Guide to Getting the Right Size Equipment for the Job

right sized equipment

When you choose an equipment rental provider, you want to feel confident that you can trust their recommendations in equipment size and model. Business owners and equipment operators need to know that the tools they’re getting for the job are just right — not too small in capacity but not overkill either. Each of these scenarios, either down renting or up renting, cost business owners and operators thousands of dollars on wasted rental costs and lost efficiency in job site performance.

At MacAllister Rentals, we’re here to ensure you get the right size of equipment for the job every time. No extra features or excessive capacities and no unreliable, inefficient equipment. We work with you to recommend the right size of equipment you need for your exact job. This guide will help you understand what tactics some rental providers use to down rent or up rent you equipment and how to avoid driving away with equipment that doesn’t meet your needs.

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Selecting Equipment Rental Sizes and Options

You have many choices when it comes to renting equipment. You have your choice in equipment rental provider as well as your choice in equipment brand, such as the world’s most reputable equipment brand, Caterpillar®. You have a choice in the type of equipment you need for the job. Within equipment types, you have countless other options in models. Different equipment models have different capacities. They often come with a range of features, but each piece of equipment is meant for a specific scale of job.

The equipment provider is responsible for knowing what each model is capable of and what it’s been designed to do. You’re an expert in your field and shouldn’t be expected to be an equipment expert too. A trustworthy equipment rental provider partners with you, discovers what it is you really need to get the job done and then honestly provides you with that piece of equipment. They won’t sell you on the model up to earn extra revenue, and they won’t convince you to go with a lower model to make a sale if they don’t have the model you genuinely need in stock.

Unfortunately, many construction, landscaping and industrial businesses fall prey to down renting and up renting schemes due to rental supply companies that don’t put customer success ahead of immediate profits. At MacAllister Rentals, we offer thorough, honest equipment rental guidance that helps you maximize your rental investment by getting the right size equipment for the job.

What Is Equipment Down Renting?

Down renting happens when a rental provider recommends, or only has available, equipment that’s too small or too limited for the job you’re intending to use it for. Because not all machinery has a universal capacity or intended purpose, getting the right equipment is essential. If you select the wrong machine, you could end up not being able to use it and wasting a week or longer worth of rental costs.

what is down renting

With down-rented equipment, you drive away with a boom truck, skid steer, telehandler or any other piece of equipment that will ultimately be unable to fulfill the job as efficiently as the next models up could. When you’re preparing to rent equipment, be aware of the pitfalls of down renting and why it’s bad for business.

Why Is Down Renting Equipment Bad?

If you’re renting equipment, you may have been hired for a bigger job that requires more time and more power to complete. If you have several larger jobs lined up, then it’s especially important that the equipment you’re renting will save you time, not waste it. When business owners, contractors or operators rent equipment that doesn’t offer a high enough load or lift capacity, the operator ends up working harder, not smarter, to get the job done. Down renting means you’re simply not getting the most from your equipment rental.

Working with down-rented equipment can cause you to double or triple the time you spend on a job moving earth and materials, filling in trenches or completing whatever task you’re on. Down-rented equipment wastes operator time, costing business owners more in overhead costs than necessary. It also tacks time on to your rental agreement, costing you more money to have the equipment available to you longer.

issues of down renting

Another reason to avoid going with down-rented equipment is for safety and liability reasons. When an operator is using equipment that doesn’t have a high enough load capacity, they may end up overloading the machine in an attempt to be more efficient and save time. Models have maximum capacities for a reason. Failing to follow these can cause equipment failure and risk the safety of the operator and others on the job site. It could end up costing you, the renter, in unexpected repair costs as well.

Customers get the following benefits from not going with down-rented equipment:

  • Complete projects more efficiently by having a larger load capacity
  • Ensure attachment compatibility if you already have attachments designed for larger tools
  • Save on equipment operating time
  • Shorten rental agreement time
  • Prevent overloading the machine and risking parts failure
  • Ensure job site safety with the right equipment size

How to Avoid Down Renting Equipment

Now that you have a better understanding of how down renting equipment affects your bottom line, it’s important to understand how you can avoid renting equipment that’s too small for the job. When you’re looking at a specific rental provider, here are some ways to avoid getting down-rented equipment:

  • Choose a trusted rental provider with knowledgeable staff that can recommend the right size.
  • Know ahead of time the right equipment capacity you’ll need by understanding what the job requires.
  • Book your equipment rental in advance so the provider won’t give you the next best option.
  • When in doubt, go with a higher load capacity but be careful not to fall for an up renting tactic, which we cover below.

right size benefits

Going with the right size equipment with a bigger capacity conserves operating time, which saves you money. But it’s not just down renting equipment that contractors and business owners need to be concerned with. The opposite is also true and getting equipment that’s too big for the job is another unnecessary expense.

