Fellow Surveyors, I want to hear what you think about this in our current economic climate. Do you believe you should rent the equipment you need, or purchase it outright? Tell me what you think?

(Note: I wrote a recent article for Kwipped regarding this, and gave my opinion on the question. http://goo.gl/bAXg0O)


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  • Renting or purchasing depends on a number of factors. (1) The types and tempo of job operations (2) Urgency of deliverables (3) Intensity of job.

    If mapping for example, you may not need buy some sophisticated equipment to operate. Just hire. It does not come frequently.

    For engineering surveying, you needed buy equipment since you are going to use intensely and continuously for a particular engineering job.

    In cadastre, you must have basic equipment because of frequency and less intensiveness. Jobs could be relatively small except it is Multipurpose Cadastre.

    Where job is competitive and demands heavy equipment, hiring is the solution.
  • Working at the moment in a surveying rent company I believe RENT is the best option for testing and explore new equipment models as well the best for short works (a couple months for exemple and depend on the equipment value).
  • I would say it all depends on the person or company and the situation.  Leasing equipment is a GREAT way to constantly have top of the line equipment while having a great tax write off.  Renting is the perfect idea when you have a project that may require some equipment that you normally would not need on a regular basis.  Of course owning your own equipment is nice so that once you are done paying for it, you are done paying for it and can still write off the depreciation.  It all depends on your specific situation.

    • I agree with you.
    • I did forget to mention in the article the advantage that you can expand and contract as needed for that big job that comes in without keeping all that expensive equipment around.

      Paid for equipment is definitely a nice thing to have. It seemed to me that everytime I paid it off, it was worn out and I needed to replace it. (Again, surveyors aren't the best at taking care of the equipment. In my experience, I think that comes from the fact that THEY didn't buy it.)

      Land Surveyors: Reserve Your Cash with Rental GPS Equipment
      KWIPPED is an innovative, online equipment rental marketplace where businesses can quickly locate and rent the equipment.
  • This is why you hire accountants... Ecckk!! I can't believe I said that. Consider your real work load vs. Field time required do the work.. Overhead hours vs. Billable hours... Tax deductions, write offs and pass through expenses... Increased field work production vs. Increased bills... Lots of financials to digest just to have the latest toys... And this is from a guy that REALLY likes new toys...
    • I definitely agree that a GOOD accountant could help you with this decision and more. I've not had enough experiences with GOOD accountants. Maybe cause one of them was my ex, but I digress. Some accounting folks are good at taxes and others hate taxes. If they don't understand taxes, AND enjoy helping you SAVE taxes, then they're only a glorified bookkeeper. My opinion. 

      Thanks for your input on this.

  • Rent, especially when you want to test drive all the new stuff
    • Ter, That's definitely one advantage for renting. Keith

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