Early in WHECO’s 30 plus years of providing our unique brand of customer service to the crane and heavy equipment industries we cut our teeth on providing SLEP or Service Life Extension Projects for the Air Force, Navy and Marine branches of the military. The term SLEP, which was created by the military, is the acronym for describing the ability to add additional safe and cost effective service life to aging and damaged cranes and equipment.
So, in looking at your aging crane do you see a second life? Look closely, because it is most probable that you would be able to extend the useful life of that crane at a fraction of the cost of purchasing new. As we discussed in a previous post about a Manitowoc 888 crawler crane restoration, it’s all about the ROI.
And performing a SLEP is not exclusive to crawler cranes. The rising costs of all cranes have made them good candidates for service life extensions. AT’s, RT’s, truck, industrial and tower cranes can all have extended service lives and should be considered before purchasing new.
There are two very sound reasons for considering extending the service life of your crane:
- Structural Integrity: It is certain that cranes have been structurally manufactured to endure well beyond the intended life cycles of the hydraulic, mechanical, electrical and electronic components that make them function. And we know that those components can either be rebuilt or replaced as necessary making the core structural components of the crane available to continue to serve a useful and productive second or extended life. So don’t let those aging crane maintenance issues dissuade you from considering repairing your crane. Remember, using a repair/restore versus replacement philosophy can and will save you time and money.
- Rising Prices of New Cranes: Despite the recent economy, manufacturers have been able to maintain and even increase the acquisition cost of their cranes. Unfortunately, owning and operating costs continue to rise and rental rates remain competitive or depressed making economic sense to consider extending the ownership life of the asset. So, developing a scope of work and ROI for a SLEP is a good way to benchmark a new purchase. A properly conceived and executed SLEP project can be save as much as 50% to 70% against the cost of new.
So if you have a good core crane and are having new crane sticker shock, don’t pass up the opportunity to consider a SLEP. It just may turn out to be one of the better returns on investment decisions that you have ever made.