Six quick tips for rental equipment selection

While the staff at your rental store should be able to help determine the best solutions for your current projects, here are several factors to note before you head to the rental yard.

1. Consider the underfoot conditions at the work site.
A piece of machinery operating on smooth concrete or asphalt may have different requirements than one working on 4 inches of loose gravel. Tracked machines perform best on soft or wet ground and tread lightly over sensitive surfaces like tree roots or new sod. Some situations may require flotation tires, or for especially harsh environments, solid tires.

2. Consider travel distances.
If a machine must travel extensively between points on the jobsite, features like ride control help make your operator more comfortable and also maximize load retention while traversing rough terrain.

3. The steepness of grades on a jobsite.
Tracked machines are often better able to handle hilly sites than their wheeled counterparts because they have the most surface area in contact with the ground.

4. Know the dimensions of the machine you need.
Does it have to fit through the narrow opening of a yard gate? Will it need to work next to a retaining wall or a lane of traffic? Operators can work confidently next to buildings or walls in compact radius hydraulic excavators because the machine’s upper frame does not extend beyond its tracks when it swings.

5. Lift capacity.
In general, choose the smallest machine that will get the job done. But don’t cut yourself short on size and power. If the machine lacks ample power for job requirements, it may take longer to complete the work.

6. Consider the use of attachments.
These tools help crews complete multiple tasks with one machine, eliminating the need to rent and transport additional dedicated-task machines. Look for quick couplers that allow the operator to change tools, often without leaving the cab. Machines with high-flow hydraulics maximize the power of certain attachments like augers and planers. If a job requires extensive use of such tools, renting a high-flow machine may be the best solution. The intended payload will help determine bucket selection. High-capacity, light-material buckets are best for loosely packed loads of wood chips or topsoil, while heavy-duty industrial grapple buckets are better equipped to accommodate irregularly shaped scrap materials.

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— Caterpillar provided the information for this article.