Construction equipment is one of the three major inputs of the building construction process, together with labor and materials. One of the reasons for the development and use of equipment within construction is, to enable construction activities to be performed which are beyond the limit of human strength, and to achieve high standards, which is required by current construction technologies and designs. The second one is to make the construction process more economic.
Construction equipment can be used to reduce costs and an increase productivity, to replace manual operations, particularly the heavy tasks, such as handling construction materials and components, excavating and concrete production and placing, to maintain the budgeted cost and planned production process where labor is scarce or too expensive to employ, to reduce construction material wastage on handling and assembly.
The construction sector ranges from one story family houses to the nuclear power plants. Therefore different kinds of construction equipment are available in the market and these can be used in different types of construction activities. By investigating construction equipments used in the building construction sites currently, the problems in the construction equipment management are evaluated in points of different management levels of the contracting firms. The ultimate object of the thesis is to establish a model, which can be used to support the managers working in different management levels, in making a decision to solve problems they are encountered.
The equipment management in the contracting firm is considered in the building construction process basically in two phases: Pre-construction and construction.
In the pre-construction period, the equipment management can be taken into consideration in two interrelated phases. These are tendering and preparation before the contract. In tendering stage it is a global equipment planning process, whereas in pre-contract stage it is a detailed equipment selection process for the project. It is required to analyze a number of factors to select the proper equipment for the project to be build. Some of these factors affect the equipment selection on project level are the project itself, site conditions and the characteristics of the equipment, while the others on firm level are environmental factors and the characteristics of the firm.
In the construction period, economic evaluations of the equipment alternatives, measurement of the equipment productivity, equipment acquisition and the financial aspects, equipment utilization planning and coordinating, controlling and monitoring the equipment both operationally and financially are the major subjects investigated.