Equipment fleet decisions can be complex challenges for contractors. To help ease the equipment acquisition process, the American Rental Association (ARA) has outlined five factors contractors should consider before making fleet decisions.

Capital Investment and Cost of Ownership

Capital spent on equipment financing and interest can often be better utilized. Avoiding the capital outlay by renting allows funds to remain liquid and lowers overhead costs. It also lessens the burden of insurance premiums and reduces warranty issues.

Contractors expanding their fleets with rental receive high-quality equipment without unnecessary short-term investment and long-term cost of ownership.


Depending on the type, age, and condition of the equipment being serviced, maintenance costs can be a significant part of contractors’ balance sheets. Renting eliminates the need for additional staff members who are trained in increasingly complex equipment maintenance.

In addition, with rental there is no need for spare parts inventory, freeing up more time and budget.


Often times, additional fleet inventory requires additional investment in storage. If contractors own equipment, it is their responsibility to make sure it gets from storage to the job site. Those logistics costs can really add up.

When working with a rental store, such logistics costs are typically incorporated into the rental rate. Rental businesses also have staff members trained in loading, securing and safe transport of all types of equipment.


Equipment rental provides contractors with the ability to adapt their fleet on an “as needed” basis. Rental businesses have equipment with the latest technology and safety features, while also offering around-the-clock service to keep contractors’ jobs on track.

When equipment is purchased, it’s likely that contractors will “make do” with what’s readily available to them, whether or not it is right for the job. Taking this risk increases the chance for delays and the possibility of something going wrong on the job site.

Professional Assistance

Rental professionals are outstanding resources for contractors. They have the knowledge and experience to make recommendations on the best equipment for the job, and can provide pricing information during the bid process to help define overall costs.

When making the rent versus buy decision, contractors should consider the expected time utilization of the equipment. If it will be used infrequently or if it is a specialty piece of equipment, then rental is the more cost-effective solution.

For more information, or to find a nearby rental store, visit

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