Should You Rent or Purchase Mats?

Is it best to rent or purchase crane mats and laminated mats? This is a common question we get when companies need mats. They often are unsure of the best option for their project. This article will walk you through what to consider when choosing to rent or purchase mats. 

Renting mats can be enticing. It is a low monthly cost in comparison to purchasing. For some projects it is the best option. For others, it is better to purchase the mats. To decide whether you should rent or purchase mats, you need to consider the following:

  • How long will the mats be needed?
  • How far is the freight going?
  • How many mats will be damaged or broken?
  • Storage and breaks

How long will the mats be needed?

The biggest factor that goes into choosing whether to rent or purchase is the time frame the mats will be used. For laminated mats or 4’x18’x8″ mats you usually pay for the mats in four to five and a half months of rent. The time frame can be longer for larger mats. Anytime you come near renting for four months, you should calculate how much you will pay in rent, add that to the amount you will pay in freight to return the mats, and see which choice is better. Any term over 6 months, you should usually look to purchase the mats.

How far is the freight going?

Freight is important in analyzing if it is better to rent or purchase mats. When you rent, you have to pay for the freight of the mats when they are returned. In many cases, this can be the difference that makes it more expensive to rent the mats than purchasing them. Always consider the cost of returning the mats before making a decision to rent or purchase.

How many mats will be damaged or broken?

There is always a chance you break some of the mats. If you break or damage a mat, you will be responsible for paying for the mat. The following factors will increase the chances that you may break a mat.

  • How old is the mat? Companies do not always rent new mats. The mats may have been rented out one time or multiple times. The wear on the mats may not be very noticeable, but it will cause the mats break more quickly. 
  • How many times will you move the mats? Each move increases the chance a mat will break. If you are looking to leapfrog mats or use them in multiple areas throughout a project, you will increase the likelihood one or multiple mats are broken. 
  • Will the mats sit in mud? Mats will sink into mud. When the mud dries, the hardened ground will add resistance to the mat when you pull it up and can cause the mat to break. Even if the mud does not dry, there will still be resistance from the mud when you remove the mat.
  • What machines will be on the mats? The heavier the machine the more stress it adds to a mat. If the machine does not have rubber tires, it will do more damage to the wood.

Storage and Breaks

If you choose to purchase mats, you will need to transport the mats to a place where you can store them. Any broken mats will need to either be repaired or disposed.

Rent or Purchase?

Every project will have different factors to consider before deciding whether you should rent or purchase. Hopefully this article gave you the insight you need to make the best decision for your project. If you need help deciding which option is best for you, please give us a call.