How to Manage Facilities With Rental Equipment

Managing one or more facilities is a challenging job. You need to ensure your building and its systems are well-maintained so all operations can proceed smoothly, whether you are overseeing a small office building, a huge airport or something in between. When there is a job you need to get done and your current set of equipment doesn't have the right machine to complete it, rentals can fill the gap and ensure workers in your facility have what they need to complete any task.

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Facilities Management Equipment Solutions

As a facility manager, it's your job to keep the building in a safe, operable condition for all those who rely on it. Whether it's an apartment building or a shopping mall, all structures need maintenance as part of smart management. However, there are elements of maintenance that fall outside of the typical routine and require equipment that a manager does not have on hand. When this occurs, it's time to decide whether to buy the required piece of equipment or turn to facility management rentals as an equipment solution. Ask yourself the following questions when determining which solution to pursue.

1. How Much Can You Spend Right Now?

Many businesses operate without a great deal of cash immediately available for diversion into equipment purchases. Even large facilities like hospitals and airports may not factor equipment purchase into the operations budget. The larger the piece of equipment needed, the less likely there are funds available to buy it.

By renting, you slash your up-front costs while having the use of the equipment as you need it. You also sidestep paying insurance premiums and upkeep costs of the equipment. Renting leaves you with more capital in your pocket that can be used for other expenses, such as to hire more workers or rent more pieces of equipment.

2. How Long Do You Need the Equipment?

There's no reason to make the long-term investment of buying equipment if you're only going to need it for a single project or regular job that only comes around once or twice a year. If the equipment will be used for six months or less, rental is your best option. Remember that letting your rental company know you need a rental period of a couple of months or more may also allow you to negotiate a better rate.

If your expected usage will pass the six-month mark, you may want to consider rental purchase options (RPOs).

3. Can You Commit to Maintenance?

Maintaining equipment is one of the costs you must accept when you purchase machinery. All types of equipment require regular preventative maintenance as well as the occasional repair, which cost time and money, while creating unwanted downtime for the machinery. With renting, the cost of maintenance is built into the rental payments, and you don't have to worry about repair costs.

4. Do You Have Enough Space?

A significant part of facility management is making efficient use of all storage space available to you. In some industries, the rental equipment you may need can far exceed the storage space you have on hand. In a medium-sized medical practice, for example, basic floor care equipment can often be stored in relatively small maintenance closets. Larger floor care equipment like a ride-on scrubber that is only used a few times a year may not fit in these closets, and it takes up valuable space even if it does.

5. How Many Equipment Types Do You Need?

Depending on the size of the facility, you likely have an existing set of equipment you use frequently. However, seasonal or project-specific needs can create gaps that rentals can fill. For instance, you may find that the aerial lift you own is too small to efficiently facilitate a renovation project or system upgrade to your building. Or, you may find yourself in need of a snow plow for your parking lot in a climate where it only snows a few times per year. Equipment rental grants you access to multiple types of equipment at once.

Benefits of Renting Equipment for Facility Maintenance

Equipment rentals come with a host of benefits for facility maintenance and the bottom line of your business. These three advantages are examples of how rentals can provide a significant edge.

1. Minimize Liabilities

When you rent machinery, it isn't categorized as a liability. Rental bills on the balance sheet can also reduce the tax burden on your business. You may be able to get lower insurance rates while renting as well.

2. Avoid Fluctuation and Depreciation

When you buy new equipment, you have to contend with inevitable depreciation costs. Constant wear causes machinery to lose its value, which you will never get back. On top of that, you will be paying regular fees for maintenance. If you want or need to sell your units, it will be quite a challenge to recover your costs — especially given the sometimes unexpected fluctuations of the market.

3. Get Exactly What You Need

Even experienced facility managers sometimes don't know what the best machine is for a specific application. There are so many variables among different types of equipment that it can be hard to keep up with them all. When you rent, you have the opportunity to try out a variety of different makes and models of equipment to find out which one affords the greatest efficiency and functionality for your needs.

For example, you might rent a walk-behind trencher only to find out that your utilities upgrade needs the greater power offered by a ride-on trencher. In this case, you would be able to switch to a ride-on easily for the duration of the project, without having to worry about offloading a walk-behind trencher that was purchased and found to be less than effective. Facilities management equipment rentals give you the time and experience necessary to find the perfect machinery for your application.

Aerial Work Platforms

Aerial work platforms are any devices that give people, materials or equipment access to areas that are not normally reachable, so work can be performed at height. They are necessary when workers need flexible temporary access to a space, and they are common in facility maintenance as well as construction work. These are some of the options available through The Cat® Rental Store.

