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Rented Compact Track Loader on a Jobsite
Rented Compact Track Loader on a Jobsite
Rent or Buy? New or Used? How to Choose the Right Compact Track Loader
10 minute read
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Tim Forestell
May 11, 2023

New vs Used vs Rented Compact Track Loader

Whether you call them compact track loaders, Bobcats, or CTLs, they're an essential piece of machinery on any jobsite. Deciphering if you should buy new, buy used, or rent can be a challenge. Especially when there are so many key factors, including project requirements, budgeting, and equipment availability that can affect your decision. This guide will help you make the choice that's right for both your jobsite and your company.

Renting a Compact Track Loader

Advantages of Renting

One of the biggest advantages that comes from renting is the ability to be flexible with the equipment you use. Renting a compact track loader gives you more flexibility when choosing the right one for the job. Owning a CTL with a specific rated operating capacity (ROC) limits its versatility across different jobsites. Having the flexibility to choose a compact track loader with the specs that best fit the job, enables you to maximize efficiency and production.

Renting from a marketplace provides you with a variety of different brands, models, attachments, and overall performance capabilities to choose from. Having a diverse set of options in equipment allows you to choose one that will best fit your project's needs.

You wont always need the strongest compact track loader for the job. Sometimes you'll need a machine that fits in more narrow locations and jobs. Renting allows you to be flexible and react to the project in front of you.

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The best-known advantage of renting a compact track loader is that there are no long-term commitments and maintenance costs. Renting equipment helps to reduce costs. You only pay for the equipment while you use it, instead of having to finance it.

Typical maintenance activities can range in price and frequency. There are simple oil changes and daily maintenance checks as well as track derailment which can cost upwards of $600. This isn't even adding in other unexpected repairs that could set you back financially and on timing.

Renting a compact track loader has an unexpected benefit. You can deduct your entire lease payments for the year on your taxes. However, your tax deductions are dependent on your location (among many other factors), so we strongly recommend getting in touch with a professional when considering financing machinery.

When Renting Makes Sense

It is possible to rent a compact track loader for any project or jobsite. However, it is important to consider when renting is more suitable than buying a new or used compact track loader. Renting is the best option if you are working on a short-term project, as you won't be using a compact track loader frequently. Flexibility is important when working on short-term projects.

It eliminates the need for long-term commitments, giving you more money to work with. And when owning, you'll be required to keep up with your compact track loader maintenance, as well as storage and hauling costs.

Renting can be a fantastic tool in long-term projects when deciding on which model will work best for your projects. Due to the versatility of attachments, it's proven beneficial to explore rental options through marketplaces like DOZR. Testing out different compact track loaders yourself allows you to compare and contrast what is most important to you.

While some factors won't play a role in your decision to rent a piece of machinery, they may be a factor in purchasing. That's why it's important to get a feel for each machine model before making a decision. Something renting can help you do. First-hand experience can be the best when investing in long-term company assets.

Lastly, renting remains optimal when you are searching for a specific attachment, especially when it's an attachment or feature you won't use frequently. It is not practical to buy specialized items for one-time use. The cost of such attachments can be very expensive, ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Buying a Compact Track Loader

Advantages of Buying

Buying a compact track loader and other construction equipment comes with an anticipated advantage: long-term cost savings. Due to CTLs being one of the most popular and versatile pieces of heavy equipment in the industry, there is use for them on most job sites and buying can help you save money in the long run.

Asset ownership of equipment remains an advantage when deciding if buying a CTL is the right choice for you. Owning key equipment you use often can help you save money and time. You won't need to rely on third parties as much, allowing you to focus on the job at hand. Especially if utilizing the equipment to its full potential, ownership can be a better option than renting.

There is also significant value in the potential resale value of compact truck loaders. Once the equipment is no longer serving your needs, you can recoup some of the costs of purchasing. Keep in mind that the average life span is around 5.3 years and the price of used compact track loaders has generally increased since 2021. Although depreciation might not be your friend when calculating the full resale value, if you've kept your machine in good condition you'll be set up for success.

Equipment deductions are an important factor to consider when buying a compact track loader or any other heavy equipment. It should be taken into account after considering all the advantages. It is possible to deduct 100% of your purchase price for eligible equipment, up to $1,160,000. This depends on your location and the way your compact track loader has been used and maintained.

It is important to be aware that not all equipment is eligible for the flexible deductible. We recommend consulting a professional when completing a cost comparison.

When Buying Makes Sense

One of the most important and challenging decisions you make for your company is when to buy or rent equipment. This will provide a brief overview of when it makes more sense to buy a compact track loader rather than rent it.

If you frequently find yourself in need of compact track loaders or will be using them on a consistent basis long-term, then it may be time to buy one. Having the freedom to use equipment without any limits or external regulations from third-party companies can be beneficial. It can save you time and money in the long run. By owning your equipment, you're able to have full utilization of it on your jobsite, without delays due to delivery or inventory.

Buying equipment is more costly. However, it enables optimization and customization on your job site.

Not all rental services can provide this. Having specific needs or desires for a custom setup and model can be impractical when renting from a company due to the specificity of the job. Thus, being able to customize your equipment to best fit your job can be a big advantage in buying equipment.

New vs. Used Compact Track Loader

Advantages of New Equipment

The construction industry is moving so quickly now and having access to choose from the latest technology can provide you with the advantage of simplification, efficiency, and productivity. There are also different components and features that may be more important than others.

Cab space can be a significant factor for you. It is important because you will be spending a lot of time in the cab.

Consider your experience with operating compact track loaders. You may value the ability to switch between H-pattern and ISO-pattern joystick controls, depending on your preference. Consciously choosing compact track loaders with the latest features that will benefit you and your jobsite will improve efficiency and productivity long-term.

