EDCO had the opportunity to contribute our knowledge of the rental profitability of saws. This information appeared in a Rental Management Magazine article titled “Making The Cut,” in 2015, but has been updated to reflect new additions to EDCO’s line of Professional Sawing equipment. This piece shares lots of application-based information of Walk-Behind and Self-Propelled Saws.
Professional Sawing Equipment and its Profitability:
Unlike surface preparation equipment — which is a broad term encompassing grinders, tile strippers, planers, and industrial cleaning equipment — sawing equipment has one function: Cutting.
There are different kinds of cuts, such as dual-line, single-line and plunge, but in general, saws are very simply designed to cut things. The simplicity of sawing equipment, however, doesn’t diminish its versatility within the fleet of any equipment rental store.
Saws are needed tools for many common job-site applications, producing a potentially high return on investment when you have the right equipment in your inventory.
Walk-Behind and Self-Propelled Saws
Walk-behind saws come in a variety of power options and sizes and are pushed by the operator. The largest walk-behind saws accommodate blades around 20 in. in diameter. That being the case, the deepest cutting depth achievable with walk-behind saws is about 7.75 in.
Typically, these saws are simple and homeowner-friendly. The walk-behind saw are usually best suited for short-distance cutting applications, such as:
- Contraction joints in concrete slabs
- Patch repairs in asphalt
- Traffic loop sensor installation
- Trenching for piping in homes and smaller commercial buildings
- Shallow cutting applications
Self-propelled saws are significantly larger than walk-behind saws. Propelled through cuts by drive systems, these saws require higher horsepower motors and engines. However, that means a variety of cutting depths are achievable with self-propelled saws, including depths significantly deeper than those of walk-behind saws. Usually the smallest self-propelled saw accommodates a 20-in. blade for a 7.75″ maximum cutting depth. Sizes and depths grow from there, all the way up to a saw that can fit a 36″ blade for 15″ maximum cutting depth.
Self-propelled saws are more complex and are often used by experienced operators. However, those outside of construction professionals can learn to operate these machines. Long-distance rental applications are solved by self-propelled saws, such as:
- Highway, road and bridge repair.
- Utility installation.
- Large commercial construction projects, like warehouses and airports.
- Contraction joints and trenching in wide spaces.
- Deeper cutting applications.
Manufacturers strive to provide the equipment rental industry with saws that meet various job-site conditions and regulations. Saws come in downcut, upcut, plunge cut, hardscape, masonry, tile, and hand-held forms. Each type of saw has rental possibilities.
With various power options available, saws can be rented for any job site. Power options for all workspaces include gasoline for outdoor work, carbon dioxide-free electric for indoor applications, propane for anywhere a propane-powered forklift is allowed and air motors for specialty applications.
In addition, there are several self-propelled sawing options that meet government-issued regulations, including the same Tier 4 emissions requirements for off-highway diesel engines. These saws are designed to meet federal mandates while also satisfying the needs of its users, including cutting professionals, street departments and municipalities.
Maximizing Return on Investment:
To maximize return, it’s important to diagnose which sawing category will fulfill common requests from your rental customers. EDCO — Equipment Development Co., Frederick, Md., for example, created several job-site qualifying questions to consider when recommending which type of saw a customer should use.
Knowing the answers to these questions also can help when considering adding concrete and asphalt saws to your rental inventory to meet customer needs:
- What and where is the job-site location? – This helps to understand power availability, whether a loading dock is available, how much square footage is involved and whether the site is occupied before recommending a machine for the job.
- Why is the cutting being done? – This helps you understand the customer’s goal and needed results.
- What is the material being cut? – Knowing whether it is concrete, asphalt, pavers or tile can help you select the right saw to achieve the desired result more efficiently.
- What is the required depth and width of the cut? For many applications, the depth and width are the determining factors of what category of saw is needed.
- How many lineal feet or pieces will be cut? If it is a short distance, then a walk-behind saw can handle the job. If it is long-distance cutting, then a self-propelled model would be better.
- What type of blade will be used, diamond or abrasive?
- How much time is available for cutting?
- Is dust control a factor? – Actually, dust suppression always is a factor when using saws. How you suppress dust depends on whether water can be used.
- What source of power is desired? – The options include gasoline, electric, air or propane.
Asking yourself these questions will help you decide which saw is best for your rental inventory and which saw is best for each customer’s specific application.
Step cutting for safety and productivity
Step cutting is essential when cutting deep depths. It promotes safety and increases a saw’s return on investment. Step cutting is simply the act of making an initial cut at a safe, shallow depth and then cutting the same line multiple times at deeper depths until… Click to read and watch the rest of EDCO’s Step Cutting Safety recommendation.