By Shawn Hutchings

After reviewing all the jobs you’ve lined up for the 2024 season you’ve concluded your company needs to pick up a new asphalt paver. Whether you’re new to asphalt paving and would like to bring some of the asphalt portions of your jobs in-house rather than subbing out or you’ve been paving for years, it is important to consider more than just the initial purchase price of an asphalt paver.

You reach out to your local equipment dealers for a unit that fits your application needs and quickly find out two things; one, some manufacturers only offer one model that will fit your application and two, there is a big difference in the prices…$30-40k difference! Your initial reaction is to go with the cheaper offering and pay $30k less. That kind of savings is enough to put towards another piece of equipment you might need or a nice deposit on a new boat. But before you purchase the cheaper unit consider a few more things besides the initial purchase price.

Application: Some manufacturers only have one unit to offer that will fit your application while other manufacturers offer multiple units that can be tailored to your exact need. Having a paver that is specifically made for your application can save your crew tons of handwork and labor.

Let’s say this tailored paver will save you one less raker/shovel man. With an average cost of $15/hour times 8 hours, you will save $120 per day. Multiplying that by 5 workdays will be a savings of $600 per week. Based on a 40-week work year that’s a savings of $24,000 per year. Taking it even further let’s say you own the paver for three years, $24k times 3 years is $72,000 of savings! That’s looking like a nicer boat down payment to me…I mean…more equipment money for your growing fleet!

Maintenance: What is the extra cost to maintain Brand A vs Brand B? Does one brand have faster-moving parts or parts that need to work harder because it is being used in an application it wasn’t originally designed for? Faster moving parts and using equipment in the wrong application can cost you big in the long run. These components tend to wear out faster and will add operational costs to your operation. In a dealer shop these days you can expect to spend $7-10K for parts and labor to replace conveyors, augers, and screed plates, let alone the lost production having the paver down during the middle of the season. The $7-10k and the extra job completed is nice gas money for the new boat!

Resale: It’s important to look ahead at the expected value the unit will bring when you decide to trade it in or sell it. Whether it be a 3-year turn turnover or a 5-year turnover, the higher initial cost unit will typically hold a higher resell value. This higher trade-in value helps you negotiate with dealerships, and it also provides you more return if you decide to sell privately. The higher value typically helps the unit move faster getting the unit off your books and helps get the capital back into your bank.

To review, it’s extremely important to consider more than just the initial upfront cost of your paver purchase when deciding on an asphalt paver. Make sure you look at the total value and savings that the more expensive paver has to offer before writing it off. If you’re struggling to determine which paver or boat is right for you, please don’t hesitate to contact me. We can work through these decisions together!

Shawn Hutchings is a Territory Sales Manager with LeeBoy. He can be reached at shawn.hutchings@leeboy.com