When choosing whether to buy or rent surface preparation equipment, what are the factors that business leaders need to consider?
Assess your long-term needs
The project timescale can help construction managers decide whether they want to rent or buy their machine. You should buy the machine if you expect to use it for at least 60 to 70 per cent of the time it takes to complete the project, otherwise you should consider leasing or renting it. However, simple as it is, this calculation offers only a partial picture.
If you decide to buy your equipment, you will also need to consider factors such as:
- depreciation of the machine over time
- maintenance costs and the demands that surface preparation will place on your chosen machine and whether these will impact the expected length of its operational life.
Working directly with the OEM can help shed light on these issues.
Flexibility is an added bonus
You will also have to consider how versatile the machine is. If it can be used on a variety of applications, there are more chances that buying might be the best option. For example, some ride-on scrapers are powerful enough for large commercial surfaces, but also quiet and compact enough to accommodate smaller residential jobs. Since these are versatile machines that can be used on a variety of jobs, buying can be a convenient option.
Bulkier machines can be great for big applications such as airports or ship decks but might not be suited for residential applications, since they could be too big to fit into elevators and too noisy to be used in proximity to other residential areas. In this case, buying makes sense only if you expect to work on multiple larger jobs, or if a single job will give you enough return on investment to justify the purchase.
Also, consider how different applications will dictate your machine and tool choice. If you remove soft coverings only a couple of times a year, it’s not a good idea to buy a machine that only removes soft goods such as vinyl and linoleum. On the contrary, if you mostly work on concrete flooring for commercial applications, a robust concrete grinder and polisher might be a good investment.
On the other hand, renting gives you access to the latest machines. These will probably complete the job faster, making you more competitive when bidding on a construction project. Also, renting allows you to tailor your machine choice to the desired finished result for each job. Buying equipment does not provide the same flexibility, as you’ll be stuck with your existing range of machinery and will have to figure out ways of making it work for every job.
Factor in other costs
For heavy equipment, lower interest rates and tax incentives are making purchasing options attractive to many contractors. However, regulations change swiftly and may vary greatly from one country, or one state, to another, so consulting a specialised accountant to know more about your purchasing options is always a good idea.
Additionally, when renting equipment, you don’t have to worry about maintenance and storage costs. Instead, you can choose to invest these resources in other areas, for example to provide adequate training to your employees on how to use the equipment safely and efficiently. National Flooring Equipment provides bespoke training sessions, as well as a comprehensive online training library that can be accessed at all times.
Another cost that contractors often forget to account for is transport. For example, if you successfully bid on a job that is 300 miles away from where your company is based, you should consider the expenses of transporting your equipment, as well as any potential permits you may need to apply for. Partnering with a local renting house could be simpler and more convenient in this case.