Table of Contents

Related Topics

You Bought It, Now What? 3 Ways to Transport Equipment After a Purchase

Increase Your Profits as a Landscaper with this Multipurpose Attachment

When to Rent: 10 Situations Right for Renting Equipment

When to Rent: 10 Situations Right for Renting Equipment

Heavy equipment rentals have exploded in popularity over the past few years, becoming more and more common on construction sites, factory floors, warehouses, and farms. But sometimes business owners and fleet managers are unsure if they should buy or rent machinery. To help decision makers know when to rent, Equipment Trader has outlined 10 situations right for renting equipment.

1. When You Can’t Afford to Buy

A big guiding factor in equipment acquisition is how much cash you have on-hand. Buying machinery requires a large down payment, plus the ongoing costs of maintaining, repairing, insuring, and storing the equipment. On the other hand, rentals are a more affordable, one-time cost, making them ideal for those who are tight on cash.

2. When You Won’t Need Equipment for Long

If you only need a piece of equipment for a day, a week, or even a few months, renting machinery is likely the better financial option. If you don’t know that you’ll use a piece of equipment after one job, then the full cost of purchasing and owning machinery is not likely to provide a profitable return on investment. Lots of equipment dealers will even offer discounts for longer rentals.

3. When You Won’t Need Equipment Frequently

Maybe you know that you’ll use a piece of machinery in the future, but those instances are few and far in-between. As a general rule of thumb, if you’re using equipment only 40% of workdays or fewer, it’s definitely something you should rent. If you’re using machinery 60% of the time or more, it’s best to own it. If you’re using equipment between 40 and 60% of workdays, you’ll need to consider other factors to make your decision.

4. When There’s a Breakdown or Emergency

Unfortunately, unexpected breakdowns are a fact of life, and deadlines don’t just go away when they happen. If a sudden breakdown occurs and you cannot wait for the time it takes to repair a piece of machinery — or if some other emergency comes up — renting equipment has you covered. A quick trip to your local rental store will quickly get you back to work and back on schedule.

5. When There’s an Unexpected Job Opportunity

If an unplanned job comes up, and you have a chance to make a solid profit, obviously you’ll want to take it. But what if the equipment you own is already committed to other work? When your machinery is stretched thin, rentals let you take on jobs that you’d have to otherwise have to turn down. Of course, if this is happening frequently, it’s likely time to buy additional equipment to keep up with demand (and to congratulate yourself on your thriving business!).

6. When You Want to Keep Things Simple

Renting machinery alleviates you and your business of many of the responsibilities of equipment ownership. With rentals, gone are your concerns about maintenance, offseason storage, licensing fees, property taxes, insurance, and record-keeping. By renting machinery, you simplify expenses, lower overhead costs, and give yourself greater peace of mind — and that’s worth something!

7. When You Want to Keep Your Options Open

Once you buy a piece of equipment, the possibilities for your work are limited by the machinery’s capabilities. Alternatively, rentals can consistently provide you with many more options, from various makes and models to all kinds of different attachments. No matter what kind of work you do or what kind of job comes up, you should always be able to rent a piece of equipment to get it done.

8. When You Want to Use the Newest Models

Every year, the equipment you own becomes more and more outdated. Sure, a veteran machine can still be reliable, but sometimes a specific task comes up that requires extra precision or unique capabilities. Dealers keep their rental fleets stocked with the newest models, and that gives you constant access to the most advanced machinery available. If your older equipment can’t complete a certain project, a new rental can get the job done. However, if your aging machinery is consistently falling short of your needs, it’s time to start making replacement purchases.

9. When You Want to Test-Drive Before Buying

Perhaps you’re considering buying one of those new equipment models, but don’t know if it’s really the right unit for you. Renting a new piece of machinery and seeing how it performs on your actual jobsite — doing the actual work you want it for — is the best test-drive possible, helping you make informed purchase decisions. Even if you decide to not purchase a model similar to the rented equipment, you’ve still been able to use it to make progress on your worksite.

10. When Transportation Costs Are Too High

If you’ve accepted a job that is far away from the current location of your machinery, you could be facing high transportation costs. For long-distance projects, it may be cheaper to find a local rental store that’s nearer to the worksite than transporting your heavy equipment over many miles.


Renting equipment is often the right choice when you find yourself in these types of situations. Luckily it’s easy to find both for-rent and for-sale equipment available nationwide on and on our sister site And we want to hear from you — are there any other circumstances that are right for renting equipment? Let us know in the comments below! 


Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Ethan Smith
Ethan Smith
is the Marketing Manager at Trader Interactive, overseeing marketing campaigns for ATV Trader, Boatline, Commercial Truck Trader, Cycle Trader, Equipment Trader, RV Trader, and more. Ethan believes in using accessible language to elevate conversations about industry topics relevant to marketplace buyers and sellers.

Other Resources

5 Tips for Renting During an Inventory Shortage

To help navigate the market demand, Equipment Trader has five tips for renting during an inventory shortage.

8 Tips for Renting a Skid Steer

If you’ve never rented heavy equipment, check out Equipment Trader’s eight tips for renting a skid steer.

10 Tips for Renting a Tractor

Renting a tractor gives you a chance to try out new equipment before buying. Here are Equipment Trader’s 10 tips for renting a tractor.

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *