Should I Rent or Should I Buy Equipment?

Rammer Concrete Breaker – Rent or Buy?

Lawn & Landscape ran a great, comprehensive article this week that covers the many factors to consider when renting or buying compact construction equipment.  In it the author mentions that the economy, job site conditions and machine versatility all affect decision-making, and also gives some nice guidelines for making those choices.

So first off, you might ask why you’d want to pay over and over to rent a machine if you can just buy it?  That’s a great question – and for a lot of contractors, if they can afford it, they buy it.  What we’re seeing more of, though, is companies assessing the total landscape (no pun intended) and deciding where they are, where they want to be, and how they can get there.  You know right away if you can’t afford to buy a machine, but are you smart enough to know when you can afford to rent one?

The first step without a doubt is to know your financials.  After that, the second step should be to consider the job conditions.  If you’ve got a job that calls for a specific attachment, or rubber tracks instead of wheels, think about whether that type of work is a one-off job, or whether it’s something you’ll be doing more of in the future.  If it’s a service you’d like to get into, try a rent-to-purchase program – our rental department has this option and it’s increasingly popular with customers.  This gives you the chance to start making payments towards buying the machine, but allows you to return it if the work isn’t there.

If you use an attachment enough it might be time to buy a dedicated unit (click for video of a Toro dedicated TRX trencher)

For attachments, think about how often you use them.  They’re built for a very specific purpose and so you might only need them once in a while.  The author also points out that if you’re using an attachment enough, you might want to consider a dedicated machine.  That frees up your skid steer or track loader for other tasks.

There are other factors to consider, such as tax implications, which the article covers in some detail.  Buying a machine is rarely a quick decision and you have to look at many different aspects of your business.  This isn’t meant to tell you one way is better than the other, but to give you a guide in your decision-making.

Read the full Lawn and Landscape article HERE

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