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Top Equipment Concerns of Contractors

What concerns do contractors have about equipment?

Users are struggling to adapt to Tier 4 regens and DEF requirements. Especially with DEF, it’s a whole new ballgame for keeping fluids clean and crews knowledgeable. One Florida contractor bluntly commented: “It’s a pain in the butt.” On the other side of the coin, I feel this is a great opportunity for dealers and manufacturers: If you can become the go-to resource to educate contractor’s crews on what to do, you’ll do much to advance your presence in the market.

Contractors know they’re behind the technological eight ball. “Tech is driving everything,” says one equipment manager who works for a national construction firm, “but it’s moving so fast, and my employees are not moving as fast.” He’s seeing this same technical knowledge gap in dealerships. As with Tier 4, there’s an educational opportunity here.

What hasn’t changed: Product support is still king. “Cost is only 25 percent of the sale,” said the equipment manager I mentioned above. “The rest is the product support I get afterwards.” Dealers remain absolutely critical in providing uptime.

And the continuing industry thorn: Finding skilled labor to run their machines and become part of their crews.

Contractors report hiring 3-6 people to get one who pans out. There’s no easy fix for this one. Solutions are multiple, local and many are still to be created. One solution that’s gotten positive returns: Go Build Alabama, funded by a per-hour labor fee levied in Alabama. It’s partially credited for a 30 percent increase in trade school enrollment in the state in 2013.

answer provided by Marcia Gruver Doyle