Deciding Whether To Buy, Rent, Or Lease Construction Cranes: Know Your Options

Posted on: 29 October 2016

When you are a construction contractor, there are many business decisions that you have to make as you take on new clients and grow and expand your business. However, when your business begins to outgrow the current construction equipment you have and you need larger pieces like larger cranes or crawler cranes, or you simply need to replace the cranes you have that have suffered damage over the years, you are faced with a big decision. That decision is whether you should buy, rent, or lease those construction cranes. Many crane companies offer all three of these options. So, it is important that you get to know some of the different benefits and drawbacks of these three options so that you can select the construction crane option that is best for you and your business.

Crane Rentals

Renting a crane for use in your construction business is going to be the option that requires the smallest initial investment. Rentals of heavy construction equipment are often priced by the day or sometimes by the week and can be a relatively inexpensive way for you to get the construction equipment that you need for a specific job.

However, crane rentals are really only a good deal if you will require the crane for just a short period of time, such as for a single job or project. The per-day or per-week rate for renting a crane if you continue to rent equipment on a long-term basis will be more expensive in the long-run than leasing or renting your equipment. Rental cranes may also be more worn down and might not be the top-of-the-line equipment that you may need. Availability could also be an issue depending on the demand for crane rentals at the time.

Crane Leasing

Leasing a heavy-duty construction crane is essentially a step between renting and buying. When you lease your heavy construction equipment, you will make monthly payments on the crane in exchange for the right to continue to use the equipment as long as you keep up on your payments.

Leases may be month-to-month, or they could continue for a contracted period of time, such as six months or a year. When the lease on your crane is up, you will have the option to re-up your lease, return the equipment, or purchase the equipment. This is the construction crane option that gives you the most freedom and the largest number of options. Being able to continue to use the crane while paying a reasonable monthly fee and having the option to return it if you no longer need it or find that you may need a different type of crane to suit your needs can be preferable to making an outright purchase of the equipment.

Crane Buying

Of course, if you want to have full control and ownership over your construction crane, buying that equipment will be your best option. If you know that you will need the crane for numerous jobs in the future or you want to be able to write off the equipment purchase and the depreciation on your financial records and taxes, this is the best option for you. With a rental or lease of a crane, you can add the payments you make to your expenses, but the full cost of the equipment and the depreciation cannot be used to your business's financial benefit.

Now that you know more about the three construction crane options available to you and your business, you can select the option that best suits your needs.


Budgeting For Heavy Construction Equipment

After evaluating our profits and losses for the quarter, I realized that it might be best to start looking for ways to budget or save on the equipment we had to replace. Up until that point, we had been buying brand new items, but it just seemed like we were paying more money than we should for the things that we needed. After talking with a few brokers, I realized there might be a few ways to manage our money a little better. We started thinking very carefully about every cent that we spent, and it really made a big difference. Read more about budgeting for large business purchases here.