Work with Your Rental Company to make sure it has the Equipment You Need

In an article that appears in the June issue of Equipment Today, Kim Berndston looks at both sides of the renting vs. owning attachments topic. Some of the questions explored include: Which attachments are commonly available through rental centers? and What are the advantages/disadvantages of renting rather than keeping them in fleet?

So after reading that article, weighing in your own experiences and factoring in other information, you've decided that you are going to rent a specific piece of equipment for an upcoming project or it is not in stock when you need it. The only problem is that your regular rental store doesn't carry that piece of equipment. Before giving up on that particular location, there a few things you can do to work with your local rental store. Because just as you try to meet your customers' needs, rental stores know they must meet their customers' needs to remain the first choice of contractors.

"If we don't have something a customer wants, the first thing we will do is call another rental store and try to re-rent the unit," says Tom Ward, Manager of ABC Rental in Catonsville, Maryland. "However, if the desired unit is out of our realm we'll try to point the customer in the right direction."

This appears to be how many rental stores operate, but with a little proactive effort and communication on behalf of the contractor, the chances of the rental store acquiring or carrying your needed equipment can increase.

In the case of ABC rental, Ward says the store uses a missed rental sheet. "If a customer requests something we don't carry and we get a number of those - or it could be just one and it fits our needs - we will go out and purchase that item."

The majority of purchasing of new equipment is done, according to Ward, in the late winter. More specifically, around the time of the ARA Rental Show. "Our busiest season is the spring, so it gives us time to gear up for that," says Ward.

Although the majority of money is spent and items are acquired during this time period, funds are still left to purchase equipment throughout the year. "If there is a pressing need for a piece of equipment or we're constantly out of one piece of equipment - depending on what it is - we would probably go out and purchase another one," explains Ward.

If a rental store does decide to acquire an item, the time it takes to arrive in the store may not be as long as anticipated. So expressing your needs could bring in the item within the timeframe of when you would need it. "It really depends on the item if we have to purchase it," says Ward. "But for the most part, if they give us a week, that's more than enough time."

Meeting your needs
Not only is it important for rental stores to know that you need something, you need to communicate how equipment fit your needs. "When we do get new equipment it is important to give your feedback on that equipment and how it worked for your use," says Ward. "When returning the unit, share your insights about the machine by telling how it worked and performed."

When it comes to rental stores, customer needs are the first thing considered when making decisions. By communicating with your rental store, you'll increase the chances that your needs will be met more often than not.

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