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How to Rent Construction Equipment: A Step-by-Step Guide to Streamlining Your Construction Projects
8 minute read
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Kevin Forestell
April 17, 2023

How to Rent Construction Equipment: A Step-by-Step Guide to Streamlining Your Construction Projects

Renting is an efficient, cost-effective solution for anyone who needs construction equipment on site right away, isn't looking to make a long-term investment by buying, or wants access to a wide variety of equipment models and attachments. Understanding equipment rentals will help you find the best rental opportunities and stay informed throughout the entire process.

Benefits of Renting Construction Equipment

Renting isn't only for contractors working on a budget. In addition to significant cost savings, there are many other benefits to renting construction equipment that aren't experienced when buying.

Cost Savings

Cost savings is the first and most obvious point in favor of renting. Rentals are significantly less expensive than purchased equipment, as the initial upfront cost of purchasing equipment is substantial. If you aren't planning on using equipment for a significant length of time, it's often more financially viable to opt for renting and avoid the upfront cost of purchase. As a renter, you also aren't responsible for the insurance, depreciation, storage, and maintenance costs that owners pay.

Availability, Flexibility, and Versatility

When you buy from a dealer, your pricing options and model availability are limited to that dealer's offerings. As a renter, you're able to compare equipment from multiple suppliers and rates from multiple rental companies. With more options comes greater flexibility, so you can choose from a wide selection of equipment models, compatible attachments, and rates. On DOZR's rental equipment marketplace, you can set your location and find multiple heavy equipment models near you.

Find Your Next Equipment Rental on DOZR
Compact Track Loader image
1,300 lbs - 3,400 lbs
Wheeled Skid Steer image
1,300 lbs - 3,450 lbs
Mini Excavator image
1.5 ton - 9 ton

Renting also gives you the option to "try before you buy." By renting a new model and seeing how it works on-site, you can get a sense as to whether it's worth buying and if you'd use it consistently on future projects.

Access to the Latest Technology

One of the best ways to try the latest upgrades and technologies is by renting newer equipment models since rental companies often populate their fleets with the newest models. These models are often much more expensive to buy, so renting is a great way to access the newest advancements in equipment manufacturing.

Maintenance and Repairs

Generally, owners are responsible for routine equipment maintenance and servicing. Machines are inspected to ensure that they're in working order prior to renting them out. The only costs that renters are responsible for are any damages that occur during their rental period.

If the equipment you've rented breaks down on-site, then the supplier is responsible for servicing the equipment and finding an alternative solution. If you're renting from a rental aggregator like DOZR that facilitates efficient rentals between renters and suppliers, then the aggregator will organize servicing and maintenance.

Reduced Storage and Transportation Needs

As a renter, long-term equipment storage and transportation aren't your concern. You will need to provide delivery and pick-up information and are responsible for a delivery fee. The only storage you'll need to coordinate is adequate storage on-site throughout the rental period.

Managing the loading and offloading of equipment, transporting equipment to and from job sites, and obtaining warehouse space for storage is mainly the rental company or supplier's responsibility.

The Rental Process: Key Steps and Considerations

Define Your Equipment Needs

No matter how many cool features a piece of equipment has, it's of no use to you if it isn't the right machine for the job. You can determine whether the equipment rental in question will fit that task at hand by looking at your job site conditions, required specs, project timelines, equipment size, operator skill level, and required attachments. Once you know your equipment needs, you'll be able to narrow down your rental options.

Research Rental Options and Compare Prices Using DOZR

When researching rental options, it's best to start by identifying the make and model of the equipment you wish to rent. For example, if renting a skid steer, determining the required specs will usually inform your model of choice, as most models are classified by reach, bucket size, or other capabilities.

Another factor to consider is the length of the rental period since this will affect your pricing options. Most rental companies offer different rates for daily, weekly, and monthly equipment rentals. Generally, better rates are available when you rent for longer periods of time. You can search rental rates in your location on DOZR.

What is DOZR and How Can It Help You Find the Best Rental Deals?

DOZR is an online rental equipment marketplace that connects contractors with suppliers across North America. We facilitate rentals for 18 types of heavy equipment. The DOZR marketplace aggregates multiple equipment rentals from various suppliers so you can compare rates and real-time availability.

Gone are the days when you have to call multiple suppliers and compare rates on your own to find the best rental deal! Simply search, compare, and instantly book your equipment rental of choice!

Select a Reputable Rental Company from DOZR's Platform

After comparing suppliers, rates, manufacturers, and models, select the rental company you wish to rent from. Then, create a DOZR account and book online or through the phone. DOZR will facilitate the rental and will be there to assist throughout the rental process.

Rentals can be booked through multiple channels, including online, over the phone, and through email.

Review Rental Agreements and Policies

During the booking process, you'll be asked to sign a rental agreement and provide all information required to organize the rental. This includes the job site address, company information, job site and company contact information, and payment options. Every rental company's information collection process will differ.

All rental companies have unique policies and rental agreements. Be sure to review the rental agreement before signing and ask any questions you may have. Insurance, servicing, damages, billing, and termination are important portions of the rental agreement to thoroughly understand.

