In an industry where proper equipment plays a vital role in project success, making informed decisions about your rental choices is essential. Not only does renting offer cost-effective solutions for contractors, but it also allows additional flexibility, efficiency, reduced storage cost, and other capabilities to help streamline projects.
According to the American Rental Association, equipment rental revenue is forecasted to grow 2.9 percent in 2024, 3.3 percent in 2025 and another 3.4 percent in 2026 to reach nearly $63.4 billion. As contractors, landscapers, and business owners turn to rental alternatives, there are plenty of important considerations that need to be made before they make the move to rent.
Establish Your Equipment Needs
There are an insurmountable amount of equipment companies, brands and specs to choose from when looking to rent equipment. Look at the overall project you’re working on and consider your job site conditions, required specs, project timelines, equipment size, operator skill level, and required attachments. Establishing your needs here will help narrow down the best rental option for you. Additionally, you can consider looking at certain equipment which may offer the same function as another to determine if there is an alternative which can do the job at a lower cost – or is more readily available.
Figure Out Your Budget
The cost of a project and keeping on budget is one of the top priorities of any project. It’s important when forecasting your job to know how long your rental period will be. Link your budget back to the costing used in the project bid, the time needed to complete the project, and trade-offs, such as if the rental can reduce labor hours, then it may be the more budget-friendly option.
Additionally, consider the time you will be budgeting for the use of the equipment, as it will allow you to map out how long your rental period will be. For example, many times when renting, a “one-day” rental means eight hours of usage time. If you know your job has the potential of needing a longer run time, consider renting for a longer period to avoid these unexpected costs.
Shop Around for the Best Price
Just as you do when looking for flights and hotels, looking at different service providers for the best price can help keep your cost in line with the project budget. Looking at things such as delivery cost, daily vs. weekly vs. monthly rental price, and equipment availability can help narrow down the best rental options. Simple factors such as renting from a location which is closer to the drop-off location, can help save a couple hundred dollars.
Understand the Delivery and Pick-up Process
Many rental agreements detail what is required by the renter in terms of delivery and pick-up procedures. Every rental company is different and it's important that you share your expectations and needs with the rental company. It can also help to keep their number or email on hand should any last-minute issues arise. Consider using companies which offer order-tracking systems for you to be able to track the progress of your rental and ensure it arrives on-site at the requested time.
Equipment Damage, Repair Responsibilities, and Insurance
Every rental company will have its approach to how they evaluate damages. Make sure you are aware of what constitutes “damage” and define what is reasonable for the usage of the equipment on site. In most cases, the renter holds responsibility for any damage or theft of equipment that occurs while it's in their possession. However, the rental company may have damage waivers in place which the renter may be required to sign as part of the rental agreement. This will set a predetermined amount of percentage the renter would be liable for should damage or theft occur. Make sure you check with your rental provider if additional insurance is needed or if it can be purchased as part of the rental.
Other insurance options, such as general liability insurance, will typically offer coverage for legal expenses in cases of property damage or bodily harm suffered by third parties. Further coverage may also be required by the renter if the equipment itself requires repairs or sustains damage. This is where the significance of construction equipment rental insurance policies becomes apparent.
Moreover, construction equipment rental insurance offers a dedicated policy that encompasses repairs, theft of equipment, damages, and safeguards against accidents. This is particularly valuable for frequent equipment renters.
Read the Fine Print
Whether you’re renting directly from a rental house or using an online marketplace, make sure you read the fine print involved with the rental agreement. Does the machine need to come gassed up? Is the machine cleaned to the specifications required by the rental company? Take a moment to understand what is going to be required to avoid additional charges being made.
If you’re worried about anything happening or want to be extra careful, make sure to get everything in writing and take pictures if necessary. Human error happens and it’s best practice for you and your business to ensure everything is above board.
There is always the potential for something to come up which may throw a wrench in your rental plans. Some final tips to keep in mind are to always plan and do your research to understand what policies and rules the rental companies have in place. Make sure you are prioritizing safety and that those using the equipment are trained in doing so. Keep an eye on the equipment usage to make sure you’re not adding in extra costs. Keep in communication with the rental company and finally, consider long-term rental options. After all, renting is partially successful from the relationships built between the renter and the rental house.
DOZR's mission is to bring heavy equipment within reach for anyone, anywhere, at any time. With the world’s largest fleet of heavy equipment rentals, the DOZR.com Marketplace is the first-ever comprehensive online search platform for equipment rental, providing users with transparent access and real-time availability to suppliers across the continent.
Kevin Forestell is CEO and Co-Founder at DOZR.