Mistakes to Avoid When Renting Equipment

If you’re a construction company owner, manager or fleet operator, you know the value in renting equipment. Selecting the right tools and machinery for job-specific tasks is an excellent business strategy for successfully completing projects and securing a high profit. Many businesses routinely rent equipment, and they find rental benefits to be distinctly advantageous. However, without the right guidance, they often make equipment rental mistakes.

Avoiding equipment rental mistakes can save you a lot of money. Rental mistakes don’t have to be inevitable and chalked up to the cost of doing business. By making a strategic assessment of what equipment you need, exactly when you need it and sourcing it from the right dealer, you can be certain to eliminate common equipment rental mistakes. Here are the top six rental equipment mistakes to avoid.

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1. Renting the Wrong Equipment Type

Renting the wrong equipment type is a mistake that construction company owners and managers make when they don’t receive sound advice and recommendations from their dealer. Selecting the wrong type of equipment can be a costly error when the machine or work tool can’t handle the job. If you have the wrong equipment type, you’re stuck until you replace it.

Whenever you rent equipment that doesn't have the right capabilities for the job, you’re not going to be efficient. That’s going to affect your productivity and therefore decrease your bottom line.

The best way to avoid the costly mistake of renting the wrong type of equipment is by making a realistic assessment of what you need before you place your order. That starts with describing the job at hand, then matching the machinery or tool to the task.

Here are some points to consider when assessing the type of equipment you need:

  • Define your scope of work: Assess exactly what your job entails. Does it involve clearing lots, removing debris and digging up earth? Does it involve breaking hard rock or shoveling sand? Knowing the precise details of the project will help you select the right equipment model and the best attachment tools too.
  • Identify specialty requirements: No two projects or contracts ever seem to be the same. You may need specialty equipment for some part of the job. For that, you’ll need the right attachment, like augers, hammers or rakes.
  • Know your rental duration: Assessing the time length you require your rental equipment helps you make accurate cost forecasts. You need to know your precise start date to secure your machinery and let your rental dealer know how long you need it for. Failing to give your dealer adequate notice could result in them not reserving the right machinery for your job.
  • Consider multi-role machinery: Where possible, you should consider whether you can use multi-role machinery. Renting equipment that serves many different purposes is one way to protect against renting the wrong type. A good multi-role example is a skid steer or compact track loader that accepts multiple work tool attachments.

To choose the right type of equipment for the job, you need expert advice, which you’ll get with a reputable dealer like The Cat® Rental Store. Our extensive dealer network has a vast inventory, and our knowledgeable staff will make sure you choose and reserve the right type of equipment for the job when you need it.

2. Renting the Wrong Equipment Size

Beyond renting the wrong type of equipment for the job purpose, another mistake is selecting the wrong size machine. Having an underpowered machine without sufficient capacity simply won’t let you get the job done. On the other hand, overpowered equipment can be cumbersome and hard to operate. It can pose safety concerns and use up more fuel than you need.

For instance, a Cat 390FL excavator is a reliable machine with tremendous capacity. It can move a lot of earth in a short time. But, it might not be your best choice for smaller jobs in tighter locations. It could be an expensive mistake to rent the big machine when a smaller Cat 330DL excavator is more perfectly suited for your work.

It doesn’t have to be a big-ticket rental item like an earthmover that you can make a wrong-size mistake with. Picking out a work tool attachment that’s insufficient for your job can be irritating and unnecessarily expensive. You’ll suffer downtime and income loss while you replace it with the right model.

There’s a fine balance between renting equipment that’s too small or under-powered and selecting the wrong type that’s overkill for the job. Here are some tips to avoid the mistake of renting the wrong equipment size:

  • Know your site: You need to know the physical parameters of where you’ll operate your equipment so you can size it accordingly. It’s a serious mistake to rent a machine that can’t effectively work in a relatively confined space, and it’s also a mistake to rent something that’s undersized and inefficient for the worksite.
  • Evaluate your conditions: Even if you have plenty of operating room, you might not have a suitable surface to operate certain machines on. If you rent the wrong-sized equipment for sensitive surfaces like asphalt, concrete or even lawns, you might do more damage than good.
  • Understand your power needs: Wrong-sizing your equipment doesn’t just happen with track and wheeled machines. You might undertake work where you need electrical power or energy from compressed air. Many air and electric rental tools require specific power supplies, and you might easily make the mistake of renting equipment that can’t perform under your available loads.
  • Involve your operators: Often, no one knows more about correctly sizing equipment than the people who operate it. Your machine and equipment operators are a wealth of knowledge, and it’s a wise move to involve them in picking out the right size for their job. Make sure you tap this source as well as making full use of your rental dealer’s expertise.

