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2019 Trends in Rental Equipment Buying, Technology & Training

Elizabeth Manning
Managing Editor
Construction Business Owner

Rachel Fulford
Associate Editor
Construction Business Owner

Access 101

2019 Trends in Rental Equipment Buying, Technology & Training

Expert Q&A - Aug 19

What are the benefits to buying new, certified pre-owned and used equipment? What are the reasons you'd choose one over the others?

Construction equipment purchasing decisions truly depend on the construction company itself and its specific needs for upcoming projects and strategies for growth. However, there are some basic rules of thumb to consider. New pieces of equipment are in top shape and have the promise of a warranty and long life ahead. They can be fitted with new and/or a variety of attachments and used for jobs, such as lifting, site prep, compacting, digging, breaking, snow pushing, etc. when normal construction is low. Then, you’ve turned the machine into a source of profit throughout the year to offset the cost of buying new.

Of course, buying used equipment is cheaper than buying brand new, but you will likely have to bid in a competitive market, especially in the industry’s current climate. Certified pre-owned equipment, while more expensive than used, is often covered by warranty and is checked by the manufacturer, who ensures that the machine is in top operating shape. This process removes the fear of buying a “lemon” by making the buying process more transparent. The overhead expenses associated with buying equipment—whether new, used or certified pre-owned—coupled with maintenance and service costs, make rental equipment an attractive option for some business owners.

What are some of the trends you're seeing in rental fleets in 2019?

Market reports predict continued growth in commercial and residential infrastructure through 2024. As such, the demand for rental equipment is only expected to increase as more construction companies are looking to alternative methods of obtaining necessary job site equipment. With the economy indicating signs of a slight recession in the next year or so, business owners will also look to rental equipment as a “safer” option for sourcing equipment than investing more money in assets they may not need if the economy takes a downturn.

The major players in the rental space understand that in the current competitive industry, they must automate. As such, they’re procuring equipment with the latest technologies, such as IoT and scalable telematics. An increase in federal projects and projects taking place in urban areas where tight spaces, noise restrictions and more may add complications to the project’s scope have predicated the need for equipment with tech that simplifies operations. These technologies include optimized operator interfaces with machine diagnostics and smaller versions of job site equipment with reduced tail-swing radius.

How has equipment training at rental businesses evolved over the past year?

These same major players recognize that simply providing equipment with the newest technology is not enough. Additionally, they’re offering certified training and online courses for operators to learns the ins and outs of these technologies, as well as how to remain safe while operating the machines. Simulated training for heavy equipment in increasingly becoming commonplace as a safe and budget-friendly way to train new operators.


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