How Long Does Compact Construction Equipment Last – Is It Worth a Repair?​

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 12/29/2022 - 2:50pm

How can understanding the lifespan of compact construction equipment benefit my construction operation?

The average lifespan of compact construction equipment depends on several factors, including the type of equipment, the environment, maintenance, and more. Owning and operating costs are directly affected by how long your equipment lasts, so determining the equipment's life expectancy will help you make the right investment for your operation. 


What factors determine how long standard construction equipment lasts and when to replace it?

Compact construction equipment has a general lifespan, but the environment, maintenance, and the way the equipment is operated regularly all play a vital role in determining how long your equipment will last.


How does where I use my equipment affect how long it lasts?

Often overlooked, your environment can affect how long your compact construction equipment lasts. Operating on irregular surfaces or extreme heat or cold can take a toll on your equipment. Harsh environments will reduce your equipment's life expectancy, but some measures can be taken to help minimize these effects. Proper maintenance and winterizing, correct tires and tire pressure, and adequate storage are all preventative measures to help reduce the environment's impact on your equipment.


How does the way I use my equipment affect how long it lasts?

Operator error is one of the most significant ways to reduce your equipment's lifespan. When operators aren't adequately trained, they may run the equipment in ways that will damage or put extra wear on different components. Ensuring operators are always using the equipment properly and not using it in ways that increase strain on the brakes or motor is vital to the lifespan of your compact construction equipment.


How do I calculate owning and operating costs?

To calculate your owning and operating costs, you first must look at the two pieces separately before adding them together.


Owning Costs = purchase price + financing + taxes – disposal price (value of equipment when you resell it)

Operating Costs = labor + fuel + maintenance + replacement costs (parts, tires, tracks, etc) + overhead


With all equipment purchases, there is a “sweet spot” of ownership when the owning and operating cost is at its lowest point. At this point, your equipment is past the high depreciation rate, but maintenance and repair costs of slightly aged equipment haven’t kicked in yet. Your equipment is providing good value and performance still. As the equipment gets older, maintenance and repair costs will rise, increasing your operating costs.


Is it worth a repair, or should I replace my CCE machinery?

Knowing your owning and operating costs is vital when deciding to repair or replace your compact construction equipment. When maintenance and repair costs rise and outweigh the value your equipment provides, most owners begin to consider replacing the equipment instead of repairing it. High owning and operating costs are generally not manageable for extended periods.


What is the typical lifespan of common construction equipment?

Lifespans for compact construction equipment are based on hours of use, not years. While hours are the general guideline for equipment lifespans, there are some areas to check to ensure equipment is still in good shape to continue operating.


Compact Track Loaders

Compact track loaders have an average lifespan of 6,000 – 7,000 hours before they will need a rebuild. The critical area of concern for wear and tear for John Deere compact track loaders is the undercarriage. As signs of wear and tear become visible, it is crucial to have a proper inspection and make necessary repairs. Compact track loader attachments generally last longer than the track loader itself. Different loader attachments are used for various tasks, so each attachment isn't used as much as the track loader is, increasing the lifetime.


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Compact Excavators

Compact excavators generally have a lifespan of around 10,000 hours. The undercarriage and tracks are the areas that will show signs of wear and/or mechanical issues.


Skid Steers

John Deere skid steers offer a general lifespan of around 5,000 hours with proper maintenance and operation. The undercarriage and tires or tracks are vital areas to focus on for wear and tear. Skid steer tires or tracks will be replaced throughout the equipment's lifespan but are still essential to watch. Skid steer attachments usually have a longer lifespan than the skid steer itself. Most owners have multiple attachments and aren't using the same one all the time, meaning they are used for fewer hours than the skid steer.


How do I extend the life of my construction equipment?

One of the most important ways to extend the life of your John Deere compact construction equipment is by performing routine maintenance. Routine maintenance is critical to ensure the longevity of your equipment and keep it running at peak performance. Practicing simple regular maintenance allows you to keep your equipment running and prevent potential long-term issues.


Daily Maintenance Checklist

  • Check engine oil and hydraulic oil levels.
  • Check/clean the air filter.
  • Clean debris from the undercarriage.
  • Check tracks for damage and track tension.
  • Check lug bolts on wheeled machines.
  • Grease/lubricate any daily lubrication points stated in Operator’s Manual.


50-Hour Maintenance Checklist

  • Check the engine oil, hydraulic oil, and brake fluid levels.
  • Clean air filter housing dust valve.
  • Check the condition of the V-belt and tighten it if necessary.
  • Check engine oil and hydraulic oil coolers for contamination.
  • Lubricate bearings in the driveshaft, steering cylinder, articulation joint, lift arm linkage, tilt lever, lift cylinder, tilt cylinder, quick-hitch, and all hinges.


100-Hour Maintenance Checklist

  • Full, multi-point inspection.
  • Change the engine oil and oil filter, fuel filter, and hydraulic oil filter insert.
  • Check and replace brake pads if necessary.
  • All pieces of the 50-hour maintenance checklist.


500-Hour Maintenance Checklist

  • Full, multi-point inspection.
  • Replace the air filter insert.
  • Change axle oils.
  • All pieces of the 50-hour maintenance checklist.


What product support does Koenig Equipment offer for compact construction equipment?

Koenig Equipment offers full product support through parts and service for your John Deere construction equipment.


Does Koenig Equipment service compact construction equipment on-site?

If you are out on the job site with your John Deere compact construction equipment and something goes wrong, you need to know your dealership is there to help. Koenig Equipment offers on-site service when you can't bring your compact construction equipment into the shop. You can schedule on-site service by calling your local Koenig Equipment service department or completing the service request form online.



Can I order parts for compact construction equipment?

Ordering John Deere construction equipment parts doesn't have to be complicated. The team at Koenig Equipment is trained to get you the right parts in a timely manner. Our trained parts staff can even help you select and order the right skid steer attachments for you and your operation! If you know what parts you need and prefer to order them yourself, Koenig Equipment offers online orders through MyDealer.



Additional Resources:

Which Compact Construction Equipment Solutions are Available from John Deere?

Can a Small Skid Steer Help My Landscaping Business?

Guide to John Deere Excavator Sizes, Weights, & Types