Snow removal equipment on job site
Snow removal equipment on job site

Snow Removal Machine Rentals vs. Ownership

Ready to add some new equipment to your snow removal fleet? Before you shop, it’s a good idea to figure out whether snow removal machine rentals vs. ownership is right for you.

CAITLIN MADDOCK-BAHR | Social Media & Digital Strategy Manager

An important part of prepping for the winter storm season and signing snow removal contracts is making sure you’ve got the equipment ready to do the job. The question is, how do you get that equipment? Are snow removal machine rentals your best option, or should you buy or lease? We compare your options.

The Pros and Cons of Snow Removal Machine Rentals

For many snow removal contractors, the summer months are the time where commercial contracts are signed and winter equipment needs are determined. Many commercial contracts have requirements about what equipment is involved, how many pieces of equipment are needed and whether there need to be machines left on the job site throughout the entire contract period.

Snow removal machine rentals based on commercial contract work is a good option to meet this demand, letting you fill out your fleet. It’s also helpful for snow and ice removal businesses that may be just getting started in commercial work because it can allow you to see whether that work is something you’d want to offer longer-term without the commitment of buying new equipment.

There is also the possibility of buying the rental snow removal equipment at the end of the season, which can help you build out your fleet without buying something new. In these cases, it’s best to talk to your local Cat® dealer up front and see what your options are.

The downside of snow removal machine rentals is you must be proactive in getting rental contracts set up with your dealer as early as possible. If you wait too long, they may not have the snow removal equipment you need for the work you have planned. It’s a good idea to begin talks with your dealer as soon as you’ve signed contracts for any winter snow removal jobs.

The Pros and Cons of Buying Snow Removal Equipment

The biggest benefit of buying snow removal equipment is that you’ll have the machines and attachments you need for the work ahead. For snow and ice removal work you know you’ll do year after year, it makes sense to buy a core group of machines and attachments to add to your fleet so they’ll always be at the ready.

The obvious drawback to buying equipment is that it’s a bigger investment than renting. If you’re trying out offering a new service for your snow removal business, you probably don’t want to buy new equipment at the start until you know whether that service is going to be something you offer the following year.

The Pros and Cons of Leasing Snow Removal Equipment

Leasing is another option for building out your snow and ice removal fleet if you aren’t ready to buy and don’t want to rent. Leasing comes down to a question of cash flow for your business, so take a look at your business plan and see whether it makes sense to consider.

Monthly payments on leased equipment are often lower than payments on a short-term rental. There are also different leasing options available through your local dealer, so it’s worth a discussion to learn what’s possible.

The best strategy for your business might be a mixture of some or all of these payment options. You can buy the core snow and ice removal machines and attachments you know your business will use most year after year, and supplement your fleet with rental equipment or leased equipment. Remember, your local Cat dealer is ready and available to help you make a plan for your snow removal machine needs this year.

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Author Photo
Author Photo


Social Media & Digital Strategy Manager

Caitlin Maddock-Bahr exercises her storytelling expertise as a social media & digital strategy manager. In this role, she not only helps Caterpillar connect with their audience, but helps customers connect with the brand.