How to Rent With a Competitive Edge

Sept. 28, 2010

Skid-steer loaders.
Skid-steer loaders are popular rental machines because of their versatility in the field.
Skid-steer loaders are popular rental machines because of their versatility in the field. Numerous attachments can turn a skid-steer into the perfect machine for the job at hand.
Rental stores account for some of the largest equipment fleets, and their products are available to everyone.
ARA Touts April As National Rental Month

The American Rental Association (ARA) implemented National Rental Month in April 2000. While the program aims to increase consumer awareness of the advantages of renting, its success ultimately will be determined at the local level, ARA says.

"The ARA has developed a number of exciting, time-tested tools, including radio ads, point-of-sale posters, and articles in selected trade publications to promote the rental industry," says Terry Hagy, chair of ARA's Advertising and Marketing Committee. "Members who extend the campaign with local marketing efforts will reap the most benefit from the promotion."

For more information about National Rental Month and other services ARA and its members have to offer, please visit its website or log into to find a number of rental stores in your area.

Winning a competitive bid on a major construction project often starts with a competitive approach to fleet management. Increasingly, contracts are won by companies that minimize depreciation, maintenance, storage, and transportation costs by renting equipment.

Serving nearly 7,000 rental businesses nationwide, the American Rental Association offers the most comprehensive locator service for rental equipment. By logging on to, fleet managers can locate ARA member professionals near every jobsite. And they can search for specific kinds of equipment in communities where they are bidding for work.

During National Rental Month in April, the ARA encourages companies to get to know their local rental professionals. Not only are they great sources for equipment, they also are knowledgeable partners who can help customers manage their equipment fleets strategically and profitably. Following are examples of ways partnering with ARA members is "the smart way to get things done."

  1. Pay only for what you use
    Few construction firms would allow their workers to sit idle for days at a time, so why tolerate idle equipment? Unless equipment is used 80 to 90 percent of the time, it likely is more cost effective to rent it. By renting equipment, the fleet supervisor pays only for the time the equipment is used.
  2. Compete for more jobs
    Renting enhances construction firms' ability to compete for contracts out-side their community. Superintendents can order the equipment at the remote location, avoiding the expense of finding storage space or transporting equipment long distances to the jobsite.
  3. Reduce storage requirements
    A large, new machine shed may look impressive, but what does it add to your bottom line and how much do you have to add to your bid to recoup the investment? Renting equipment allows companies to minimize their investment in storage facilities because the equipment can stay in the rental yard when it's not in use.
  4. Less downtime
    The purchase price of new equipment represents only part of a construction firm's investment. The equipment also will need routine maintenance and, in all probability, will break down from time to time. With rented equipment, routine maintenance and most major repairs are typically performed by the rental center. And if a piece of equipment breaks down, an ARA-member professional typically can get another machine to the jobsite in a matter of a few hours, helping their customers meet deadlines.
  5. Operator training assistance
    Rented equipment comes with instructions on how to use it efficiently and safely. ARA member professionals work closely with equipment manufacturers to learn the features of their rental equipment and how to ensure operators use the equipment properly and profitably. It's knowledge that ARA members share with their customers every time a piece of equipment leaves their yard.
  6. Obsolescence becomes obsolete
    There's no escaping the fact that every piece of equipment a company buys is headed for obsolescence. ARA members place a high priority on keeping their rental fleets up to date with the latest, most popular machinery to serve their construction-industry customers.
  7. Affordable insurance
    Using rented equipment is a sound risk-management strategy. It offers a cost-effective alternative to expensive insurance coverage for purchased equipment. The bulk of the insurance coverage is provided by the rental center.
  8. Improved productivity
    Renting gives construction firms the opportunity to use newer, more reliable equipment on the job, or equipment better suited to handle the terrain or weather conditions at a specific jobsite. This gives the customer the advantage of using equipment that can accomplish more per day, is less susceptible to break down and helps employees be more productive.

This article was contributed by the American Rental Association. For more information on how each of these strategies can work for your construction firm, find the ARA professionals near you by visiting