The Most Expensive Construction Equipment: The 5 Priciest Items in 2022

As a rental business owner, you are probably aware that the most expensive construction equipment not only has a high initial purchase price — it’s expensive to maintain, too. 

For machines costing around $1 million to purchase, parts and labor can be costly as well.

Renting out equipment may be your bread and butter, but you also need to know what happens when that excavator comes back with malfunctioning hydraulics. What will it cost you to repair the problem? Will you still be able to make a profit? 

The Top 5 Most Expensive Types of Construction Equipment

The most expensive kinds of construction equipment to purchase and maintain are the following five:

  • Cranes
  • Excavators
  • Motor graders
  • Concrete mixing trucks
  • Wheel loaders

While the reasons for these high prices vary, the general rule is that the more expensive the equipment, the more expensive maintenance for that equipment will be.

Cranes: One of the Priciest Types of Construction Equipment

Cranes are one of the costliest pieces of construction equipment on the market. They can cost as little as $50,000 and as much as $5 million. Those figures do not include the expense of licensing and insurance. There are also different kinds of cranes for different jobs, which each carry their own price range:

  • Rough Terrain: Between $50,000 and $500k
  • All-Terrain Cranes: Between $100k and $1 million
  • Truck Cranes: Between $100k and $2 million
  • Crawler Cranes: Between $1 million and $5 million

Remember that cranes experience a lot of torque and pressure over their lives, so parts experience high amounts of stress. The more maintenance you do, the less you’ll have to worry about a part failure causing expensive damage. Pay attention to average repair costs for the size and brand of crane you want.

Construction equipment rental rates for cranes can bring in $200 per day for smaller models and $1,000 per day for larger ones. Crawler or tower cranes should be rented out by the month because they are generally not going to complete a job in a single day. Plan for about $15,000 for a month of rental time.

Excavators Are Often Surprisingly Expensive

To purchase a new excavator, you’ll need between $100k and $500k. They’re one of the more expensive pieces of machinery you can buy. 

Small excavators weigh between 10 and 15 tons and can cost $100k to $150k. Mid-sized models weighing anywhere from 15 and 20 tons will run closer to $200k. Once you’re to full-sized excavators, the cost of purchase can be anywhere from $200k to $500k.

Like cranes, excavators experience high stress and are under constant use. They can rack up thousands of hours quickly. Excavators are also complex machines that have to articulate in many directions. The more complex the machine, the more there is to break, and the more costly the result when something does. 

When renting out an excavator, you can charge about $500 daily for smaller models, and over $1,300 per day for larger ones. The more training your rental customers get, the better. Misuse will cause the quickest breakdowns.

Motor Graders

Motor graders have the advantage of being able to last for 10 to 15 years. This advantage does come at a price; full-sized models can cost between $200k and $500k to purchase. 130hp graders will run on the low side of that spectrum, while 250hp machines are typically on the high end. 

Fortunately, motor graders don’t usually need as much maintenance as cranes or excavators because they are performing low-impact work. However, when something does wear out or break, replacing the part is not cheap. A set of tires alone can cost $7,500 or more, especially if you choose radials over bias-ply tires.

Renting out your motor grader can bring in between $1,000 and $1,500 per day. This is because graders are rarer, more specialized pieces of equipment that not too many construction crews need very often.

Concrete Mixing Trucks

Concrete is in high demand as new construction begins again in earnest. This means that concrete mixer trucks will be in high demand, too. 

To purchase one, expect to spend between $100k and $150k. These are massive vehicles, weighing over 26,000 pounds on their own, and over 40,000 with a full load of concrete. The truck you buy needs to be kept in tip-top shape to handle the pressure.

Because of this, maintenance costs can be high. The trucks will need mandatory regular inspections, and there are plenty of moving parts to consider. 

Not only does the vehicle itself need maintenance, from engine components to suspension to chassis and frame parts, but the concrete mixing apparatus also needs attention. Without regular attention, parts can fail quickly.

Most people tend to rent a trailer-mounted mixer for about $120 per day. Renting an entire concrete mixing truck would be considerably more expensive and unnecessary for homeowner projects. 

However, if you’re renting to a construction crew, you can charge somewhere between $500 and $800 daily.

Wheel Loaders

A common sight during construction, wheel loaders are available in a staggering variety of sizes. Smaller models with about 110hp come at about $40,000, up to $130k. 180hp models range between $120k and $180k. 350hp models are between $150k and $500k. Once you’re up to 500hp, you’re looking at a cool million dollars.

Maintenance costs will be proportional to the cost of the machine. Set aside around $4,000 for an average-sized wheel loader’s maintenance and repair every year. If you’re using a large, name-brand wheel loader, $10,000 would be best.

To rent a wheel loader, your customers should be paying between $400 and $1,000 per day, depending on size.

Have more questions about construction rentals? Check our our guide for the most popular rental equipment and which construction rental equipment is trending.

Quipli Is Improving the Construction Equipment Rental Experience

Just because owning and maintaining construction equipment is expensive doesn’t mean renting it has to be. Quipli simplifies the construction equipment rental process. Our rental software embeds easily into any website, allowing customers to enjoy a smooth rental experience without the traditional headaches. 

If you’re ready to simplify how you rent, we’re ready to show you how we do it. Contact Quipli today!

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About the Author
Kyle Clements
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Kyle Clements is the Founder & CEO of Quipli, a provider of full rental e-commerce experiences for independent rental companies. Kyle has a decade of software startup experience and has been part of several successful ventures that have become publicly traded or been privately acquired, such as Uber and Clutch Technologies. In the past few years, Kyle has completed hundreds of customer interviews understanding needs and trends in the growing rental market. Kyle brings a unique perspective to the rental industry and is passionate about partnering with rental companies, from upstart rental companies to 8-figure rental businesses, to run their operations more effectively and assist them in creating an impactful experience for their customers.

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Quipli is a U.S.-based maker of advanced software that lets independent rental companies accept customer orders and receive payments online, as well as gain unprecedented control over rental inventories, scheduling, and much more.

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