How many of each type of concrete equipment should you stock? "Rental businesses should really have at least two of each size because the worst thing they can do is not have the product in inventory available to rent," says Rob Newell, domestic sales manager, Stone Construction Equipment. "Typically, if a contractor or even a DIYer is looking to rent equipment, they need it immediately. It isn't going to be something they can wait weeks or months for until the store gets it in stock.
"It's always a good idea to have a least one representative model in inventory in the showroom at all times," he continues. "This allows employees to show anyone who walks in what equipment they carry. If the showroom inventory is limited, it might indicate the available equipment for rent is as well."
Beyond the basics
"The basic list above can get the rental center operator started," says Lewis with Wacker Neuson. "As they build their concrete contractor customer base, they will be able to tailor their line to meet the needs of their customers. Having the right machines and accessories in stock can make or break the rental."
For example, with mixers, a professional masonry contractor is going to have different needs that your typical DIYer.
"A mason is going to prefer using a mortar mixer, whereas a contractor doing flat work or pouring foundations, deck supports, etc., would use a concrete mixer," says Newell with Stone. "A homeowner is going to need a smaller mixer, like a 2-cubic-foot unit."
If your rental business is just getting started in the concrete equipment business, sources say your should start out small and work your way up as your customer base dictates. If you've decided your market can support a "concrete specialty rental house," you'll need to target the large foundation and flat work contractors in the area, says Ben Wiese, product manager with Multiquip.
"This market segment will rent equipment when their equipment needs maintenance," he says. "The rental store's ability to react is paramount for these types of rentals."
Just as important as the type of equipment in stock is having an employee designated as a concrete specialist to answer questions and give training when necessary, says Wiese.
"This market segment will bring many rental opportunities," he says. "But it also brings the added need of large pour support and all the consumables this represents."
Whether you're just thinking about adding a small line of concrete equipment, or you're ready to jump to the next level and become a "concrete specialist," the best way to get the right mix of equipment is to talk to your customers to fulfill their needs.