Eco-Friendly Rental Equipment Options

Eco-Friendly Rental Equipment Options

Every year, construction and demolition projects generate hundreds of millions of tons of waste. Fortunately, several green construction strategies can help reduce waste and preserve the environment. By renting eco-friendly equipment, you can reduce the amount of fuel and energy you use — making your practices even more sustainable while improving your bottom line.

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Types of Eco-Friendly Construction Equipment

Renting your construction equipment is often the more eco-friendly option, as it reduces the environmental impact associated with machinery production and disposal. Rental excavators, bulldozers, loaders, cranes, forklifts and hoists are becoming popular in the rental market for this very reason.

Renting can make your company more environmentally friendly through the following principles:

  • Maximized equipment use: Renting your equipment means maximizing its usage during the most effective stages of its lifecycle. With access to a diverse array of fleets, you no longer give equipment the opportunity to sit and degrade over time. Rental companies also typically have new, upgraded machinery using the latest eco-friendly technologies.
  • Efficient resource use: When renting equipment, you use it more efficiently, preventing the need to replace parts of your fleet and maintenance issues or early retirement of the asset.

Here are the main types of green construction equipment you might consider for your company.

Electric and Battery-Powered Equipment

Unlike gas or diesel, electric and battery-powered equipment produce zero emissions — this means no toxic fumes, a safer work environment and reduced environmental impact.

Other benefits of this type of equipment include:

  • Less noise: Electric equipment produces less noise, allowing you to work earlier and later than usual, even in residential communities. This ability helps you save money and meet deadlines.
  • Reliable: Electric motors are more durable and reliable than gas and diesel, meaning fewer overhauls and more productivity. With electric equipment, you don’t have to worry about losing production due to non-working machinery.
  • Lower maintenance and fuel costs: With fewer moving parts, electric motors experience fewer breakdowns, preventing costly downtime. Renting electric-powered equipment also means there's no need to change gas and oil filters or replace leaky connectors and intake hoses. Plus, electricity is also more affordable than both gas and diesel.

Ultimately, switching to electric-powered equipment can save you money and time on maintenance and repairs — all while helping your company reduce its carbon footprint.

Ultimately, switching to electric-powered equipment can save you money and time on maintenance and repairs — all while helping your company reduce its carbon footprint.

Hybrid-Powered Machinery

Like electric equipment, hybrid-powered vehicles present many advantages for the environment and your company. While this machinery doesn’t run entirely on electricity, it can still save you a lot of money on fuel, lowering your energy consumption and the opportunity for fuel to leak into the environment.

Some additional advantages of switching to hybrid vehicles include:

  • Highly efficient: Hybrid equipment operates much more efficiently than electric and diesel-powered vehicles. For example, the higher range of torque and speed can help you gather fuller loads in excavators. The equipment relies on electric subsystems, reducing engine load and improving overall performance.
  • Cost savings: Hybrid machinery can lead to cost savings, and these savings can increase when using specialized software to control the drives and promote increased efficiency. Additionally, you can reduce low-efficiency components of the machinery through regenerative braking, a technique that stores energy otherwise lost and uses it to charge a battery.

You can find hybrid-powered cranes, loaders and excavators. For example, hybrid excavator arms are machinery gaining popularity in the industry for their enhanced energy recovery, efficiency and fuel savings. 

Alternative Fuel Options

While most of the construction industry’s power comes from diesel, many alternatives exist to curb emissions and help preserve the environment, including biodiesel and hydrogen.

  • Biodiesel fuel: Biodiesel comes from renewable agricultural resources and is grown domestically, making it a sustainable option to power construction equipment. It is also a cleaner-burning fuel compared to petroleum diesel since it produces fewer emissions like carbon monoxide and particulate matter. Biodiesel breaks down naturally, reducing the risk of soil or water contamination in the event of a spill or leak.
  • Hydrogen power: You can currently find hydrogen fuel cell technology in equipment like excavators. This technology emits zero exhaust emissions and reduces noise and vibration while delivering high performance and operability. Also, hydrogen has been found to refuel faster than recharging batteries, making it a great alternative to battery-powered equipment.

