Komatsu Construction Equipment
For many professional construction contractors, the decision of which excavator machine to rent can have huge implications for their project. The right machine needs to have the power to get the job done on time, but it also shouldn’t cost so much that you can’t make a profit.
When deciding on an excavator, many construction equipment rental companies offer their customers between a Caterpillar and a Komatsu machine. While both of these machines have familiar names, which one is better for your job? We compared both excavators to find out the answer.
For decades, Caterpillar had a stellar reputation among the construction community for producing a high quality machine. In recent years, however, a number of competitors have greatly improved the quality of their products, while Caterpillar has struggled with some issues at their foreign factories. There are now many construction managers who are reporting problems with Caterpillar excavators.
While there are no official surveys done of maintenance and repairs made to construction equipment, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to sort through. Prior to the 1990s, the company had an excellent reputation for construction equipment. While repairs were rarely needed, replacement parts were easy to find, since all excavators were manufactured in America. Over the past two decades, however, outsourcing of manufacturing has coincided with many construction managers noticing that their machines need more repairs.
Komatsu saw the opening in this market, and has moved to greatly increase the quality of their equipment. Today, many construction managers swear by their Komatsu excavators. Because they are manufactured outside of the United States, however, many have reported that finding replacement parts is problematic. This might make them less than ideal in areas where obtaining replacement parts is an issue.
When comparing purchase prices, Caterpillar machines have long been significantly more expensive than Komatsu. This price difference has carried over to the rental market, where construction equipment rental companies justify higher prices on Caterpillar rentals because they have a higher overhead.
In recent years, however, Komatsu has instituted a series of price increases to coincide with their greater focus on quality and performance. Furthermore, the imported parts required for Komatsu repairs has meant that rental companies have to pay more for repair work. Together, these two factors have meant that many rental companies are charging nearly the same amount for excavators from Komatsu and Caterpillar. The difference in perceived quality has been disappearing, leading many construction managers to no longer see the value in paying extra for a Komatsu machine.