Three Things to Consider Before Renting Heavy Equipment

Portable lifting equipment

Are you working on a project that involves a heavy equipment, but you don’t need it enough to put forth the investment to own it? In these cases, construction equipment rentals are a good idea. When you use construction equipment rentals, you pay a nominal cost for the use of equipment, so that you can get the job done without forking over an arm and a leg for big earth moving equipment you don’t need again. In fact, even when you own the particular heavy equipment you need, using construction equipment rentals for jobs that are particularly intense is a good idea for avoiding the wear and tear on your baby.


However, not all companies who offer construction equipment rentals are created equal. We don’t want you to get yourself in to a rut (sometimes literally) with equipment you never should have taken home to begin with, and so we put together a list of things to consider before taking home a piece of rental equipment:

Things to Consider Before Renting Heavy Equipment

  1. Know When it is Beneficial to Rent, and When it is Not.
    This might be an obvious benefit of using rental equipment, but let’s talk about it anyways. When you rent your heavy equipment, you spend way less to get the job done than if you’d bought the entire thing. However, if you need the piece of equipment for an extended period of time, you might end up spending far more than the value of the machine in the long-run by renting, but without ownership of the equipment to show for your money. If you’re going to be using a machine regularly, you might weigh out the costs involve and decide if it is beneficial to rent or to buy.


    Another reason that some people opt to rent their equipment is that they don’t want to worry with regular planned maintenance. Maintaining heavy machinery is labor-intensive and expensive. If you only want to worry with running your business, and not keeping a high-maintenance piece of machinery, you might benefit from renting your equipment. In this case, you want to make sure planned maintenance is included in the rental agreement.


    Another occasion that renting equipment is better than buying is when you want to ensure that you have the right machinery for the job. Renting the equipment effectively gives you a chance to test it out and determine if it’s the right fit for your needs.

  2. Read the fine print before you take it home.

    Every heavy equipment rental business has their own set of policies for renting out their equipment. Since the machinery you’re taking home is worth thousands and thousands of dollars, you don’t want to get stuck holding the bag if you violate their usage guidelines. Pay attention to the guidelines for repairs, if the machinery is damaged in your stead. Make sure you understand what insurance coverage the heavy equipment has in case it were stolen or breaks beyond repair. Look into liability if someone on your crew were injured as a result of mechanical failure. Knowing these factors up front will protect you in case Murphy’s Law strikes.


    If you have any questions, or if the contract does not include any important details, make sure you talk it over with the rental provider before you leave with their equipment. If you don’t have it in writing, it’s not worth the paper it isn’t written on.

  3. Plan the job out before you take the equipment home.

    If you are renting instead of buying your equipment, there’s a good chance that you want to save some money on the job. The better your job is planned in the lower your costs will be. Obviously, paying to rent equipment because you don’t need it yet is a waste of money, but the savings reaches beyond that. When you know how long you’ll need the equipment you’re renting, you’re able to find a rental provider who charges by the hour, or week, or month, or whatever best suites your needs. If you go in thinking you’ll only need it for a few hours, and end up keeping it for days, you’ll spend far more than if you had planned it out and rented it accordingly. This is why it pays to plan before you rent.

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