Innovative Technologies

You can also find eco-friendly technological advancements among newer construction equipment. Telematics, for instance, can remotely track, monitor and optimize your machinery’s efficiency. Telematics has led to improved productivity, safety and environmental impact, with research revealing the following benefits:

  • 79% fewer worksite injuries
  • 13% reduction in CO2 emissions per machine hour
  • 96% reduction in particulate emissions per gallon of diesel fuel consumed

When you rent, you get access to a diverse range of equipment and technologies without the burden of ownership. Renting means using advanced machinery to ensure efficiency, cost-effectiveness and quick project completion on a temporary basis, tailoring it to your specific project requirements.

Advantages of Eco-Friendly Rental Equipment

Renting zero-emission construction equipment offers a practical and easy way to reduce emissions and promote a more sustainable construction industry overall.

1. Reduced Carbon Emissions 

You make less of an impact on the environment by renting eco-friendly equipment. That's because this machinery tends to emit fewer pollutants into the environment, instead running on electric and alternative fuel options.

Carbon emissions associated with fuel consumption are known for contributing to climate change, while petroleum generators and leaking pipelines can also lead to environmental damage. Using sustainable energies can curb these effects and promote a healthier ecosystem for all.

2. Cost Savings

Using eco-friendly rental equipment reduces the amount of fuel and energy you use, leading to substantial cost savings and helping you profit more with each project you take on. The use of electric machinery can also improve torque, promoting faster responses from the equipment. Completing projects faster means you can take on more tasks, improving your bottom line over time.

3. Noise Reduction

When you rent electric equipment, you reduce noise on your job sites exponentially — electric construction machinery operates much quieter than diesel-powered machines. While this machinery benefits the environment through fewer carbon emissions, it can also benefit your employees and the surrounding communities by reducing noise pollution.

4. Fewer Breakdowns and Less Downtime

Eco-friendly equipment uses less fuel and is less likely to break down, translating to less downtime and delays associated with repairs and maintenance.

Eco-friendly equipment uses less fuel and is less likely to break down, translating to less downtime and delays associated with repairs and maintenance. Choosing fully electric equipment means no longer needing to refuel during the day, reducing project times to help you meet deadlines. You’ll complete projects faster, which will satisfy clients and allow you to take on more projects.

Upgraded equipment also means equipment remains operable longer, and when you rent, you don’t need to worry about the added expense of repairing or replacing equipment.

5. Boosted Reputation

When you lower your environmental footprint, you can boost your reputation and gain new clients. You'll find many clients who want to create greener buildings and are more likely to partner with companies using eco-friendly equipment practices. Upgrading to eco-friendly equipment places you at the forefront of meaningful change for the environment and society as a whole.

Other Eco-Friendly Construction Techniques

Switching to hybrid, electric or sustainable power sources is just one way to make your company more eco-friendly. To further reduce your carbon footprint and create a greener business, consider implementing the following practices. 

1. Seek Non-Toxic and Recyclable Materials

An easy way to reduce your impact on the environment is to use recycled, recyclable and biodegradable materials in your construction projects whenever possible. Consider salvaging and reusing materials like concrete, asphalt, wood, metal, bricks and plastics for future jobs.

Recycled materials you can use in construction projects include:

  • Bamboo as a renewable substitute for hardwood
  • Cork for linoleum
  • Rubber and tires for rubber flooring
  • Vinyl and PVC plastic for vinyl flooring

It’s also crucial to choose non-toxic materials for your projects. For example, non-toxic building materials like paints, solvents and adhesives do not contain volatile organic compounds, which can lead to health concerns and pollute soil and water. Non-toxic materials can help protect the health of your employees, consumers and the environment.

2. Purchase From Local Sources

Purchasing your equipment locally is a great way to go green and support your community. The time, money and resources associated with transporting materials across long distances can lead to higher emissions, less productivity and higher costs. When you use locally sourced and alternative materials, you can appreciate:

  • Reduced fuel consumption: Shipping supplies over excessive distances can lead to higher fuel consumption, increasing the carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. Buying locally helps you cut down on emissions and fuel consumption as well as the associated costs.
  • Shorter transit times: When you purchase from nearby businesses, you benefit from shorter transit times and fewer transportation-related delays in your project. As a result, you can meet deadlines and complete projects faster, improving your bottom line.
  • Boosting local economy: Buying locally also means giving nearby businesses a boost and supporting your local community. These businesses may also end up repaying your favor by engaging with your construction services in the future.

