Whether you purchase, lease, or rent the equipment for your lawn mowing business depends on several factors. Part of it's personal preference. Part of it depends on the type of equipment and how often your business uses it. And part depends on what you come up with when weighing the pros and cons of the different options within your own business model.

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Renting

Renting gives you short-term use of equipment. Rental fees are usually charged by the hour or day. The equipment belongs to the rental agency and you're not responsible for upkeep costs or maintenance. It's less expensive up-front than buying equipment, though costs can start adding up quickly if you rent frequently.

Use This Option When …

  • You're only going to use the equipment a few times a year. For example, you might rent bark blowers in the spring when customers want their landscape beds mulched.
  • You have an immediate need. Renting makes sense if a valued customer needs last-minute lawn maintenance and your equipment is on another job, or if a mower breaks down and you need a quick fill-in.
  • You're just starting out. If you're just starting your lawn or landscaping business, you might not have the capital to purchase or lease all your equipment. Renting can help you start out with lower expenses.

Leasing

An equipment lease gives you long-term use of equipment. Leasing typically lasts for 2 or 3 years, but could also be for a few months. The lease agreement usually has a clause specifying how many work hours you can clock on the equipment without being charged extra. When the lease is up, you can usually either purchase the equipment or turn it back to the owner.

Use This Option When …

  • You always want to use new equipment. Leasing lets you use equipment while it's under warranty, then turn it back over to the owner and refresh your fleet with something new a year or two later.
  • You want to expense payments each month. Operating leases let you expense the cost of the lease each month rather than purchasing equipment and taking the depreciation. You'll have to run the numbers and decide which would be best for your business.
  • You need to supplement your equipment fleet. During the busiest times of the year, you might want to lease extra equipment for a few months to keep up with your customers' needs.

Buying

Purchasing equipment means you pay for the equipment either with cash or financed with a loan. You'll then own it for the life of the equipment. You're responsible for maintenance costs and, once the warranty wears out, any repairs.

Use This Option When …

  • You want to pay cash up-front and depreciate the expense. Some contractors find that owning their equipment out-right protects them during economic downturns.
  • You want control over your own equipment. If you're committed to regular maintenance and keep your equipment in good condition, it could outlast the terms of a lease and save money in the long run.
  • You're going to use the equipment frequently. There's no point in owning something you'll only use a couple times a year. But if you'll be using it often enough that renting would quickly equal the purchase price you might as well buy the equipment.

Whether you rent, lease, or purchase lawn equipment depends on what your business needs, and you can answer that question better than anyone. You might find that it makes sense for you to rent some equipment, lease others, and buy the rest. For the equipment you decide to purchase, come visit us at Richardson Saw & Lawnmower. We carry a wide range of commercial lawn equipment and we'll also be here to provide the parts and service you need to extend the working life of your equipment.