By Brant Kukuk, product marketing manager – compact equipment
Stand-on skid steers and trenchers are some of the most popular machines in the rental industry. They’re easy to learn, simple to operate and innately efficient, making them the perfect machine for a wide variety of uses. While this versatility is great for any jobsite, it often presents construction professionals with the question – am I maximizing the ROI of these compact machines?
What seems like a straightforward question does not have a one-size-fits-all answer. However, breaking it down into four other easy-to-answer questions can help you come up with the correct solution for your machine. Whether you ask yourself, the rental yard or a Ditch Witch dealer, answering these questions is a great way to get the most bang for your buck out of your rental equipment.
And if you are a rental yard owner, keep reading. Because knowing the answers to these questions is a great way to keep your customers happy and your rental yard busy.
What does my jobsite look like?
Understanding your jobsite is a key piece of information for renting the right machine and getting the highest ROI on that machine. You should consider the size of your jobsite. Are there long stretches that need to be trenched or does your jobsite have space restrictions? You should consider any obstacles. Look to see if there are any obstacles you’ll have to avoid, like fences, sheds or existing landscaping structures. You’ll also need to consider the underground landscape. Check what the soil conditions are and if there are any existing underground utilities you’ll need to avoid. Understanding the layout of your jobsite will help you determine the right machine and set you up for success before digging into your job.
What are my responsibilities on the job?
You should determine exactly what you’ll need to accomplish the job before you rent a machine. For example, are you responsible for just the trenching? If so, then a walk-behind trencher is probably the best machine for you to rent. But if you are responsible for trenching, landscaping and laying product, then a stand-on skid steer would be a more apt choice. There is a wide variety of compact machines that are designed to tackle different workloads. Knowing all the jobs that you’ll need to complete will help you rent the right machine and avoid over or under-preparing.
Do I need any supplemental equipment?
A great follow-up question to the above. Some renters may require more than one piece of equipment. For example, some jobsites may require a vacuum excavator. If you need to expose existing utilities or work in space-restricted areas, vacs are some of the most popular machines to supplement compact equipment needs. Another example is if you choose to rent a stand-on skid steer, you should consider which attachments you may need in addition to the standard dirt bucket.
Do I know how to operate the rental equipment?
This is a simple one. You should be confident that you know how to operate any machine you rent before you sign the rental agreement. It’s fine if you’re unsure. There are options out there to help you learn. Ditch Witch certified training is free and easily accessible. These online modules will teach you operation best practices for trenchers, stand-on skid steers, vacuum excavators and other product categories. If you’re looking for a more in-person experience, talk to your rental yard or local Ditch Witch dealer to learn about other options.
Listen to this Rental Bottom Line podcast to learn more rental tips for compact equipment and vacuum excavators from Ditch Witch product managers.