Waste industry aside, the typical attitude toward renting equipment, vehicles and other assets has historically been negative, and in some cases, rental has been viewed as an alternative that can lead toward organizational failure. However, what used to be a last-effort solution, viewed as unorthodox or unattainable, has evolved and changed over time. For the waste industry, specifically, new challenges continue to present themselves daily for haulers of all sizes and for municipalities as well. The landscape of asset ownership in the industry is quickly changing. Some of the reasons for this stem from the industry's improved understanding of the benefits of rental, based on what we refer to as the five key elements of renting: financial flexibility, total cost of ownership, growth opportunities, equipment availability and, most importantly, improved fleet management.
All of these attributes are contributors to the change occurring in how rentals are perceived within the waste industry. Still, depending on who you speak to or which resource you ask, many remain quick to dismiss renting from a financial perspective. Endless cost calculators have been created and numbers crunched, with the net benefits always pointing toward purchasing rather than renting. The remarkable fact is that most calculators and reasons simply do not address the five key elements, as below.
Each of these five factors tell a compelling story that most rental versus purchase calculators simply cannot capture, and they typically apply to most companies running a fleet of vehicles, whether they are large or small haulers, public or private.
1.) Financial Flexibility
Renting provides a company with the ability to strategically save capital dollars while gaining the benefit of using equipment immediately. This can be done for a long period of time or can be used as a bridge into a new fiscal year. Renting additionally provides a company with predictable costs as the rent is consistent month-to-month, and with little maintenance costs, as the rental company is responsible for any major maintenance items related to warranty.