Heavy Equipment Guide Logo

How to get the right rental equipment to your jobsite

0163/40569_en_06d94_43168_united-rentals-jcb-header.jpg

As construction and roadbuilding companies know, renting equipment is a small but pivotal part of any project. If a vital piece of equipment is not available, that can result in idle workers, and a project falling behind schedule and going beyond budget.

Working with mixed fleets of owned and rented equipment is how most companies do business. When renting, contractors pay only for the equipment they need, at the time they need it. Rental equipment contract periods provide the flexibility to get right equipment for a job for any length of time, so a firm doesn't invest in buying machines that will only see a short period of use and then sit idle for the rest of the year.

In evaluating rental equipment providers, companies not only need to look at their equipment needs but also explore how providers can help advance jobsite productivity beyond equipment.

Looking at equipment needs
When assessing rental providers, the evaluation should examine: can the rental company provide equipment most likely to be needed for core projects? How deep is their fleet; will availability be an issue? Can they deliver equipment to remote projects where it is needed? 

Having access to many different types of equipment has a major impact on construction and roadbuilding project success. Rental companies have a broader inventory of equipment than a single contractor could possibly own. This equipment includes attachments to tailor machines for specific tasks, trench safety solutions, wearables and GPS technology to track utilization and more. Some rental portfolios also offer onsite services such as drones, tool management, extensive heating options including propane service and onsite diesel fuelling. 

Another benefit of renting equipment is that rental companies upgrade their fleets on a regular basis, providing access to the most advanced gear with the latest safety technologies. This gives contractors an opportunity to not only work with the very latest equipment models but also become deeply familiar with them before deciding whether to buy.

To guide contractors, rental companies typically provide a lead point of contact to advise on the selection of the right equipment to address needs and practices to ensure optimal return on rentals and jobsite productivity. In addition to dedicated support personnel, rental providers are offering digital commerce platforms that make it easy for companies to evaluate, price and procure rental equipment and services online. Increasingly, they are expanding these digital marketplaces to not only include their own equipment but also third-party and customer-owned rentals and items for purchase.

Most every rental provider can deliver needed equipment on schedule according to a project plan. While that is useful, it is only the bare minimum. Project managers are expected to maintain productivity regardless of the situation. Planned, unplanned, seasonal and other events all have to be handled flawlessly. Companies need to explore whether they can rely on their rental providers when they need them to meet unexpected needs, such as disaster response and power outages. In these situations, companies don't want to be calling around shopping for a provider. They need an established partner in the wings - a rental company they can trust to deliver in any situation.

A construction or roadbuilding company does not have to be a large, national firm to have simultaneous jobsites in multiple cities and towns, and even multiple provinces and territories. Once projects are up and running, it can be harder to predict equipment needs in advance. When unexpected needs arise, local support and proximity to equipment fleet become a significant consideration. It can be costly to manage owned equipment over long distances; even a small delay can have a ripple effect on a project timeline.

Local support also means more immediate response on rented equipment repair and maintenance. Also, some rental providers offer servicing programs for owned equipment with professional inspections, preventative maintenance and repairs at customer sites or rental branches. Contractors can cut costs for maintaining equipment and periodic repairs, and reduce their need to hire and train service technicians. 

Looking beyond equipment
Rental companies need to provide ways to contribute to contractor productivity beyond equipment. When assessing rental providers, companies should include a review of services in their evaluations. This includes offering digital tools to optimize equipment management, benchmarking key performance metrics and advancing training and safety capabilities.

• Optimize equipment management 
Every minute equipment sits idle at a jobsite, it costs a company money and hurts its bottom line. That's why optimizing equipment utilization is key to enhancing profits. Leveraging digital tools, including low-cost sensors, GPS technology and telematics, and a new generation of high-powered, cloud-based fleet management software and services, make it possible to manage both owned and rental equipment. These tools create a digital system of record, providing valuable information such as location, use and performance.

