Equipment upgrades can help

By Jeff Winke

This is it…the time to polish the brass motivational plaque that proclaims that NOW is the best time to assess your equipment fleet and upgrade where necessary. Do not procrastinate. Wait too long and NOW becomes history and you’re kicking yourself over the should haves of a missed opportunity or congratulating yourself over a decisive, well-timed investment in new equipment. This is the business challenge that comes with a new production season. The looming 2024 season is no different.

“As the 2024 season approaches, contractors in the asphalt industry are presented with an excellent opportunity to upgrade their sealcoating equipment,” stated Phillip Rousseau, service & operations for Marathon Equipment Inc., Burlington, Ontario, Canada. “Investing in new equipment not only ensures a competitive edge, but also offers numerous advantages that can significantly enhance productivity and success. Upgrading sealcoating equipment is a wise investment for contractors looking to succeed in the 2024 season. By taking advantage of the latest technological advancements, contractors can enhance efficiency, improve quality, and motivate workers to be more productive. The benefits of acquiring new equipment extend beyond immediate gains, as it sets the stage for long-term success in the asphalt industry.”

Purchasing new equipment now can best prepare contractors for the busy season ahead.

Brent Loutzenhiser, CEO of Seal-Rite, Auxvasse, Missouri said, “As the season begins, lead times can start to fluctuate during busy peak months. If you upgrade your equipment now, you can be prepared and hit the ground running throughout the upcoming season. You want to make sure your new sealcoating equipment allows you to stay out on the job being productive all day. A new unit, along with a melter and your various tools will make you more efficient and help you avoid costly downtime during the prime sealcoating season.”

Sealcoating is considered one of the most profitable businesses in the asphalt paving industry and is a high-demand service.

“With the 2024 season on the horizon, contractors have the chance to start fresh and make improvements to their operations,” Rousseau said.

“Upgrading sealcoating equipment at this time allows contractors to take advantage of the latest technological advancements and innovations in the industry. New equipment often comes with improved efficiency, reliability, and ease of use, enabling contractors to deliver higher-quality results and stand out from the competition. Additionally, investing in new equipment now ensures that contractors are well-prepared for the upcoming season, minimizing the risk of unexpected breakdowns or delays.”

Investing in a business by purchasing new equipment is always a big decision.

“Consider that the costs of goods and services always seem to be on the rise, which makes everyone interested in preventative maintenance in order to avoid having to replace an asset or investment,” stated Nick Dell’Isola, equipment product manager with Crafco, Inc., Chandler, Arizona.

“Sealcoating is an easy way to ensure a more durable, long-lasting pavement, and which both residential and commercial business owners see as its value. With the growing demand for sealcoat services, asphalt paving contractors need reliable, efficient, and safe sealcoating equipment.”

Dell’Isola continued, “Having the right equipment for the job is a must! Most companies, including ours, offer equipment options to suit the need.

For example, we offer sealcoater trailer units in both a 500-gallon and an 800-gallon capacity, along with an 800-gallon capacity skid-steer unit. All of our options come standard with 2-inch diaphragm pumps, 30-gallon air compressors with a 13HP electric start engine, and 48” X 41.5” storage deck with a flip-up ramp. An optional water tank connected into the material plumbing is designed to make cleaning out the system easy, while also providing an emergency water source for when mistakes happen.”

An advantage of a new piece of equipment is that it can motivate workers to be more productive—the new toy effect!

‘There is nothing worse than getting on an already labor-intensive job site and unexpectedly needing to spend time repairing a piece of equipment rather than tackling the job itself,” Dell’Isola said. “Having new, reliable equipment on a job site provides piece of mind and motivates a crew to get work done.”

As Loutzenhiser said, “Take the opportunity now to reflect and assess your needs, before you get too busy!”