Equipment Rental: Asking the Right Questions

  November 5, 2009

This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media, with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s tip is asking equipment rental companies the right questions.

Making a case for capital investments is one of the toughest tasks maintenance and engineering managers endure. That challenge has become even more difficult during the recession, as commercial and institutional facilities search for ways to control costs.

Managers know that despite tighter budgets and sometimes reduced workforces, large-scale jobs, including light construction and landscape projects, must go on. Of course, equipment is integral to the success of these projects, so rental companies play a key role in helping managers specify the right equipment for the job and ensure proper training for operators — all while avoiding capital expenditures.

Before operators can take on these projects, managers need to work with rental companies to get answers to a series of questions related to equipment specification and operation, as well as training.

The first question managers need to ask when renting equipment relates to the job. Managers often assume they know the equipment they need based on experience, but rental companies can provide a unique perspective because it is their job to monitor equipment technology advances and determine the proper application for that equipment.

After determining the right equipment for the job, other questions managers should ask rental companies include the following:

*What are the delivery and pick-up costs?
*What type of training does the rental company provide or facilitate?
*What are the terms and conditions of the contract, including insurance coverage?
*What type of maintenance and repair service does the company provide? Many light-construction projects take place at night or during non-business hours. Do companies provide 24-7 service?
*And finally, who is my rental company contact, both in the branch and out in the field? Having a contact person is especially important during an emergency and during non-business hours.


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