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Buying VS Renting Heavy Construction Equipment
4 Minute Read
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Tim Forestell
June 14, 2021

Buying Vs Renting Heavy Construction Equipment 

Comparing the price of buying vs renting construction equipment is not as simple as it may seem. There are so many things to consider when projects come up such as availability, timing, length of the project, downtime, and so much more.  All of these factors impact whether it makes more financial sense for a construction company to invest in a new machine for the long term or if renting construction equipment makes more sense.

Here’s an overview of some of the things to consider while deciding whether to buy or rent construction equipment.

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Financial Status

When drawing up the budget for a project, owning may outweigh renting if there is a return on investment. If a required machine is the same machine that can be used for multiple other projects or can be used again in the future, then buying may be a great option. However, if the project is smaller and has a shorter time frame for rental equipment usage, renting may be the way to go. Another bonus to renting is that many studies have shown that renting specific, specialized machines can actually reduce project timelines and improve efficiencies - ultimately saving money. 

Companies that have purchased construction equipment can also help to offset those costs by renting out that machine when it’s not being used. Becoming a supplier and listing your equipment on the DOZR Marketplace is a great way to earn money from idle equipment without being a rental company. 

Overhead of Owning Vs Renting

When buying a machine instead of using equipment rentals, many companies look at the upfront purchasing cost. The problem with this mentality is that there is so much more that goes into operating and owning a machine. Operating costs, insurance, storage fees, licensing and overall maintenance can add up on top of the purchasing cost. These are all ongoing expenses that occur month over month and they can add up. 

When renting construction equipment, delivery, short term insurance and fuel are the only additional costs to worry about. The local equipment rental company near you will take care of all the paperwork, storage, upkeep and maintenance. With equipment rental marketplaces such as you can search and price different machines and suppliers for free. Not only can you compare prices, but it doesn't cost you money to do so. 

Fuel is a cost that is common to both owning and renting and needs to be considered when drawing up the numbers. If you’re concerned about fuel costs and not sure how to budget, a DOZR Sales Team member can help you come up with a rough estimate of fuel costs for a specific equipment rental.

boom lift on construction site with contractor on it

Length of Your Project

A major thing to consider when estimating the cost difference between renting and buying outright is the length of time your project is set to take. A short term job may need a special piece of equipment or a quick one-day rental for a specific task. With these, renting equipment may be the best. For long term projects or seasonal and recurring jobs, buying may be worth it as rental costs add up. Be sure to consider the additional costs listed above with storage, maintenance and insurance.  

Equipment Availability

The biggest advantage of owning your construction equipment is that it’s available 24/7. You own the flexibility and use of your own machine. When you are dependent on an equipment rental, you run the risk of the local construction equipment company not having the machine you need when you need it. This could cause delays and end up costing even more. 

That being said, using an equipment rental marketplace means that they too have a number of machines available to you. If you need to extend a rental and the machine you currently have isn’t available, they can help source another rental for you. 

The Pros and Cons of Renting

Be sure to review the pros and cons in an honest way about your project and company needs when choosing between renting vs buying equipment.

  1. What is your financial status - is it cheaper to rent short term or buy for long term?
  2. What are the additional costs of owning vs the savings from renting?
  3. How long is the project - is it more economical to rent if it’s short term?

If you need a hand with specific construction equipment or are looking for a local equipment rental company near you, the DOZR team is always here to help. With over 10,000 and counting suppliers across North America, and various sizes and weights of construction equipment available, we’re here to help you find the perfect machine for your job.

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Tim Forestell
Tim Forestell is one of DOZR’s co-founders and CCO. Tim got started in the industry as VP Operations for Forestell Landscaping before founding DOZR with Kevin and Erin. Aside from the amazing team at DOZR, his favourite thing about DOZR are the customers. Working with DOZR renters every day gives him a peek at the evolution of different projects and hearing stories about projects being developed from start to finish.
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