6 ways renting attachments can create a more diversified portfolio

Any successful business owner knows that it takes the right compact equipment, such as a skid steer loader, compact track loader or compact excavator, outfitted with well-chosen attachments to grow a business. However, if you are looking for additional revenue, especially during your off season, consider renting attachments from a local rental store or your compact equipment dealer. When selected appropriately, rental attachments can provide more versatility and profitability for the dollar compared to other methods of equipment acquisition.

The increased revenue achieved from renting compact equipment attachments can more than pay for the rental fee. By following the six advantages listed below to renting attachments, you can make your machines as productive as possible, create a more diversified portfolio and eliminate adding another dedicated, less versatile machine to your fleet.

1. Expand jobsite capabilities

Skid steers, compact track loaders and compact excavators can be paired with a variety of core attachments, such as augers, buckets, breakers, clamps and grapples, to increase their versatility year-round. However, there may be applications where you can expand your attachment offerings using specialty attachments.

For instance, compact excavators are perfect candidates for attachment expansion, which can help complete projects far beyond just earthmoving. These machines are able to access tight areas and are effective not only in new construction projects, but also in pavement and utility rehabilitation. For example, you may need to pair a compact excavator with a grapple for land clearing, an auger for utility installations, a breaker for demolition or a trencher for installing underground utilities.

Likewise, rotary cutters, brush chippers, flail mowers, forestry cutters, soil conditioners and stump grinders are just a few niche attachments that have multifunctional capabilities. Some business owners may seek a long-term rental contract for dedicated snow-removal attachments during winter work.

With some manufacturers' attachments, compatibility extends across compact loader and compact excavator product lines for greater efficiencies, economies of scale and justification for purchase. Some have also been designed to vertically integrate with the machine's electronics and hydraulics. While each machine has its own set of performance benefits in certain conditions, many of today's attachments are interchangeable to provide flexibility and convenience for an equipment fleet that needs to be responsive to multiple jobsites and environments.

2. Clarify upfront costs

Buying an attachment may be appropriate if it can meet your project needs, assist in your expansion efforts or play a significant role in your business. In addition, attachments are a good investment if you have your own service department and storage facility. However, it may not be cost-effective to buy if you are using an attachment for one-off jobs, such as loading dirt and aggregate one day and moving brush or breaking up concrete the next. Not only can buying an attachment for a one-time job be impractical, it also accumulates costs associated with storing and maintaining it when not in use. By partnering with a rental store, you can increase your utilization of capital investments without requiring a large cash commitment. If you need to quote an attachment for a specific job, a rental store can easily provide you with the needed information. Knowing the rental cost up front helps you better determine how much you will need. Typically, renting an attachment for a day, week or month for one-off jobs will cost considerably less than purchasing it outright.

3. Reduce maintenance costs

Attachments can provide you with the best return for the shortest time frame at the least possible cost, but only if they are properly maintained. When you rent an attachment, typically it is the rental store that handles attachment maintenance, not you or your crew. This can free up a considerable amount of time, as well as reduce unnecessary labor and overall costs associated with maintenance.

A dedicated maintenance staff at the rental store will take the time to check the hydraulic hoses (if applicable), cylinders and guards on the attachments to help determine if damage or wear has occurred. In addition, they will look at everything that engages with the ground, from bucket-cutting edges to planer and trencher teeth, for wear or damage. They will also connect the attachment and operate it briefly to make sure it works properly before it is fully ready for rental.

4. Minimize transportation costs

Transporting construction equipment can be expensive, time-consuming and logistically challenging. As a business owner, you may not have the means or the time to transport your compact equipment and a slew of attachments to your jobsite. If a rental provider has multiple locations, you may be able to minimize or eliminate the hassle from moving the attachment to and from the jobsite. Some rental companies will simply deliver the attachment to the worksite for you instead.

5. Reduce storage requirements

Although attachments are smaller in size than a compact loader or a compact excavator, they do take up valuable storage space. If your business does not have excess storage space or is considering building or renting space to house specific attachments, look into renting attachments first. Renting removes the burden on your company since it is the rental company that will be housing the attachments.

6. Gain needed insight

Evaluating an attachment solely according to manufacturer specifications, carrier capabilities or word of mouth can be misleading, especially when it comes to how the attachment will actually perform on your jobsite. You can best assess how the attachment will perform by demoing it through rental. Once you have a good, hands-on understanding of how the attachment will perform, you may decide an equipment acquisition is appropriate if it can meet your project needs, assist in your expansion efforts or become a significant part of your business.

Adding attachments to your fleet has a variety of benefits that can be used to expand your revenue and reduce the need for specialty or dedicated equipment. As always, making your machines as productive as possible should always be top of mind. With the right attachments, you can make that a reality.