Boom Lifts

Boom lifts are a very common type of aerial work platform and are called by many names including:

  • Cherry picker
  • Man lift
  • Basket crane

Boom lifts are most comparable to scissor lifts, but they differ in two crucial ways. First, boom lifts can typically attain higher heights. They are also better able to maneuver around objects in their way. Boom lifts can be used to move workers and materials around as needed to perform maintenance in out-of-reach areas.

The minimum reach extension for a boom lift is usually 30 feet, and they are available with reaches up to 180 feet. You can choose from boom lifts with a straight arm or ones with articulating arms that make it easier to get into tight spaces.

Material Lifts

There are likely better uses for your manpower than moving around and lifting heavy objects. Material lifts are able to pick up items and materials that can only be lifted by two people, saving time and allowing workers to spend their time on other parts of the project. Some of the applications for material lifts include:

  • Lifting and positioning for the installation or maintenance of air ducts, chimneys and lighting.
  • Accommodating wide loads.
  • Jobs such as setting up indoor or outdoor events.

Scissor Lifts

When a project or maintenance requires the raising and lowering of workers and heavy loads, the hydraulic power of scissor lifts comes in handy. The design of a scissor lift is such that the platform rises directly above the base, increasing stability and making it a better option than a boom lift for some tight spaces. In a project where workers need to raise and lower heavier materials or equipment, scissor lifts can increase efficiency and speed up the project. There are three main types of scissor lift:

  • Slab: This is the mid-size range of scissor lifts, and they are typically powered by electricity. They are built for use on flat, smooth surfaces.
  • Rough-terrain: These scissor lifts can be powered electrically or with an internal combustion engine and have features allowing them to be driven and used in off-road conditions. Their load capacity is larger than that of slab scissor lifts, on average.
  • Single-man: For projects where only one person needs to use the lift, a single-man scissor lift is the most cost-effective option. They have the smallest load capacity but have a comparable height range to slab lifts. They are also light enough that they can be pushed, in many cases.

Vertical Personnel Lifts

For projects that only require one person and a limited set of tools and materials, a vertical personnel lift may be just what you need. They are easy for one person to set up quickly, and they are simple in terms of operation and controls. The Cat Rental Store offers personnel lifts with strong construction that can be used in both interior and exterior jobs.

Floor Care Equipment

Keeping the floors clean is a must for the maintenance of any facility. Whether for everyday cleaning, post-event cleanup, bi-annual deep clean or another project, floor care equipment is an essential part of keeping facilities clean and safe. These are a few of the most common pieces of floor care equipment for facility maintenance.

Scrubbers

Floor scrubbers are a good choice in any application that demands deep cleaning or consistently maintaining a clean environment. Commercial buildings, medical buildings, schools and more all make use of floor scrubbers.

You have two options for floor scrubbers: walk-behind or ride-on. Walk-behind scrubbers are ideal for cleaning or maintaining smaller spaces that may require more maneuverability to access. They are compact and easy to store, and they have lesser power requirements. However, this also means walk-behind scrubbers can't perform at the same level as their more heavy-duty counterparts. A ride-on scrubber can handle nearly any tough cleaning task over a large area.

One more scrubber consideration is the brush type. Disc brushes tackle the toughest cleaning needs, while cylindrical brushes are useful in removing light debris from surfaces. The Cat Rental Store offers scrubber rentals that balance power and efficiency while providing excellent safety features for operators.

Sweepers

When a full-on scrubbing is not yet necessary, a floor sweeper may be the piece of equipment you need. Like scrubbers, industrial flow sweepers come in both walk-behind and ride-on configurations that provide different levels of power.

A vacuum sweeper is able to pick up light materials you might find in any facility, like leaves or shredded paper scraps. Industries such as food processing and electronics manufacturing are better suited to broom sweepers, which can handle heavier materials effectively.

Stripping and Scraping Machines

Even the hardiest flooring needs to be removed and replaced eventually. This process can be greatly aided by the use of stripping and scraping machines for the removal of floor coverings, including vinyl and carpet with different types of backing. Since floor replacement is likely something you only need to do for your facility intermittently, stripping and scraping machines are appropriate candidates for rental.

Landscaping Equipment

Landscaping is something most facilities require in one capacity or another, and at times you will be faced with bigger projects than your current fleet is equipped to handle. Depending on the nature and location of your facility, you may need to rent one or more of these types of landscaping equipment.

