Winter brings seasonal challenges to every business, and snow can get in the way of all types of work. Snow removal equipment can be useful, even necessary, to overcome icy obstacles, but it isn’t always wise or possible to buy the snow removal equipment you may need. Depending on your needs, renting equipment in winter can make much better sense for your workload and your budget.
Even if your business is indoors and cozy warm in winter, snow and ice can have a dramatic impact on your profits as it clogs driveways and fills parking lots, impeding customers, stopping deliveries, bringing shipping to a halt, restricting access, and making job sites treacherous or unusable. City ordinances or lease agreements may require business owners to have snow removed in a timely manner, or business owners could be subject to fines or other penalties. Fortunately, snow removal doesn’t have to be impossible, even during the snowiest parts of the year – if you’re properly equipped for the job.
While buying equipment is often the most economical option for a business, snow removal equipment has special considerations, and renting is the better choice for many businesses, for many reasons.
- Snow is a temporary problem.
Even the longest winters end, and there will be months when snow removal equipment isn’t needed or used. Some years, the equipment may only be needed for a few weeks, while in harder years, it may be necessary to have good snow removal equipment for much longer.
- Equipment is costly, especially for part-time use.
Because of the transitory nature of the need for snow removal equipment, it often makes sense to rent the best tools for the job rather than spend money on equipment that is only used for part of the year. This is especially important for businesses in areas with variable snowfalls.
- Storing the equipment takes up space.
When snow removal equipment is not in use, it must be properly stored to stay in good condition and be secure from theft or abuse. When the equipment is rented, you don’t need to worry about storage concerns during the spring, summer, and fall.
- Maintaining equipment can be time-consuming and expensive.
When complicated equipment requires maintenance, it takes time and money to keep it in good condition and ready for use. When you rent equipment, the rental company takes care of the regular maintenance, and will often manage any emergency repairs during the winter as well.
- Equipment must be regularly updated.
As new technological and engineering advances improve equipment, it is necessary to upgrade or replace equipment for the best results. That can make owning the equipment even more expensive, but if you rent instead, you don’t need to pay those update costs.
Even though renting equipment in winter makes sense, it is important to be sure you get the right tools for your snow removal needs. Not all equipment is the same, and renting the right tools will help you make the most of your budget while meeting all your snow removal needs. When choosing the equipment, ask these questions to be sure you select suitable tools.
- What size area will you need to clear? Smaller equipment may be better for your budget, but factor in the time it will take to clear all the space you need before you make your choice.
- Does your area have any special considerations? Consider the type of surface you need cleared to ensure the equipment won’t cause damage. Consider obstacles and maneuverability as well.
- Can one piece of equipment do the entire job? While a larger plow may clear a parking lot more quickly, it isn’t a practical choice for sidewalk snow removal.
- How long is the winter, and will you need the equipment the entire time? If snowfall is light early or late in the season, you may want to shorten the time you rent equipment.
- How are rental rates structured? Some rental companies schedule rates differently if you want to rent equipment for the entire season, or you can rent by the month, week, or day as needed.
- How will any necessary service be handled? If the equipment breaks down or requires maintenance, you may need to schedule a service call or return the equipment for the work.
- Will the equipment be delivered, or will you need to pick it up and return it? Depending on the type of equipment you rent, the rental company may deliver it to you.
- Is there a rental purchase option available? Renting can be a great way to try equipment before a purchase, and some companies may give you a purchase option with your rental agreement.
No matter what your snow removal needs may be, renting equipment in winter makes sense to help you meet those needs and keep your business ice- and snow-free even during the hardest part of the season.