The Ultimate Guide to Construction Equipment Rental

Whether you're building a house or excavating a massive complex, a reliable construction equipment rental is the smart way to get your project done, both on time and on budget. Learn what you can rent and how you plan to use it before you put down a deposit. Here we have a step by step guide on how to work out what equipment you need, how to develop a rental schedule, and how to get the most out of the equipment you rent.

 front loader construction equipment rental

Why Should You Rent Construction Equipment?

The rent-vs.-buy argument is eternal in any industry, of course, but in construction, it's a particularly urgent one as projects need to get finished by deadlines and budgets get tighter. So, lets take a look at why it makes sense to rent construction equipment.

Eliminate Storage and Maintenance Costs

You'll have the equipment on your jobsite only when you need it. Once you own the equipment, you are stuck with the capital expense of storing, maintaining, and hauling. Unless you constantly need heavy equipment, it's unlikely to be worth the purchase in the long run. And remember, just like a car, the minute you buy construction equipment, it begins losing value, even as you have to pay more and more to maintain it.

Secondly, the upkeep of heavy equipment on the job will largely fall to the rental company. You'll make arrangements for their team to come in after hours and service the equipment for you. They'll bring it to the site, they'll take it off the site, and you can focus on what most needs to get done.

Finally, construction equipment rental is more cost-conscious versus buying or finding workarounds for using equipment in the first place. Your average piece of heavy construction equipment rental costs are a mere a fraction of the $100,000 to over $200,000 it will take to buy. Also, renting can be immediately deductible on your taxes as a business expense. Equipment rental price estimates allow you to offer a more detailed bid for the job, and break out precisely what the client is paying for, instead of a vague fee for them "renting" the gear you own.

Access To New Models

You'll have immediate access to newer equipment when you rent, which gives you the flexibility to solve construction problems in a faster and more efficient way. Instead of having to work out how to excavate under a building with the backhoe you own, you can just rent a few Bobcats and have them do the job. Even if you're planning on buying new equipment, construction equipment rental is a smart choice because you can try it out on a real job site before you buy, allowing you to determine whether it's the right choice for you.

Construction Equipment Rental Needs

It all starts, of course, with the job. Building a small home is going to require much different equipment from clearing away a large space to build a retail complex on. So begin with a sheet of paper, and list off all the jobs that need to be done. Remember, there's equipment for every task. If you know you're going to be lugging heavy loads of material across several acres, that's just as important as listing out the excavations you'll need to dig out.

It pays to write out every task you'll need to complete on a job and then look at your construction equipment rental needs. If you've been hired to build a condominium complex and it's located in a lot that is covered in trees, you'll need to clear the brush and grind stumps. This would be an ideal job for a Bobcat and its attachments or a bulldozer if it's really overgrown. You'll need to dig out the foundation, a job for a backhoe, and so on.

As you work out the tasks you need, work out the scheduling as well. There's no point in renting heavy equipment and leaving it to collect dust. But make sure to budget a little leeway in your schedule for the inevitable possibility of a job taking longer than estimated.


Budgeting For A Heavy Equipment Rental

The next step is to work out what your budget is for the job, and what you can afford to rent. Construction equipment rentals are budget-friendly, especially compared to the sunk cost of upkeep on heavy equipment you own.

List your jobs on the site in order of priority. What absolutely needs to get done by heavy equipment? Usually these are tasks like excavating, hauling material and other equipment across the site. There may also be other jobs you can't reasonably expect your team to do without the right tools. Others can be deferred or done with different methods. For example, if you've only got one or two stumps to clear on a site, a few crew members taking a day with a shovel and an axe to clear them out may be more cost-effective than renting a stump-grinder attachment. This would allow the money saved to be better spent on a wood-chipper or a bulldozer to clear out brush.

Don't forget, however, that most heavy equipment can do more than one job. Taking the stump example again, even if you don't want to rent a stump grinder: a bulldozer and a chain can help yank that annoying stump right out of the ground, or a backhoe can claw it out with ease. Look closely at the versatility of your "must-rent" equipment and ask yourself a question. Will it be useful on the site before its main job and will it save you some time and money? Especially if you're concerned about delays or budget overages, a better-safe-than-sorry attitude towards construction equipment rental can keep a job on track and a client happy.

power shovel

What To Rent?

Once you have a rough idea of what equipment you need, you will need to finalize what needs to be rented. There are dozens of brands of heavy construction equipment with plenty of models to choose from. Many range from less expensive older models to absolutely top-of-the-line units.

Start with your operators. Likely you've got brands and models you're familiar with, and they'll have theirs. Sit down and ask them about their experiences, what brands and models they prefer and why.

Look closely at what's available to rent and how it fits your needs. You might be able to find a construction equipment rental option with a multitude of attachments and features. This will help speed up the schedule and make the potentially higher per-day rental worth the cost. Conversely, if a job is simple and you just need it done quickly, renting a simpler, more straightforward piece of equipment might do the job better for your budget.

Finally, remember to budget in potential overages or other time where you might need to keep the equipment longer. If you have a reasonable expectation that some parts of the job might cause delays, make sure you've budgeted in enough time and money to keep the construction equipment rental on site for when you need it.

construction equipment vector

Where To Rent?

Once you know what equipment you need and what accessories are a must, you're down to the final question: Who to rent from? In many cases, contractors go with the lowest bid, or the first name they find in the phone book for a construction equipment rental company.

Most heavy equipment is maintained on site by the rental company. How often do they plan to keep up the equipment? What's involved and what will be changed? If there's a maintenance issue during work hours, what will be your next steps? If you only need an attachment for a few days, will they take it off the site or will you have to rent it for the whole period you keep the machine?

When looking at companies, also be sure to ask about rental duration, delivery fees, and other factors that might have an impact on their rental. Depending on their rental windows, you might prefer a construction equipment rental place that offers a four-hour minimum or a one-day minimum. Explain your schedule to any rental place and request a price estimate for your predicted amount of time. Ask for an itemization to see how it'll all work out for your schedule and budget.

Finally, don't hesitate to ask for references. Most construction equipment rental companies will be more than happy to provide them. They will put you in touch with satisfied customers, and conversely, contractors in your network will likely have rental companies they prefer to work with. There's nothing like that stamp of approval on a company to put them over the top.

We Can Help With Your Construction Equipment Rental

Renting heavy equipment only seems complicated. An organized manager with a clear schedule can not only get equipment to the site on time, but will get the most out of the equipment they rent. To get started, contact us and we'll guide you to the best construction equipment rental companies in your area.