To guarantee you'll get the right size equipment for the job, you need to partner with a reputable dealer. Smaller outlets might not have the exact size of equipment you need, especially if they have limited inventory. In these cases, they'll often down- or up-rent their customers just to make the sale. This means you walk away with equipment that's too big or too small for the job. Choosing a reputable dealer can help you prevent this inconvenient mistake.

You can avoid making the mistake of renting the wrong equipment size by partnering with The Cat Rental Store. Our knowledgeable staff will help you select the right size equipment and source the exact piece you need so you can be sure to complete your projects more efficiently.

3. Poor Timing in Renting Equipment

Poor timing in renting your equipment is a planning mistake to avoid. Fortunately, this is an easy dodge, and it doesn’t have to be a costly business error. By timing your rental agreement to suit your schedule, you can maximize your rental efficiency and keep your expenses down where they should be.

Good timing is all about proper planning. It’s about knowing your scope of work and then scheduling your equipment rentals to match a realistic timeline. Ideally, you want the right-sized machine delivered to your site at the precise moment you need it. Your timing should also include returning the rental equipment as soon as you’re finished, so you pay no more than absolutely necessary.

Part of your equipment rental timing is dealing with weather. You need to plan for weather issues like storms or seasonal changes. The construction industry revolves around seasons. At peak operating time in the spring and summer, there’s excessive demand for rental equipment. By not planning and reserving your machines or work tools, you might be left behind by equipment shortages.

Timing is highly strategic. You need to match your machinery requests with the start of a job. You also need to time your rental agreement so you have the machine returned to fit the dealer’s demand for that equipment on other sites. These are some valuable tips to apply for properly timing your rental equipment agreements:

  • Determine your exact start date: This is the most critical step in sticking to a timeline and an economical budget. You need your rental equipment delivered exactly when you start your work. Having equipment dropped off too early or too late can cause additional payments or excessive downtime. Neither of these is helpful to your budget nor work schedule.
  • Account for weather: Weather is a huge factor that affects your rental timing. You need to account for weather that could interrupt or delay your schedule. You also need to take advantage of good weather windows and time your rental arrangements accordingly.
  • Give advance notice: Booking your rental equipment well in advance of your start date avoids the mistake of not being able to get what you need when you need it. There’s no exact formula for advance booking, but the earlier, the better. Don’t make the poor timing mistake of waiting until the last moment to book and then find out your equipment is unavailable.
  • Check with your dealer: Being in contact with your dealer can make sure you keep on time with your rental schedule. It’s helpful to check with your dealer periodically to make sure your reservation hasn’t slipped through the cracks. It’s also helpful to check-in while you’re operating your rental and make sure you can extend your rental arrangement if it looks like you’re going into overtime.

Poor timing is a mistake you can easily avoid when you work with an industry leader like The Cat Rental Store. Because of our huge dealer network, you're certain to find the equipment you need exactly when you need — even for last-minute projects. Our knowledgeable staff can source your required equipment and work tools and make sure they arrive on time for your next project.

4. Safety Concerns in Renting Equipment

Safety issues with equipment rental should never happen. Safety is the number one priority in every workplace, and your jobsites are no different. You take your employees’ safety very seriously, and that’s the ethical and responsible thing to do.

Safety extends through every part of your business. Your safety program should include standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the equipment your company owns. You need to take the same serious safety steps with the equipment you rent, as well. That includes following dealer-recommended SOPs for rented machinery like aerial lifts, concrete equipment and material handling machinery.

Equipment operating safety is an extremely serious issue. By their very nature and design, construction machinery and support equipment can be dangerous or deadly if not used correctly. Here are some safety concerns that arise on every jobsite:

  • Improper training: It’s critical that your operators know how to use their machines and equipment safely. No one should operate equipment that they’re not familiar and competent with. Take the time and spend the effort to know your rental equipment’s operating methods and safety features.
  • Poorly maintained equipment: Equipment that’s not well-maintained is inherently dangerous. Well-maintained equipment is safe as long as your operators know how to use it. It’s a mistake to rent machinery that’s in poor condition or requiring repair.
  • Specific-use equipment: Another common safety concern is specific-use of equipment. Every machine and its related equipment have a specific purpose and need to be used that way. For example, aerial lifts are made to raise workers to their task, whereas excavator buckets are not.
  • Personal protection equipment (PPE): Using the right PPE for specific equipment should never be optional. Personal protective equipment is mandatory on every jobsite, and not wearing PPE matched to your equipment is a serious mistake. PPE is designed with safety in mind, and you need to take full advantage of every protection available.