Brush Chippers

A brush chipper is essential to many common landscaping operations. They take larger branches, tree limbs and sometimes even small trees, reducing them all the way down to wood chips. This function greatly reduces the effort required to remove or transport debris, and you may even be able to get some resale value out of the resulting chips.

Feller Bunchers

Feller bunchers are typically used for forestry or logging applications, but they can also be indispensable when you are undertaking a significant landscaping project at your facility. These motorized vehicles have an attachment that secures and cuts trees before they are felled.

Harvesters

Harvesters are self-propelled machines used to clear stems in landscaping and forestry applications. They have a cutting attachment that can both fell and process the stems. Wheeled harvesters have four to eight wheels. Tracked harvesters are very similar to tracked feller bunchers, but the processor head replaces the bunching head.

Knuckleboom Loaders

A knuckleboom loader is a type of swing machine designed to handle logs. Although they are most commonly found in forestry applications, landscaping projects that require the removal of trees can see an efficiency boost with the use of a knuckleboom loader. They are designed to swing quickly thanks to the use of hydraulics. Knuckleboom loaders are available in stationary or trailer-mounted configurations.

Trenchers

When your facility needs new pipes, electrical cables, drainage or other utilities that require underground work, a trencher can help you get there efficiently. Smaller walk-behind trenchers are appropriate for applications where the digging depth reaches 36 inches, although some can even reach 48 inches. Ride-on trenchers typically have digging depths up to 72 inches, but some approach nearly 100 inches.

Skidders

If you are removing a good number of trees from your facility grounds, a skidder rental will make the process faster and significantly more efficient. Wheeled and tracked skidders usually have different configurations. The wheeled version has an articulated chassis, with the engine and cab sitting on the forward articulation. Today's skidders often have both a grapple and a cable drum.

Tracked skidders usually employ a full dozer blade. This is what you would use to create a landing for a remodel. A tracked skidder can have either a flex track or a rigid track. A flex tracked skidder has bogey wheels supporting the track, which have their own independent suspension, while a rigid tracked skidder has an inflexible frame without suspension.

Stump Cutters

Also known as stump grinders, stump cutters are the most effective way to get rid of unwanted tree stumps. They can be a power tool or a piece of heavy-duty equipment, but all types use a rotating disc to cut away at wood. Most stump cutters combine the cutter wheel with fixed carbide teeth for the greatest efficiency.

Tree Spades

If you need to transplant trees, you will need a tree spade to make the process quick and easy. Tree spades usually use three or four blades to wrap around a tree and dig into the ground underneath it. This allows workers to lift the entire tree — roots, soil and all — out of the ground. The tree can then be transported to the designated area and re-planted. Tree spades are also useful for transplanting large bushes.

Tips for Renting Equipment for Facility Maintenance

When you've decided that rental is the way to go with one or more pieces of equipment, there are several things you need to know to make sure the experience goes as smoothly as possible. A quality rental company like The Cat Rental Store will be happy to answer questions regarding the following:

  • Maintenance schedule: Since you are not maintaining the equipment yourself, it's important to find out when each piece of machinery has last been serviced. You should be able to receive this information upon request.
  • Response time: Should something go wrong with the rental, how long can you expect to wait before having the equipment replaced or repaired? How much effort will be required on your part?
  • Pickup and delivery time: Some rental companies only offer very limited times for rental pickups or delivering the equipment to you. Ensure the company you choose offers pickups and delivery at times that are convenient for your project.
  • Hours of operation: Do the rental company's hours of operation correspond with when the equipment will be in use? If not, do they have an after-hours line you can call if there is an issue?

Getting these questions answered will go a long way in establishing trust with your chosen rental service. When you need equipment for a project with time crunch or to respond to an emergency situation at your facility, you need to know that you've partnered with a reliable company that will do what it takes to make sure your needs are met.

Improve Facility Management With The Cat® Rental Store

When you need high-quality equipment on a temporary basis, come to The Cat Rental Store. You can expect excellent, personalized service through every step of the rental process, from choosing the best piece of equipment for each need through pickup or delivery of the machinery. Beyond that, we provide reliable and regular maintenance as well as repairs for each machine you rent from us. We know you have a multitude of responsibilities, and we do everything we can to ensure the rental process is an efficiency instead of a hassle.

Visit any of the more than 1,300 Cat Rental Store locations around the world to discover the best facility management rentals coupled with a serious focus on customer service. Find the branch nearest to your facility or call us at 1-800-RENT-CAT to find out more about renting equipment for facility maintenance. You can also use our quick quote tool to get a quote with no obligation, making it even easier to rent whatever you need from the people who do whatever it takes.

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