To Rent Or Not To Rent: That Is The Question

Aerial equipment is expensive. When it comes to renting it for several projects, many companies start thinking about the purchase. It seems as if frequent use will recoup the cost of the unit. However, before making a decision to buy such piece of equipment, it’s vital to know all the ins and outs of the ownership. Here are a few points you may want to consider before saying “no” to renting.

1. Proper Maintenance
As an owner, you’ll be responsible for proper maintenance of your equipment. Repairing and maintaining aerial platforms and lifts can be rather costly. If you rent, the rental company covers these costs.
2. Storage
When not in use, these machines require large spaces for storage. You’d need to rent or buy a storage facility. You’ll also need to find a way to transport the machine from storage to work sites and back. When you rent such equipment, you don’t need to worry about storage and transportation.
3. ANSI Standards
As an owner, you need to think about the way your equipment complies with ANSI standards. This means following the news to learn about the updated requirements and order timely inspections. If you rent the platform or lift, all the compliance issues are the owner’s problem.
4. Lack of Choice
When you invest money in such a piece of equipment, you are “stuck” with it for a long time. What happens if your projects require more than one type of aerial lifts? What happens if you don’t need the machine anymore? You’d need to find a way to sell or put it up for rent.
5. Idle Time
In case your machine breaks down and you need time to fix it, your project could be put on hold. Besides spending money on repairs, you’d be losing more by stalling the project.
6. Depreciation
Over time, all equipment loses value regardless of how well you maintain it. New models appear on the market. Projects require more speed and higher sophistication.  Your equipment may become outdated and you’ll be stuck with a piece of useless machinery, which is impossible to sell.
Owning aerial lifts and platforms has many hidden costs. In most cases, rental is the smartest option.


The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) promotes the safe and effective use of powered access equipment worldwide in the widest sense – through providing technical advice and information; through influencing and interpreting legislation and standards; and through safety initiatives and training programmes. IPAF is a not-for-profit organisation owned by its members, which include manufacturers, rental companies, distributors, contractors and users. IPAF members operate a majority of the MEWP rental fleet worldwide and manufacture about 85% of platforms on the market.
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