With 2022 equipment orders delayed at least six months for most manufacturers, what can rental yards do to keep adding machines to their fleet? We spoke with Alex Diamond, Sales and Equipment manager for Coast to Coast Equipment to learn what’s working and how buying for rental has changed in 2022.

Heavy Equipment Purchasing Tips

Here are four heavy equipment purchasing tips from Diamond, who purchases approximately $4 million worth of equipment monthly:

1) Stay on top of equipment vendors

The days of ordering new and waiting only three to four months for delivery are over for now. Opening up relationships with rental yards is one of the best ways to source equipment for your fleet.

Building these relationships is like sales. There’s a fine line between being effective and annoying, but with drastic changes in availability day in and day out, raising your hand at the right time can make the difference between having a machine to rent out or not.

“Whatever is happening on a Monday at 8 a.m. is completely different from what’s happening on a Tuesday at 2 p.m.,” Diamond says. “Things are just changing hourly, especially with the increase of new pricing and all the different surcharges that are happening.”

2) Start now

Especially if you haven’t purchased from someone in the past, don’t wait until you have a need to start asking for the first time.

“Building those vendor relationships, those customer relationships, is crucial, especially in these times more than ever,” Diamond says.

How to stay on top of vendors?

It’s consistency.

Talking to other rental yards facing the same equipment shortages can be time consuming and feel like a lost cause, but outreach works.

“I’ve emailed the owner … for literally the past six to eight months asking for equipment once, if not twice, a week.,” Diamond says. “And he finally said: ‘You’re in luck. I have a 10K (telehandler) that I can let go.’”

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3) Use equipment marketplaces to search for recently added machines.

“Just being able to see what’s being added and what’s new in the market [is a way to] just get creative and think outside of the box because sending so many emails and calls isn’t always going to work.”

You can, for example, use the filtering tools on the left side of any search on FleetNow to find equipment that is close to you. Here’s a sample search for used boom lifts.

4) Keep an eye on delays

In 2019, you might be looking at waiting 12 to 15 weeks to take delivery on a new S-65 boom lift. Today? You could be waiting two years.

“Understanding what you should be buying used and at what price and why [is critical],” says Diamond. “Because if there is a 19-foot scissor and it’s $12,000, but I can’t get [a new one] for a year. I could get one now that’s maybe new and spend a thousand dollars more. I’m going to make that additional cost up rather than losing the rental income.”

Heavy Equipment Surcharges are the new norm

Many equipment manufacturers have increased pricing on units, including ordered units in 2022. JLG added 4% to all new and reconditioned machines in March.

At the time, they stated:

JLG will be adding a 4% surcharge to all new and reconditioned machines, including existing orders that have not yet shipped, beginning April 1, 2022, to offset a portion of these rising costs. This increase will be added to the current surcharge and calculated based on the net machine price on each order.

Their most recent update on May 2, 2022, did not increase pricing again, but left the door open for future surcharges.

We are watching several influencers, including general freight and trucking, deep sea freight and fossil fuel costs, all of which contributed to the 4% surcharge on reconditioned and new machines that began April 1.

Another significant contributing factor remains supply chain. To keep build schedules and order deliveries on schedule, expedited shipping costs on many parts and raw materials is necessary.

Skyjack added a 5.75% surcharge and MEC added 5% this year.

Buying heavy equipment?

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