employees.

4.  It doesn’t work as quickly as it used to.

Speed is important for all jobs, especially when there are strict deadlines and impatient clients. Of course, you’ll also want your crew to work at a good pace if they get paid by the hour. However, construction equipment over time may start to slow down, affecting how much work can get done in a day, and in the long run, costing you more to keep your employees.

Although good things happen to those who wait, slow-to-operate equipment just has to be replaced. Not only will projects take significantly longer and prevent you from taking on new clients, but working with slower equipment can be incredibly frustrating for your crew. Your employees are less likely to be happy at work when they work with slow equipment.

By switching to newer, faster equipment, however, your crew will be more level-headed on the job, you can get projects done faster, and you will have a better chance of swooping up those big clients before one of your competitors does.

5.  The quality of work it provides is starting to suck.

Think of construction equipment like a knife. In the beginning, the knife is very sharp; it cuts through thick, fibrous steak like butter. However, the more you use it, the lower quality of work it provides. You may find yourself pressing harder and harder into a slab of steak with the same knife that once cut aimlessly.

If you find that your construction equipment is no longer providing the awesome job that it used to, and you know you’ve done everything possible to ensure it’s well-maintained, new equipment may be in order. Newer equipment can provide a quality of work that your old equipment may have never provided, even when it was new.

Sticking with equipment that doesn’t do that great of a job can waste a lot of time as, chances are, you’ll frequently need to be redoing the appalling initial work it provided. In turn, you may be left with impatient clients. And, if you deliver the low-quality project, your clients may never wish to work with you again.

6.  It’s difficult to use.

Sometimes, older equipment is more difficult to use than their modern counterparts. Some older equipment is heavier, has less features, requires more manual labor to utilize, and/or has too many confusing buttons or gears. Over time, equipment and machinery get more complex in terms of what it can do yet becomes more simple in terms of how you use it.

While equipment that’s a little more difficult isn’t always a bad thing and can still be used if others are familiar with how to operate it, sometimes difficult equipment can be irritating and, at times, may make a job take longer and/or cause your employees to physically or emotionally burn out fairly quickly.

7.  It’s not very ergonomic.

Working in construction is no cakewalk. It’s messy, labor-intensive, and hard on the muscular system. Although those working in this field can certainly learn the value of hard work, gain physical endurance, and become pretty toned in the process, aches and pains pretty common after work.

Apart from aches and pains, more serious consequences can arise from frequently bending down, climbing ladders, hammering, and engaging in other repetitive and physically laborious tasks while at work. Thus, strains, sprains, back problems, tendonitis, carpal tunnel, and rotator cuff tears are not uncommon with this type of work.

Ergonomics, however, stresses the importance of ensuring employees are less likely to deal with these issues on the job. In turn of having comfortable, ergonomic-friendly equipment and tools, your staff are less likely to take days off work for injury and more likely to stay working for you for a long time.

8.  It causes more trouble than help.

Is a piece of equipment you own starting to become more of a hassle than anything else? Is it constantly requiring repairs? Is it shutting down after short periods of time because it can’t handle the amount of work you need done? Even if this piece of equipment does help get the job done at times, if it requires constant repairs or attention, it’s not the equipment for you.

No matter how attached you are to certain equipment, learning to let go and find an adequate replacement when it no longer serves you or doesn’t give much in return is a very wise decision. In the long run, this can help the job get done quicker, reduce stress at work, and save you and your crew a lot of precious time.

9.  It’s well past its lifespan.

Although good care and infrequent use can allow some construction equipment to potentially last longer than its predicted lifespan, the older your equipment is, the more you should consider replacing it. Sure, it may still be in good working order, but are you completely sure it will continue to be reliable for, say, the next few months? It may or may not.

One of the reasons you may be holding onto old equipment is because you know how expensive it can be to purchase new equipment. However, by obtaining equipment from auctions, you have the potential to save big money. Bid now at equifyauctions.com to get affordable equipment for your construction company.


Construction equipment isn’t cheap. Although it’s designed to last quite a while, there will eventually be a time when your equipment will need to be replaced. Rather than continuing to use old, malfunctioning equipment, opting for new construction equipment can ensure both greater safety and efficiency on the job.

Thanks to the latter list, it will be clearer to determine whether or not your construction equipment will need to be replaced soon. While nobody will be enthused to have to fork out cash or a pesky loan to purchase new equipment, this may be the best thing you do for the future of your construction company in the long run.