Life is full of surprises, and there may come a time when you need to rent items that you don’t already own. For many business owners, renting power equipment is unfamiliar territory, and you may have quite a few questions — especially if this is your first time undertaking this type of project.
If you’re wondering where to begin, you’ve come to the right place. Here are six questions to keep in mind when renting power equipment.
1. What Tools or Machinery Do You Need?
The tools and machinery you’ll need to rent will depend on the job itself. For example, outdoor maintenance might require basic power equipment, like a leaf blower or more niche tools, like a stump grinder. You should make a list of what items you’ll need before contacting a supplier.
If you’re uncertain of what equipment you require, research online and ask a professional what tools they’d use when completing a similar task.
2. Will You Need a Power System?
The equipment you need is dependent upon your unique situation. If you’re in a remote area — or making repairs after a severe storm — you may need a power system to generate the electricity required to operate tools and your business.
When choosing equipment, you’ll want to consider their electricity needs, specifically related to wattage. Mobile generator sets often range from 20 to 2,000 kilowatts which means they can accommodate multi-megawatt loads.
Simply put, you’ll want to ensure that you have the necessary power to get work underway without significant delays. With this in mind, you should speak to the supplier about energy requirements and power generator options.
3. How Do You Choose a Supplier?
Some companies specialize in renting equipment and while others both sell and rent. Additionally, there are business models which connect suppliers with customers who need to rent. A quick internet search will alert you to several suppliers in your area, but it doesn’t hurt to ask friends and professional contacts for their recommendations.
You’ll want to find a business with plans, equipment and pricing that fit your needs. You may need to choose more than one supplier if there’s a wide range of machinery you need to rent.
You’ll want to look for well-respected companies that have transparent billing practices. Convenience is also crucial since you may not have the vehicles needed to transport the equipment. You should look for a business that offers end-to-end service and has a wide selection of inventory to choose between.
3. Can Anyone Rent Power Equipment?
The requirements for renting power equipment may vary based on your location, the supplier and the type of items you intend to rent. Lowes rents most tools and equipment to anyone 18 or older, except towable items that require the renter to be at least 21-years-old.
Other stores may have additional requirements like a driver’s license or certification. In most situations, training and certification are only necessary with heavy equipment rentals like bulldozers or excavators.
Since requirements differ between suppliers, it’s always best to ask about qualifications before signing a rental agreement.
5. What Questions Should You Ask When Renting?
When renting any type of device, it’s essential to ask questions and read over the contract before signing. Many people choose to skim over privacy policies and terms and conditions, especially when presented online. Outside of asking about pricing, you should question the logistics of the delivery and return. Will someone drop-off and pick-up the equipment, or will you be responsible for this step?
Likewise, you should ask about their policies relating to time-extensions and maintenance concerns. If the product arrives broken, you’ll want to know that they’ll have someone out to fix the issue before it becomes a problem for your timeline. Remember to get a number for their customer service team in case you think of any additional questions.
6. What Are Red Flags to Watch Out For?
You should immediately be alert if the supplier refuses to answer any of your questions or offers vague responses. If you have an opportunity, view the equipment before signing the contract.
Dirty, damaged-looking equipment may be a sign that they’re not properly maintaining their rental products.
There are thousands of employee injuries and deaths each year, and you don’t want to be liable for a supplier’s negligence. Always err on the side of caution if power equipment appears to be malfunctioning. If you do receive a faulty item, remember to take pictures and contact their customer support team immediately.
Feel Confident When Renting Power Equipment
After you answer these six questions you’ll feel much more confident about renting power equipment. It’ll be easy to recognize a quality supplier now that you’re armed with crucial questions to ask and an overview of red flags.
If you feel uncertain about a situation, remember to compare your options and seek a second opinion.