Who Should Managers Consult Before Renting Equipment?
Managers rarely make the decision to rent equipment by themselves, and help is available both within the organization and outside it. Newman relies on his assistant superintendent, who in turn talks with equipment operators and mechanics about their experiences with equipment and their suggestions. McGough uses a similar strategy.
“I have a very knowledgeable staff, and I take recommendations from them,” he says. “Nine times out of 10, I choose exactly what they’re after.”
He advises managers to tap into staff expertise to avoid making expensive mistakes.
“There’s a lot of experience that you might not have known existed,” he says. He also talks to contractors, who tend to have the newest and most advanced equipment, adding that they will offer an honest assessment of a piece of equipment. Also, he says, the information is generally independent because they have no vested interest in whether you buy it or not.
Rental companies also offer more than just equipment. Many will visit job sites and offer guidance on sifting through the many rental equipment options.
“They’ve been in the field for years, and they’ll come out and lend their expertise,” Newman says. “We try to spread the wealth among a number of rental companies.” That tactic keeps the department on the companies’ radars, should the department need a piece of equipment in an emergency.
McGough also relies on a number of different rental companies, who often have different equipment offerings.
“In a large metro area, we have a lot of vendors, and we shop around,” he says. “We use five within a 15-mile radius.”