?You can?t buy a small machine and expect to do the large work with it,? he admits. Yet, he feels there are times when a small machine will ?run circles? around a larger, dedicated machine, particularly on confined jobsites. ?A big machine has to maneuver. While it?s turning around, you may have made another two or three passes.?
There is also the added maintenance associated with a dedicated machine. For his operation, Broach says it?s more practical to invest in an attachment that he can take on and off his existing equipment. ?That way, you don?t have the maintenance on another engine and the drivetrain,? he states.
?It?s very expensive when you?re talking oil and filters,? Egnoski says. ?Filters can cost $50 to $60 on some equipment, just for one filter.?
Ultimately, the decision to invest in an attachment rather than a dedicated unit comes down to utilization. ?If you?re doing trenching every day and that?s all that you do, you wouldn?t want to do the job with a skid steer and a trencher [attachment], because you?re going to sacrifice production,? says Peters. ?But if you?re doing 100 ft. here and there and utilizing it once a week, you wouldn?t want to invest in a dedicated trencher, because they cost so much. It would just make sense to have an attachment.?
Egnoski agrees, adding, ?Buying a machine specifically made to do one thing, you invest maybe $100,000 in that machine and you use it only to do that one thing. I have my track loader, but I can use that one machine for 12 different things. That?s cost effective.?