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The construction industry is one of the largest in the world. With approximately 7.8 million production workers in the U.S. construction industry alone, there's a lot of construction equipment out there. But sometimes buying brand new isn't the most cost-effective option for business owners.

Renting can be a better option, but when you're renting used construction equipment, there are certain precautions you need to consider. To ensure you get the most from your rental, here are a few questions you should be asking before you take a piece of heavy equipment off the rental lot.


What is your response time if the equipment breaks down?

This might seem like an obvious inquiry, but better safe than sorry and many forget to ask. Functionality of your heavy equipment rental is critical to ensure your project remains on schedule.  Knowing when their maintenance team will be onsite if something goes wrong will help to ease the stress on you and your team.  Another important question ask is how deep is rental fleet in case another piece of machinery needs to be delivered if the current rental cannot be repaired.  Even the most reliable rental can break down, make sure you’re aware of what to expect when it does.

Are there any additional fees?

When evaluating construction equipment rentals make sure to ask about how the fees broken out.  Typically, there is a daily, weekly or monthly base rate for the equipment.  But there are other questions you should be asking too.  Before you rent make sure to ask about the following add-ons: Delivery and pick up fees, environmental related fees, insurance or equipment protection programs, and fuel.  When deciding which rental supplier to go with, be sure to get confirmation of the full out-the-door price.

Will repairs be covered?

There can be some grey areas in some cases.  Make sure to specifically ask what is and isn’t covered.  Construction equipment is built to last and handle rough terrain.  However, overuse or neglect on your part might void standard repairs or a warranty.  Let the rental company know about the project to help avoid additional cost when it comes to repairs, and to make sure the right piece of equipment is rented. It's important to know whether you're responsible for damages that might occur while the machinery is in your possession. Again, the more questions you think of the better off you’ll be if something goes wrong in the field.

When was maintenance last performed?

We’ve discussed maintenance in previous posts and continue to do so because it is so important. If you want to avoid downtime, then you should check up on the equipment's maintenance schedule.  If maintenance hasn't been performed in a while, then you may want to look at another machine or request that maintenance is performed before you take the machinery.  We’ve seen all too often when a machine is not maintained correctly breakdowns occur that leads to unnecessary downtime. 

Asking these questions could mean the difference between a successful project and a making sure you stay on budget.

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