Facility Maintenance Decisions

Light-Construction Equipment: Rent vs. Buy

As managers and crews become more involved in light-construction projects, the rent-or-buy decision will play a key role during the specification process. The most important thing managers need to consider when deciding to rent or buy is frequency of use, which might force them to determine the types of projects on the horizon in the next one, two or five years.

“If you want to dig a pond over here and you want to put a hardscape wall over there, and if you have a new project or building coming up where you want to do your own landscaping, then you’re going to be better off buying that machine,” Gilles says. “Your cost isn’t going to be that much. But if you just have one project where you need to do two or three days of dirt work, you’re going to be better off renting it.”

Other factors to weigh in determining whether to rent or buy include tax considerations, cash flow and available finance options, Hershberger says. Managers also can work with dealers to include certain maintenance tasks, such as oil changes, as part of the total purchase.

“Our dealers can really work to custom-tailor customer-support agreements, where they contract the entire maintenance package with the sale,” Hershberger says.

If and when managers do decide to buy, most manufacturers offer financial consulting services, which seem appealing to prospective buyers in the current economic conditions.

“With the economy the way it is and banks changing constantly, things like finance rates, you want the most current information available at the time of your decision,” Hershberger says.

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  posted on 2/1/2009   Article Use Policy

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