• Benchmark key performance metrics
While the insights gained from digital equipment fleet management are incredibly helpful, they are largely inward looking. Benchmarking performance enables the gains generated by fleet management efficiencies to be taken to the next level. Any rental supplier that a contractor uses should be able to provide how its equipment is utilized and consumed by market segment, job type and equipment specification. Benchmarking uncovers opportunity to understand where utilization problems are and can lead to corrective actions which change operational behavior and achieve a stronger financial result.

• Advance operator and safety training
The challenges of jobsite safety and productivity are something companies face every day. Lectures with minimal classroom engagement are not enough. Companies need to look to dedicated resources that offer quality operator and safety training along with support outside the classroom - like jobsite consultation, engineered designs and safety equipment. 

Instruction methods need to include immersive learning that applies the use of 2D and 3D immersive graphics, gamification, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), to the education process. This method is particularly attractive to the workforce that has more recently entered the job marketplace. It is estimated the construction industry will need to recruit, train and retain an estimated 300,000 new workers over the next decade, according to BuildForce Canada. Training must be ready for the learning preferences of digital natives as they grow in numbers in the job marketplace.

Aligning equipment with jobsite needs
Today's jobsites are demanding, highly complex, dynamic environments. Companies need to pursue equipment partnerships that help them cut through the complexity and provide resources to get the job done safely, on time and on budget. Aligning equipment with these important organizational goals is the ultimate business advantage.

Denny Ancel is the United Rentals district sales manager in Alberta and has been with the company for 15 years.

More from Maintenance & Management

LOOSE-N-IT 4-in-1 lubricant now available from LUBE-A-BOOM

The LUBE-A-BOOM team is proud to introduce LOOSE-N-IT. Customer service and satisfaction is LUBE-A-BOOM's top priority, along with providing dealers superior lubrication products. After speaking with several industry leaders, a lubrication niche not being adequately satisfied by competing brands was identified: a product that allows technicians and parts managers to quickly remove old, stripped, and/or rusty bolts from equipment. The LUBE-A-BOOM team found that many times these crucial bolts and screws had become so worn and stripped that removing them was a time-consuming process. To alleviate this service-related pressure point, LUBE-A-BOOM set to work to develop a product that could easily be used in the field to assist in the removal of old and worn bolts. Thus, the LOOSE-N-IT product came to fruition. 

Eliminate Downtime event draws industry leaders for discussions

Eliminate Downtime recently arrived in Chicago and over 40 construction industry leaders attended the event to discuss solutions to the challenge of low productivity, missed deadlines and cost overruns. Organizations including Komatsu, Admar, United Rentals, Sunbelt, CAT, Bechtel, Messer Construction, Uptake and Trackunit contributed to the day with presentations, workshops and a panel quickfire.

HOTSTART heating solution chases off cold weather

Construction sites in many parts of North America face cold weather on a regular basis, which often leaves contractors dealing with cold starts – very cold, when you consider Canadian winters. Cold machinery means more idling, more maintenance and more pressure on the bottom line.

7 steps to effective wheel loader maintenance

We know we are all creatures of habit. Without even realizing it, you have established patterns that structure and fill most of your days – starting with the time you tell your alarm to get you out of bed, to your method for moving material with your wheel loader. While you may tweak your schedule periodically, much of what you do on a daily basis flows from the rhythm of routine.

5 things you should know about batteries used in construction equipment

Batteries are an important part of modern life and now Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) is starting to use them to power its machines – but how much do you actually know about them? Magnus Larsson, Development Engineer Batteries, Electromobility Systems, presents five facts about the lithium-ion batteries that are being used in construction equipment.

Cooper Tire launches new SEVERE Series tire for construction trucks

Cooper Tire has announced the availability of a new mixed service wide base all-position (WBA) tire as part of its Cooper SEVERE Series lineup. The Cooper SEVERE Series WBA provides long miles to removal while handling the harsh operating conditions found in construction truck applications – especially mixers and dump trucks. The tire is available in 385/65R22.5 and 425/65R22.5 sizes, in load range L.

