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Renting vs. buying your construction equipment is one of the most heavily contested debates in the construction industry. Construction equipment is essential for completing a project, but whether to use your own or another company’s is questionable. Here we’ll break down how to know whether to rent or buy construction equipment so that project managers know the best choice for their team. They should consider the costs, contract, and available labor before deciding.

Your Budget

The most important aspect of buying versus renting construction equipment is cost. Construction equipment is expensive. Aside from the initial purchasing cost, there are maintenance, labor, repair, and fuel costs to consider. When in the market for a piece of construction equipment, consider whether these costs are worth it or are too much. The best way to do this is to analyze your budget. For example, you can buy a crane or other equipment if there is enough money in your budget to do so. Still, since you’re likely to only use these pieces of equipment once or infrequently, saving money is one of the main benefits of renting crane services.

Project or Contact Length

Additionally, the length of the project or contract is another important factor to consider. This correlates to the cost of the equipment. Long projects are going to require longer machine use, which will cost more money. In this case, it’s best to purchase your heavy equipment. Also, the more you use a piece of equipment, the higher return on investment you’ll see. Yet, with renting there is a lower initial investment and a wider range of available equipment. Not to mention, the latest equipment is usually offered. This way, you know you’re using the best machinery without dealing with maintenance and upkeep.

Type of Equipment

It’s worth considering what type of equipment you’ll need before making this decision. This all depends on your fleet management. Multipurpose tools, such as drills, diggers, or backhoes, are better to purchase since they’re likely to be used often. Larger or more unique pieces of equipment, such as cranes or riggers, are not used as much and require more proficiency. These machines can be harder to maintain in a fleet services department, making them better for renting.

Labor Availability

The last thing to consider is the labor availability. Teams with skilled operators should own the machines they use. Operator training is crucial for workplace safety and job efficiency, so teams using bought equipment must know how to use it. On the other hand, some small teams do not have skilled operators for every piece of construction equipment. Most rental companies ensure their own professional operators use the machines. This keeps workers safe regarding specific equipment.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.