8 Biggest Mistakes You Can Make When Renting Aerial Access Equipment

Biggest Mistakes You Can Make When Renting Aerial Access Equipment

When renting aerial access equipment for a project, it's important to rent the right equipment from a reliable company to meet your time and budget constraints. However, companies like yours have made costly mistakes when renting aerial access equipment due to inexperience or negligence. Here are some of the top mistakes companies make:

1. Not researching aerial access equipment options

Before renting the same old JLG, shop around for an aerial access equipment rental company. Do thorough research to ensure they have a solid reputation and newer quality equipment. Ask questions about their service and insurance coverage before making any commitments.

When looking for a company to rent aerial access equipment, make sure it is reputable. You can:

  1. Ask friends or colleagues for recommendations who have previously rented aerial access equipment.
  2. Read online reviews of different rental companies.
  3. Contact the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints against the companies you are considering.

Alpha Platforms’ Pro Tip: Alpha Platforms pioneered operated daily aerial equipment rental. We introduced the service to the U.S. and have maintained the most current and diverse fleet of extreme aerial access equipment reaching 150-300 feet.

We operate well-maintained, properly-insured equipment as a professional services organization that prides itself on world-class service – and it shows in every little detail. If, upon your research, a rental company seems shady – it’s probably because it is!

2. Rushing the decision or not allowing yourself enough time

Although time is always of the essence for project completion, don't rush into selecting an equipment rental company without giving yourself enough time to evaluate each option properly. Once you have found a few companies that seem reputable, the next step is to compare prices.

When comparing prices, consider any discounts or additional services that might be available. For example, some offer discounts for renting equipment for extended periods, traffic management, or overnight secure storage, minimizing risk of aerial access equipment vandalism.

Pro Tip: Give yourself enough time before you need the equipment for due diligence to compare services and prices from multiple providers.

Alpha Platforms’ Tip: If you need a job site street permit, Alpha Platforms can arrange it for you. However, securing the permit may require multiple weeks, depending on job location. If you need an especially tall lift (e.g., an A-300 that reaches up to 300 feet) on a specific date and don’t reserve it a couple of months in advance, it may be difficult to secure it on the exact day you need. Reserve your rentals well in advance!

3. Ignoring Hazards

Inadequate safety protocols can cause lethal consequences and irreparable damage to the equipment, so managers must pay extra attention working with aerial access equipment.

OSHA calls for awareness of potential height access operations hazards - falls, falling objects, structural collapses, electrocution, and others. Note: these risks often overlap - two or more dangers might be present at once! Therefore, taking measures against any one hazard will not suffice. A comprehensive approach is necessary for optimal safety.

Pro Tip: Before you sign any contract or agreement, always request a safety audit from the rental company.

Alpha Platforms’ Tip: Our IPAF-certified, experienced operators conduct equipment safety checks every morning before leaving for the job site. They also brief client teams on lift safety.

4. Not understanding the rental terms

Before signing a rental agreement, ensure you understand exactly what services are included and what you are responsible for during your rental period. This helps avoid any misunderstandings or charges later on.

Before you rent any aerial access equipment, make certain that it is insured. This is because there is always the potential for something to go wrong when using this equipment.

If something happens that damages the equipment, you want to ensure that you or the operated rentals company are covered by insurance. Most reputable rental companies include proper insurance as part of their rental package.

Pro Tip: Ask the rental company to explain the terms and conditions in detail. This will reveal any additional fees or costs associated with your rental.

Alpha Platforms’ Tip: Our all-inclusive operated rentals already include necessary aerial access equipment and liability insurance. Cheap copycats do not carry proper insurance and expose you and building/property owners to 100% of liability and risks.

5. Neglecting to inspect the aerial access equipment

It's important to inspect any aerial equipment before renting it to ensure that it is safe and in proper working condition. Ask questions about its use and operation and double-check all safety features, such as seatbelts or harnesses, if applicable.

The last thing you want to incur is additional costs due to damages that a proper equipment inspection could have prevented. Attention to detail pre-rental can save you money and potential problems in the long run.

Also, return all aerial equipment on time and in good condition. Failure to do so can result in additional charges or even legal repercussions depending on the rental agreement. It is also important to dispose of any waste materials associated with the rental in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Pro Tip: Take pictures of the aerial work equipment before and after rental. This will help to establish a clear record in case of any disputes.

