6 Tips to Ensure You Get Your Deposit Back After Renting Heavy Equipment
You can’t complete every backyard project with a shovel.
11:56 12 May 2021
Sometimes you need larger equipment to dig a bigger or deeper hole, remove stumps, or move heavy objects.
If you’re going to rent heavy equipment to complete your projects, you’ll probably need to put down a security deposit. The required deposit may not be extremely high, but you’ll want to do everything possible to get your deposit back in full.
Here are 6 tips to make sure you get your full deposit returned after renting heavy equipment.
- Choose the right attachments
When clearing land, you’ll probably need to use various attachments with an excavator, including a stump grinder, a forestry cutter, and a mulching head. You might know someone with these attachments or you might have some already lying around. Before using any attachments that didn’t come with your rental, call the equipment rental place to ensure compatibility.
Heavy-duty hydraulic attachments make engines work harder, which can lead to overheating. Therefore, full compatibility is critical. Brush cutters and mulching heads are especially abusive on equipment and need to be selected with care. Everything from the size of the track loader to the horsepower and hydraulic flow will play a role in determining compatibility.
If you use the wrong attachment and cause damage to the equipment, you might not get your deposit back. If your rental agreement specifically lists the rules around attachments and you didn’t abide by those rules, you definitely won’t get your deposit back.
- Read the fine print
While your deposit should be fully refundable, make sure that’s the agreement. If it turns out that 10% of your deposit is non-refundable, find out why.
A partially non-refundable deposit could be to cover the gas for delivery and pickup. That’s understandable. However, if the rental company doesn’t have a valid reason for keeping part of your deposit, ask them to alter the contract. They might just be hoping their customers don’t notice.
- Learn about the equipment you’re renting
There’s a difference between driving a tractor around your property and operating a forklift. You might feel comfortable driving heavy machinery, but each piece of equipment takes experience and skill to operate.
If it’s your first time operating a forklift, you won’t have experience, but if you’ve done your research, you’ll have the conceptual knowledge necessary to use it properly.
- Have an experienced friend teach you how to operate the machinery
When renting a piece of heavy equipment, don’t hesitate to ask a friend for help. If you know someone with experience operating the equipment you need to use, they will be extremely helpful.
Anything you can learn about the proper way to operate the machinery will help you use it properly and prevent damage that can prevent you from getting your deposit back. Equipment is expensive. For example,a mid-range excavator can cost between $100,000 and $200,000 for a general model. If you severely damage the equipment, your small deposit probably won’t even cover repairs.
- Inspect the equipment after it’s dropped off
Heavy equipment will usually be delivered to your job site or property on a flatbed. Truck drivers are on tight schedules and need to unload as quickly as possible. When delivering to a residence, they’ll usually wait for you to direct them on where to unload. However, when renting equipment to use at a job site, you might not be present when the equipment is unloaded.
While it’s possible for other people to damage the equipment before you get to it, it’s not that likely. Still, do a quick inspection to make sure everything looks okay. If you notice any serious cosmetic defects (like deep scratches or dents) take a photo just in case.
- Get your rental agreement in writing
Whether it’s online or in print, get your rental agreement in writing. Some equipment rental companies are actually owned by people who rent out their own equipment and not large businesses. Make sure your deposit is documented as received in the correct amount and the terms for a refund are clearly spelled out.
Never just trust someone to rent you a piece of equipment without getting the entire agreement (including a receipt and terms for your deposit) in writing.
Deposit requirements too high? Shop around
If you really don’t want to pay a high deposit, shop around. You might find an equipment rental place that doesn’t require big deposits. However, you may not get top-notch equipment from one of those places. Deposits are inconvenient, but they exist for a reason.