5 Reasons Renting Construction Equipment Can Be Greener Than Owning

Looking to reduce your environmental impact? Renting may be the answer.

Some construction equipment can have a heavy carbon footprint. Shrinking that footprint is good for the environment — and might be better for your bottom line. One way to do it: Rent more equipment and buy less.

Need some convincing? Here are five reasons renting can be the more sustainable option.

1. Newer equipment

When you rent equipment from an industry-leading equipment vendor like United Rentals, you’re typically getting newer models. And newer models tend to have updated features that make them more fuel efficient and reduce or even eliminate construction equipment emissions. Consider electric construction equipment. About 20% of the United Rentals fleet is electric or hybrid, and that percentage is growing. Offerings include electric forklifts, aerial lifts, skid steers and mini excavators. In sum, if you’re looking to use low or zero-emission construction equipment, renting is an easy way to do it.

There is another benefit to working with newer machinery. Depending on its age and maintenance history, older equipment may require more energy to run.

2. Well-maintained equipment

Routine service and preventive maintenance are crucial for keeping equipment running at peak performance. United Rentals maintains its rental equipment, regardless of its age, in accordance with the original equipment manufacturer’s requirements.

Machines that are well cared for run more efficiently, saving fuel and reducing emissions. They also last longer, meaning equipment typically doesn’t have to be scrapped before its time. That saves natural resources in the long run.

3. Increased utilization

The longer a piece of equipment sits idle, the more it costs you — and the more equipment manufacturers need to produce. Renting allows you to pay for only what you need, so fewer pieces of machinery sit idle on a jobsite or in the yard. Once you’re finished with a piece of rental equipment, you can get it off your jobsite immediately with one phone call or a few clicks so it can be used somewhere else.

United Rentals’ fleet management solution Total Control helps boost utilization by providing visibility into the real-time location of all your equipment, both rented and owned, and the last time it was in use.

4. Greater transportation efficiency

Moving equipment to different jobsites can quickly add up to wasted fuel and emissions if it’s not done wisely. At United Rentals, we use a customized logistics and route optimization tool for delivering and picking up equipment. By leveraging this technology, we can load our trucks in a way that uses as much trailer deck space as possible and in a sequence that keeps trucks within concentrated geographies and preferred traffic patterns. That reduces the number of empty loads and miles driven while maximizing the deliveries and pickups per trip. All of this means reductions in fuel consumption and associated greenhouse gas emissions and other air emissions.

5. The right machine for the right job

Before you add more owned equipment to your fleet, consider the environmental and economic advantages of renting. Renting not only reduces capital expenditures and boosts utilization, it also improves efficiency, helping your company and the construction industry as a whole become more sustainable.

Browse the world’s largest rental equipment fleet to find best-in-class equipment for your next project.

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