If you need to have a crane to help you harvest your fruit trees, you know you will need the piece of equipment for an extended amount of time, meaning a high rental bill. If you choose a bare crane rental contract, you can save some money. However, before you agree to this type of contract, it is important to understand what you will be giving up for a lower cost.
A bare crane rental is for the crane only. You will have to have someone who knows how to drive and operate the crane on your team. However, this does not mean that you cannot go with a bare rental just because no one on your crew currently knows how to operate the machine. Most crane rental facilities offer a quick course in the operation of each piece. You, or a crew member, may need to have full training, a refresher course, or perhaps the crane you plan on renting is different from what you are used to running. When you call about the rental, make sure to ask about an operator's course.
A bare crane rental contract may state that you are responsible for regular maintenance if it is required during your rental period. You will also be responsible for any repairs that are needed due to the way the machine is handled or operated. However, you should not have to pay for repairs that occur due to the normal wear and tear on the vehicle. For example, you will have to pay for fluid changes and routine lubrication of the hydraulics but will not have to pay to have a transmission repaired or the brakes replaced unless the problem was due to the way you used the crane.
Some companies have specific cranes they will rent out "bare," and all the others must go with an operator. This means that if there is a problem with the machine you have rented, you may not receive a replacement crane while the machine you rented is being repaired. This is important if you are on a tight deadline and need to have the crane there every day to be able to finish on time. Ask the rental company how many bar rental machines they have and if they often run out of them. If you are worried about this happening, you may want to ask about a revised contract that will allow for an operator and machine only if the bare rental breaks down. Of course, this will add some to the cost of the rental, but only should you need a replacement.
Don't be afraid to go with a bare crane rental if you have someone available to operate it. If no one knows how or is comfortable with operating the machine, consider temporarily hiring an operator on your own, you may still save some money over a full, operator included rental.