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Buying a compact machine is a big commitment. There are several factors to help you decide whether buying or renting a machine makes the most sense, including jobsite needs and attachment versatility.  You’ll learn what questions to ask about jobsite needs and attachments in part one of this article. In part two, you’ll learn how capital resources can help you decide whether to rent or buy.

Jobsite Needs

First, look at the scope of work for your project. Are the length of the contract and the volume of work large enough to support a machine purchase? Or is the need for a machine based on a short-term project?

If you’re doing more rework and remodeling projects since the recession, consider buying a compact machine that has a smaller footprint to get into tight areas. But if you do minimal remodeling projects and only need a compact machine a few times a year, then rental may be your best option.

Terrain and soil conditions may provide the most compelling reason to rent or own. If you typically work on one type of terrain, but won a bid for a project in different terrain, then consider renting a piece of equipment that works most efficiently in that soil type. For example, a construction company that regularly does dirt work and owns a compact track loader should rent a skid-steer loader if they have a project on a solid surface.

Although projects are varied and less predictable in some construction applications, tracking a machine’s usage and demand at multiple jobsites could help support buying a machine to meet your long-term needs.

Attachment Versatility

One of the greatest advantages of attachments is their ability to increase use of existing machines without requiring a large cash investment. When evaluating the attachments that can meet project needs, focus on tools that will provide the best return in the shortest time frame at the least possible cost.

If you already own a skid-steer loader, compact track loader or a compact excavator, then a new attachment should position your operation to offer new services. Renting an attachment for one or all of those machines can improve project control and allow you to find new revenue sources.

If you rent the same attachment several times, you may find that it does not financially make sense to have the rental company deliver it to your jobsite, especially if the site is hard to access or scheduling makes it hard to get on time. In this case, you may be better off to purchase it.

In the second article in this series, you’ll learn how capital resources play into your decision to rent or buy. Find your nearest dealer to discuss purchase or rental options.

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