What to Look for in a Contract When Hiring Equipment

Equipment hire can be essential to complete big projects around the home, to temporarily replace non-working equipment at the job site or for countless other reasons. Normally, when you hire equipment, you have to sign a contract. Wondering what to look for in your contract? Check it out.

1. Rental Amounts

The contract should always note the cost of the rental. However, that's not the only number that should be on there. Make sure that you read the contract closely for any additional fees or amounts. That may include late fees, charges for not filling up the fuel tank of petrol-powered equipment, surcharges for extra equipment or any other related costs.

Also, if you are paying with a credit card, make sure that you understand when and how the hire company is authorised to charge the card. For instance, if you bring back the equipment with a rip in the interior, is the company going to charge the card immediately, or will they work out a payment plan for the damage? On a financial level, it's important to cover these issues before taking the machinery.

2. Condition

Ideally the contract should say that you agree to return the hire equipment in the condition you received it in. However, that promise should always be connected to more information. In particular, the contract itself or an additional sheet of paper should detail the condition of the equipment.

A checklist is the best for this. It should go through all of the visible parts of the equipment, and it should allow you to make notes on their condition. That minimises the risk of disputes when you return the equipment. If the hire company doesn't offer a condition checklist, you may want to make one yourself and ask the hire company rep to sign it.

3. Rental Period

Of course, the rental period should also be noted on the contract, but again, it's about checking the details. Look for a specific time that the equipment needs to be returned by. For instance, if the equipment has to be back by 5pm on the last day of the rental period, it's important to know that. It's also important to know whether late fees are charged by the day or by the hour and whether or not there's a grace period.

4. Delivery Details

You should also make sure delivery details are outlined on the contract. Are you transporting the equipment or is the hire company? Does the hire company charge extra for delivery? Who handles unloading? Ideally, the contract should answer all of those questions.

If the contract covers all of those elements, you have the information you need. Simply sign the contract and enjoy using the hired equipment.