How to Get the Most Out of Your Rental Equipment

maximize rental equipment

Renting equipment is no small commitment. You’ve dedicated your time, personnel, money and potentially other resources toward rental equipment and trusting it will get the job done correctly. You should feel confident the equipment will perform as promised and do the job, so you can return the equipment in excellent condition and everyone will be happy.

Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan. Maybe the equipment malfunctions. Perhaps you weren’t entirely ready for it. Maybe one of your workers didn’t show up. Or maybe you weren’t entirely sure how to operate the rental equipment and there was no one to provide you with instructions.

There are plenty of different reasons your experience with rental equipment might not have gone smoothly. While you can’t change the past, there are specific steps you can take to make sure your future experiences are more successful.

To help you as you work toward this goal, we’ve put together an instructional guide to help you get the most from your rental equipment. We hope that by following these 15 tips, you’ll never have another disappointing rental experience again.

1. Only Rent From Companies You Trust

Reliability can be a little bit of a toss-up when it comes to rental equipment. You always want to hope the company is trustworthy and reputable, and that they would never try to rent out faulty equipment. But the unfortunate fact is that not every company is as honest as they appear.

equipment reliability

It’s entirely possible that the equipment you rent could be malfunctioning. At best, it could fail to work, and you could fall behind in your schedule. At worst, it could cause severe damage to your operations or workers, depending on how heavy duty the equipment is and what you’re using it for.

To avoid this possible scenario, be careful to only rent from companies and brands you trust. If you’ve never heard of the company before, that doesn’t inherently mean you shouldn’t rent from them. However, it does mean you should do your homework. Browse their website for testimonials. Ask your friends, family and coworkers if they’ve heard good reports about this company.

On the other side of the equation, just because you’ve heard of a company doesn’t make them reputable. No matter how well-known a company is, it’s smart to do a little research on them and make sure they have a history of renting reliable equipment. Only by doing your homework can you ensure you’re working with a company you can trust.

Remember, there’s more to choosing a rental company than price. It’s not always a good idea to rent from the company that offers the cheapest option. Most of the time, they can only rent so cheaply because their equipment is flimsy and breaks easily. On the other hand, it might be best to avoid the most expensive option, as well. Their equipment is usually overpriced, and you will find that more moderately priced tools can get the job done just as well.

2. Keep an Eye Out for Hidden Fees

rental equipment pricesBe aware that the price listed up front for rental equipment might not be the same price you’ll end up paying in the long run. In many cases, there might be several hidden fees that will pop up throughout the rental period. While these may be insignificant, they also have the potential to drive up your rental price quite a bit.

It’s entirely possible that one rental company might look like a better deal than another company at first. Once you compare these hidden fees, however, it may turn out that the second company was the better deal after all. Because of situations like this, it’s best to carefully review these fees ahead of time, in addition to the price listed up front.

If you’re browsing a rental company’s website and can’t find any information about these fees, don’t assume they aren’t there. Send the company an email or give them a call. Ask about these fees. If they don’t seem incredibly forthcoming, it’s worth pushing a little harder or moving on to look at a different company. The last thing you want is to be blindsided at the last minute by these hidden expenses.

3. Focus on the Timing

There’s a bit of an art to timing your rentals. On the one hand, you don’t want to wait until the last minute. It’s never a good idea to call up the rental company the day before you need the equipment and ask about renting. The odds are good there will be no machines available for you on that day.

However, you also don’t want to stray too far in the opposite direction. You might schedule a rental three months in advance, only to find that when the day arrives, you aren’t ready for it, or something else has gone wrong.

It’s impossible to say when exactly is the right time to schedule your rental, as it may be slightly different for everyone. The general rule of thumb is to be wary of booking too far in advance but never to leave it until the last minute, either.

4. Keep an Eye on the Weather

Imagine you’re planning on having a long day of work. The rental equipment has arrived, and you’re going to get a lot of solid work done before the end of the day. Unfortunately, you wake up that morning to find that it’s pouring down rain and expected to continue all day. It’s impossible to get any work done.

