Should I Rebuild my Machine or Replace it? â Your Questions Answered oleh - wheelloaderhitachi.xyz
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Iâve talked to a lot of contractors who had machines approaching the end of their first life and discussed with them their possible next steps. Several struggled with the idea of replacing their older machine with a new one â" whether they didnât have adequate capital at the time, werenât comfortable upgrading to new technology, or simply didnât want to replace the machine the operators loved to run.
While buying new construction equipment certainly has its advantages, there are alternatives if itâs not right for you when the time comes: leasing, renting and buying used equipment are excellent alternatives â" and rebuilds are as well.
If you have a machine youâre thinking about rebuilding, you likely have questions about the process. What does it cost? How long does it take? What type of machine will I have on the other side? While thereâs no black and white answers, below Iâve answered some of the most common questions I get regarding machine rebuilds.
When is the best time for a machine rebuild?
You first need to ask yourself what the expectation of the asset is. Do you want to do an earlier hour rebuild to maximize its life expectancy, or would you rather wait until the repair costs begin to inflate and then compare replacement value to rebuild value and the life expectancy? Most machines we rebuild are in the 12,000- to 15,000-hour range, but it can vary. Operating conditions, application and maintenance practices are additional factors in determining the best time for refurbishment. For example, the front end and drivetrain take on more stress for a wheel loader in an extraction or load and carry application, meaning it likely needs to be rebuilt sooner, than a wheel loader used in a waste transfer station application.
Component failure would depend on the hours on the machine and condition of other major components.Â If you own a Volvo, you can always look at your fuelÂ consumption, oil sample andÂ MATRIS readings to gain some insights.
Some owners would choose to rebuild an engine, for example, if they want to see another season or two out of the machine or if itâs a utility machine. Some of our larger accounts will assess their budgets at year end, and if thereâs cash available, theyâll put it toward a machine rebuild with the goal of maximizing their assetâs total life expectancy.
Is there a sweet spot to know when a machine is ready for a rebuild?
It depends on a lot of factors like how well you maintained your machine. Did you service it at the proper intervals? You for sure want to get it going before your parts consumption starts going way up, which can vary depending on your specific maintenance practices. If you own a Volvo, your dealer Customer Support Rep is a great resource to help you make this determination.
How do I know if a rebuild is right for a specific machine I own?
You need to weigh all your options. For example:
- What is your expectation after the rebuild? Will your asset return to a full-time production machine, or will it take a backup role and be a utility machine? The role your machine is expected to play in your fleet could determine how much youâre willing to invest as an owner into rebuilding that machine.
- Are you satisfied with the way your machine is currently dressed? You should take into consideration whether or not itâs still relevant for the job and task itâs performing. Is it too big? Is it too small? Would a new machine allow you to take on new jobs? If so, a rebuild likely wonât open up those types of opportunities.
- Your operator likes the machine, but is he productive in it? If so, and youâd like to keep that productivity going, a rebuild is a good way to get reliable added life out of your current machine.
- Are you willing to switch to new technologies and emissions systems? If youâre hesitant, a rebuild can buy you some time before you make the switch.
- How long do you want to keep the asset before replacement? In most scenarios, higher replacement value assets are more economically viable for rebuild than lower replacement value assets. Larger machines are typically more economically viable because of the price for the parts versus the price of a new machine. The margin between the price of a new machine versus the price for the parts to rebuild gets closer in a smaller machine. So, where you might see a rebuilt L220 wheel loader cost 50â"60% of new, you may be looking at 70â"80% of new for a smaller machine. At that point, it just makes more sense to buy a new machine in most cases.
- Is your business prepared for machine downtime during the rebuild? Youâll need to compare the amount of time needed for a rebuild (in our Certified Rebuild program, we shoot for a maximum 8-week turnaround, but it can vary) versus the time it would take to get a replacement. If youâve effectively planned for it and are okay with the machine being out of your fleet for a period of time, a rebuild is still a viable option.
Will a machine rebuild be worth it?
To answer that, you should take into consideration all of the unique circumstances for the rebuild and decide whether or not itâs the best option for your business. If the expectation is to put the asset back in the same job after a rebuild, then a decision needs to be made on the practicality of the second life before costs start to increase.
Example: A large production wheel loader is rebuilt at 16,000 hours and the owner can invest 50% of the replacement value to get another 10,000 hours before another component rebuild. Did he maximize the life expectancy of the asset, knowing the replacement machine wonât get to 26,000 hours before major repairs need to be made?
What does a Volvo Certified New Life rebuild entail?
Currently, our certified dealers perform refurbishments on wheel loaders and haulers â" thereâs no formal program for excavators (to date). At the basic level, the powertrain gets rebuilt â" but theyâre customized with add-ons on a case-by-case basis. So, for example, a second level might include the powertrain, plus replacement of some hoses and hydraulics. At the next level, you might be looking at all these, plus a full cab refurbishment, and so on.
The rebuild checklists for Volvo wheel loaders and haulers is quite extensive. We use remanufactured components when available, and we have a methodology of repair versus replace when it makes sense. Based on an inspection of the machine, your dealer may find additional things that need to be replaced â" and even upon machine tear down, youâre still in the quoting process because additional issues may be found that need to be addressed. In any event, our rebuilds come with a 3-year / 5,000-hour warranty on major remanufactured components, which is applied to rebuilt axles as well.
See a time-lapse video of the Volvo Certified New Life process.
What types of benefits can I expect as a result of a Certified New Life rebuild?
If you have defective or underperforming components on your machine, weâll replace them to restore the machineâs performance to like-new conditions. So as an example, one added benefit of replacing your engine or tires is likely better fuel efficiency.
Can I get a machine rebuilt anywhere in the country, or do I need to be near a Volvo certified dealer to do it?
We have certified dealers located throughout the U.S. and Canada. Most Volvo dealers have at least one certified branch, but for those that donât, a certified location most likely isnât too far away.
Have any current Volvo customers seen any operating efficiency improvements as a result of a rebuild?
American Rock Salt out of Mount Morris, New York, is a great example. They own a Volvo L350F, and its main duty is to transfer material for the fresh on-ground salt piles to a hopper that sends the salt via conveyor up to the truck-loading hoppers. While the loader was at the 17,000-hour mark, the Volvo engine was still going strong and the company had little, if any, mechanical issues. The operators like the way it handles, plus its ease of operation, so after talking with them and their dealer, Vantage Equipment, about the program, they decided to refurbish the machine instead of replace it.
It cost American Rock Salt roughly half the price of a new loader. In this type of application, the radiator and electrical components are consumed twice as fast as other applications, and they expect to double their hours on this Certified New Life machine to get another lifecycle out of it.
If you think a rebuild like this may be a viable option for an aging machine, talk to your local certified Volvo dealer about the Certified New Life Program. You can control your downtime to get back on track efficiently in a newly rebuilt machine.
Product Manager, Repair Solutions
Hilton began his career with Volvo CE in 2008 as an intern, and in 2012 became a full-time employee as a senior telematics specialist working on programs like CareTrackÂ® and ActiveCareÂ® Direct. In 2016, he assumed his current role of Product Manager â" Repair Solutions and covers sales and marketing for Volvo Certified New Life, Volvo Reman, Care Inspections and component rebuilds.
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