Scheduling Complicates Rental Decisions

By Dan Hounsell, Editor  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Rental Equipment: Lifts, Spot Coolers and BackhoesPt. 2: This PagePt. 3: Who Should Managers Consult Before Renting Equipment?Pt. 4: Rent vs. Buy: Cost Considerations

When the time comes to make the rental decision, managers need to consider a series of issues that will determine whether or not crews will be able to complete the work efficiently.

Scheduling is one such issue. Some managers try to schedule a series of projects that require a key piece of equipment close together, thus maximizing the department’s resources and avoiding multiple, separate rental fees. McGough cites a commonly rented piece of equipment as an example.

“An aerial lift with a 100-foot reach is more difficult to schedule because it’s in greater demand,” he says, meaning the department must anticipate needs as early as possible.

One factor often complicates Newman’s task of scheduling projects.

“We’re small fish,” he says, referring to the university’s size compared to a host of huge local organizations that include the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Studios. Such customers tend to clean out equipment from rental companies, forcing Newman‘s department to plan projects even further ahead.

Maintenance managers also must consider whether the technicians operating the rented equipment have the training needed to do so safely.

“It has to be a piece of equipment we’re trained on,” McGough says. “If the trades people aren’t trained on it, we’re not going to rent it.” His training sources include both the rental company or an independent training provider — an option he has because of the district‘s location in a large metropolitan area.

Where does cost figure into the decision?

“Cost is almost the last factor in the decision,” McGough says, adding that if all of the other factors in the decision point to the need to rent, he won’t hesitate just because of cost. “If we need it, we need it.”

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  posted on 8/1/2008   Article Use Policy

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