As Chuck Porter with Thawzall says, “The more people use this technology, the more ideas they come up with to use it in other ways.”
In addition to ground thawing and concrete curing, hydronic heaters are being used in pipeline maintenance, heating temporary structures and environmental applications, such as removing hydrocarbons from soil. (Read about some unique heater applications.)
The initial investment for these machines is not cheap. Depending on the size and accessories, they can run from the $20,000 to over $60,000. Of course, rental rates are not on the light side either.
“Rental rates are pretty decent for these machines considering there’s only a four- to five-month window each year to rent them out,” says Cannella. “Rental businesses can expect to get -- depending on the size of the machine and accessories -- between $5,000 and $9,000 a month.”
In addition to the sticker price of the equipment, you should take a close look at your market before purchasing hydronic heaters for your rental inventory. Here are some items to consider:
- How long isyour winter season?
- How deep does the ground freeze?
- Do other rental centers in the market rent hydronic heaters? If so, how price sensitive is the market? If not, are you willing to pioneer a new product in the market?
- What are your service capabilities? Does the manufacturer offer training for your sales and service people?
- Do you rent equipment used to prepare for concrete placement?
- Would including a cold-weather product in your inventory add value and bring in extra revenue for your business during this quarter of the year?