Renting construction equipment can seem like a complicated process, especially if you’ve never done it before. Renting can be a convenient, flexible and cost-effective alternative to buying construction equipment. However, you probably have questions about the rental process and want to know a few things before committing.
In this guide to renting Cat® equipment, learn about the equipment rental process, questions you should ask before committing and how to make the most of your rental.
Renting vs. Buying Construction Equipment
When looking for renting construction equipment, you should also consider whether buying might be a good option. Construction equipment is a hefty investment, but purchasing equipment outright may not be in your budget. Consider the following options when thinking about renting or buying your construction equipment.
Renting is a better choice for you if you:
Want to enjoy the benefits of equipment without the associated risk of ownership.
Need to save money.
Will need a broad range of equipment.
Do not have enough storage space for all your equipment.
Want to avoid dealing with maintenance.
Have more short-term projects.
Buying might be a good option if you:
Will need access to the equipment at any time.
Have upfront capital to spend.
Own enough storage space.
Have experience with routine maintenance.
Tend to complete long-term projects.
Overall, renting presents more immediate and long-term cost savings over buying, but you do miss out on important conveniences of owning your own equipment, like being able to use it whenever you want or benefiting from resale profits.
Equipment Rental Process
The equipment rental process is not overly complicated, but it’s important to know the basics before approaching a dealer. The very first step you’ll take will happen before you talk to anyone. Preparation is important because it ensures you know what you want and what your and the dealer’s limitations are. To prepare, consider the following factors:
Equipment: Think about what project or projects you plan to undertake and what equipment you’ll need for them. Most construction equipment comes with attachments so each machine has multiple uses.
Budget: How much are you prepared to spend? Knowing the general costs of renting construction equipment will prepare you when the time comes to sign the contract.
Time: How long you’ll need the equipment will factor into the cost of renting and the length of your contract.
Insurance: Take a look over your insurance policy to determine what’s covered. You’ll want your insurance to provide coverage in the event of theft, vandalism or accidents.
After you have what you need to prepare, you can schedule a consultation with a rental company. At this consultation, you’ll want to come prepared with a few questions to ensure you’ve got the best information to make an informed decision.
Questions to Ask Before You Rent
Before renting equipment, there are a few questions you should ask:
What are your rates? While rates often vary based on the type of equipment, ask what the rates might be for your intended rentals and what the associated fees might amount to.
How long can I keep the equipment? If you have a long-term project, be sure to ask if there is a time limit for rentals. Most dealers offer daily, weekly and monthly rental periods.
What are your delivery and pickup policies? Since you can’t exactly drive off the lot with construction equipment, discuss delivery or pickup options with the dealer beforehand.
Do you have service records for the equipment? It’s important to get a complete picture of the piece of equipment you’ll be dealing with, especially if it tends to have specific maintenance issues. Having a service record for the machine also indicates the company is trustworthy, organized and cares for its equipment.
What are your hours of operation? Because construction doesn’t always happen during business hours, you should ask if there are staff available after-hours for urgent questions.
How long will I wait for a replacement or repair? If the equipment were to break down while using it, you need to know how to proceed. Ask the dealer how long you might have to wait for a service technician to check out your equipment and how quickly you could receive a replacement if you need one.
Can I extend my rental? While finishing on time is every contractor’s goal, delays happen. Ask the dealer if you have the option to extend your rental contract should unexpected delays occur.
What is your billing policy? Figure out when and how the dealer will bill you for the equipment rental, especially when your first bill is due.
Is operator training available? Many pieces of construction equipment require specialized knowledge, so ask if the dealer provides operator training for their machines.
How to Make the Most of Your Rental
Once you’ve decided on a dealer and have your rental equipment, there are a few things you can do to make the most of your rental period. Firstly, it’s important to be sure you’ve found the perfect equipment for your job. If you’re unsure what to choose, your dealer may be able to share valuable insights with you about the best equipment for your specific application.
It’s also essential to time your rental so you can fully optimize your equipment throughout the rental period. You want to avoid signing a contract until the work is confirmed and after you’re sure there will be no delays for things like permits and regulations. Additionally, keep an eye on the weather and schedule your rental equipment during the most productive time periods. If your project happens during the rainy season, you might opt for a shorter rental term in the event your project suffers weather delays.
Construction Equipment Rentals Dos and Don’ts
For a quick guide on what to do when renting Cat equipment, check out these dos and don’ts:
Do ask questions.
Do ensure everyone using the equipment has the proper training.
Do inspect the equipment before using it.
Don’t commit without speaking to your equipment operators.
Don’t choose equipment based solely on cost.
Contact GP Rental for Cat Rental Equipment
There is a lot to consider when renting construction equipment, but we hope this guide has given you a good overview of what to do when renting equipment. If you need reliable rental equipment from a trusted Cat rental store, choose GP Rental. For over 70 years, Gregory Poole has been serving customers with our strong technical expertise and product support.