What Is Equipment Up Renting?

Up renting equipment is when a rental provider rents out equipment that’s too big for the job. Though renting more expensive equipment than necessary is sometimes a risk that contractors are willing to take, it happens that some rental companies intentionally provide their customers with higher capacity models to make bigger sales.

what is up renting

Why Is Up Renting Equipment Bad?

Responsible companies will tell you when they only have equipment that’s too big for the job in their current inventory, and they’ll charge you the rate for lower size. It’s the ethical way to do business. But because business owners aren’t always equipment experts, they rely on the rental company to give them an honest recommendation. If the business owner or contractor doesn’t know otherwise, they may end paying too much for their equipment from companies looking to take advantage.

Larger equipment costs more to rent, meaning you’re spending extra money on renting the equipment. In addition to the rental cost itself, larger capacity equipment also requires larger towing capability, meaning you could be forced to rent other trailers or vehicles to transport the equipment to the site. The rental company may offer to deliver the machines to the site, but they’ll typically charge a delivery fee on top of the rental rate. You could avoid these extra costs by going with smaller equipment rentals, many of which you can tow behind a standard pickup truck.

issues of up renting

Beyond the potential for wasted money, up renting also has a safety drawback. Just like how down renting equipment can put an operator at risk of unsafely overloading the equipment, up-rented equipment also carries potential dangers. Larger capacity equipment comes with more safety concerns to be aware of. Though bigger machines typically have high visibility from the operator’s seat, it can also be more challenging to operate. Larger capacity equipment can’t maneuver quite like smaller equipment can, making it harder to steer on smaller lots. Operating bigger equipment risks damaging nearby structures like homes, buildings and barns. It also risks ruining turf or getting stuck in soft ground.

Avoiding up renting can offer customers these main benefits for their business:

  • Save money and maximize your investment in equipment rentals
  • Reduce unnecessary transportation costs or equipment delivery fees
  • Ensure your operator can use the equipment comfortably
  • Stay safe on the job site by using smaller, more maneuverable equipment
  • Get only the features you’re looking for without the extras you won’t use

How to Avoid Up Renting Equipment

Up renting equipment is avoidable as long as you’re prepared. By doing your research and getting an expert opinion, you can be sure you get the most bang for your buck from your equipment rental. There are ways to maximize your rental investment without paying too much for an unnecessary tool.

Here are some suggestions on how to avoid being up-rented equipment and ensuring you’re getting the right size equipment for the job:

  • Consider the job requirements. While it’s important to make a conservative estimate about your needs, there’s no need for excessive equipment capacity and features.
  • Ask your operator about the equipment you’re thinking of renting. Make sure they have the skills to operate it as larger capacity models require more experience.
  • Read reviews online to make sure your rental provider doesn’t have a history of up renting equipment to squeeze more from a sale.

know what you need

Both down renting and up renting equipment are inefficient uses of your rental budget. That’s why knowing how to select the right equipment size is essential before you sign any rental agreement.

How to Ensure the Right Equipment for the Job

Getting the right size equipment with the right capacity and features that does the job you need it to is vital for running a profitable business. Inadequate equipment wastes time, eats into your profit margin and poses unnecessary safety risks. But there are many proactive steps you can take to prevent renting the wrong equipment in the first place.

Whether you’re at risk of up renting or down renting on your next equipment rental, it’s important for contractors and business owners to know how to choose the right equipment for the job. Here are some suggestions to ensure you select the right rental equipment size:

1. Schedule Your Rental in Advance

One of the most common reasons why a customer ends up with the wrong equipment size is because they booked their rental within too narrow of a timeline. Many rental providers have recurring equipment rentals or contracts booked well in advance, meaning the rental outlet can only accommodate last-minute rentals as best as possible. Unfortunately, the customer then gets stuck with what’s left over for that time slot — either a tool that’s too big or too small for the job. Booking ahead of time or as soon as possible will improve the chances that your rental provider can get you the right equipment at the right time.

know job requirements

2. Know Your Job Requirements

When renting equipment, it’s essential to know the requirements you need from the tool you’re renting. If you’re providing a new service or taking on a first-time job, it can be a bit trickier to know what you’ll need since you don’t have the experience to tell you. Consult with experts and others in the industry or anyone who’s done similar jobs before. You’ll learn from their mistakes and leverage their experience in selecting the right equipment size. If you’ve found a local rental provider, you can ask their rental professionals for help choosing the right equipment for the job. Provide them with as many details as possible about what the job entails so they can help you make an informed decision.

