On the surface, renting diamond blades is a hugely profitable and simple proposition - what rental item has more ROI potential and requires less maintenance? Despite these advantages, blade rentals need to be taken seriously because if handled incorrectly, they can result in lost revenue, dissatisfied customers and even personal injury. The best way to avoid negative blade rentals is to ensure your staff is well trained on proper blade selection and is able to effectively communicate that knowledge to your customers.
“The counter person should be able to explain to the customer the proper technique for using the blade with the material the customer plans to cut,” notes Brian Delahaut with MK Diamond Products. “This explanation should include how much water to use when using the blade wet, how to dry cut when using the blade with a high-speed saw, and how to effectively use step cutting to improve cutting performance.”
Often, however, inexperienced counter employees assist rental customers with blade selection. The biggest mistake that employee can make is not asking what application the blade will be used for, and whether the customer has experience with using a diamond blade.
According to Kyle Thuenemann with Prime Source, using a diamond blade for an application it’s not designed for can result in damage to the blade, damage to the saw and worse, serious injury to the operator and/or anyone nearby.
Thankfully, the worst case scenario is not the most common one. Renting a blade for the wrong application most often results in poor performance and a dissatisfied customer. “If given the wrong blade, the customer will find that it is either slow cutting or wears out exceptionally fast,” Delahaut says. “Proper blade specifying at the time of rental will ensure a satisfied customer, higher profit margins and improved safety during the rental.”
Guard against disaster
To protect customers from harm and their businesses from loss, rental companies should have a focused and directed program which starts the moment the blade comes out of the box, says Delahaut. “Each blade needs to be labeled or marked with the proper application. Inspection procedures have to be in place every time a blade goes out and comes in from rental. If a blade shows any signs of fatigue it should not be rented, even if it has segment life remaining. If the proper inspection procedures are in place, the rental yard can assess if the blade was damaged as a result of customer abuse or the wrong blade for the application.”
You might be wondering about your business’ liability if a customer misuses a blade and becomes injured in the process. According to Delahaut, this really depends on if the failure was a result of a manufacturing defect or if it was rented improperly.
“This is why rental records are so critical in any kind of injury to document the type of blade, the application and number of rentals,” he says. “Rental yards should put the intended application on the rental document at the time of the rental. I think having a digital picture of the condition of the blade at the time of rental would be a good means of protecting both the manufacturer and the rental yard if an injury occurred from use.”
Delahaut adds that it’s always important for rental businesses to ask the blade manufacturer to name them as an additional insured and to understand if the manufacturer has insurance that is Claims Made or Per Occurrence. Claims Made insurance coverage will respond to incidents arising on or after the policy retroactive date and which are reported during the term of the policy. Per Occurrence insurance coverage will respond to incidents arising from the coverage period, regardless of when those claims are reported.