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.