Rented a Lift to replace some lights. Sad the condition of the equipment
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    SulleyBear's Avatar
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    Rented a Lift to replace some lights. Sad the condition of the equipment

    I stopped at the area rental store a couple of days ago to arrange the rental of a lift with the basket platform. I have a light fixture on my house that's about 30 feet in the air and my wife has specifically prohibited me from using my 34' extension ladder. In fact, she has asked me to sell it so I won't use it and she essentially told me that if she finds me using it up at those heights, she is going to give it away to someone so I can't use it again. She means business, so I don't push the issue. Plus, I have endured a lifetime of orthopedic and spinal operations and I don't want any part of that.

    They had a 34 foot trailer mounted lift, but it has manual down riggers and a gas engine which is somewhat a pain as you have to yell over the gas engine to talk to anyone helping you on the ground. That one rents for $185 per day or $135 per half day.

    They also have a 45 foot lift on a 4 wheel drive chassis platform. Since I am working on the driveways in both projects, the 4 wd chassis isn't needed and it rents for $310 per day or $235 for 4 hours.

    They also have a scissor lift platform but it only lifts to 19.6" of platform height. That unit rents for 1/2 day $100, full day $150. This unit also uses the small interior lift truck hard tires and my neighbors driveway, while concrete, is very rough, so I didn't want to risk the area where I need the lift to be one with broken concrete.

    The unit I rented is one I have used before and it's a trailer unit 45' articulating lift with hydraulic down riggers. It rents for $185 for the 1/2 day or $235 for the whole day. It worked out great renting it today as I got it for the 1 day rate and I return it next Wednesday, January 2. So this worked out very well. I have a few other things I can do with the lift having it this long.

    The ownership of the rental company has changed over the past couple of years. I was really surprised with what I found when I rented this unit. The manager was the one who rented me the equipment and did the re-orientation of its operation. But the overall condition of the equipment is disappointing. Check out some of the issues I noticed just pulling it home and parking it......



    Fenders are beat to snot and rattling......



    The tail light wire is draped over the boom and down rigger and needs to be unplugged to operate the unit. This is supposed to run through the frame rail and not require these additional steps and I can tell from the appearance of the wire, its likely been this way for some time as I can see where it's been repaired when this fix has been broken because someone didn't disconnect when raising the unit.



    Look at the tongue jack tires. One bald, one completely deflated and off the rim.

    The actual tires on the trailer are mismatched, Same wheels, different tires. One worn, one very worn.

    The unit shimmied noticeably on the ride home. I almost wonder if it has a wheel loose as one is leaning out at the top. Could also be the axle is bent because the condition of the fenders show its use history.

    The charging on the trailer doesn't work like it should, and apparently requires a 12 volt battery charger to be hooked to the batteries directly instead of simply plugging in the unit, which should charge the batteries. I have a charger so its no big deal to get it recharged, but it would be nice to just plug it in.

    It's sad the condition of the equipment. It's sad how damaged it gets with use. Someone had cut through the aluminum basket handrail with a chainsaw. Seriously? Apparently the sparks weren't an indication the saw had left wood and was in metal?

    My wife saw this in the driveway and asked me "Is this safe to use?" I think it is, as long as the controls function as they should and I wasn't informed any differently.

    The one thing the guy said to me and I thought he was kidding, but he wasn't, was when I was paying for the unit. I wrote a check out for the rental and he said "Just make the check out to us and sign it and leave the check blank that way we can adjust it when you return the unit".

    I laughed and told him "I don't give ANYONE a signed, blank check" and I asked him "Do people actually do that?" and he said "All the time". Well, not only are the people renting the equipment poor operators as things are all torn up, they are IDIOTS for giving someone a signed blank check for them to "fill in later". It's very tough to defend the amount the check is cashed for when its made out in your hand writing and signed with your signature.

    Ain't no way.........never would I do that. I told him if there is an adjustment, we will deal with it on Wednesday with either a new check or in cash.

    I hate to see equipment abused and not maintained. In the past, this place was always very good to deal with. What I am seeing is really troubling. Short cuts, patch jobs, excuses instead of action......

    The manager told me that he plans to go to Harbor Fright and get some "Solid Rubber tires" for the dolly jack so this doesn't happen again". How about simply inflating them?

    The shaft on the tongue jack has been bent significantly, it couldn't sit straight if it desired to.

