Renting Lawn and Garden Equipment

Richard L. Parish  |  11/20/2004 1:51:43 AM

It is not necessary to buy all the equipment you need for your lawn and garden. Some expensive tools that you need only rarely can be rented as needed.
If, for instance, you need a rotary tiller only once a year to work up your garden in the spring, renting may be more practical than owning. Not only will you save money, but you won’t have to worry about maintenance.

Major Equipment
Many types of major equipment can be rented. Rotary tillers, stump grinders, shredder/grinders, tractors, ditchers, trenchers, powered post hole diggers and other similar machines are all available for rental.

Small Equipment
It may make sense to rent even some smaller tools you seldom use. An example is a lawn spreader. Rental will eliminate the need for storage space and may allow you to use more up-to-date equipment.

When It Makes Sense Not to Rent
Some equipment may be dangerous for amateurs to use. You might want to leave some jobs that require dangerous or difficult-to-use equipment to professionals hired for the job. Examples include stump grinding and ditching. Although you can rent equipment to do these jobs, using this equipment does require some skill and hard work.

Where to Rent
In addition to dedicated rental companies, you can sometimes rent equipment from lawn and garden equipment dealers, farm equipment dealers, garden centers and even hardware stores.

If you rent a machine often, the rental costs can add up to more than the purchase price. Rental equipment is supposed to be up to date and well maintained. Sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t. It can be frustrating to rent a machine and get it home only to find that the engine won’t start, some parts are damaged or missing, or the machine is not adjusted properly. Making two trips to the rental yard to pick up and return the machine is a negative. The machine you need may not be available, especially on a pretty Saturday, unless you have reserved it. Unless you have a truck or trailer, you may have to rent one or the other to haul the equipment you rent.

Rental companies have an obligation to:

  1. Qualify you as a renter. The rental agent should make sure you are capable of handling the equipment safely before agreeing to rent to you.

  2. Provide full instructions on use. Rental companies should not take for granted that you know how to operate a machine. They should go through a full instruction procedure to teach you to operate the equipment safely and effectively.

  3. Provide written instructions. You should be provided with a copy of the operator’s manual or other written instructions so you have a reference to use if problems develop.

  4. Warn of all safety hazards. The rental agent should specifically warn you of any hazards inherent in using a particular machine. If the machine is unreasonably dangerous, the rental company should not rent it.
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