When it comes to maintaining your golf course, sports field, campus or park, having the right equipment to do the job is critical. However, purchasing and maintaining turf equipment can get very expensive and might not be an option, especially for smaller facilities.
One possible alternative that can save money in the short term is renting turf equipment. There are advantages and disadvantages to turf equipment rental, and depending on your situation it might not be the best option. In order to help you decide if this is the best option, we examine the pros and cons of renting.
Pros of Turf Equipment Rental
Fill a need in an emergency
It would be nice if turf equipment only broke down when it wasn’t needed, but more often than not, it’s the opposite that happens. In fact, sometimes it seems that there is a law of nature that dictates the more urgent the need is for a specific piece of equipment, the more likely it is to break down.
If replacement parts aren’t readily available, the best solution might be to rent equipment while your equipment is being repaired. That way, disruption to your operation is minimized, and you can take the time to fix your equipment properly instead of rushing a repair job.
Fill a need that rarely occurs
Another situation in which renting golf course turf equipment might be the best option is when you have a one-time or very infrequent need for a specific piece of equipment. A great example of this would be an aerator, which depending on your needs, may only be used once or twice a year. It’s hard to justify purchasing a piece of equipment that will just take up space in the garage 50 weeks out of the year, so renting makes a lot of sense in that situation.
Test new equipment
Before making a large investment in new equipment, or upgrading your current equipment to the latest model, you might want to see if you can rent the equipment you are considering purchasing for a short time just to try it out.
This would be especially helpful if the new equipment uses new technology that your staff is unfamiliar with, or if it has other features that your current equipment doesn’t. Renting would allow you to determine if the new features save you enough time and/or money to make the investment in new equipment logical.
Less expensive in the short term
What all of the above benefits of turf equipment rental have in common is that they are short-term situations. Renting makes sense in the short term because it is less expensive than buying. You don’t have to worry about insurance or maintenance costs like hiring mechanics, creating a maintenance program, etc. You can also deduct the expenses of renting equipment at tax time. For this reason, renting is an attractive option for short-term needs.
Cons of Turf Equipment Rental
Higher long-term costs
While renting turf and lawn equipment might be cheaper in the short term, it is not cheaper in the long term. After all, the reality is that you are actually paying for the insurance, property tax and maintenance of rental equipment because the rental company will pass those costs along to you at a marked-up rate. While owning your own equipment certainly has a much higher up-front cost, in the long run it is much cheaper than renting.
Availability of equipment
While renting turf equipment can be a great way to fill a need in an emergency, sometimes the equipment you need to rent might not be available. The best way to make sure that equipment is available when you need it is to own it yourself and maintain it properly.
No return on investment
All equipment will need to be replaced eventually. If you own your equipment, you will be able to recoup some of your investment by selling it when that time comes, especially if you maintain the equipment well. If you rent equipment, this is not an option.
Lack of familiarity with equipment
Even when using equipment from the same manufacturer, there may be differences between models that take some getting used to. If you rent used turf equipment and end up getting a different model each time, this might translate into more training time for your staff, or even inconsistent results.
As you can see, the question of whether lawn equipment rental makes sense doesn’t always have a clear-cut answer. However, by examining all the pros and cons listed above, you can make the best decision for your particular situation.
Contact Kenney for Turf Equipment Rental
Kenney Machinery offers amazing service and has a great selection of rental equipment. Contact Kenney today to find out how we can help solve your maintenance issues with turf rental equipment. In addition, we can provide on-site training on equipment so you’ll be a pro when it’s time to get to work.