Unfortunately, you still rented the equipment. Regardless of whether you’re using it, you still have to pay for it for these days.

One of the best steps you can take toward maximizing your rental equipment is keeping a close eye on the weather forecast. If you begin to see warnings of approaching storms, cancel your rentals and reschedule them. Better to adjust your schedule slightly than be stuck paying for rentals you can’t even use.

5. Get the Training You Need

When it comes to planning for rental equipment, one of the best things you can do is make sure all relevant employees have the training they need to operate the equipment properly.

What do we mean by this? Many pieces of equipment are fairly complex. They aren’t always simple enough that you can simply power them on and guess how they work. In many cases, workers need to undergo extensive training and practice before they can competently and correctly operate the equipment.

equipment training

Imagine a case where you have rented the equipment for 10 days. Realistically, a good portion of that time will be spent learning to operate the equipment. To cut down on this, look for ways around this training period. Ask your employees to read training manuals or watch instructional videos ahead of time. Another solution is to hire a trained individual who already knows how to operate the equipment.

All of these are positive solutions that will help you get the most out of your rental equipment.

6. Choose the Right Tool for the Job

Another unfortunate problem you might run into is that your equipment is not adequately suited to the task in front of you. In this scenario, suppose you rented the equipment for a week. On the first day, you get ready to begin work only to realize the equipment you rented is not suited to the task. You can’t use it, but you still paid to rent it for a week. Regardless of your discovery, you still need to pay for the full rental.

There are ways to avoid this problem, however. Do your research beforehand. Make sure the equipment you’re renting is the right tool for the job. If you aren’t sure, reach out to someone who has done a job like this beforehand and ask for their opinion.

right size equipmentIf you have any doubts at all about what equipment you should be using for a job, consider asking the rental company, as well. They rent out the equipment, and they should be highly knowledgeable about their products and what they are designed to do. Describe the job to them in detail and ask what equipment they would recommend. This way, you’re much more likely to get the right tool the first time around.

7. Rent the Correct Size

Just as it’s essential to make sure that you’re renting the right equipment for the job, it’s also vital to rent the right sized equipment. If you rent incorrectly-sized equipment, you will run into the same problem you would if you rented the entirely wrong equipment — you’d still have to pay for it even if you can’t use it.

8. Get the Equipment Delivered Before You Need It

To get the most out of your rental equipment, it’s best to have the equipment delivered before you actually need it. Do you plan to start working with it on Wednesday? Then make sure it’s delivered and ready to go by Tuesday. That means when you show up on Wednesday morning, you don’t have to waste time waiting for it to be delivered or set up.

While these small delays might not seem like they’re worth worrying about, the truth is they can add up much faster than you might think. It’s little delays like these that can make the difference between finishing a project within the window of time you have access to your rental equipment or having to extend your rental.

These extra steps translate into saved money and time. The more precautions like these that you take, the more money you’ll save, the more you’ll stay on schedule and the more efficient your operations will be.

9. Return Your Equipment as Soon as You’re Finished

return on timeEvery rental service is likely to operate a little bit differently. With some services and companies, you might rent the equipment for a predetermined number of days. With others, you might pay for your rental on a day-by-day basis.

If you’re renting on a daily basis, then one easy way to reduce the costs of rental equipment is to simply return the equipment as soon as you’re finished with it. If you finish on Thursday and have the time to return it on the same day, do so. This will save you from paying any rental fees for Friday.

Even if you’re renting for a predetermined number of days, it’s still advisable to return your equipment on time. This will prevent you from incurring any fees or fines from keeping it longer than you and the rental company initially agreed upon.

10. Figure Out If You’ll Need Transportation

Depending on what equipment you’ll be using, you may need additional transportation. If you’re looking to rent large, bulky pieces of equipment and are responsible for transporting it yourself, then you need to plan for these matters.

This might mean renting a truck, as well as coordinating drivers. The cost will depend on the specific situation and equipment in question, but it’s still important to work out these details ahead of time. If you don’t, you’re likely to waste extra time and money scrambling to sort out these details at the last minute.

