When you need to vertically transport personnel and materials at your mid- or high-rise construction site, a construction hoist fits the bill. Used on all kinds of projects that require long-term access, these important pieces of equipment make your construction project possible. So how do you go about securing them–and does buying or renting make the most sense for your application?

When Purchase Makes Sense

Companies that buy construction hoists fall into these categories.

  • They want to own their equipment.
  • Renting is unavailable as they are working on projects located outside of the service area of a reputable rental provider.
  • Renting is not feasible because they need to rent for a very long time or they need a very customized piece of machinery.

Note that rental equipment companies also purchase construction hoists. And while some general contractors have a business model to own their own equipment, it is not an overly common occurrence.

Benefits of Buying Over Renting

Buying ensures you are getting modern equipment as well as machinery dialed into your specific needs. With renting, you have to work within the confines of a rental fleet. Unlike rental car companies that have a great number of models, typically rental hoist companies have limited options. Adding to the challenge is the fact that there are usually few rental companies in any given market.

Examples of projects where specialized equipment is required that is not available to rent include those that:

  • Use extra-large curtain wall systems, which are typically imported glass systems that can be up to 25 feet long
  • Have prefabricated bathrooms
  • Require extra-wide, extra-long, or extra-tall machinery that has to go into the construction hoist

Another consideration to keep in mind is that we sell into markets where no renter has the highest speed equipment available. It might not seem like a big deal, but slow-speed equipment can drag down a project schedule. Also, purchase typically makes sense if you will need the hoist longer-term, roughly three years or more.

The bottom line is that purchasing gives you an extremely wide range of options. You will have a lot more information about the type of equipment you’re buying and a lot more understanding of the capacities and the limitations of the equipment that you’re getting, making you much more prepared for your project.

When to Consider Rental

Renting a construction hoist is a good choice when you want to reduce your risk exposure. Often your insurance provider might necessitate that you go the rental route due to liability concerns. And if you are a general contractor, you know that most GCs are only insured to manage contracts, and not insured to own equipment. Renting from an accredited provider is typically a better route for most general contractors, developers, and industrial sites as it’s simpler and less risky.

Since construction hoists are life-safety elevating devices that carry people, they are potentially a high-risk issue. It can be a great choice to rent from a competent provider that also services the machinery. At UCEL, we have the expertise to ensure that everything is well-maintained and ready to go upon rental.

There’s also the economics of renting. If you’re not using a hoist over the long term, or if you’re managing a project on behalf of someone else, renting could be a good option for you.

Rental Pricing Considerations

Rental price is mostly affected by the speed and the capacity of the equipment, as well as the height and the number of floors.

One of the largest factors that can overinflate the price of a rental project is how far away from the facade of the building the construction hoist has to be located. Ideally, a construction hoist is located flush with the facade of the building for the entire height. In that way, no structure is required to bridge the gap between the construction hoist and the building. If the building is architecturally interesting or unique on every floor, then an unique landing structure has to be fabricated for each floor.

One of the biggest values of a consultative rental company is that they can reduce the cost of your project by intelligently locating the construction hoist where it will impact the scaffold setback structure the least. We have saved companies millions of dollars by shrewdly positioning their equipment in a different way they hadn’t thought of. This of course takes a fair amount of expertise. At UCEL, we listen to your needs, truly have your best interest in mind, and find the solution that makes the most sense for your project and your budget.

Helping You Make the Right Decision

As a manufacturer and a rental company, we are incredibly knowledgeable about all things related to construction hoists. We have far more sophisticated technical knowledge of the industry and the machines than our competitors do.

We serve both the US and Canada and are happy to walk your company through the various scenarios to identify the option that works best for you. Everyone’s situation is unique. No matter which path you take, UCEL adds our expertise to the process to make sure you get the best approach for your needs. Contact us to start the conversation.