LED headlamps from SnowEx improve lighting for snowplows

SnowEx STORM SEEKER LED Headlamps with EdgeView Technology provide one of the widest, fullest and farthest light patterns of any snow plow lights on the market. Featuring a durable design and best-in-class LED output to simulate daylight, the headlamps produce up to twice the light output of halogen bulbs to increase safety and productivity while plowing.

Michelin adds new size of most popular surface-mine tire

After six years of development and testing, Michelin North America, Inc., introduced the MICHELIN XDR 3 surface-mine haul tire in size 27.00R49. Addressing the productivity and endurance issues found in today's surface mines, the XDR3 — developed for a range of rigid dump trucks with payload capacity up to 400 tons — is designed with new compounds and a revolutionary new tread pattern that helps provide exceptional tire life. The use of corrosion-isolating cables in the tire architecture is a significant upgrade in situations where this equipment is always moving as it is operated for up to 23 hours-per-day in extreme terrain.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

Tired of tire problems?

So much rides on tires that manufacturers are constantly improving them in a variety of technically fascinating ways providing buyers with the best performance and durability for specific machines and applications. Here are some recent updates to tires for construction equipment.

FLO Components names winner in Lincoln grease gun contest

Automatic Greasing Systems specialist FLO Components Ltd.announces the winner of the Lincoln 1844 PowerLuber Grease Gun Giveaway Contest. Gabriel Lopez, Marketing Specialist at FLO announced; "Congratulations to our winner - Matt Wilson.  Matt is part of the team at Knott Construction Ltd., a proud second generation, family owned business in Meaford, Ontario.  Matt's name was drawn randomly from all eligible entries on March 29 in the FLO NHES 2019 Booth and he successfully answered a skill testing question."

Taking the guesswork out of buying used equipment

While there are many advantages to buying new equipment, some contractors find value in buying used. Volvo Construction Equipment wants to make it safer for them to do this so they are partnering with their dealers to create Volvo Certified Used centres in Canada and the U.S. that take the guesswork out of buying used equipment. 

How a family tire service business earned its A+ reputation for three generations

Keith runs the business with the help of his two sons, Tyler, 32, and Justin, 31. The Kitchen trio are known within their community as the go to guys for any mobile tire needs; from skid-steer tires and tractor tires to off-road mining truck tires and Caterpillar's 980 loader tires, the team at Keith Kitchen Full Service Tire can service it all. 

Elgin Sweeper and RoadBotics offer sweepers equipped with AI-based pavement assessment technology to Florida municipalities

Elgin Sweeper Company has partnered with RoadBotics, Inc., one of the country's leading road assessment companies, to offer Florida's 400-plus municipalities the ability to collect road condition data during sweeping operations, exclusively using Elgin Sweeper street sweepers. The partnership aims to help local government officials managing road maintenance budgets - while facing mounting pressure from citizens to address potholes and other poor road conditions - to make data-driven road improvement decisions.

Continental introduces RDT-Master tires with cut-resistant compound for rigid dump trucks

Continental is further extending its tire portfolio for the earthmoving industry. The technology company recently launched a new compound for its RDT-Master for the use on Rigid Dump Trucks. The cut-resistant compound was developed for rough and abrasive applications where tires have to withstand sharp gravel, rocks and stones.

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

MAXAM MS302 approved by Caterpillar as new OEM tire option

MAXAM Tire North America is pleased to announce that Caterpillar Inc. has validated and approved the MAXAM MS302 L3 tire for use on specific Cat ® Medium Wheel Loaders. The MAXAM 23.5R25 MS302 is currently available as a factory fitment option on Cat 950GC, 950L, 950M, 962L, and 962M in certain regions. Additional MAXAM MS302 tire sizes have also been validated and approved for future factory fitment on additional Cat Medium Wheel Loaders. 

Bridgestone expands Firestone VersaBuilt tire line

Bridgestone Americas, Inc. is expanding its popular Firestone VersaBuilt All Traction (AT) radial tire line. Designed primarily for loaders and graders, the new Firestone VersaBuilt AT 14.00R24 tire is engineered to provide improved traction, versatility and dependable performance in a variety of environments, helping deliver improved productivity on the jobsite.

