LET THERE BE LIGHT! Wait, you don’t have enough light towers? No worries: Head down to the rental yard and find an ideal tower for the job. Just be aware that the pricing structure for a fleet of lights can vary tremendously by region and by the job being performed, with options ranging from hourly, daily, weekly and monthly. An hourly rate likely will include a surcharge.
“Depending on the industry and where it is going, that cost will fluctuate,” says Heath Watton, SE Ohio regional manager at Southeastern Equipment Co. Inc., one of the top rental companies out there. “If it’s being sent to a factory, it would be a standard hourly rate. If it’s sent to an oil field, it is kept running around the clock, so there will be a surcharge.” Southeastern Equipment’s cost per day is $75, per week it’s $175 and monthly it’s $500.
Light towers are a fairly common piece of rental equipment, which means turnaround on an order shouldn’t be a problem with the proper timing. “Everyone rents them. They’re a dime a dozen. There are so many light towers available,” Watton says. “There should be no problem getting a light tower right away. Southeastern Equipment stocks about 100, so there is always availability.”
Two small caveats: A spur of the moment request could potentially be an issue if a large fleet is already out in the field. In that case, rentable options will still be available, they just may not meet all of the criteria you wanted, or you may have a longer transportation distance. Lastly, remember that demand does tend to spike in the fall and winter as the day gets shorter. “A lot can also be said for the renter having a good, solid business relationship that’s been established with the rental house prior to the need for equipment. That should make it easier to secure a light tower quickly by reserving it ahead of the needed date,” says Deree Bivins, product marketing manager with lighting systems at Doosan Portable Power.
Be sure to dig deeper into equipment maintenance and operation before putting down a deposit. Equipment that is easier to operate can significantly impact your project’s schedule and budget.
“Aside from checking the light towers’ capabilities, have at least three standby questions when selecting a piece of equipment: How easy is the equipment for my crew to operate? What type of maintenance does it require from me? What features will help save me money?” says Jim Siffring, product manager, generators, Atlas Copco. Watton adds: “Rent a light tower from a reputable dealership that carries the product. It’s imperative because they will run so much and need service regularly. Because they are such a low-dollar item, things can be overlooked. Every time a light tower is returned, light bulbs, hitches and tires are inspected. Based on the hours, fluid levels and filters are also checked. You need a light tower to serve a purpose, and it won’t be productive if it isn’t maintained.”