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To Rebuild Or Not To Rebuild, That Is The Question!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

With the way parts prices have been exploding, I often wonder why equipment owners don’t request more rebuilt parts. Many components are perfectly fine rebuild while others are not. We are going to explore the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches. And, in whose eyes do these approaches work.

The mechanic: Most mechanics, or at least the ones that I have known through the years, have always wanted to use rebuilt components to repair the sweeper/scrubbers. There have been, however, some that would only use new parts. Price was never an issue with this sort. They felt that new was always best and a reoccurrence of a breakdown was a reflection of their ability. Of course, this is not true because there are also good rebuilds and bad rebuilt parts, so this has to be thrown into the question of new or rebuilt.

The situation: Practicality has to be an issue. That is the decision of new versus rebuilt. If deadlines have to be met, sometimes one has to purchase new over rebuilt. What do I mean by that statement? Rebuilding takes time. The tech has to remove the part, that would be one day. He then would send it out to be rebuilt. That could take up to 5 days depending upon location of the re-builder. On average a re-builder would take, say, 7 to 10 days, however, let’s say 5 days. And then the return of the re-built parts, so you can see how the days start adding up. I counted some 15 days. So three weeks your machine would be down. The question now is, do you have that down time available or since we are talking about sweeper/scrubbers, will management allow your company not to be cleaned for three weeks? Or perhaps you rent a sweeper while you wait! Well, that defeats the purpose of saving a buck. Or maybe, you have a back-up sweeper and can afford the downtime. So you can understand that all
situations are different and unique.

The money: Show me the money! Let’s talk more about rebuilding or not; and what to rebuild or not. One would not rebuild a seat, for example. You would replace it. The hopper panel would be replaced with a new one as well.

If you truly wanted to save money and do it in a way that is practical, it can be done. But you have to have a good understanding of the equipment. Look at it in the realm of groups. The largest group would be the hydraulics of a sweeper/scrubber. Rebuilding, let’s say a wheel drive motor could save one as much as $700. That’s a substantial savings.

With hydraulics, sometimes one can get by with just resealing and not rebuilding. One of my recommendations has always been to stock at least one seal kit for every hydraulic motor on your sweeper/scrubber.

Another example of saving money for multi-machine owners is to stock a new starter. As one machine needs a starter, replace it with the new. The old one can be rebuilt and so on. The alternator I would do in the same fashion.

A big money saver is a rebuilt engine vs. a new one. Rebuilding yours makes sense but sometimes finding a rebuilt engine on the shelf could make more sense.

So, after all, it comes down to:
#1 The mechanic idea
#2 The Situation
#3 The Money

Contact me with any questions at creamerscorner@hi-gear.com

As always, thanks for reading!

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