What We Can Learn From Sunbelt Rentals’ Marketing Strategy

Sunbelt Rentals is one of the largest full-service equipment rental companies within the U.S. with over 900 locations, 550,000 units in their rental fleet and over 15,000 employees. 

Every independent equipment rental company is going to find themselves competing against Sunbelt Rentals in their city. So – what can you learn from their marketing efforts and how can you apply those to yours?

Our marketing experts at Quipli took a deep dive into Sunbelt Rentals to analyze their growth channels and identify growth tactics that you can apply to your business. 

Table of Contents:

  1. Sunbelt Rentals’ SEO Breakdown 
  2. Sunbelt Rentals’ Paid Search Breakdown
  3. Sunbelt Rentals’ Facebook Ads Breakdown

Sunbelt Rental’s SEO strategy breakdown

SEO is core to every equipment rentals marketing strategy and Sunbelt is no different. As a national player in the equipment rental space, Sunbelt has made a great effort to improve its SEO over the last decade and this has played a huge role in their success.

Using SEMRush – a digital marketing intelligence tool commonly used in the SEO/SEM industry – we took a look into Sunbelt Rentals. 

At a bird’s eye view as of 4/19/2023, Sunbelt Rentals has developed a very strong SEO strategy. Sunbelt ranks for around 154.6 thousand keywords and has an estimated 784 thousand visits each month. If you were to purchase this traffic each month using paid ads, SEMRush estimates this would cost 1.2 million. That’s a lot of free traffic.

Non-branded traffic makes up 57% of their traffic while branded search is 43%. For the volume of traffic, this is an exceptional amount of non-branded traffic for Sunbelt Rentals. 

SEO 101: What is the difference between Non-Branded Traffic and Branded Traffic?

This refers to website visitors using keywords that do not include “Sunbelt Rentals” to find Sunbelt’s website. For instance, someone may be searching “excavator rentals” and finds Sunbelt rentals. Branded Traffic would include all variations of “Sunbelt Rentals” where users were actively searching for Sunbelt Rentals.

Sunbelt’s top 10 landing pages

These are Sunbelt Rentals top landing pages with their estimated traffic per month. Because Sunbelt Rentals has locations all over the U.S, they are able to rank at a national level.

Sunbelt’s top category page  (mini excavators) brings in an estimated 20 thousand visitors a month:

What does Sunbelt do well for SEO?

Sunbelt is capitalizing on a mass amount of SEO traffic to their website – so let’s take a look at some of the strategies they are taking to do this. 

Sunbelt has optimized its most important page types. This includes their homepage, categories and product pages so that they are targeting important keywords, are easily navigable, and include the information customers need to make their decisions  – though we do see more that they could do.

SEO 101: Considering Page Types

There are 5 common pages types for SEO for an rental equipment business:

1) Your Homepage: An essential page. If you have a single location, this should target your primary city.

2) Your Location pages: pages for your different locations. These are essential for ranking in different cities

3) Your Category Pages: The categories for your different product types. If you have multiple mini excavators, you should have a category page where customers can view all of them

4) Your Product Pages: The product page for each equipment rental. This is where users should be able to select availability and add this product to their cart

1) Sunbelt’s Homepage 

Sunbelt’s homepage is simple to navigate, defines their brand and business well and links out to their most popular category pages, products and blogs. 

Plus, Sunbelt is using their homepage to strategically feature timely products and value propositions that are relevant to their customers.  In this case, this is a combination of indoor cooling, environmental consciousness and the importance of air quality from a health code perspective and how this ties into Sunbelt Rentals ventilation services.

2) Sunbelt’s locations pages provide the essentials

While there is more that they can do with their location pages, these provide all of the essential ingredients for a customer looking to understand the details of their local Sunbelt Rentals.

This includes:

  1. A Map + Get Directions link
  2. Phone number / email
  3. Address
  4. Hours of Operation
  5. Some content about what the business offers
  6. Links to their most popular categories

3) Sunbelt’s category organization is clean. 

One look at their menu and you can find a clean category structure that allows you to easily select categories and subcategories of equipment.

