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Five Ways to Reduce Your Rental Costs This Winter

Every winter, construction companies across Canada grapple with the unknown costs of heating their construction sites. How cold will it get? What kind of heater will work best on my site? What fuel will I have available at site? No one can accurately forecast what Mr. Winter will bring us not even the Farmers Almanac or the weatherman. So what do you do when renting equipment to save money when so many things are uncertain and unpredictable? Here are five tips:

  1. Ensure the rental company has the knowledge and expertise to understand what your needs. Only through many years of experience can they accurately recommend the type of heater you need. Many times rental companies will advertise they have a selection of heaters but have no idea what the best applications are for these heaters to work effectively. Question them on how many rentals they've done successfully and get testimonials that you can call directly. The expertise can literally save you thousands.
  2. Ask about getting a full package deal that includes your everything - your equipment, fuel, fuel delivery and set up. This will save you not only extra cost but extra labour on making extra arrangements and hauling material yourself. If your current rental company doesn't offer a full service package, then find one that does. 
  3. Ask about getting a long term rental. Most rental companies will give you a further break when you rent long term of 3 months or more. Getting a heater for a few weeks here and there throughout the winter will end up costing you more money in the end, plus the additional shipping charges to bring the equipment back and forth to your site.
  4. Ensure that you have thermostats on your heaters. This can save up to 50% on your  heating costs when you can turn down the heat at night when no one is around. Its not different than your home....most of us turn down the heat at night to save money and crawl under our warm covers instead. 
  5. Lastly, when you are done with your heaters and equipment, take them off rent! This may sound like a ridiculous comment, but many times companies aren't staying on top of their rentals and before you know it, the equipment is sitting on site not being used. Or better yet, ask your rental company for a weekly report that tells you what you have on rent. 

Renting heating equipment doesn't have to be rocket science! Here's hoping these five simple steps will help you save costs this winter and better yet, be a steward of our environment!

Shelley Henschel is the Group Marketing Manager for CERF Incorporated, a public company traded on the TSX under the symbol of CFL. Shelley has been in the rental equipment marketing industry for over 14 years. To contact Shelley, please email her at shenschel@cerfcorp.com.

7 Reasons Why Its Better to Rent than Buy Equipment

During my 11 years working in the rental industry, I have had many many people say they'd rather buy because its cheaper than renting. WRONG......and here's why.

  1. Maintenance - Equipment owned on a day-to-day basis includes full maintenance. The rental customer needs no repair shop, spare parts, mechanics, supply of inventory or maintenance records. Remember to add these costs into the cost of ownership when deciding to rent or buy.
  2. Breakdown - The cost of breakdown is not your problem when you rent equipment. It becomes the rental centre's problem in which they must find you a replacement at no cost to you. Time losses on breakdown  of owned equipment as well as cost of repair must be considered. 
  3. Warehousing - Warehousing facilities are seldom needed for rental equipment. This aspect has allowed contractors to operate successful construction businesses with little overhead and having rental centres serve as their warehouses. 
  4. Mobility - The main argument for owning equipment was the convenience and availability when you needed it. Now that argument is no longer applicable since rental centres are almost everywhere now.  For example, a contractor can bid on a job several hundred miles away knowing that he/she will be able to find the equipment they need at a rental centre near his jobsite. Also, the cost of moving equipment to a site across the country doesn't make financial sense due to high transportation costs. 
  5. Control of Inventory - Most often owned equipment does not get utilized as much as one would think. When you are renting equipment and an invoice comes to remind you every month, you're more apt to pay attention and only use equipment that you need. Owned equipment tends to be overlooked with less accountability for utilization. 
  6. The Right Equipment for the Job - It never fails....you buy a piece of equipment for a job and its perfect! The next job, its not quite what you thought you would need. So the equipment sits there and becomes obsolete. Rental centres have all kinds of equipment for different jobs. Only rent it when you need it!
  7. Getting Rid of Your Equipment - There comes a time when you need to get rid of your equipment. Doesn't sound like much of big deal, but it is! First you have prepare it for resale, then advertising it, showing it to potential buyers and if you're lucky, selling it in the timely manner. All these actions cost MONEY! Save your hard earned money by renting equipment.

Shelley Henschel, Marketing Manager
4-Way Equipment Rentals in Edmonton, Alberta