Should You Buy Or Rent Construction Equipment?

Should You Buy Or Rent Construction Equipment?
Should You Buy Or Rent Construction Equipment?

Construction sites usually need a lot of equipment for digging, lifting, loading, storing, trenching, and excavating. Some construction equipment includes lifting cranes, storage tanks, harvesters, pumps, earthmoving equipment, etc.

One of the significant decisions construction managers have to make is buying or renting the equipment. The decision to buy or rent the equipment will significantly impact the project’s budget, construction operations, and how soon you will complete the project.

Some of the factors you need to consider before making the decision include:


This is among the main factors you must consider as it has the most significant effects on the project operations. Spending too much on construction equipment might leave you with less money for other things like employee salary and materials.

In buying the equipment, the cost does not end once you pay for it. You also have to incur transportation and maintenance costs. Maintenance costs are recurring, and you have to have a mechanic on-site if you incur any equipment problems. You also have to buy spare and repair parts, which are usually expensive.

Equipment rental companies have dedicated maintenance, transportation and repair personnel. It would be expensive for a construction contractor to hire, train and manage maintenance personnel for equipment that they may only need for one portion of a project.

You will also incur additional costs for registration and insurance of the equipment if you buy it. When you rent, the renters will have already incurred that cost, and all you have to worry about is ensuring the equipment is in the best condition when you return it.

If you are a small business looking for ways to save as much money as you can, renting is the best option. Learn more about the benefits of renting a crane here.


Construction equipment is usually large and requires large spaces for storage. When you buy equipment, you have to invest more money and labour into building a permanent storage facility for the equipment.

You also have to look for an additional piece of land to build the storage facility, which costs more money. However, when you rent, you do not have to worry about the additional needed space for storing the equipment.

Asset depreciation

When you buy any machinery, it starts losing value as soon as you drive it off the yard. It loses more value with every dig, transportation, storage, and excavation you use it for. When you finally want to sell it, you would most likely sell it for less than what you paid for it. When you rent, the renting company is the one that deals with the asset depreciation, saving you the hassle.

Frequency of use

How often will you be using the equipment you want? If you are working on a one-time project like excavation or road construction, you will only use the equipment for as long as the project continues. However, if you have specialized in any project, you will use the equipment most of the time, making repeat rental costs more.

Experts recommend that if you use your equipment for less than 60-70% of the time, you should rent it; otherwise, you should buy it. That is because if you use it for less than 60-70% of the time, it will be idle for the rest of the time. Leaving it operated and unattended for a long time could result in different functional issues, which will add to repair costs.

Additionally, there may be one particular size and rating of a piece of equipment that is used for one task, but there could be other tasks that require a bigger piece of equipment. Renting equipment means you can rent the appropriate equipment for the appropriate job. For example, Quinlan Cranes has a wide variety of cranes that are suitable for different tasks – you may want to upgrade to a bigger crane at a different stage of the job.


How urgent is your project, and how soon do you need the equipment on-site? Rental companies usually work with many clients at a time, and sometimes, the equipment you want might not be available.
If you buy your equipment, you will have them at your facility 24/7, which means you never have to delay your project start or completion. This delay can easily be avoided by planning ahead of time and reaching out to the equipment rental company to reserve the equipment that you need.


When you buy equipment, you will have to upgrade different features, technologies, and parts over time, which is a costly repeat investment. You might also have to upgrade your equipment by buying other new ones, which are even more expensive.

When renting, however, that cost goes to the renting company. The main advantage is that you can access the latest technology equipment for a fraction of the price you would have paid to upgrade if you bought the equipment.

Variety and competitiveness

Construction equipment is usually very pricey, and even though you have a high-level company, buying all types of equipment can be a big investment, especially if you won’t use them all.

That means that you only buy the equipment you need, which narrows down the job options people can give you. For example, people will only hire you for excavation jobs if you purchase excavation equipment.

However, if you are renting, you have access to all the renting company’s equipment, including digging, loading, excavation, road construction, lifting, agriculture, storing, or scraping equipment. Therefore, people can approach you for different types of jobs, which leaves a lot of opportunities open and helps you maintain competitiveness against other big companies.

Before buying construction equipment, consider renting them and testing how they perform to determine if you need them. Also, if you are working with a budget, consider going for used equipment instead of new ones, but ensure they are still in good condition.

If you have any construction projects in Melbourne or Geelong and want high-quality cranes, Quinlan Cranes is here to help. Whether you need the crane hire for an extended period or a single project, we have a variety of cranes you can choose from, all of which are in great condition.

Our cranes range from 10t to 250t capacity, ensuring that we have a solution for you regardless of what you are lifting. We are ISO accredited for safety, quality, and environment, which means we will help you complete your project safely and efficiently.

Contact us today for more information, get a free quote, or hire our cranes.