There is many different practices in the industry when it comes to storing your heavy equipment. We listed out in no particular order, the top 10 things to look at and do when you are storing any heavy equipment. Depending on the equipment and if it’s a specialty piece of equipment, the duration of storage can range from a couple days to a couple years.
So let’s get right into the top 10 best practices when storing you’re used equipment. We will discuss each one of these in more detail, but first let’s just understand what they are.
- Try to avoid storing your equipment.
- Rent your stored equipment out.
- Don’t leave the keys in your equipment.
- Disconnect your battery and turn off any battery disconnects.
- Inspect your equipment when it comes in.
- Make sure your machine is ready to go to work at a moment’s notice.
- Selling vs. storing equipment.
- Store your equipment on solid ground.
- Start your stored equipment weekly.
- Check with the manufacture for proper storing procedures.
Try to avoid storing your equipment.
We all know if your equipment isn’t out working then it’s not making any money and it’s probably actually loosing money. Your equipment is depreciating in value the day you buy it and doesn’t stop depreciating till the day it’s sold. Some will say, the best days to own a piece of equipment is the day you buy it and the day you sell it. Your equipment is a tool and unless you understand its value, use and operating cost, then you’re probably going to lose out on some money.
Rent your stored equipment out.
If you know your equipment is going to be stored for a while, then consider renting it out. I know what you’re saying to yourself “that’s a terrible idea, does this guy know how beat up my machine will be when I get it back?” I would make the argument that letting your machine sit in storage is equally as hard as letting someone else use it. Rental companies have been making money at renting out “their” equipment for decades. These issues can be resolved with a good rental agreement to help with excessive wear and tear and to address any equipment abuse that might occur. So don’t get too attached to your equipment, keep it running and rent it out. My guess is that you’ll like the money it makes you more than the money you lose watching it sit in a yard!
Don’t leave the keys in your equipment.
Equipment theft is becoming more of an issue and it might seem hard for someone to steel such a large piece of iron, but it happens every day. Consider installing telematics if you haven’t done so yet. Your OEM manufacture can help recommend options for this. Just know that equipment with GPS tracking devices in them are more likely to be recovered then with no device. Bottom line, don’t help make it any easier for thieves by leaving your keys in the equipment.
Disconnect your battery and turn off any battery disconnects.
We all hate nothing more than going to start something and discovering that your battery is dead. Although disconnecting your battery and turning off the battery disconnect might not prevent a dead battery when storing your equipment for months. But it will help keep your battery from being completely drained when it does come time to start it. Also by starting and running your equipment regularly, this will help keep your battery charged and preserved.
Inspect your equipment when it come in.
Do a thorough on hire inspection when the equipment comes in and note any repairs needed or services that are past due or coming up. Finding down time with your equipment is hard when it’s out in the field working. Take the time while you have the equipment and knock out any repairs or services that might be needed. You should definitely be able to return the equipment back to work in better condition than what you got it in. Also, don’t forget about scheduling time for component replacements or even major rebuilds and overhauls that might be needed.
Make sure your machine is ready to go to work at a moment’s notice.
We all have experienced the fire drill call when you get a call on Friday at 3pm saying that a truck is coming to pick up that piece of equipment because it was needed on site yesterday. So you rush out to start it up and do a final inspection just to find repairs still needing done. Then you have to make that call saying ‘that the equipment isn’t ready’, but you’ve had it for 4 months sitting in your yard. Understanding the importance of having a machine ready for work is key from the second it comes into the yard.
Selling vs Storing Equipment.
Before storing any equipment, make sure you have a plan and set a date to sell the equipment by, if it doesn’t leave the yard. As humans, we tend to get attached to some weird things and equipment is no exception to the rule. By making a plan and setting a date, you are committing to a plan that was thought out and rationalized and probably agreed upon by more than one person. Knowing when to cut ties is easier said than done at times, especially when specialty equipment can take a year or longer to purchase and get onsite.
Store your equipment on solid ground.
The equipment you are storing and using everyday isn’t light weight. Paying extra attention to your storage yard and making sure it has a solid base for your equipment to be on is important. It’s also just as important to make sure you use cribbing, crane mats or steel plate to set or park your equipment on. With time and rain, things can settle leaving you to all kinds of new issues and problems to deal with. Make sure you know the weight of the equipment and use proper cribbing.
Start your stored equipment weekly.
Some of the hardest conditions for equipment is not wear and tear, but sitting parked in a yard or field not being started. So many times, we go out to a piece of equipment that has been sitting for months and hasn’t been started, to find new issues that were not there when you parked it. It’s true, the weather, climate, birds, rats, mice and snakes can do some damage to our parked equipment. Dedicating some time every week to start your equipment and letting it run, helps bring life back to your equipment in so many ways. Our equipment isn’t designed to sit, it’s designed to be running. So by starting your equipment and letting it run for an hour you are lubricating the engine as well as charging the battery and running out any critters that might be looking for a new home.
Check with the manufacture for proper storing procedures.
You might find that some manufactures spend a lot of time writing procedures on how to store your equipment. It’s always good to contact them or check with your local dealer to see if the manufacture has any written procedures to follow. You might find that you are skipping some steps when prepping your equipment for storage. You might even pick up on some new tips or skills along the way.
Leaning when, where, why and how to store equipment is different for every piece of equipment. But by following these 10 basic guideline to walk you through the process will help you in making smarter equipment decisions. Don’t forget if you’re ready to sell that equipment or you’re looking to buy that next piece, check out our classified listing marketplace at https://heavyequipmentseller.com/ for all your buying and selling needs. We offer free listing services to everyone. Start building your first listing at https://heavyequipmentseller.com/sell/.