Manufacturer warranty and support are another set of advantages over buying used equipment. Each company has a different set of warranty guidelines with the majority of companies allowing buyers to choose the warranty which will best suit their needs for the machine. These most often include a standard warranty and an extended warranty.

An extended warranty for your compact track loader will be an additional cost. The cost will depend on the features you need. A standard warranty, however, is usually free.

Manufacturers are willing to cover costs if an issue develops. This includes repairs, labor, and replacements. It is essential, however, that owners follow the instructions for maintaining the machinery. If you fail to follow the recommendations for maintenance, overuse the equipment, or use the equipment for jobs outside its original purpose then the dealer has grounds to deny your claim.

Another one of the biggest advantages of buying equipment new is the lack of repairs needed. It is recommended to have a third-party check when buying a used piece of equipment.

This ensures that the item is in working condition, regardless of its quality. And, sooner or later, it will require repairs or replacements due to it being worn down and the time spent using it. Having new equipment allows you to focus on the job at hand.

Additionally, one key aspect of buying new equipment is being able to sell it in the future as used equipment. The resale value of your compact track loader is not something that should be overlooked, although you'll need to ensure you take the proper steps to maintain your equipment it will pay off.

Keeping your machinery in good condition keeps it useful to you in the short term and increases the chances of resale in the long term. On average there is potential for you to recover 40-60 percent of its cost through its resale value, as long as it remains in good condition.

Advantages of Used Equipment

Depreciation can be a great help when working on a tight budget. It reduces the initial cost of equipment, so you can purchase the compact track loader you need. The price you pay will depend on standard factors such as usage hours and age.

Other factors related to your jobsite may also influence the cost. These include the size and power capabilities of your compact track loader. On average, it's possible to limit your spending to 40-60 percent of their retail price.

When buying used you can stay confident in your compact track loader having a lower initial cost compared to buying new. Saving money in the initial purchase can mean a lot of different things for your equipment, including opening doors for potential refurbishing and upgrades.

Saving money to customize your compact track loader may help you save time and money on the jobsite. Some of the most popular upgrades to used compact track loaders include high-flow hydraulics from a standard-flow auxiliary circuit, enclosed cab heating and air conditioning, and two-speed travel.

Finding a well-maintained compact track loader that meets your specifications can be difficult. However, it is never impossible as new studies have developed a formula when trying to predict the maintenance costs of heavy lifting equipment.

The methods used include the Mitchell Curve and Period Cost Based (PCB), which all help in creating estimates that accurately reflect operating conditions, maintenance, and potential repairs. Understand the various compact track loaders available. This knowledge will help you identify the one that meets your requirements.

Factors to Consider in Your Decision

Project Requirements

Duration and frequency of use are both factors that will impact your choice in buying or renting a CTL. Whether buying or renting will be the right choice for you will depend on the frequency you'll be needing the equipment.

Renting compact track loaders may not be able to accommodate your specific needs if you use them on multiple projects. Buying might be the better choice for you in this case. Renting may be better if you use compact track loaders less often or occasionally. Additionally, renting is a good option if you need different sizes.

The power of your compact track loader needs will also influence which route is best for you. There are several different power options that also impact machine width, lift height, and overall performance. Picking one that fits the dimensions and needs of your project is important which is why we created a compact track loader spec guide to help you make an informed decision.

Budget & Financing

Purchasing and renting have stark differences when financing equipment. Purchasing equipment can be expensive, since you have to pay for it up front. In contrast, when you rent equipment, you only pay for as long as you use it.

When purchasing equipment, you are able to get some tax benefits, depending on your area. When renting through a marketplace, such as DOZR, you're able to compare and contrast brands, models, features, and prices in one place.

There are many potential maintenance and operating costs to consider when owning a CTL. Some of the costs to consider include general repairs, preventative maintenance, and condition-based maintenance. Some general can be random and annoying, potentially delaying production and increasing downtime; these include engine issues, hydraulic issues, and control issues.

Preventative maintenance is proactive and predetermined and should be scheduled regularly depending on the brand and model of the CTL. Lastly, condition-based maintenance is a more common issue found in used equipment rather than new equipment. Condition-based maintenance can be generally avoided through performing daily checks, consistent fluid sampling, and other CTL-specific maintenance. When renting a CTL, maintenance and repairs are the responsibility of the rental company, leaving you free to focus on the project at hand.

Knowing a CTL's potential return on investment (ROI) and its resale value are both essential when making the decisions of financing the purchase of a new or used piece of equipment or renting. It is essential to compare the average going price of track loaders in your area. Sources of comparison include auctions, websites and other used equipment locations. This will help you gauge the potential resale value of your equipment and make more informed financial considerations.

Equipment Availability & Option

The price of purchasing and renting compact track loaders can fluctuate depending on a variety of factors discussed above. Unless you are using an online marketplace, like DOZR, it might be a challenge to accurately compare and contrast the price of rental equipment in your area. We work to help you find the best piece of equipment for you. We allow you to browse different models, compare specs, and see transparent prices within your area.

There are different methods to assess the quality and condition of compact track loaders on the market, whether you're buying or renting. Check the horsepower and hours, hydraulic couplers, and general wear and tear before buying a machine. These are key features to consider.

Doing an equipment walkaround to check these points helps to ensure that the owner before you properly serviced the equipment. It can also be best to get a third party's perspective.

When renting, ensure that you're choosing a company that provides good customer service and prioritizes repairs and maintenance of their equipment.

What to do now

Deciding whether to buy new, used, or rent a compact track loader can be overwhelming. You must consider factors like project needs, financial planning, and the availability of the equipment.

We hope this guide has been helpful in getting you started in your equipment journey. If you need help getting started, feel free to explore the DOZR Marketplace for compact track loader rentals.

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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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