Common mistakes in the equipment rental industry and how to avoid them

The equipment rental industry is a service industry providing machinery, equipment and tools of all kinds and sizes for a limited period of time to final users; mainly to construction contractors but also to industry and individual consumers. Whether you are a construction company owner, manager, fleet operator or holding one of the several positions in the equipment rental industry, what is for sure is that you know the value of renting equipment.

Renting equipment as opposed to purchasing it can be a cost-effective way to ensure you have all the tools you need to execute relevant tasks and meet the necessary deadlines.

Selecting the right tools and machinery for job-specific tasks is an excellent business strategy for successfully completing projects and securing a high profit. However, every business owner inevitably comes across different challenges throughout the year, and in this industry it is quite common to make equipment rental mistakes especially without the right guidance.

The good news, however, is that this article is aimed to help you identify and learn more about the common mistakes encountered when renting heavy equipment, and how to be proactive in avoiding them. By making a strategic assessment of what equipment you need, when you need it and sourcing it from the right heavy equipment rental dealer, you can be certain to eliminate most common mistakes made in the equipment rental industry.

What are the common mistakes in equipment rental?

Although mistakes in the equipment rental industry are both time consuming and wasteful of financial resources, they can definitely be avoided. Here are some of the most common problems faced in the equipment rental industry and how you can get around them.

Failure to follow safety protocols

In situations of heavy equipment rental, there is always a strong possibility that you and your crew have not operated such machinery before. Safety should definitely be a priority. The safety program should include dealer recommended standard operating procedures and the relevant training necessary to enable easy and safe operation of the rental equipment.

Some safety concerns that arise on every work site include; improper training, poorly maintained equipment and lack of Personal Protection Equipment. Failure to follow safety protocols may not only result in low productivity, inefficiency and slow progress, it can also lead to serious accidents and fatalities. In order to avoid the above, rental contracts often contain clauses that forbid workers from operating equipment they’re not trained to use.

Furthermore, it is the on-site manager’s duty to provide the working crew with all the necessary training and demos, Personal Protection equipment, plus ensuring that the necessary safety measures are in place and being effectively implemented.

Renting the wrong equipment type

Some construction company owners, having failed to heed the advice of experts or having received poor recommendations from untrustworthy dealers, end up renting the wrong equipment type. Selecting the wrong type of equipment is inefficient and can be a costly error when the work tool can’t handle the job, hence stalling the entire process until the right equipment is acquired. This as a result affects the productivity and delays project timelines.

Here is the best way to avoid such a common mistake:

  • Understanding your scope of work is vital when making a well-informed assessment of what the particular project entails not only gives a clear picture of the kind of work to be done but the type of tools and machinery needed as well.
  • In each project, there are particular stages that may require special tools and machinery to complete. During the assessment of work to be done, it is vital to make note of and act on such incidents in order to rent the right equipment
  • Analysing the duration, you require the rental equipment helps you make accurate budget planning and know the exact date you need to secure the machinery. Informing the dealer of the same ensures reservation of the right equipment for the job.
  • Renting machinery that serves many different purposes/ multi-role tools is another effective way to protect against renting the wrong equipment type.

Renting the wrong equipment size

Similar to renting the wrong equipment type, another rather common mistake is renting the wrong equipment size. There are scenarios where you could end up renting equipment that is too small or under-powered, therefore not good enough to get the job done.

For example, although a large excavator is a reliable machine with the capacity to move a lot of earth in a short time, it might not be your best choice for smaller jobs in small locations. This results in high fuel expenditure and costs incurred in getting the right equipment size.

Here are some tips to avoid the mistake of renting the wrong equipment size:

  • Double checking the physical parameters of your site is essential to avoid renting a machine that can’t effectively work in a relatively confined space, or something that’s undersized and inefficient for the worksite.
  • Renting the wrong size equipment is common for electrical tools, and that is why it is vital to understand your power needs. Most electric rental tools require specific power supplies, and it is common to rent equipment that can’t perform under the available power loads.
  • It is wise to involve the crew of machine operators when selecting rental equipment size. The operators are often the most knowledgeable when it comes to the equipment.
  • Partnering with a regular, experienced and reputable dealer like Rentegrate guarantees you top notch services which include providing the right size rental equipment for the job.

Poor timing in renting equipment

Whether you are starting a new project or running an already existing one, rental timing is rather a crucial part of operations. By perfectly timing your rental agreement to suit your work schedule, you can maximize efficiency and keep your expenditure low.

Good rental timing is all about proper planning, starting with understanding the scope of work, selecting the right type and size of the machinery and ensuring that it is delivered at the precise moment you need it. Timing should also include returning the rental equipment as soon as you’re finished, to avoid exceeding the budget. In addition to the above, not planning for time and reserving your work tools, leaves you at risk of equipment shortages.

Here are some tips for properly timing your rental equipment agreements:

  • Determining the exact start date ensures that the machine is delivered on time, not too early so as to incur extra costs or too late resulting in delays.
  • Check in with the rental equipment dealer and book the necessary machinery in advance, to ensure all that is needed is available and a reservation is made.

Gerald Ainomugisha is a freelance Content Solutions Provider (CSP) offering both content and copy writing services for businesses of all kinds, especially in the niches of management, marketing and technology.