Why are more and more contractors choosing rental?

Factors influencing the choice of contractors for machine-hire over sales.

It appears that the conventional model of equipment ownership is gradually eroding in the Middle East. Tales of wealthy contractors purchasing entire fleets of brand-new construction machinery are fast becoming the stuff of legend, rather than reality.

This shift is manifesting itself in a number of ways. For example, it is precipitating the rise of fleet leasing and finance, as local suppliers look to provide flexible payment options to meet the changing needs of their customers.

Another example of how this trend is affecting the region’s equipment industry is the ever-growing popularity of the rental sector. More and more, contractors operating in the Middle East are turning to hire firms to provide the kit that they need to get the job done. But why?

Since establishing a UAE office in 1996, Rapid Access has grown to become one of the largest rental players in the Middle East. Today, the powered access specialist – part of Lavendon Group – boasts branches in every GCC country, and operates a 3,000-strong, multi-brand fleet of aerial work platforms (AWPs).

Alexis Potter, sales and marketing director at Rapid Access, says that although AWPs have always fared well in the rental sector, customers are also looking to tap into the expertise that specialist hire firms are able to provide. “Our business model takes the form of a consultancy,” he told PMV.

“We identify the machines that are most appropriate to our clients’ needs. Moreover, we’re the world’s largest supplier of IPAF training. Our main regional training centre is here in Dubai, and we operate others across the GCC. We show our customers how to use AWPs safely and effectively. We enable their employees to become qualified AWP operators,” he explained.

Although Rapid Access operates predominantly in the rental sector, it also acts as an authorised dealer for some of the industry’s largest AWP manufacturers. Nevertheless, Potter and his colleagues seem happy for this rental-oriented shift to continue in the Middle East.

“Rental suits us; we offer a sales service and we’ll continue to respond to what our clients need, but we’re primarily a specialist rental business,” he emphasised.

“We’re noticing this preference for rental more and more. If a construction company has a specific project for which they’re going to need to reach the same height for a number of years, then of course, it makes sense to buy.

“However, if your company operates in a sector like mining, or oil and gas, then it’s best to tie up your money in getting that stuff out of the ground. In turn, Rapid will concentrate on your powered access requirements,” he explained.

Check the full article here http://www.arabianindustry.com/construction/features/2015/feb/1/why-are-more-and-more-contractors-choosing-rental-4943575/?artpno=1#.VfgbfxGqpHy