When a contractor needs to rent a piece of equipment for a job, they depend on a rental company. But, if the rental company doesn’t have that machine in their fleet, they need a partner who they can rely on to help meet their customers’ needs—and that’s where re-rental comes in.
WHAT IS RE-RENTAL?
Rental companies can find larger, more specialized pieces of equipment than they normally keep in their fleet through a re-rental business. This model allows rental companies to provide their customers with newer, well-maintained equipment without the need to purchase the machines themselves. This means that re-rentals can help meet the needs of both the rental company and, subsequently, the end-user.
Sitting down with ERS ReRents, a re-rental company located in Huntsville, Alabama, that offers JLG® equipment to rental companies that need to supplement their existing fleet to meet a specific customer need, they provided us with insights into why companies like theirs focus on these types of transactions.
WHY RE-RENTAL WORKS
One of the reasons rental companies turn to re-rentals is because of the type of equipment these companies offer. For example, ERS says that their company specializes in high-reach boom lifts—straight, articulating, and atrium—along with telehandlers, and that the average asset cost per unit is $200,000, says Heath Boone, vice president of ERS. For rental companies who do not want to invest in these larger, higher-reaching lifts, they can re-rent them on an as-needed basis.
“Many rental companies don’t own larger telehandlers and man lifts because they can maximize their fleet with smaller equipment,” Boone says. “Being able to provide those machines from a re-rental company keeps their customers from going to another company when they need larger equipment.”
SELECTING THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT
Working with a re-rental company’s customer service representatives, many tools can assist contractors in the equipment selection process.
For example, equipment information on the re-rental company’s website, like ERS’ equipment selection page, guides users to see what equipment options the re-rental company offers that pair with a particular task. To get started, users need to answer three questions:
What are you moving?
Where are you working?
What is the working height?
Also, digital tools like JLG’s Augmented Reality app allows re-rental companies and their customers to view whether the equipment can fit in an actual work area. And, users can also take advantage of JLG’s BIM library, which allows the placement of 3D access equipment models in jobsite plans, to help with selecting the right re-rental equipment for the project.
In addition to re-rentals, re-rental companies oftentimes provide preventive maintenance, annual inspections, and repaint services, making them a one-stop-shop for a rental company, says Bill Griffin, vice president of sales at ERS.
Using a re-rental keeps rental houses from having to tie up money in capital expenses, as well. Rental companies can use re-rental equipment seasonally or to meet short-term needs, then call them off rent when they are no longer needed. By not owning the equipment, they don’t have to absorb its depreciation cost.
“And, for national rental companies who perhaps have the needed equipment in their fleet in another area of the country, it’s sometimes more cost-effective to use a re-rented machine rather than to move the machine to where it’s needed,” Boone says.
When the customer is finished with a re-rented machine, the rental company simply returns the machine to the re-rental company’s facility or in some cases to the rental company’s yard where it is inspected and prepared for the next rental. When future demand in an area could require another rental in the short term, the re-rental and rental company renting the machine may agree to have it remain in the rental company’s yard for no charge so it’s at the ready for future customer use.
FOCUS ON CUSTOMER NEEDS
Successful re-rental companies tend to have one thing in common: a strong focus on the customer. But these companies are more than just an on-demand equipment rental resource. They each also operate a unique business model to best serve their customers.
For instance, Michael McCurry, president of ERS, says they chose to offer equipment with features that improve their customers’ rental experience. For example, ERS’ JLG equipment fleet is equipped with ClearSky® telematics, which allows the company to monitor, diagnose, and fix machine challenges quickly.
“We get alerts on the equipment before the customer even knows there’s an issue in some instances,” McCurry says. “We’ll get a code and pick up the phone to tell the rental company and then help diagnose the service call before it even comes in.”
Digital tools, like ClearSky telematics, also help re-rental companies like ERS offer specialized services and knowledge about these machines. “With bigger lifts, the end-user and rental company normally aren’t trained to service the machines. We use telematics from our computer to help them troubleshoot,” Boone says. “By helping in many cases to solve the customers’ problem over the phone, they’re up and working faster, so they’re more productive on the job.”
And when equipment does need to be serviced, re-rental companies like ERS can offer local services to repair, inspect, and maintain the equipment, helping to keep the machines operating at peak performance. “We have field service technicians who work remotely to support the rental companies,” says Boone. “These machines can be very technical, and as the equipment owners, we can provide quick response times for equipment needs and service to keep customers up and running.”
Some of the major benefits of working with re-rental companies include access to top-of-the-line equipment and technologies, as well as service support. And, it all starts with the customer—helping them to rent the right machine for the work to be done.
About the Author:
Jennifer Stiansen is director of marketing with JLG. For more, visit www.jlg.com.
Modern Contractor Solutions, May 2022
Did you enjoy this article?
Subscribe to the FREE Digital Edition of Modern Contractor Solutions magazine.