light construction equipment

Grounds Projects that Benefit from Equipment Rental

Renting allows managers to complete landscape renovation more efficiently and cost-effectively 

By Dan Hounsell, Senior Editor  
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Strategies for Renting Light Construction Equipment Pt. 2: This Page

For Bailey and Kovolyan, the process of renting light construction equipment to supplement in-house options has enabled them to more effectively carry out and complete projects that otherwise might have been difficult with in-house resources. 

Such projects for Bailey involved locating plantings in areas of facilities that are difficult to reach. 

“There was a project where there was a lot of marble and granite installed in a courtyard, and we had to bring in topsoil for the plantings that went around it,” he says. “So we rented three concrete buggies. Basically, they're mobile wheelbarrows. You ride on the back of them, and they’ve got a little dump in the front of them. They would go and get filled up and run through the building into the courtyard and be able to dump the soil and come back.” 

The second project involved renting a telehandler

“We had to get some trees across a very sensitive site where a lot of plantings were going in,” he says. “We were able to extend the forks out 30 feet and drop the trees in key locations.” 

For Kovolyan, a large athletic field renovation enabled him to rent several pieces of specialized and light construction equipment — a project that brought an array of benefits to the department. 

"We sat down with our preferred rental company because we wanted a very specific size roller — a very specific weight, a very specific drum configuration as far as compacting to the quality that we wanted but not overcompacting or damaging the substructure,” he says. 

He took the opportunity to also rent a multi-purpose, articulating machine with attachments for trenching and grading. 

“We wanted to try one out for a future purchase, but it also gave us the opportunity where we could trench, backfill and rough grade, all that with one unit,” he says. “We had a concern about our older equipment not being as reliable, and we decided to use that as our backup to renting newer updated quality equipment. 

"We used our equipment as backup, tried some new equipment and brought some equipment in that we didn't have.” 

The eight-piece rental also enabled the department to get a lower price, including lower transportation costs because the dealer could bring in one fully loaded truck. In addition, the department used the rented equipment to complete several other projects. 

“It gave us a little flexibility with some side projects that had nothing to do with this specific project,” Kovolyan says. “But because we had the equipment — in this case, it was a two-month rental— we were able to slide those pieces of equipment over to other jobs as a bonus. I was able to knock off a bucket list of other items just because the equipment was there on site.” 

Kovolyan stresses the important role that personal relationships play in successful rental experiences, especially when it matters most. 

“If you take time to build that partnership, it pays in the bigger picture,” Kovolyan says. “Sometimes, people overlook that customer service is a two-way street. If you know you’re going to need something because a project is coming up, give them a heads up so they know to have it. Don't call on a Wednesday and want it for Friday and be mad that they can't get it. 

“When problems do happen — a watermain break or something like that — they're going to be more likely to swap their schedule around to get you out of a bind because you built that relationship up.” 

Dan Hounsell is senior editor for the facilities market. He has more than 30 years of experience writing about facilities maintenance, engineering and management. 

Continue Reading: Grounds Management

Strategies for Renting Light Construction Equipment

Grounds Projects that Benefit from Equipment Rental

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  posted on 7/11/2024   Article Use Policy

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