Renting Construction Equipment: 5 Question to Ask Before You Rent

Huge Harbor Crane

When faced with the daunting task of a construction project, it pays to be informed. Renting construction equipment is a cost-effective solution and popular choice for your construction needs.

There are many reasons to rent, but the main beneficial reasons include:

  • The level of work may not justify a purchase
  • You gain greater access to a broad range of equipment
  • There is flexibility in renting project-specific equipment
  • You save on additional expenses (storage, maintenance, transport, etc.)
  • Depending on the project, work may be handled by another qualified, experienced party

Renting construction equipment rather than outright buying equipment allows you to effectively manage risk and conserve capital which can be directed towards other purposes.

If you’ve decided to go the route of construction equipment, here are some questions to ask your potential vendor to save you time and money.

1. What is the scope of my project?

Before starting any renovation project, be it residential or commercial, or even shopping around for equipment rental companies, establish a framework and schedule for your project. Outline any potential challenges that may arise during your renovation stages such as financial constraints or incurred time extensions.

Highlighting the complete scope of your project will help you determine the tools and equipment you’ll need and for what duration you’ll require them throughout your project.

As most equipment rental contracts are on week-to-week or month-to-month considerations (though some do run as short as one day and no maximum term length), knowing the complete timeline of your project will ensure you don’t incur late fees in the unfortunate event that your project goes longer than expected.

2. What type of equipment is required and will I need training?

When it comes to residential renovations or commercial construction, safety must always come first.

For example, if your home renovation project requires work to be done in a multi-story apartment dwelling, you may require a Potain self-erecting crane which requires specialized knowledge and training that you may not be equipped with.

Before selecting a vendor, enquire about the equipment for your chosen application and whether or not they provide equipment training or if a trained operator will be provided. Remember, the more industrial the equipment, the more likely it will require a trained operator, so factor that into your decision-making process.

3. Does it work?

This is perhaps the most important question you could ask any third-party equipment rental company. Before you give away your autograph and sign any documentation, thoroughly inspect any rented equipment, just like you would a rental car. Check that the equipment in question is in good working condition, it has no damages, and all safety features are functional.

Request that the equipment rental company turn the engine on so that you can confirm that it is running smoothly. Also, request that they run the equipment through its paces to determine that it can operate without question under your required load and demands.

Just like a rental car, once the equipment is handed over to you, you are responsible and liable for any issues or undocumented damages found upon return.

4. What is your insurance policy?

Malfunctions or undetermined issues with equipment can put not only your health and safety at risk but that of the people around you as well. As previously mentioned, when carrying out any renovation work, personal safety should be a top priority.

Although extremely rare, things can go wrong with the rental equipment. With access to such a broad range of equipment, be it scaffolding, bulldozers, compactors, or a full services used crane, it’s important that you protect yourself in case something does go wrong.

Make sure that the insurance policy they provide on rented equipment covers operating risks and third-party liabilities. This will provide you peace of mind in the unfortunate event of a malfunction or equipment breakdown.

5. What is your return policy?

Sometimes, your rented equipment doesn’t suit your renovation needs. Perhaps the equipment in question is incorrect for your chosen application, or you simply need to make adjustments to the kind of equipment you need.

Knowing your vendor’s return policy protects your project rental needs. This ensures that if anything unexpected occurs or the equipment doesn’t suit your needs, you can return the equipment before the end of its contract period.

Making the right decision

By doing the research beforehand, you’ll be able to select the right equipment rental company that will work closely with you, providing the equipment and services you need, to complete your renovation project. By asking the right questions, you can make an informed decision and avoid unexpected costs, risks, and stress associated with a renovation project.


Hermann Buchberger is the Founder and CEO of Active Crane Hire (ACH). He’s taken the company from start-up to Industry Leader offering the largest fleet of construction cranes in Australia. ACH launched a new type of crane previously unheard of in the Australian market: electric tower cranes. The company’s infrastructure and associated services now comprise a fleet of trucks and trailers, a crane-rigging team, mobile crane technicians, a fleet of service vehicles, and an extensive range of crane spare parts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *