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Hidden Value of Purchasing from a Dealership’s Rental Fleet

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There are plenty of reasons your construction company needs to purchase equipment for its fleet. Perhaps there’s interest in diversifying the company’s services. Or it could be that specialty piece you’ve been renting has finally proven it deserves a full-time spot in the fleet. Maybe more machines are needed, simply to keep up with a growing list of projects and more demanding timelines.

Regardless of the reason it’s needed, several factors often get in the way of companies actually pulling the trigger and making a new equipment purchase – initial cost and depreciation often at the top of the list. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a “new” addition to your fleet doesn’t have to be “new.” Used equipment is a great opportunity to consider, especially when legitimate concerns eliminate the option of buying brand-new equipment.  

From individual sellers to the largest auctions, there’s certainly no shortage of places to buy used equipment. And all those options are a good thing, right? Yes, but remember the old saying: “Caveat Emptor.” All sellers are not created equal and the vast availability makes research and vetting the source crucial to avoid any unpleasant surprises once the deal is done.

One of the most reputable, often underutilized avenues for buying used equipment is through a dealership’s rental fleet. Boasting advantages that include world-class maintenance and the sheer variety of machines available, a dealer’s rental fleet can be a gold mine for equipment-seekers.

Maintenance Matters
Every piece of equipment in a dealership’s rental fleet is an investment. Reputable dealerships know the value preventative maintenance (PM) has on protecting that investment, which is why they take the time and energy to perform regular PM on every single machine. Buyers can rest assured that any equipment purchased has been cared for on a consistent basis, done to manufacturer’s specifications and monitored by GPS so all is done in a timely manner.

Furthermore, customers interested in details of maintenance, machine hours and other information on a unit can obtain it, thanks to meticulous records, work orders and other documents in the dealership’s system.

Trained Technicians
Not only is it a guarantee that equipment in a dealer’s rental fleet has been cared for, buyers have the peace of mind knowing that PM has been done by a professional. Leading dealerships employ trained, skilled, and certified technicians, many of them specialized to a certain manufacturer, that ensure the highest level of care is given to every machine on the lot.

Those untrained or inexperienced in equipment maintenance may have the best of intentions in keeping up with routine maintenance, but can easily miss crucial points or perform repairs incorrectly.

Service and Support
A customer’s needs rarely end after the sale of equipment. And any machine, whether new or used, provides zero value to the company if it’s sitting idle, making the support offered by dealerships an attractive benefit.

Many offer customers the option of adding a PM agreement to the equipment purchase, which includes scheduled oil changes, inspections, and basic service, all provided by the dealership. Especially for smaller to mid-size companies lacking trained technicians, this opportunity adds tremendous value.

Best of the Best
Renting equipment is a popular practice among construction companies. Rental houses know this and, to keep up with demand, most hang onto their machines longer than dealers.

Conversely, most major dealerships only keep newer, low-hour equipment in a rental fleet. This offers buyers equipment that, while used, still has plenty of years and hours left in it.

Furthermore, some dealerships invest in technology and additional options offered by the manufacturer. They’ll typically put a full warranty on all machines in a rental fleet too, which, like technology and other add-ons, also transfers to the buyer.

Available All Over
Finally, large dealership networks have strength in numbers. A buyer looking for a specific piece of equipment might not find it locally from a private seller or auction, leaving him to settle for something comparable or miss out on what he really needs.

A local dealership still may not have a specific machine requested by a potential buyer – but chances are another store in the network has it and can get it to the customer. This greater availability extends to attachments too, opening up more options to interested buyers.

Here to Stay
With the economy continuing to drive the construction industry, used equipment is predicted to remain a major area of opportunity for companies. To ensure your company gets the full value out of every used machine purchased, consider looking to the rental fleet at your trusted equipment dealership. 

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About The Author
Bruce Johnson is Rental Manager for RDO Equipment Co. in Burnsville, MN.

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