3. Communicate With Your Equipment Operators

If you’re in a situation where you’re renting the equipment, but someone else will operate it, then it’s best to communicate with them and make a decision together. Ask your trained operator what is required of the job and what they need to be successful. If they’re experienced, they’ll know the type and capacity of equipment that will help them get the job done quickly and safely. Have your operator explain what they need in terms of load or lift capacity and any other equipment specifications, such as wheels or tracks, as not all equipment has a universal purpose.

4. Choose a Rental Provider With a Large Inventory

When choosing an equipment rental provider, it’s important to go somewhere that offers an extensive inventory. The more equipment they have, the more likely you’ll find the equipment you need for your job. It’s when rental providers have limited options available that you’ll be more likely to have down-rented or up-rented equipment. When you deal with limited inventory, you end up settling for machinery that’s not quite right, which is how you end up spending more time and money than necessary. When shopping around for rental providers, ask about their inventory levels in the equipment category you need. A provider’s inventory levels will also give you a good indication of the company’s experience, service and knowledge levels.

rental partner

5. Find a Trusted Rental Partner

When choosing the right equipment for the job, no decision is more important than finding a rental partner you can trust. Just like not all equipment is created equal, neither are equipment rental outlets. Unfortunately, many rental providers aren’t as committed to customer service as others are. Some providers don’t have staff who are knowledgeable enough, so they end up suggesting the wrong equipment size. Other places deliberately intend to upsell their customers by suggesting equipment they know is too big for the job. A reliable rental partner will put your interests ahead of their bottom line because they value your business and want to develop a long-term working relationship.

Partnering With a Trusted Equipment Rental Provider

Getting the right equipment rental size depends on working with a reliable rental provider. There are certain qualities to look for in a rental provider that ensure you’ll be renting high-quality and well-maintained tools that have reliable and outstanding performance.

The right equipment rental partner will have the following qualities:

rental customer service

1. Excellent Customer Service

A dependable rental provider will pride themselves on customer service and knowing how to recommend the right equipment size and model for your needs. They’ll have service and support personnel available to help you every step of the way, including when you initially select your equipment. Knowledgeable and experienced staff make all the difference in offering you the support you need in making the right equipment rental decisions.

2. Multi-Industry Experience

Qualified equipment rental experts deal with countless customers across a variety of industries. They have the experience to know what’s the best equipment for agriculture, general construction, landscaping or road building. They can help you narrow down your choice to the right machine for your needs. They’ll ask you questions about your job, how fast you’re looking to complete it and who will be operating it. They’ll make sure to match you with the equipment that’s the right capacity for lifting and digging as well as for the operator and their skills.

3. Authorized Cat® Equipment Dealer

If you’re looking specifically at Cat equipment, it’s vital to go with an authorized Cat dealer — a designation that means you can expect nothing but the latest technologies and highest quality products in the Caterpillar family. Authorized dealers also house massive inventories of equipment that are in-stock and certified to perform.

4. High-Quality Equipment

Just as it’s important your rental partner has a wide selection of equipment to help match you with the right tools for the job, it’s also important that the equipment you do rent is high-quality and reliable. A top rental provider will offer customers the newest fleet of machines available. Their inventory will be up-to-date and well-maintained, so you’ll never have any surprises.

5. Large Coverage Area

Rental providers that operate across several locations are better equipped to handle massive inventory. With multiple locations, they can provide greater options to more customers throughout the territory. If one location doesn’t have the equipment you need, their rental experts can find the required model through their network of locations and industry partners.

Choose MacAllister Rentals for Your Equipment Needs

When choosing a provider for your next equipment rental in Indiana or Michigan, choose MacAllister Rentals. As an authorized Cat dealer, we provide state-of-the-art equipment that’s dependable and well-maintained. We work with customers in industries like general construction, landscaping, road construction, agriculture, mining and more. Our extensive inventory means that you’ll be sure to find the right size equipment for the job every time.

When you rent from MacAllister Rentals, you’ll work with friendly staff and equipment professionals who can help you select the right size of equipment for the job — no down or up renting tactics. Our highly trained staff work hard to locate the right equipment necessary for your toughest jobs. Our fast delivery and flexible rental agreements ensure we meet your equipment rental needs every time.

If you’re looking to rent equipment for your next job, then browse our rental equipment inventory. MacAllister Machinery also provides used equipment for sale if you’re considering purchasing your next piece of equipment for your fleet. Contact MacAllister Rentals today to learn more about renting equipment from any of our many locations throughout Indiana and Michigan.

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