With the last month of the year upon us, and waiting to see if Bonus Depreciation will be approved yet again, some of us are out looking for equipment to purchase either for tax purposes or to get ready for next year.  Often times, this is when People look at attachments that may make a good addition to fleet diversity, but please be careful when doing your research.

If you are purchasing an attachment to be used more than two to three times a year, it is probably wise to look for quality and at a good price.  Many times, this quality comes from Equipment Dealers, not internet deals.  Often times dealers will represent attachment lines who have good support, a solid base of operations, and an ample stock of parts to keep their nationwide network running smooth.  I was looking online at some of my competitors this morning and realized how easy it is for a consumer to be fooled by some photo shopping and smoke and mirrors on the internet.  The picture I am referring to is a hammer company who posts a picture of their hammer working on an excavator in a quarry.  If you zoom in, the excavators bucket pins appear to be oval, almost rectangular.  Also the hammer logo appeared very bright.  Unless you have ever seen oversized oval pins for an excavator bucket, its safe to say its photo shopped to give the illusion that their hammers can withstand the heavy duty work conditions of a quarry.

Questions to ask when calling around for quotes.

1) Does the website look legit?  You can tell when a company used something like godaddy or actually have the budget to hire a professional design company.  I am not saying that you have to spend money on a good website in order to have a good product, but it simply begs the question… if you can’t/won’t spend money on the website that is the main representation for your product, do they have the budget to stock parts and support you when you are down?  Thats when they money you may save comes back to be very expensive.  You may save 20-50% on an internet deal, but when you are down for 2 weeks waiting on someone to get you parts….how much does that cost you?

2) If you call to get quotes, ask them for references….and call them.  The main players in Hydaullic Hammers have a number of dealers that they can use as a reference point.  If they claim to just go direct to save you money….what that means is they do not offer the support for their product that dealers want from their vendors.  So if they cant support a dealer, how can the support you?

3) Ask to see a picture of their warehouse.  Ask them how much inventory they keep on hand as well, and get proof.  Many times, you would be shocked at what lies behind some of these websites.  Many times, its a “warehouse” that may be no larger than the shop out behind your house.  They have a connection overseas, and keep light stock on hand to meet some orders, but the parts could be ordered as needed and they often come from overseas.  If you were going to buy an attachment from a garage, why not look at your local garage sales instead?

4) Often times, you get what you pay for.  If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.  If a GMC costs 45,000 new, but you find a car company online called XYZ Motors and they claim to distribute their own vehicle but it literally costs half as much….whoo do you call when it eventually breaks down?  The rule of thumb is: Fast, Quality, and Cheap….pick two.  If you get all 3, it could be fishy.  Stick with your local dealers or at least buy name brand rebuilds where at least you can find a dealer down the road or be buying from a manufacturer that can tell you where to get parts and support quickly.

5) Ask if they are a member of AEM- this is the voluntary governing body for hydraulic hammers.  It is a voluntary membership, but usually members are legitimate hammer companies.  If they are not a member of AEM, keep looking.

Happy Shopping, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.  Good luck!