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Browse our Alaska heavy equipment rental locations by city. BigRentz offers a wide variety of heavy equipment for rent, including earth moving machines, aerial equipment, lift trucks, compaction equipment, and job site services.
Before beginning a construction project in Alaska, you need to do your homework. First, you have to make sure you meet all the state licensing requirements. Then you need to research the state’s climate and soil types. This information will help you choose the right equipment for the job.
If you’re a general contractor, you need a license under Alaska state law. You must also have an Alaska business license. There are two main types of general contractor licenses:
Commercial contractors fall into the first category. To apply for this license, you need to complete the Construction Contractor Application Packet (form #08-4027). You can find it on Alaska’s Department of Commerce website. You can also stick with this license if you plan to do residential remodeling. But, your work must comprise less than 25 percent of the home’s value.
For new home construction and larger remodeling projects, you need to fill out a Residential Contractor Endorsement Application (form #08-4161). This is on top of form #08-4027. Even if you think of yourself as a handyman, you will likely need a general contractor license to protect yourself and your work.
Because of Alaska’s location and climate, the soil can make construction difficult. Most of the soil in Alaska classifies as gelisol, which is common in polar climates. Gelisols are either entirely frozen or contain permafrost within 6.5 feet of the surface.
However, Alaska is very diverse. Of the 12 total soil types, you’ll find seven in the state. Two other common soils in Alaska are andisols (formed by volcanic ash deposits) and Entisols (new, undeveloped soils).
In general, the soil here tends to contain more organic matter than the soil in other states. Histosols, Mollisols, and Spodosols — which are rich in organic matter — are often found. The last Alaskan soil type is inceptisol. Inceptisols are new soils that are more developed than entisols but don’t quite have the characteristics of other soil types.
Once you’ve obtained the proper licenses and researched the soil at your construction site, it’s time to choose your equipment. This is where your expertise as a general contractor comes in handy. Excavators are a good example. For this piece of equipment, consider engine power, weight, bucket size, comfort, and attachments.
Given Alaska’s harsh climate, you will need a place to house your excavator. Make sure you arrange this before you buy. You also need a good heating system to keep your operator working at optimal performance. Depending on your job site, you might need more power than usual. If so, you can use a ripper attachment to cut through frozen soil and ice.
Different jobs call for different tools. When buying equipment, don’t try to plan for every situation. Instead, keep in mind your average job site. If you ever get a job that falls outside the norm, you can always find the equipment you need from BigRentz. Often, renting is a more practical option for contractors.