Sometimes run-of-the-mill stock mobile generators won’t fit the needs of your rental customers. Whether you need a particular feature or option that is in-demand with your customers or you just want to take advantage of the visibility that branding provides, customizing your rental generators can offer many advantages over purchasing standard production units. Here are a few options to consider before you purchase your next generator:
Control Panel Options
Some manufacturers allow you to select alternative control panels or custom control features to add to your new rental generators. Requesting a control panel that has features such as one button start/stop, real-time generator load or fuel consumption built in can provide additional value to both your own service team and your customers. Easy start and stop is key when your generators are utilized by several users during any rental cycle. You can prevent unnecessary service calls and technical support calls by simplifying the starting procedure of any generator.
Service and Security
It’s no secret that GPS and telematics are here to stay. If you’re not using telematics on your rental assets, it’s time to pay close attention to the features and benefits that come with today’s modern systems. Most telematics systems provide basic data on faults, fuel usage, engine temperature and fluid levels. Yet many of these systems are complicated and not user-friendly in the rental world. The right system can provide your rental business with additional data about generator use, such as length of operation or excessive run time. Seeing that a rental unit has overtime usage before it’s returned to the yard can help with tracking associated overtime charges. Simply receiving an email with the assets data can instantly help you identify when repairs and maintenance are needed on a particular generator. This allows you to plan maintenance ahead of time and potentially lower your service costs while eliminating down time for your extended rental agreements. Data supplied by telematics will give you the necessary fault information before you dispatch a technician for a potentially “downed” unit. This allows a technician to show up and have a much better chance of completing a repair in a single trip.
Request that your generator supplier provides a factory-installed telematics system that allows you to set up specific alarms of your choosing. Not only will these alarms alert you to potential issues such as maintenance needs while your generator is out on a customer’s jobsite, they can also add the ability to track the location of your rental generators. The best systems allow you to set up geo-fencing, which alerts you if a piece of equipment travels outside of a selected geographic area. Most modern systems will allow you to view data on a smartphone in addition to a desktop computer.
Custom branding gives you the opportunity to turn all of your generators into miniature billboards. When your unit can be easily identified on a job site, that means another contractor can easily contact you for their similar needs. Branding typically involves a vinyl generator wrap and can include vital information on your company, such as service phone numbers and business locations. This helps you provide better customer service to your market and drive inquiries back to your business.
Look for a manufacturer that can handle custom branding in-house so that when your new generators are delivered to your locations, they’re rental ready. This eliminates time lost by dealing with a third party wrap, decal or paint vendor.
A major part of choosing the most effective rental generator for your business locations is selecting a manufacturer that uses an engine that best fits the needs of your customers. Some manufacturers, such as Southwest Products, will allow you to customize your generator beyond just options and add-ons by allowing you to select from multiple engine brands.
Two important factors to keep in mind when selecting the power source for your rental generators are customer preference and serviceability. Whatever engine brand is most in-demand from your customers and offers the greatest consistency throughout your equipment fleet is the one that should be at the top of your list. Keep in mind your service capabilities: What engine brands are your service technicians the most proficient at servicing in-house? If you’ve invested in the tools and training to service a particular brand of engine it makes sense to take advantage of your investment and select generators powered by that same brand. If you can service a generator in-house, you can usually significantly reduce down time and unwanted outside maintenance costs.
Cookie cutter generators all come with standard voltage selector switch, breakers and buss bar connections. Do you have a rental location that regularly caters to custom applications or markets? Consider bringing in generators that have the proper voltages and breakers specific to your dedicated customer base. Too often, your customers or technicians rewire your generators for the voltage they require in a specific application. This can create a lot of complications and confusion at the end of the rental cycle or in the event of a service call and can result in several lost hours in troubleshooting and diagnostics. If you order generators already set-up for the proper voltages your customers require, you can eliminate the hassle for both your customers and service technicians. Offer a custom generator that has their job-site, application and industry requirements already installed and ready to go to work. Before you order your next set of generators, take these options into account and ensure that each of your rental locations
Before you order your next set of generators, take these options into account and ensure that each of your rental locations order a generator that will fit their customers’ needs. By deciding to customize your generators during production rather than after taking delivery, you can save time, increase your company’s image, reduce unnecessary service calls and offer your customers a generator they won’t find down the road.
See our article featured in Rental Magazine (page 32)