Should You Buy or Rent Heavy Equipment? | Blog


When you need to expand your fleet, you have two options — buying or renting. The difference between heavy equipment you should own versus pieces you should rent will depend on your needs and other factors.

Is Buying Heavy Equipment Worth the Investment?

Choosing heavy equipment to invest in or buy depends heavily on your situation. Owning equipment is worth the investment in certain situations, like if you will need it repeatedly over an extended period, or if it provides your business with the ability to make a larger profit on a service.

Pros and Cons of Owning Heavy Equipment

Purchasing heavy equipment for your business is a big investment and there are a lot of factors you should consider before making the decision.

Pros of Heavy Equipment Investments

Here are some advantages of buying equipment:

1. One-Time Investment

For some businesses, having a one-time purchase is more beneficial than having smaller but more payments over time. Especially if you need a specific piece of equipment for a long-term project, buying it may be a better financial decision.

Depending on your budget, this could also be a con for your specific situation if you do not have the funds to make a large purchase outright. Loans and financing options can help here.

2. Safety

When you own equipment, you can train employees on how to use it, and they won’t need retraining until you purchase new machinery. The more your staff use a piece of equipment you own, the more familiar they’ll become with it and the safer they can be.

3. Time Savings

Renting equipment can slow down a project if it faces delays in getting to your work site. Owning the equipment eliminates the time you would otherwise spend waiting for a piece of rental equipment to arrive, increasing your productivity and moving your project along faster.

Cons of Heavy Equipment Investments

Here are some reasons equipment is not worth buying:

1. Maintenance

Buying equipment means investing in everything it needs to stay in good condition. You also have to make space in your warehouse or at your work site to store the machinery. You might also need to come up with the means to transport them to different sites as needs arise. All of these factors cost money. Meanwhile, the maintenance and storage are done for you when you rent equipment, and transportation can be taken care of for you, too.

2. Aging Equipment

When you buy equipment, you are essentially eliminating your ability to have top-of-the-line machinery at your disposal. Though your equipment may be the best for a while, there will come a time when there will be something better. If you rent heavy equipment, you can spend the money you saved on the best piece of equipment available.

3. Depreciation Costs

As the equipment you have purchased gets older and out-of-date, it loses value, and selling it will not have the same return on investment as it did when you purchased it. Renting equipment avoids this scenario entirely.

Pros of Renting Heavy Equipment

Renting heavy equipment makes sense for a number of reasons over purchasing. Here are some specific examples of how it can benefit your company:

Flexibility for Short or Unique Projects

If you need a piece of heavy equipment for a shorter project, renting makes much more sense than buying. You will pay for the equipment only as long as you need it for. Your team can take on a special project or rent specific machinery to complete a particular task on a job.

No Maintenance

Renting saves you from maintaining heavy equipment because the rental company has that covered. You might gain on-site support from a rental company, which includes preventive maintenance if you are renting for a long time. You can also get 24-hour repairs in the case of an equipment malfunction.

New Equipment

Renting allows you to afford the newest equipment for your project. If you were to purchase equipment, it would not be the best and newest for very long and it would soon begin to depreciate in value.


Renting is affordable because you do not have to pay a down payment, and the overall cost will likely be less than it would for an upfront payment when purchasing equipment.

Improved Performance

Being able to pick a machine with the specifications that most closely match that of your project allows you to complete tasks with more accuracy. Instead of using whatever is in your fleet to complete a job, you can find exactly what you need for rent, keeping your staff safer and more productive.

Is There Heavy Equipment You Should Rent Instead?

Renting heavy equipment provides you with a lot of benefits you do not get when buying equipment. Heavy equipment your business should rent includes:

Aerial Lifts

With several aerial platforms available, you can find the one that is right for your project. Your rental options include:

  • Boom lifts: Boom lifts are perfect for reaching over barriers with their different sections.
  • Vertical personnel lifts: Vertical personnel lifts are suitable for lifting staff up to high and tight spaces.

Telehandler Lifts

Telehandler lifts provide you with great lift capacity, reach capacity, and superior visibility. These lifts are easy to operate and have a comfortable station for operators. Several types of telehandler lifts are available, like large-capacity options your business might only need for some jobs.


Forklifts are one of the most common and versatile pieces of heavy equipment in a factory or work site. They are able to move heavy loads, get to materials placed high off the ground easily, and maneuver easily around tight spaces. Just some of your forklift rental options include cushion tire models and pneumatic forklifts for indoor or outdoor use.


Excavators are very useful pieces of machinery for big jobs and are helpful to have on construction sites. They come in a variety of sizes so they can get to your desired reach. Renting excavators makes sense because no two projects are alike and you may always need a different length of reach.

How to Rent Heavy Equipment

Renting heavy equipment from Thompson Rents allows you to get all the Cat® rental equipment you need in one stop. To rent online, follow these steps:

  1. Browse our product categories to find the equipment category you need for your job and select it.
  2. Choose the specific piece of equipment you need and click “Add to Request.”
  3. Select how many of that machine you need, choose your start and end dates, and add any other relevant notes.
  4. Click “Add to Request” under the information you input.
  5. Add any other equipment you need to your request.
  6. Click the cart to complete your request.
  7. Fill out your contact information, whether you’ll need transportation, and other details.
  8. Submit your request.

Find the Rental for You at Thompson Rents

Thompson Rents is ready to help you find the right heavy equipment rental for your business or project. To choose the equipment that is right for you, you can come to one of our multiple locations in Alabama and northwest Florida, speak to a rental specialist at 800-547-0760 or get a quote online.


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