Rent pays in April

Maintaining heavy equipment or using costly, hard-to-find labor isn't necessarily the ideal way to tackle big jobs.

March 20, 2000

Maintaining heavy equipment or using costly, hard-to-find labor isn't necessarily the ideal way to tackle big jobs. National Rental Month, designated for this April by the American Rental Association, might just be the right time for contractors to explore the benefits of using rented equipment on job sites.

Augmented by official proclamations from national, state and local governments, open houses, special pricing, extended store hours and educational seminars will be available for contractors to take advantage of this month. Participating rental dealers will be promoting special events throughout the month of April to heighten awareness about the benefits of renting.

"About half of all consumers in the United States and Canada do not yet realize the benefits of equipment rental, according to our research," says Fred Anderson, vice president of communications for the American Rental Association (ARA). "Events in April will provide the opportunity for them to learn how renting can save them time, money and aggravation. Renting lets people match the right tool to the right job."

Early spring was chosen for these promotions to target consumers beginning outdoor projects in April. The ARA hopes that contractors and DIYers will plan to use rented equipment as they begin planning out spring and summer projects, especially those involving landscaping. "In most parts of the country, the construction industry is heading for the job site," says Anderson. "Those who don't yet rent are likely to discover how renting can help their bottom line."

Skid steer loaders, power augers, trenchers, nail guns, airless paint sprayers, drywall hoists, cement mixers and scaffolds are common rentals for contractors. Rental staff familiar with the equipment can often allow renters to "test drive" the equipment to see if it can be handled comfortably, or to determine what piece of equipment is best suited to a particular job. Renters can also give pointers so those first-time users can avoid common mistakes.

Renting typically happens when contractors need to use large equipment that is too expensive to be purchased. However, renting is also an option for consumers interested in trying out different brands, models and accessories before buying, or for companies short on storage space.

According to the ARA, renting offers several benefits for contractors, including increased mobility, improved cost control, and enhanced safety. Renting prevents finance charges, interest payments, and accidents caused by workers using equipment properly to finish a job with what's on hand. Maintenance, storage, taxes and license costs can also be avoided.

Tips for renting equipment:

  • Have rental company staff suggest particular equipment for your job's needs.
  • Before picking up rental equipment, prepare and organize the work area to streamline projects and cut down on rental time.
  • Have employees demonstrate proper safety procedures.
  • Understand the rental policies and different rates available for each rental company.
  • Prepare ahead of time so equipment can be cared for, stored and used properly, especially for tools with special requirements.
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