    If they aren't charging the users for the damage they are causing, they are making a huge mistake. If they are charging and collecting for the damage and not using the money to initiate the needed repairs, they aren't going to remain in business very long. This is not how rental equipment at nearly $250 per day should be presented when it's rented to customers.

    These lifts are $32,000 brand new and several used units in much better shape can easily be found for around $20k to $22k. In fact, I looked at about a dozen listings and NONE of the used units were in the shape of this unit. Between depreciation and rental revenues, the $235 per day requires 136 full day rentals to recoup the purchase cost. Assuming it rents out 3 days a week on average, that's about 10 months of renting the lift on average of 3 days a week (in round numbers) to recoup the initial investment. This unit was paid for a long time ago......

    The next place to rent these lifts is about 25 miles away and I will be contacting them next time for prices, etc. They also have about 40 various lifts in stock so they have many more options to choose from. I like to do business locally, but when I see equipment maintained in this fashion, it makes me wonder about it's actual overall safety during use. If these shortcuts have been taken, are they servicing the unit and making sure bolts are tight, etc? I think we can assume they aren't taking care of those details..........

    Disappointing and sad to see a business operated in this fashion.
    To protect myself, I took photos of the entire unit when I got it home, just so there are no issues with claims of damage while I have the unit.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20181228_130057673.jpg   IMG_20181228_130152788.jpg   IMG_20181228_130043651.jpg  
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    Robnik's Avatar
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    You are right about them not staying in business very long when they maintain their equipment like this. And asking for a signed blank check is really outrageous in my opinion. I don't think I would do business with them again even to rent something without moving parts! Be careful with that thing!
    Last edited by Robnik; 12-28-2018 at 07:33 PM.
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    JD4044M (12-28-2018)

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    Heck I would have added a few more feet to my tractor boom and stuck the boom inside the door and sat in a seat and did that job. They have Hand Held Tubular Extensions with bulb holders on the ends to do that also. Might look into one or be sure to use LED Bulbs they last a long time.https://www.amazon.com/Mr-LongArm-66.../dp/B000V5802E

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Are you talking on the outside of your house cause my wife would not let me bring that inside to change a bulb let alone fit thru the door! This is why I built my boom for stuff like this. My Body weight won't cause any problems using it all the way to 20 ft or higher. the 20 ft will cover me for any high except my light pole and I installed a ladder knowing I was not going to spkike up it much longer. My last adventure was climbing the big tree outside my home 70-80 ft up and putting a Lightning Rod on it. Going up was hard had to use a ladder to get to the first branch then spikes and ropes to go further. Once at the top I pulled up what I needed to do the job. I had a big rope thru it over the top branch to the bottom. Then I grabbed both and went hand over hand all the way down holding 2 ropes and pulled the rope off the tree at the bottom. I was in real good shape 15 years [email protected]! Now it would be hard to get to the first branch I tried! Wanted to put a ladder to the top and build a place to enjoy coffee and see the view!Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	664176 I was going to set up a hoist to raise me up and build a Crows nest at the top. My Wife thinks I am crazy at times and goes inside when I do things like this so she can't see me in the process of doing it.
    Last edited by JD4044M; 12-28-2018 at 08:15 PM.
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    I wouldn't have rented it. And that's coming from a guy going 40 feet up in a 1961 Mini-Mo with a West Brick Buggy. When you look at the shape it's in, the guy doing the repairs is probably the same one doing maintenance at the same time. My thought is no one is doing either. I don't anyone to be 30 feet up and find out a critical piece is broken and gravity is about to win or have to have the FD come to rescue me. To be honest I think I'd rather fall than have the fire guys rescue me, I'd never ever hear the end of that.