Schedule Delivery and Pickup

Part of the rental agreement will cover delivery and pick-up procedures. Depending on who you rent from, the rental company or the suppliers will set delivery rates. The rental company will coordinate delivery and pick-up times with you.

Inspect Equipment Upon Arrival

It's important to inspect the equipment once it arrives on site. Renters are liable for any damages that occur throughout the rental period. Taking photos of the rented equipment documents its condition before it's used on site.

It's a good idea to take another set of photos before the equipment is picked up. These will be helpful in the event of damage claims since they prove the equipment's state before it left your job site. Inspections will also reveal if any servicing is required. Notify the rental company as soon as issues are discovered.

Tips for a Successful Construction Equipment Rental Experience

There's always a possibility that challenges arise during a rental. Here are a few tips for mitigating those challenges and ensuring a smooth experience overall.

Plan Ahead: Do your research prior to choosing a rental company. Review the rental agreement, its policies regarding issues, and other applicable documents in advance.

Prioritize Safety and Operator Training: Always ensure that operators are certified to use the equipment you're renting. All safety training should occur prior to the rental period.

Monitor Equipment Usage and Return on Investment: Take note of fuel usage and other equipment metrics throughout the rental period. Evaluate whether you'll use the equipment long enough to generate a return on investment if you choose to purchase the machine instead.

Maintain Open Communication with the Rental Company: If issues arise during your rental, the rental company must be informed in order to resolve them. Asking questions and clearly communicating will make dispute resolution and all logistics much easier for everyone involved.

Consider Long-Term Rental Options and Discounts: If you continue renting from one company and develop your relationship, you may be eligible for rental discounts. The rates for long-term rentals are also better deals than short-term rentals.

Understanding Rental Agreements and Insurance Requirements

Key Components of a Rental Agreement

The following components should be included in a rental agreement:

  • Make and model of rented equipment
  • All rented attachments
  • Length of the rental period
  • Payment Terms and Collection Procedures
  • Damages (what constitutes "damage" vs. wear and tear)
  • Insurance Information
  • Delivery Rates and Procedures
  • Termination of Rental Agreement Procedures

Understanding Liability and Insurance Coverage

There are a few insurance policies to consider when renting heavy equipment. General liability insurance typically covers legal expenses for property damage and claims where bodily harm is experienced by a third party. General liability policies may cover damage caused by an equipment rental. However, they usually don't cover claims where the equipment itself is damaged or requires repairs. That's where construction equipment rental insurance policies come in.

Construction equipment rental insurance is a separate policy that covers repairs, equipment theft, damages, and accident protection. If you're a frequent renter of construction equipment, this type of insurance policy, along with property insurance, is an option to consider if you wish to have your own insurance.

Renters don't always need to purchase their own rental equipment insurance policy. Many rental companies, including DOZR, provide insurance that covers rented equipment for the duration of the rental period. This comes in handy for contractors who only rent equipment for short periods of time.

Equipment Damage and Repair Responsibilities

Each rental company will assess damage differently. The rental agreement should outline what constitutes "damage" and what's defined as reasonable usage of the equipment on site. The majority of issues that arise post-rental include renters not filling up fuel tanks when required or equipment being brought back in poor, unclean conditions. These issues, and the fees that come with them, can be easily avoided by following the terms of your rental agreement.

Generally, renters are liable for any damages or equipment theft that occurs during the rental period. However, rental companies that use damage waivers have unique liability standards for equipment damage. Damage waivers, which renters may be required to sign as part of their agreement, set a pre-determined amount or a percentage of damage costs that renters are liable for.

For repairs and servicing, rental companies and dealerships are generally required to organize equipment servicing in the event of equipment breakdowns throughout the rental period.

Additional Fees and Charges to Be Aware Of

Here are a few additional fees that renters should be aware of while renting. These may be included within the rental rates or listed as a separate fee.

  • Environmental fees (applied to larger diesel machines to cover environmental costs)
  • Cleaning fees (if the equipment isn't returned in reasonable condition)

Need to rent construction equipment?

The construction equipment process can be summarized as follows: choose your equipment, research and compare rental opportunities, review the rental agreement and procedures, then book your rental. Researching rental opportunities and planning prior to making a decision is the best way to secure great rental deals that best suit your project's needs!

As an online rental marketplace, we know a thing or two about construction equipment rentals. Check out DOZR's online platform to compare rates and find the best rental opportunities for earthmoving, compaction, aerial, and compact construction equipment!

Find Your Next Equipment Rental on DOZR
Compact Track Loader image
1,300 lbs - 3,400 lbs
Wheeled Skid Steer image
1,300 lbs - 3,450 lbs
Mini Excavator image
1.5 ton - 9 ton
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Kevin Forestell headshot
Kevin Forestell
Kevin Forestell is CEO of DOZR and one of the co-founders. Kevin first got started as an entrepreneur when he founded Forestell Landscaping right after graduating from University. His love and passion for the industry and desire to help solve an equipment problem that contractors faced every day is what brought the founding team to start DOZR. Kevin is proud of the level of efficiency brought to the industry through DOZR and hopes that DOZR will help change the standard way equipment is rented.
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