Get Terms of Rental Agreement in Writing
While paying proper attention to the actual equipment is essential, the rental agreement and its contents also present managers with important — and often tricky — issues.
"I would look at damage waivers to understand what is covered from an insurance perspective. I'd also be clear on the hours of usage," Hubbell says. "What am I actually renting, and how long am I renting it for?
"For example, some things come with hour meters, and you don't want to get surprised on any charges. Sometimes, they don't realize there's a clause in there that a day means this amount of time for this piece of equipment."
Items not covered by the agreement often are as important as those that are.
"What's excluded?" Turner asks. "What's covered is not necessarily what's important. It's what's excluded. When you go through what's excluded, you might find something very important and expensive that is excluded from the warranty on any piece of equipment."
Finally, a successful rental experience requires managers to plan accordingly to maximize the financial investment.
"For instance, one of our annual rentals is for a large crane unit with a man basket," Arnold says. "We use it for replacing burned out lights at our football stadiums. It's a piece of equipment that obviously we don't own because it's very expensive, but we know that every year, we're going to have this job, so we rent this crane prior to football season to replace the light bulbs and ballasts at all of the school stadiums. Since it's so expensive, we carefully plan out the logistics for each hour, making sure our goals are realistic."