Increasingly over the last few years, low-cost manufactured drills have been seen more and more in emerging trenchless markets. They’re often not much to look at, and may lack the track record that established North American or European equipment has, but they do have one big thing going for them: they’re cheap.
On average, a low-cost drill will sell for 50-60 per cent of the price of a comparable US or European model, but in highly competitive markets where pricing is fierce, many contractors are opting to buy low-cost alternatives. In addition, many low-cost manufacturers have been sweetening their recent offerings with decidedly attractive finance rates (0 per cent over 12 or even 24 months has been reported by HDD Broker’s customers). This, along with extended factory warranties, has brought to light how the low-cost alternative can be very viable to some.
Being relatively new to the industry, low-cost drills are still vying to prove their productivity and reliability. Current lifespan of a low-cost drill can run 36-48 months, however, surging demand has generated significant advancements in technology and development.
Compare that to North American or European offerings, which often remain productive for over ten years and have a substantial selection of pre-owned equipment within a fairly well-defined price range. Low-cost drills, on the other hand, are rarely found in the used marketplace. Used pricing is wildly unpredictable given the absence of historical and residual value data.
Global attention on low-cost equipment has dramatically increased due to favourable pricing and recent technological advancements. This, coupled with their increasing prevalence on highly-visible global platforms such as Alibaba, indicates their growing footprint in our industry.