    Just be careful with that thing Sulley.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD4044M View Post
    Heck I would have added a few more feet to my tractor boom and stuck the boom inside the door and sat in a seat and did that job. They have Hand Held Tubular Extensions with bulb holders on the ends to do that also. Might look into one or be sure to use LED Bulbs they last a long time.https://www.amazon.com/Mr-LongArm-66.../dp/B000V5802E

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Pole.jpg 
Views:	14 
Size:	26.7 KB 
ID:	664152

    Are you talking on the outside of your house cause my wife would not let me bring that inside to change a bulb let alone fit thru the door! This is why I built my boom for stuff like this. My Body weight won't cause any problems using it all the way to 20 ft or higher. the 20 ft will cover me for any high except my light pole and I installed a ladder knowing I was not going to spkike up it much longer. My last adventure was climbing the big tree outside my home 70-80 ft up and putting a Lightning Rod on it. Going up was hard had to use a ladder to get to the first branch then spikes and ropes to go further. Once at the top I pulled up what I needed to do the job. I had a big rope thru it over the top branch to the bottom. Then I grabbed both and went hand over hand all the way down holding 2 ropes and pulled the rope off the tree at the bottom. I was in real good shape 15 years [email protected]! Now it would be hard to get to the first branch I tried! Wanted to put a ladder to the top and build a place to enjoy coffee and see the view!Click image for larger version. 

Name:	100_2725.JPG 
Views:	13 
Size:	1.91 MB 
ID:	664176 I was going to set up a hoist to raise me up and build a Crows nest at the top. My Wife thinks I am crazy at times and goes inside when I do things like this so she can't see me in the process of doing it.
    I use to climb 40' power poles when I was much younger and worked for a utilities company. Even then I don't think I would have had the stones to climb that tree of yours. Too many obstacles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robnik View Post
    I use to climb 40' power poles when I was much younger and worked for a utilities company. Even then I don't think I would have had the stones to climb that tree of yours. Too many obstacles.
    The branches were like trees growing out the sides6-8" in dia. Spikes were only in bark so you had to be careful not to jerk them around. I tried to have 2 ropes on me at once leaving one on when I thru the other one higher over the next branch. When I got over the 1/2 way point it got easier to do and I dropped the spikes and just climbed up but still had 2 ropes. It is a lot further up when your up the tree then looking at it from the ground but I wanted to do it. I was tired at the top too glad going down was easy! It had been hit with lightning once so there was this flat spot you could sit and the braches were still real big. I put a 6 ft long stainless steel rod up there on a insulator and ran 1/0 cu to the bottom and buried a bunch of it bare in the ground away from the tree. I call it my Cone of protection and it has taken a hit and worked! Man it was real loud, shook the house and lit up the place at night too. It is way taller then my wood stove stack and Ham towers none of them have been hit in 23 years so far. I did a good job putting it up and it is still strait. I screwed big insulators into the tree and ran the wire thru them as I went up pulling it with a small rope inside the holes thru them. Not sure why I like the feel of danger but now that I am old it scares me more and my knees start to move around? Keep thinking I might get one of those nerve short circuits that open my hands once in a while!! That is why I now hook on when up in the air real good. Used to climb my 30 ft light pole with out a strap till I got to the top??
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    We had a real good rental company near us that went down hill when they changed ownership. Sad to see equipment in that shape. Be careful.

    Blank check are you for real buddy
    Last edited by jdmich; 12-29-2018 at 08:00 AM. Reason: Fat fingers
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdmich View Post
    Blank check are you for real buddy
    My wife will not trust ME with a blank check,,,









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    had a Funny reminder about Utility poles!

    I was watching this big lineman hook up a 600 amp 3 phase service on a pole to hot lines. Man a big flash and puff of smoke went off in the process. He came down in that bucket real fast problem was the phase was taped wrong on one of the 6 - 4/0 cables!! I did not do this. He got out of the bucket turned around and it was a Big Lady not a Big Guy! I said wow your a woman never saw one that was a lineman before! She looked at me and said shut up or I will stand on your boots and pull your head off and she could do it. They opened up the CT Can and found the problem. Glad I did not make it up she was pissed but should have checked them before closing the fuses on it! I will never forget that day glad she did not get hurt!
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD4044M View Post
    I was watching this big lineman hook up a 600 amp 3 phase service on a pole to hot lines. Man a big flash and puff of smoke went off in the process. He came down in that bucket real fast problem was the phase was taped wrong on one of the 6 - 4/0 cables!! I did not do this. He got out of the bucket turned around and it was a Big Lady not a Big Guy! I said wow your a woman never saw one that was a lineman before! She looked at me and said shut up or I will stand on your boots and pull your head off and she could do it. They opened up the CT Can and found the problem. Glad I did not make it up she was pissed but should have checked them before closing the fuses on it! I will never forget that day glad she did not get hurt!
    It's like a shotgun going off. It's a good thing she was in a bucket.
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