3. Use Green Construction Techniques

Stay ahead of the competition by ensuring you’re using the latest eco-friendly construction techniques.

Green Construction Techniques

  • Net-zero building: A net-zero building generates the same amount of energy it consumes. You might promote more green techniques to achieve this, such as adding solar panels.
  • Smart buildings: Implement automatic sensors to create smart buildings. This technology can control lighting, temperature, security and ventilation by turning off and adjusting lights, heating and cooling when rooms are empty.
  • Low-emitting windows: Using a special coating, these windows prevent heat from entering homes in the summer and leaving in the winter. Ultimately, the green technique promotes energy efficiency and keeps rooms comfortable in all seasons.
  • Water conservation: Your company can also promote water conservation with eco-friendly construction features like low-flow toilets and greywater plumbing systems.

Considerations When Renting Eco-Friendly Construction Equipment

Before renting your equipment, you'll want to consider these factors to ensure you make the best decision:

  • Renting vs. buying: Note the costs associated with renting vs. buying your equipment. While purchasing can be the better option in some situations, renting offers a flexible solution to try out eco-friendly technologies without the high upfront costs of buying outright.
  • Evaluating maintenance and fuel costs: With environmentally-friendly rental equipment, you reduce costs associated with fuel consumption. You also prevent maintenance and repair costs by renting, since the dealer will take care of these services.
  • Equipment specifications: Consider factors like load capacity, reach, power output and operating efficiency to ensure your equipment meets your job requirements.
  • Project duration and rental terms: You'll want to consider your project's duration before renting equipment. Think about the cost-effectiveness of short-term or long-term rentals and the potential charges or penalties from extending the rental period.
  • Type of project: You'll find all kinds of eco-friendly construction equipment, but you need to think about the type of project each one is best suited for. For instance, residential or small commercial projects call for compact, versatile equipment, while an industrial project will require heavy lifting equipment such as telehandlers to haul and hoist materials safely.
  • Availability of eco-friendly rentals in your region: It's important to find a dealer that supplies environmentally friendly rental equipment and technologies in your area. Whether your project is residential or industrial, renting eco-friendly equipment from The Cat® Rental Store can help you reduce overhead costs, increase productivity and improve your business.

Future Trends in Eco-Friendly Construction Practices

Curious about what's next for eco-friendly heavy machinery and construction technology? Here are a few eco-friendly construction trends to watch out for:

  • Growing demand for rental: The demand for rental equipment will continue to rise, with the market expected to reach $58.49 billion by 2026. Various factors, including the need for specialty machinery for short-term projects, fuel the trend.
  • Increased digitization: Since 2022, the shift toward digitalization has become popular in the construction rental industry. Many businesses offer digital platforms and services for customers, moving operations online and reducing overhead costs. Telematics is a great example of the types of digital technologies we'll see more of in the future.
  • Renewable energy equipment: The need for renewable and sustainable power is becoming urgent, and the trend will continue into the decades ahead. For instance, equipment like solar panels, wind turbines and other technologies are on the rise, with more rental equipment companies expanding their offerings to meet these needs. Other innovative technologies will also hit the market as development continues.
  • Construction robots: Robots promote sustainability and productivity in the construction industry. The technology can handle tasks like demolition and site inspection, collecting data to monitor progress and quality. Construction robots can also help improve safety on a job site by going into hazardous places in place of human employees. Other robots can break down structures quickly and accurately, reducing construction waste and noise. Various robot technologies are in development, with the trend to increase in the coming years.
  • 3D printing: Transporting construction materials can impact the environment in many ways. 3D printing allows you to create building materials onsite to reduce shipping costs and environmental impact. Using 3D printing can also help reduce material waste, accelerate productivity and enhance designs, with many construction companies employing the technology as part of their overall green building practices.

Find Environmentally Friendly Rental Equipment at The Cat® Rental Store

With green construction on the rise, it's important to stay ahead of the curve by investing in sustainable practices like eco-friendly rental equipment. At The Cat Rental Store, you'll find plenty of eco-friendly materials and technology among our vast inventory of rental equipment. We are dedicated to following the latest trends in construction sustainability and can help you find the solutions you need for your specific project.

Find your closest dealer, and get in touch today to learn more about our eco-friendly rental equipment today.