Equipment

Roadmap for Renting Off-Road Equipment

October 2013, Government Fleet - Feature

by Shelley Mika - Also by this author

At a Glance:

Some benefits of renting equipment include:

  • Reduced capital replacement costs
  • Reduced maintenance costs
  • No regulatory burden
  • May allow for equipment rightsizing
  • Maintain high utilization for equipment fleet
  • Can perform specialized work without the capital investment in equipment

At the City of Glendale, Calif., Fleet Manager Karl Vogeley said equipment rentals have helped the City fleet eliminate underutilized equipment. Pictured are some of the City’s off-road assets. Photo courtesy of City of Glendale.
At the City of Glendale, Calif., Fleet Manager Karl Vogeley said equipment rentals have helped the City fleet eliminate underutilized equipment. Pictured are some of the City’s off-road assets. Photo courtesy of City of Glendale.

A forklift at a remote facility in Glendale, Calif., is used every three months to perform an outdoor maintenance procedure. Every other day of the year, it sits idle.

After a while, the forklift is in poor shape — and it’s no longer compliant with district air quality rules. So the City of Glendale is faced with a decision: invest in a new forklift that would continue to only be used every three months or rent one out.

For Karl Vogeley, City of Glendale fleet manager, the choice was an easy one: rent instead of buy. “Rather than purchase a replacement for this forklift that will still only be used every three months, we identified a vendor that will deliver a rental forklift to the facility and pick it up again when the work is finished,” he said. “What a simple solution to our dilemma!”

When done correctly, renting off-road equipment can keep utilization rates up, while also reducing capital expenditures on equipment that is rarely used. When fleets make strategic choices about what to rent, when to rent it, who to rent it from, leveraging rentals can make for a wise investment.

Many Reasons to Rent

Many fleets — such as the City of Glendale — rent equipment that is used infrequently. But that’s not the only reason to rent.

In addition to the forklift, Vogeley rents cement mixers and skid-steer loaders. The City also has the option to rent several types of equipment on a 24-hour basis from local contractor supply rental yards. This equipment includes earth-moving equipment, generators, compressors, backhoes, and skid-steer loaders, all of which can help supplement the City’s typical jobs.

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