Because you have such a diverse array of construction rental equipment available to you, it’s difficult to be intricately familiar with each machine’s safe operating practices. This is where a leading construction equipment dealer like The Cat Rental Store helps you avoid making serious safety mistakes that result in devastating liability consequences to your operation. Partnering with your local Cat Rental Store is your first step in eliminating safety concerns in renting equipment.

5. Choosing Poor Quality Equipment

Choosing poor quality equipment is a common mistake that contractors can make when they trust an unreliable dealer to supply well-maintained, certified equipment. But this mistake can be easily avoided. The simple solution is making sure you rent from a reputable dealer that’s a leader in the construction equipment rental industry.

Poor quality equipment affects your performance and profit. It also affects your reputation as an industry professional. Without reliable equipment, you might have to stop mid-way and have your equipment serviced. This may prevent you from delivering your project on-time and reflect poorly on your business.

Here are some things to look for to ensure you’re renting high-quality equipment:

  • General appearance: You’ll know a tired old machine when you see it. Its paint will be faded, and rust will have formed. You’ll also see excessive wear on the controls and monitors.
  • Drips and leaks: If you see fuel leaks and oil drips, don’t accept the machine. Equipment with fluid leaks is not well maintained, and it’s bound to give you issues. Don’t make the mistake of taking on another’s problems.
  • Missing guards: Rental equipment with missing safety guards is not acceptable under any circumstances. If you’re delivered equipment without proper safety controls, send it back.
  • Professional appearance: A lack of professional appearance is always apparent. It’s the sign that you’re getting poor quality equipment along with poor quality service. You can avoid taking on an unprofessional image by partnering with the right equipment rental dealer.

Renting top-quality equipment signifies your attention to detail and your commitment to getting the job done right. The Cat Rental Store offers the highest quality equipment that's routinely inspected and serviced. You can trust in The Cat Rental Store to provide you with the highest quality rental equipment that's always certified.

6. Choosing the Wrong Equipment Rental Dealer

Choosing the wrong equipment dealer is the primary mistake that leads to the potential of making other equipment rental mistakes. Improperly sourcing your equipment can significantly and seriously damage your business position and your ability to secure future contracts. Your clients must be assured that you’re equipped to do their jobs every time.

Many factors go into choosing the right equipment rental dealer. Each point is important, and collectively they make up a complete package for what you need to make your business run, complete your contracts and make a well-earned return for your efforts.

Here are important questions to ask to avoid making the mistake of choosing the wrong equipment dealer.

  • What is the equipment rental company’s reputation?
  • How long have they been in business?
  • What equipment brands do they supply?
  • How convenient are their outlet locations?
  • How well do they service and maintain their equipment?
  • Will they provide honest advice to prevent you from making equipment rental mistakes?

If you find an equipment rental dealer that checks off these criteria, you know you’ll work with a company committed to your business growth. They’ll guide you away from making costly errors and steer you on the road to success. Your company deserves to work with top-quality equipment, so you can operate productively and safely every time.

When you partner with The Cat Rental Store for your construction machinery and work tool attachments, you know you’re not making the mistake of selecting the wrong equipment for your job and putting your workers at a safety risk by operating poor quality equipment.

You’ll find that we're a convenient one-stop-shop for all your equipment rental requirements. We carry hundreds of machinery models from our well-recognized Cat earthmoving machines like excavators and backhoes to Cat brand power generators and material handling equipment. We also supply you with other top quality rental brands in our line of aerial lifts and utility equipment.

Each equipment piece supplied by The Cat Rental Store is certified to be in premium condition before it arrives on your site. You can expect your rentals to show up on time and ready to work. Our machines and work tools are meticulously maintained, and they’re equipped with the latest technology to make sure you have modern machinery to do your work safely.

We also work with you to time your deliveries. We understand that time is money, and you can’t make the mistake of being late starting your contracts or finishing them. When you build a partnership with The Cat Rental Store, you’re assured we work in your best interests to rent and operate your equipment exactly when you need it. When you need advice on rental equipment selection or operation, our experts are available 24/7 to help you avoid making minor and major mistakes.

Avoid Rental Equipment Mistakes With The Cat® Rental Store

There’s no rental equipment mistake when you source your tools and machinery from The Cat Rental Store. The only step you need to take is to contact us and begin a prosperous partnership. We make sure you have the right-sized equipment for your work, and we guaranteed it to be in top-quality condition. We also guarantee it will be there when you need it and will be safe for you and your operators.

To avoid any rental equipment mistake, call The Cat Rental Store today at 1-800-RENT-CAT or find your local branch online.

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