Three Myths about Heavy Equipment Rental, and the Reason You Should Rent

Myths come in all forms from fairy tales to conspiracy theories. Well, just because a few people say that toilets flush in a different direction in the Southern Hemisphere doesn’t mean it’s true. (I know you’re gonna wanna Google that. ha!) Myths about construction equipment rental can be persistent, but believing them might actually cost you money in the long run.

It used to be that people thought renting equipment was a bad way to manage costs and run a business, but that has changed in the last decade or so. Equipment rental has gained in popularity and acceptance to the point where, now, it’s often looked at as being an effective way for companies to stay flexible and profitable. 

Below are three persistent myths about renting:

Myth 1: You Basically Throw Your Money Away When You Rent Equipment

Often, renting equipment becomes a path to owning. As companies grow they may get busy for a few months but feel unsure about whether the extra business justifies a large capital investment, or worry that the extra work might go away. A contractor may also may want to expand into a different type of construction project but feels he needs time to see whether those projects work well with his business model. 

In these cases renting for a season or individual project might save someone from having buyer’s remorse. Being stuck with a large investment in a machine that doesn’t earn that money back is really the worst way to throw your money away! By renting, you can try a machine and know if its capacity and features best suit your needs, and allows you to try other options before committing.

Myth 2: Rental Equipment is Beat Up Garbage

Well, this is not a subtle way of portraying the experience some people used to have with some equipment rentals, especially from businesses that probably aren’t around any longer. Reputable equipment rental companies like West Coast Equipment make sure that every machine is in excellent working condition BEFORE it goes out to a customer. Rental equipment today has often been maintained more regularly than privately owned machines. Regular maintenance is a necessary investment for good rental house so they know their machines are safe and reliable and that their customers will be satisfied.

Myth 3: Rental Equipment has Outdated Technology

Although customers can request machines that have minimal features to reduce costs, today some of the newest and most advanced construction equipment is available to rent. Load sensors and smart device connectivity and more are readily available. Some advanced features can be added to older equipment as well. 

Busting Myths

Old myths die hard.

The fact is that equipment rental can be a brilliant way to manage costs and keep flexibility without committing to a huge capital investment. Renting can allow a contractor to take on specialty projects or probe new types of work. 

West Coast Equipment works hard to insure that its rental fleet is in tip top shape and that you get the features and functionality you need. If you decide you should purchase a machine instead of renting, we can work out flexible financing options for you as well. We are here to help!

Working with your rental company to get you the machine with the features you need at the cost that works for you is exactly the way to bust these myths! 

New FMCSA Rules, More Flexibility for Construction Fleets

The hours of service (HOS) rules govern the amount of time drivers of commercial vehicles can spend on the road and is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These rules are intended to prevent accidents by minimizing fatigue primarily targeting long-haul drivers.

The new rules will take effect September 29th. They intend to give greater flexibility while still addressing safety. 

There are four critical changes:

  • expanding the short-haul exemption
  • expanding the driving window during adverse driving conditions
  • modifying the 30-minute break time requirement
  • modifying the sleeper berth exception

Two of these rules directly benefit construction contractors, expanding the short-haul exemption from 100 to 150 air miles, and counting non-driving activities toward the 30-minute rest requirement. 

These changes will particularly help for deploying drivers who end up waiting in long lines to load and unload equipment.

Modification of the 30 minute break

FMCSA now requires a 30-minute break after 8 hours of driving time (instead of on-duty time) and allows an on-duty/not driving period to qualify as the required break. For short-haul work the 30-minute break therefore would very rarely apply since “in attendance” time may be included in the break if no other duties are performed.

Driving time in Adverse Conditions Extended

Up to two additional hours have been added to the driving window in adverse conditions. The HOS rules currently define adverse conditions as: snow, sleet, fog, other adverse weather conditions, a highway covered with snow or ice, or unusual road and traffic conditions. These factors may not be known to the dispatcher at the time the run is begun. 

FMCSA says that in the event of unanticipated conditions, adding time to the duty day in adverse conditions allows drives to reduce speed or delay operations makes drivers and roads safer.

“This is one of the biggest changes to the rules that we have seen in some time,” says Nick Goldstein, vice president, regulatory and legal issues, American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). “FMCSA reached out. This has been a multi-year project on their part. They have conducted listening sessions, public comment sessions.” The rules were created with input from the regulated community.*

ARTBA has advocated for these changes in order to address situations where rules intended for long-haul drivers were also applied to short-haul drivers. Because the working realities were so different, some of the restrictions created an unnecessary burden and limited flexibility for the industry. 

“The revisions will help transportation construction contractors deploy project personnel more efficiently, saving time and costs while maintaining high standards for safety,” says Dave Bauer, ARTBA president and CEO. “These updates are especially needed for transportation construction to play a crucial role in our nation’s economic recovery.*

Finding the right balance between safety and efficiency is always a challenge and the new rule revisions move the industry further along the right path toward finding that balance.

* Quotes reference

FMCSA Website HOS Rules


Summer 2020 Service Special Ending Soon! (updated)

We want to remind you that the WCE Summer Service Event will be ending soon!

Summer is almost over so now is a great time to take care of that service you know you’ve been needing. West Coast Equipment’s Summer Service Specials save you money on oil and service. 

Our factory trained technicians will also create a 115 point inspection condition report. Schedule your appointment today with your nearest West Coast Equipment location.

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Cummins T4i & T4                                      $600

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