FACTORS INVOLVED IN SELECTION OF EQUIPMENT AT SITE. ITS ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES.


The following factors should be considered when selecting equipment to perform a function:
1.  Equipment productivity
2.  Product features and attachments
3.  Supplier support
4.  Cost

   1. Equipment Productivity
Determining the ideal size of equipment required to undertake task of known quantity and at a competitively low cost can be quite tricky. The best way to tackle such problem of ideal equipment size is to use past experience from suppliers of the equipment and the owner’s own experience. Most suppliers are able to provide information of equipment performance under different operating conditions. It is important to determine what is the primary use of equipment and also, identify other potential secondary functions.
The primary usage is what determines the size of equipment and the extra features or attachments that would be suitable for the equipment to perform productively. The productivity of equipment is usually influenced by the conditions of operation. In order to define equipment productivity, it is essential to understand all likely condition of operation because some equipments work best under certain condition than others.
Experience and judgement would be required to understand local conditions such as the climate, topography and soil conditions. When transporting large equipments, it is advisable to find out any legal restriction or laws governing these movements on local road networks. Permits for transporting equipment should be sought before proceeding.
Alternatively, the equipment could be partially disassembled before transporting and reassembled again on the work site. The operator’s wage should also be considered when determining the size of equipment to use. Large equipment size coupled with high productivity will cause an increase in the wage bill of the operator. Also, obtaining equipment which is too large may not be economical. In contrast, when the equipment is too small for a particular work, it may have to undergo frequent maintenance and repair works.

   2. Product Features and Attachments
When contemplating features and attachments for equipments, it is important to evaluate the impact of these extra gadgets on the overall performance of the equipment you are thinking of enhancing. Generally, these attachments or extra features are intended to increase the productivity of machinery and improve the safety of workers. Careful analysis should determine all advantages and disadvantages of procuring attachments before actually renting or purchasing them.
 Examples of how to increase productivity of equipment include:
· Using the right equipment with suitable attachment would increase productivity. You may increase a wheel loader’s productivity by using extra features such as an automatic bucket control and other special purpose buckets depending on the nature of the task at hand
· Proactive diagnosis and adequate maintenance will help prevent equipment downtime and make it available for more work
The project’s owner is directly responsible for the workers’ safety. He must always take the safety of his workers seriously. The safety of workers must always be guaranteed by ensuring that warning signs and lights are properly displayed to ward of hazards, fire extinguishers are available, and all vehicles are fitted with working windshield wiper and seatbelts.
 The correct type of tyres and tracks should be used, depending on prevailing conditions. Owners should work with suppliers to find the best and most economical equipment solution to problems with the help of previous records, experiences and regulations.

    3. Supplier Support
The equipment supplier is expected to play a pivotal role during the lifetime of the equipment on the work site. Replacement spare parts, servicing and guidelines of how to use the equipment optimally should be sought from the supplier. Support may involve regular inspection of equipments, serving and pre- negotiated price of purchasing the equipments from the owner. Alternatively, the arrangement could entail getting and using the equipment on short or long term lease.

    4. Cost
Besides all of the above points, one last factor to consider when obtaining equipments is the cost. This should be considered along with costs of servicing, maintenance and repairs and reselling. The decision to buy equipment should not only be based on the cost, but also the associated cost of operating the equipment should be considered.


Advantages of Purchasing Equipment
1. Regular availability of equipment
2. Frequency of use is higher
3. Equipment is likely to be well-maintained


Disadvantages of Purchasing  Equipment
1. It is more expensive
2. There are opportunity costs of using personal finance to purchase equipment. It could be used for other investments
3. Equipment may become obsolete with time as newer ones arrive on the scene
4. Purchasing specialize equipment may close the door to other profitable opportunities somewhere else which would require the use of different equipment
5. There is temptation to use the equipment beyond its expected lifetime resulting in lower productivity

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