Alpha Platforms’ Tip: Our IPAF-certified operators inspect aerial access equipment every morning before departing for the job site. Our equipment is new and thoroughly maintained based on the manufacturer's maintenance and checkup schedule.

6. Choosing price over quality

While a lower cost may be attractive, don't choose an equipment rental company solely based on price. Make sure the vendor is reliable and can provide the best quality equipment for your needs and budget. In some cases, it's worth investing in a higher-end piece of equipment if it provides better performance, safety, efficiency, and other benefits.

When renting aerial access equipment, consider accessories and additional features are required for the job, such as cage winch, stabilizers, or extended reach options. These can make it easier to get the job done and ensure maximum performance. Ask your rental company about these options when you are comparing quotes to ensure you are comparing apples to apples.

Pro Tip: Before finalizing a rental agreement, ask about additional fees or charges for delivery, installation, maintenance, and pick-up. This helps avoid unexpected costs down the line.

Alpha Platforms’ Tip: Alpha Platforms enables clients to complete the most challenging jobs at heights. We provide various man basket attachments for free, such as cage winch and our PowerLift System. Our full-time IPAF-Certified lift operators are the most experienced in the industry, and they provide a free extra pair of hands in the cage, if needed, at no additional cost.

7. Overlooking All Available Options

We can’t emphasize this enough: not all aerial equipment is equal. When selecting the right machine for a project, you must consider whether the equipment meets the job’s functional requirements. Here’s where many project managers overlook great options. They mistakenly think they need two pieces of equipment to handle tasks at heights: a crane and a lift. However, oftentimes, one boom lift suffices to lift parts, materials, and workers to do the job.

Pro Tip: Ask the rental company for advice on selecting the most appropriate aerial work equipment for your unique job.

Alpha Platforms’ Tip: Our boom lifts accommodate up to 1,322 lbs. of weight in a standard basket and up to 1,540 lbs. in a heavy-duty basket. Therefore, with the Cage Winch and/or PowerLift system basket attachments, some jobs will not require a crane, easily saving 50% or more of your aerial access equipment budget.

8. Failing To Get A Consultation

Even if you’ve identified the ideal aerial access equipment for your project, don't skip a free on-site consultation with rental companies. It's not just about getting advice; it can also help ensure you have all the necessary information to complete your task effectively. Taking advantage of an in-person estimator consultation is always worth doing as another perspective may reveal critical information. Do not neglect this essential step while selecting your aerial equipment rental.

Pro Tip: Ask for a custom on-site quote to understand the equipment capabilities in-depth and ensure that the estimator matches the right equipment to your needs.

Alpha Platforms’ Tip: Our estimators conduct on-site custom quoting within 24-48 hours of your request and ask many questions to optimize your efficiency, safety, and productivity with rented equipment at that specific location.

Commonly Asked Questions on Aerial Access Equipment

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions regarding aerial access equipment rentals:

What kind of aerial access equipment do I need?

This depends on the specifics of your project. Generally speaking, aerial lifts reach high places, with boom lifts being ideal for tasks requiring extended reach and a wide field of view. Scissor lifts can be used in many environments but are unsuitable for most outdoor uses due to their limited height range. 

Read more about Boom Lift Vs. Scissor Lift decision-making process>

Are there any additional charges associated with renting aerial access equipment?

Yes, some rental companies may charge extra fees such as delivery or setup fees, depending on your project requirements and the company's policies. It is important to ask about these extra costs before signing a contract. Alpha Platforms offers All-Inclusive boom lift rentals with transparent and competitive pricing, eliminating any surprise fees at the end of your rental.

Is it safe to rent aerial access equipment?

Yes, as long as you use the equipment following safety regulations and guidelines. Always make sure that the aerial access equipment is inspected thoroughly before renting it, and always wear protective gear when operating the machinery. Additionally, carefully read the rental agreement’s safety warnings or instructions.

Alpha Platforms is the pioneer in operated boom lift rentals and height access service in the 150-300-ft range. Our precise German-made lifts have become the favorite height access method for those who try them once, as they combine unmatched productivity, safety, and reach.

Read more about Alpha Platforms

18 Tips on Safe Way to Operate a Boom Lift

Find out why Alpha Platforms is your best choice for height access solutions


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We hope you enjoy reading this blog post. Talk to us about your height access challenges now
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