Excavator Cost Comparison: Rent vs Buy – What’s the Best Option?
Like many aspects of construction, choosing the right excavator for your project can be overwhelming. Before you invest your money and resources into this piece of equipment, you should really understand the cost implications of either renting or buying. In this blog post, we’re exploring excavator cost comparison: rent vs buy – and helping you to decide what’s the best option for you. Whether you’re a contractor or a DIYer, having the right excavator for your job is essential to completing the project on time, on budget and without unexpected surprises. Let’s dive into the cost comparison and see which option makes the most sense for your project.
Caterpillar Excavator Cost Comparison – Rent vs Buy
Buying a new CAT excavator cost new between $125,000 to as much as $1,000,000. Buying a used CAT excavator could be as cheap as $55,000 to as high as $750,000, depending on the size and the amount of time it has been used.
However, if both of these costs are still too steep and you don’t need them for more than one project, you can rent a 15-ton CAT excavator for as little as $1023 per day. A week for the same machine costs about $3,253. If you need it for an entire month, it will cost you $8,750. Moreover, the larger the excavator, the higher the price.
How Much Can It Cost for a CAT Excavator?
There are three main ways to get a CAT excavator for your next project. You can buy a new excavator, buy a used excavator, or rent an excavator. Depending on which way you go will depend on the costs involved.
The cost to buy a new CAT excavator will vary by what size you need in an excavator. Depending on the specifics of your job to be done, a small CAT excavator may not be sufficient. You may require a much larger excavator weighing more or need a more significant horsepower.
|Type of Cat Excavator||Size||Cost|
|Small Cat||26,000 to 55,000 pounds||$100,000 to $230,000|
|Medium cat||65,000 to 80,000 pounds||$230,000 to $270,000|
|Large Cat||100,000 to 200,000 pounds||$400,000 to $850,000|
|Large Demolition Cat||88,500 to 151,483 pounds||$385,000 to $850,000|
A used CAT excavator might be a great way to save money on getting an excavator to do what you need. An example of a cost of a used CAT is a 2006 CAT 320 CAT excavator with tracks that might cost $29,000, while a new one would be around $750,000, giving you substantial savings.
Costs to rent an excavator may vary depending on location and factors like supply and demand, but here are some rental rates from at least one place in the United States.
|Daily Cost||Weekly Cost||Monthly Cost|
|13 ton+ Excavator||$695||$1995||$4795|
|15 ton + Excavator||$967||$2892||$6451|
|Caterpillar 312 EL||$459||$1377||$4130|
|20 Ton+ Excavator||$1400||$2200||$5900|
Choosing the Right Excavator
How do you know which one you need? Here are several types of CAT excavators to choose from when looking for an excavator.
Different Kinds of Excavators and When to Use Them
Planning is key to buying or renting the correct excavator to fit your needs. Know the project requirements. How quickly do you need the project completed? You will want to choose one big enough to complete the job in the timeframe you have available.
There are six types of excavators, and each one has some areas that it is better at doing.
If you need an excavator to use in trench digging and landscaping, you might want to get a crawler excavator. This type is also used in certain mining situations. This excavator often has wheels instead of a track.
Suction excavators use water jets and a high-pressure vacuum when cleaning dirt and other debris out of the way.
When you need an excavator with arms that extend high in the air, often with attachments that reach up to 100 feet, you will want to get a long-reach excavator. These are good at doing heavy-duty digging and are used chiefly on industrial projects.
An excavator with a hoist rope and dragline system to help clear dirt and mud out of the way for underwater projects and road excavations is a dragline excavator.
If you need a small machine to scoop away the dirt on small residential jobs, you may need a skid steer excavator. This excavator has small buckets that scoop things out of the way.
Types of jobs you might use an excavator for include:
- Digging trenches, basements, or foundations
- Grading or landscaping
- River dredging
- Pile driving
- Digging out swimming pools or ponds
- Drilling rotating shafts when stone blasting
Other Attachments You may Need To Purchase
You may need to consider some attachments for your new CAT Excavator, depending on the project you need to be done.
You may need to purchase augers if you need holes dug or for specific other projects.
You might need additional buckets or need to add some compactors or coupler attachments for your CAT excavator.
Other attachments to consider depending on the project would be grapples, hammers, and multi-processors.
You might even need some rake attachments or rippers and thumbs. Your CAT dealer will have a complete list of available attachments.
Other Factors That Can Affect the Cost of Using a CAT Excavator
When buying or renting a CAT excavator, remember there will be additional costs to figure in, such as sales tax. Sales tax can be pretty hefty for an excavator since it is a large purchase. Sales taxes vary from state to state. You will need to check with the state of purchase to know the rate you will be charged.
The dealer also often adds a transaction fee, which can add several hundred dollars assuming the payment is between 3.85% to 10% depending on the selling price.
- Equipment costing up to $10,000 usually has a 10% transaction fee.
- Equipment costing between $10,000 to $33,500 usually has a 3.85% transaction fee.
- For equipment costing more than $33,500, the transaction fee can go up to $1290.
There will probably be transport costs to get your new excavator where you want it. The closer to where you want, it is better to save on these costs, which can add up to thousands of dollars if the distance is very far.
Caterpillar may offer an extended warranty on your new CAT excavator. You may want to consider this since replacement costs would be enormous should something happen to your excavator.
You will probably want to get some casualty and risk insurance for your CAT before using it. One accident while using your excavator could potentially wipe out a business or individual if you had to pay out massive lawsuits or claims. Not to mention the cost of replacing your equipment and the liabilities if someone gets injured.
Factors to Consider When Renting a CAT Excavator That May Change Costs
What is the accessibility of the job site? Will it be hard to get the CAT excavator to the site? If so, it may make it cost more.
What are the conditions of the area you want to excavate? IF the site is rocky or has a hardpan or boulders, it can significantly increase the costs. Whether or not dirt, rocks, and other debris is hauled off or moved to the side will often change the price of a project.
When renting an excavator, the leaser will provide an operator for the equipment figured into the price. They may charge by the yard, which is usually around $50 to $200 per yard. Companies charge more if the ground is harder to dig, but even if you do the work yourself, it can add hours or days to the cost of a rental.
Companies usually figure in travel time and transport cost into their hourly rate. Most will have a minimum they charge for bringing out their equipment and crew for a day. These costs can vary from $200 to $1200 or more depending on the circumstances of the job.
A project that costs $1500 with soft soil and no bounders or rocks might cost up to $20,000 with rocks, boulders, or a hardpan to deal with for the same size area excavated.
A typical excavation for a new house usually will take around three days to complete if there are no additional projects to do, such as clearing and leveling the land or getting the driveway excavated. Every day on the job site adds to the cost.
Often they will come back to backfill the site once it is ready.
When figuring out the cost of a CAT excavator, there are many things to consider before deciding whether to buy a new excavator or purchase a used one. If it is for a one-time job, you will probably be better off renting a CAT or having someone do the job for you.
If you have future projects to use it for, you will want to get either a new or used one. Choosing which is better may be partially determined by how much you can afford to spend and what is available in your area.