So You've Damaged The Rental Equipment. What Now?

If you've rented equipment for use on your worksite and have just found out that the equipment was damaged, you are likely thinking about what's going to happen to the deposit and what you'll have to do about getting the equipment fixed. Take these steps first to ensure you reach the right conclusion. You have to be sure the damage was your company's fault before you take further action.

Is It Really Your Fault?

As mentioned, you have to find out what caused the damage and what led up to the situation in the first place. For example, if the equipment was damaged because part of it collapsed, and you figure out that the collapse was due to a flaw in the equipment, then you need to contact the rental company and let them know that they gave you faulty equipment. If a tree on a neighboring property fell on the equipment, then you need to contact both the rental company and that neighboring business, as well as your insurance company to work out compensation. It is possible you could lose your deposit because the damage wasn't the rental company's fault, but the rental company may also wait for repayment from the insurance company instead.

Preventing More Damage

If it turns out the damage was due to negligence or faulty actions on the part of your workers, you have to figure out exactly what they did so that you can retrain them to prevent future accidents. Look at the surrounding area where the damage happened and make necessary modifications. For example, if the equipment was mobile and suffered tire damage due to potholes on your worksite that formed after recent rains, you need to fill those in immediately to prevent other equipment from sustaining damage as well. If you had a negligent employee who wasn't looking and sideswiped another piece of equipment, that employee may need to be let go.

Arrange for Repairs and Replacement

Now you have to arrange for repairs and replacement. If the damage turned out to be a result of faulty equipment, the rental company should pick up and replace the item. If the damage was the result of something like that tree, or vandalism (i.e., not the rental company's fault but not something you could have helped prevent), the rental company will tell you how they expect to get payment for the damage from you (your deposit, your insurance, or another method), and they'll discuss bringing another piece of equipment out. If the damage was entirely the fault of someone at your company, though, you may have to pay additional deposits to get another piece of equipment, or you may have to look for another rental company. The exact route varies between companies, but please realize that you wouldn't be the first person in this situation. Rental companies have straightforward procedures for cases like this.

It's important to look over the contract you sign carefully because that will contain more company-specific information about handling damage. Contact a rental company like A-1 Rental if you have concerns.