Construction Equipment Dealers See Double-Digit Growth in Rentals

Construction equipment dealers are optimistic that rental activity will remain strong, according to a survey recently conducted by GE Capital, Equipment Finance. In fact, they estimate that the rental segment of the industry will grow about 12 percent this year.

“Although rental activity was soft in the first quarter of the year due to bad weather in some regions, we’re seeing a lot of positive movement in the second quarter,” said Gary Kurp, rental national account manager at GE Capital, Equipment Finance. “It’s promising that 95 percent of survey respondents plan to buy equipment for their rental fleets this year, with purchasing activity peaking in the second quarter.”

The popularity of equipment rentals has increased as contractors and construction companies continue to be reluctant to commit to large purchases. Renting — rather than purchasing or leasing — allows them to access the latest machines without the large upfront payments. GE Capital has hosted a webinar about industry trends and the tactics successful rental houses are using to grow. Listen to the rebroadcast here.

Additional survey findings include:

  • 96 percent of respondents are optimistic that rentals will remain strong through the rest of the year.
  • 76 percent expect equipment utilization to grow while 24 percent expect it to stay the same this year.
  • 68 percent said the size of their rental fleets grew in the first quarter versus the prior year.

In March and April, GE Capital asked 50 of its dealers across the U.S. about their opinions on their own business’ rental activity, equipment purchases and utilization rates.

To see GE Capital’s latest Construction Industry Research Update, which provides the latest trends and recent developments, click here.

In January, GE Capital expanded its financing program for dealers, making it easier for them to purchase construction equipment for their rental fleets. Line-item financing — where equipment is purchased unit by unit — allows dealers more flexibility than traditional financing for a pool of equipment. To learn more about rental fleet financing from GE Capital, click here.

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