Thunder Creek expands multi-tank diesel hauling platform to medium-duty truck bodies

Thunder Creek Equipment has expanded its multi-tank platform of diesel fuel hauling solutions to include a new medium-duty truck body – the Multi-Tank Upfit – that can haul bulk diesel on the road without requiring a CDL or HAZMAT endorsement (Title 49 (CFR49) – local regulations may apply). Each truck is outfitted with eight independent 115-gallon tanks (920-gallon total capacity) that are only connected when a common manifold is opened at the pumping station. 

OTR manufacturer Magna Tyres Group expands to Canada and USA

Magna Tyres Group is expanding its worldwide network of offices and distribution, starting with an office near Toronto, Ontario. This opens up an entire new market which makes it possible for even more clients in Canada and the US to acquire premium quality Magna Tyres products. Michael de Ruijter, CEO of Magna Tyres Group, comments: "We took a great deal of care in choosing this location for our new office. It will further strengthen our commitment to all customers in the region and is an opportunity for close daily cooperation."

Calculating true capacity before buying your next trailer

Long before a single load is booked or any wheels turn, someone - usually a fleet manager - needs to determine exactly what is going to separate the road and the load. There's a lot riding on this decision because, as much as some would like to think otherwise, a trailer is never just a trailer. It can be manufactured to many different specifications, with multiple raw material options, dozens of load and geographical considerations, various top speed requirements and hundreds of possible axle configurations coming into play. And it all comes down to one objective - the ideal trailer for an operation's specific loads.

Subscribe to our free newsletter

Get our newsletter

Learn more

EquipmentWatch adds new fleet consulting products covering multiple industry sectors

EquipmentWatch, the world leader in data, software and insights for the heavy equipment industry, has announced a new suite of fleet consulting products now available to contractors and equipment professionals seeking efficient solutions to large-scale fleet problems. These solutions cover all major equipment types across construction, lift & access, agriculture, and commercial truck (through an exclusive partnership with Price Digests). 

FLO Components adds sales manager for southern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario

Automatic Lubrication Systems specialist FLO Components Ltd. continues to expand its resources to better serve construction, road building, aggregate, trucking, manufacturing and processing companies in Manitoba and Ontario.  We are pleased to announce the appointment of Mike Munroe as Territory Sales Manager - Southern Manitoba & Northwestern Ontario.  

Michelin introduces 3-star rigid dump truck tires

Michelin North America, Inc., is introducing the first-ever "3-star" 18.00R33 tire on the market for rigid dump trucks (RDT). A star rating is the industry's indicator of load capacity for a given dimension as defined by the Tire and Rim Association. The new MICHELIN XTRA LOAD GRIP and the MICHELIN XTRA LOAD PROTECT will allow users to increase load capacity by 11 percent(1) or accommodate more distance per hour to maximize productivity.    

Navistar names champions of 2018 Technician Rodeo

Symbolizing Navistar's commitment to customer uptime, technicians from Florida, West Virginia and Arizona took home first place in the three categories of the 2018 Technician Rodeo - a competition hosted at the company's Woodridge, Illinois facility that tests the skills and speed of service professionals from throughout its dealer networks.

Geotab adds diagnostic support for Allison transmissions

Allison Transmission has collaborated with Geotab, a leading provider of telematics and fleet management solutions, to deliver transmission health information that can include prognostics to monitor various operating parameters, oil and filter life and diagnostic transmission information to fleets. This partnership is the first step on a journey to provide fleets with actionable information to support their fourth- and fifth-generation Allison transmissions.

Gravity Assist system earns Kal Tire top award at Electra Mining Africa 2018

Day two of Electra Mining Africa focused on the launch of new technology and innovations at the show. More than 60 products were reviewed across three categories. Kal Tire's Gravity Assist System (GAS) received top honours in the category of International Mechanical and Technology Innovation, mainly for its simplicity and effectiveness.

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more