11. Treat the Rental Equipment With Care

It should go without saying that you should treat your rental equipment as if it were your own. By this, we mean you should be extremely careful with it and do everything in your power to prevent it from breaking, malfunctioning or otherwise becoming inoperable.

It’s highly likely that when you rented equipment, you signed documents stating you were responsible for any breakages that occurred while the equipment was in your care. This means if you break it, you will have to pay for it. If this happens, your rental experience will become much more expensive.

dont break it

To save a little money and stress, be careful with the equipment. Treat it gently and don’t use it for purposes it was never intended for. Your wallet and the rental company will both thank you.

12. Create a Realistic Schedule

One of the best steps you can take toward maximizing your rental equipment is creating a realistic schedule. This means that before you even have the equipment, you’ll need to sit down and block out a rough estimate of how long the project you need the equipment for is going to take.

watch weather

It’s important that this schedule isn’t overly ambitious. While it would be great if you could complete the entire project in a day, two days or a week, this isn’t always possible. Sometimes, the scope of the project is broad and you need to create a wide window of time to accommodate this.

Also, remember that things often go wrong. Maybe it rains one day, or maybe one of your employees gets sick. Maybe you run into an unexpected roadblock, or maybe the equipment malfunctions. Include extra time into your schedule for these situations. It may turn out that you didn’t need this extra time, but it’s always better to have it and not need it than vice versa.

This schedule is so important is because it will give you an idea of how long you’ll need to rent the equipment for. It might not be 100 percent accurate, but it should be fairly close. This will save you from renting the equipment for far longer than necessary and wasting money in the process, or from not renting it long enough and needing to repeat the entire procedure.

13. Communicate With the Rental Company

Because rental companies are a business, we may carry a false perception of them, such as by assuming the only thing they care about is how much money they can get from you. In most cases, however, this is false. Rental companies care about providing you with the tools you need to get your project completed. They want you to succeed, and they want to help you along the way.

Communicate openly with your rental company. Tell them what your budget is and ask them what they’d recommend. If you aren’t entirely sure how to operate a piece of equipment, ask. Pretending to be an expert when you’re not will only result in delays and frustration further down the line.

14. Go for the Insurance

When you rent equipment, there are many cases where the rental company will ask you if you would also like to add insurance for a small fee. It might be tempting to save a few dollars by saying no, but we strongly advise against doing this.

Even though you hope you’ll never need your insurance, it’s always better to have it and not need it. On the off chance something unfortunate happens, you’ll be thanking yourself for going the extra mile and getting it.

15. Realize When It’s Time to Hire a Professional

expertiseAs lovely as it would be to handle everything ourselves, some jobs are just beyond our expertise and capabilities. In moments like these, it may be that the best thing to do is to step aside and let a professional take care of things.

This may look different depending on your specific situation. It could mean you hire a professional operator to work your rental equipment. Or, it could mean you hire a trained operator, who will be bringing their equipment with them.

While hiring professionals might seem like a costly option, it can actually be more cost-effective in some situations. If you try to do it yourself, you may end up renting equipment, wasting time or even damaging the equipment, all before realizing the only thing to do is call in an expert. By simply calling in the expert in the first place, you’ll save yourself time, money and hassle.

Rent the Equipment You Need From MacAllister Rentals Today

rental equipmentAre you getting ready to tackle a massive, complicated project? Will it require heavy-duty equipment beyond the scope of the tools you usually keep on hand? If so, you’ll need to acquire some new tools. Buying is always one option, but it’s hardly practical in cases where you’ll only need the equipment for a one-time job. In situations like these, renting is often the best option.

If you’re looking to rent construction or contractor equipment in Indiana or Michigan, we’d like to invite you to browse our offerings here at MacAllister Rentals. We’re excited to provide you with high-quality equipment from some of the most prominent brand names in the industry.

We care about you and the jobs you’re doing. That’s why we want to go beyond the simple vendor-to-client relationship. We want to create a real partnership with you as we help you see your projects through to successful completion. To get started with us, browse our selection of rental equipment today. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us online or reach out to us by phone.

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