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MEWPs: Buy or Rent?
By understanding the benefits of each MEWP type and category, as well as the pros and cons of each type to work a specific jobsite, managers can make an effective decision about whether the best course of action is to rent or buy a MEWP.
“While some newer machine styles give a wider scope of application, they tend to come with a higher price tag,” Solhjem says. “On the other hand, every year there are also new lifts that serve a particular niche or market need that have a very narrow range of use but do it very well for the price. With so many lifts to choose from, it is important to understand the needs of your access portfolio to weigh the pros and cons of rent/buy of various machines.”
Managers who decide to rent a MEWP can see benefits related to service and maintenance.
“Whether you are going to rent or buy, you need to have the right machine for the job and a place to store it when it’s not in use,” Dovey says. “You also need to have qualified people operate it. If you rent it, the inspection, service and maintenance is the responsibility of the rental company. If you buy it, the service and maintenance is the responsibility of the owner.
“Inspection, service, and maintenance is an absolute requirement, and the rental company is best prepared to do that without any additional training.”
While renting MEWPs has its benefits, so does buying.
“If a company is willing to invest the time to learn and stay on top of changes in standards and equipment, then they can save money and control the availability of the machine, providing they have enough use for the particular machine,” Solhjem says. “When usage is low, renting is the obvious choice, but even with heavier usage, there are also many benefits to renting, like maintenance and flexibility in machine choice. Perhaps the best method is to default to a rental with a purchase option when you can better assess your usage and experience with the machine.”