Choosing whether to buy or rent is not an easy decision to make. There are numerous variables to consider in order to compare the options available.
First of all, rental helps companies reduce their fixed costs and staff costs and minimises the financial risks associated with owning large fleets of equipment. The ERA Total Cost of Ownership Calculator is the ideal tool for making the right choice when using construction equipment.
Other than the financial benefits for companies of outsourcing their equipment needs to rental companies, there are tremendous operational benefits as well.
Owning and managing a fleet takes time and resources – companies need to maintain and replace equipment, deal with suppliers and ensure that certifications are up-to-date – but a rental company can take care of all of that, leaving companies free to focus on their core business.
Rental also means outsourcing risk and there are further operational benefits derived from the wide range of products that rental companies offer.
Put simply, renting allows a contractor or other company to concentrate on their core business without the costly and time-consuming responsibility of managing an equipment fleet.
Finally, rental also means that you are acting in a sustainable way. See our Sustainability page to see how rental can reduce the total carbon footprint of construction equipment, and how the rental industry contributes to sustainable development and works with sustainable supply chains. The ERA Equipment CO2 Calculator is the ideal tool for evaluating the environmental impact of construction equipment.
If you are interested in rental, you can choose from any of our member rental companies.
What can be rented?
The rental market goes well beyond construction machinery and equipment. In addition to the construction sector, the rental market today supplies a wide range of customers and industries, including gardening and landscaping, municipal and forestry services, the event industry and private clients.
A brief overview of the different categories of equipment that can be rented is detailed below.
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Construction machines & equipment
Construction machines on offer for rental range from small machines, such as mini-excavators and skid steer loaders, to heavy equipment, including hydraulic excavators and dumpers, which some rental companies offer with trained operators.
When contractors need specialised equipment that they do not hold in their own fleet, renting is often preferred. This can include equipment such as machines for road or railway construction and forestry or agricultural work.
Customers can also rent a wide range of commonly used construction equipment, such as compressors, pumps and compaction machines, or even small machines.
Power & temperature control
Rental companies offer a wide range of temporary power solutions, whether for site use, events, petrochemical applications, manufacturing needs, shutdowns or power failures.
The product range available includes generators, load banks, transformers and mobile fuel tanks. Various climate control solutions, such as heating and cooling systems and heat exchangers, as well as a variety of lighting systems, are also available.
Powered access, forklifts & telehandlers
Powered access is an important sector in the rental market. For different works at great height, for example for roof or hall construction, industrial cleaning or installation works, customers can choose from a wide range of working platforms or building construction lifts.
Furthermore, telehandlers can be rented for diverse transportation tasks on construction sites. The industrial and event sectors often demand efficient logistics, and a range of forklifts are available.
Modular & sanitary space
Modular space is an effective means of providing additional space on a customer’s site, for short-term as well as long-term projects. The containers can be combined to build site offices and accommodation, sanitary facilities or storage space.
In addition, a wide range of interior equipment or furnishings is available. Some rental companies offer special rental services for modular space, including preparing outlines and foundation plans, transport and installation services.
Safety is a critical issue on every construction site, especially when construction works are carried out along busy roads or on highways. Therefore, rental companies offer various professional solutions for traffic safety.
This is not limited to the provision and installation of beacons or traffic signs. As specific traffic safety regulations may apply depending on the country or region in which the construction site is located, traffic safety requires an enormous planning effort and the knowhow of well-trained professionals.
Thus, some rental companies have extended their rental services in this area and take care of the whole planning process, including obtaining official approval or preparing traffic regulation plans.
Smaller equipment and tools
Whether for woodwork, metalwork, construction or do-it-yourself projects, an extensive inventory of well-maintained smaller equipment and hand/power tools is available to tackle any job size or surface type.
Smaller equipment can range from portable generators, concrete mixers and fan heaters to LED stand lights, wallpaper stripper and floor sanders. Tools can include power drills, power saws, electric rotary hammers, rock splitters and breakers, and portable cut-off saws.
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Reasons to rent
Because the fleet is not used all the time
Renting helps to avoid the burden of excessive investment, maintenance and other costs. Renting provides you with the equipment when you need it and so is more efficient than purchasing and watching your assets depreciate in value while they are not in use, thus improving your balance sheet. Furthermore there are fiscal incentives in some European countries for renting too!
The right product when you need it
The equipment rental industry has the specific product for the specific job leading to efficiency gains. Equipment is regularly maintained and renting ensures a high quality and reliability of the product when on site.
You use it when you need it
Renting provides you and your business with flexibility allowing you to rent for the short, medium and long-term. Services include trained and experienced professionals using the correct machines for your situation and tasks. They are also able to undertake on-site repairs, further reducing your costs.
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Be safe, just rent it, avoid the risk
The industry is well regulated and controlled, providing you with peace of mind. Furthermore, the outsourcing of product responsibility and legal compliance costs means that your risk is minimised.
Save money and the environment
Rental minimises environmental loading, capitalises on increased resource utilisation efficiency and reduces investment by renting and sharing equipment with others instead of owning. You get permanent access to more modern eco-efficient equipment fleets and advice on reducing energy consumption during a project. Rental minimises equipment transportation through efficient, coordinated transports and local suppliers.