One of the most common problems we see with equipment rentals is a lack of organization from a category structure. Either there is no overarching category for earth moving equipment (excavators, skid steers, etc) or this equipment it lumped into one category that is poorly named and non-descriptive.

4) Sunbelt has a strong product page. 

Sunbelt does a great job with its product pages and providing plenty of information for a customer to make a well-informed decision.

  1. Sunbelt features a product description for every product that’s around 5-8 sentences of concise information
  2. Sunbelt has a specifications on common questions, makes, models and more on each product page
  3. A clear way to book a product with online rental rates cleanly visible

What can Sunbelt Rentals do better?

Sunbelt Rentals’ national branding and overall authority plays a large part in why its Mini Excavators page ranks well. We can tell this because the page is missing a few core SEO optimizations that you can do fairly easily.

1) They’re missing an H1 headline. 

Adding an H1 to your webpages with your primary keyword focus (in this case, “mini excavator rentals”) is an easy win for improving your rankings. For example, United Rentals is doing this with their category pages.

2) Sunbelt Rentals doesn’t add any additional body content

Adding additional content to your category pages can also improve your keyword rankings. United Rentals does this well.

One example of adding content to your category pages might be adding a few paragraphs about the products you feature:

 Another option is answering frequently asked questions related to the product category.

2) Sunbelt’s Location Pages Do Not Have Geotargeted Headlines

Each of Sunbelt Rentals location pages do not mention their city of operation in either their headlines. This page would ideally be titled “General Equipment & Tools in Littleton, CO.” This is an easy win for them to gain more local visibility – and is something you need to be doing for your homepage if you are a single location business. If you have multiple-locations, then you need to ensure the names of the cities you are located in are prominent on your Location pages. 

What you can do to improve your SEO?

Based on these learnings, these are actions you can take to improve your SEO in order of importance:

  1. Provide all of the essential information a customer needs to contact you on your website in your footer, on your location pages if you have multiple locations, and on your contact page. 
  2. Use headlines to accurately describe your categories and products. Your skid steer rentals category page should be named “Skid Steer Rentals.”
  3. Use your homepage to showcase your top categories, products, and why customers should rent from you.
  4. Ensure your product page is easily navigable, you have specific information about your rental products, and that selecting equipment and  the date that your equipment is available is simple for a customer.

How is Sunbelt using Google Ads to grow its business?

Every large equipment rental business uses Google Ads to bring in more customers due to their targeting, cost-effectiveness and bidding adjustments, and ability to easily measure results. 

United Rentals and Sunbelt are no different.

Over the last two years, United Rentals has spent about $130k/month with Sunbelt around $81k/month. Their budget noticeably slows down in the winter while they increase spending late Q1 and Q2 to meet the growing demand of the industry.

What is Sunbelt Rentals largest Google Ad campaign?

Using SEMRush, we can view Sunbelt Rental Ads, what types of keywords they are targeting, how often people search for keywords, and how many keywords each ad is targeting.

Their largest ad targets about 100 different keywords and is being used nationally – they are using it to target cities all over the U.S. The ad copy mentions them nationwide and they use several keywords such as “equipment” and “tool rentals” that are generic, yet applicable to their customers.

And – a few of the keywords that they are targeting with this ad. Notice that they are targeting broader keywords such as “tool rentals” and “equipment rentals” as well as specific rental product keywords such as “mini skid steer rental” and “bulldozer rental.”

How can you apply Sunbelt Rentals’ tactics in your own Google Ads?

Developing your own Google Ads campaign is going to be necessary if there is a nearby Sunbelt Rentals. 

However, you don’t need a massive budget. Remember – Sunbelt is targeting customers nationwide. Your budget will naturally be smaller, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be effective. By targeting keywords specific to your region you can focus only on local customers and your smaller budget can make an impact.

Get Started with our Guides:

We’ve created a Beginner’s Guide for Google Ads to use to start learning the basics of how Google Ads works. Once you are ready to create your first campaign, use our Equipment Rental Google Ads Campaign Blueprint to launch your first campaign.

What to keep in mind as you begin creating your Google Ad campaigns – weave in value propositions about your business that you know Sunbelt Rentals cannot match. Mention that you are locally-owned and independent, for example. 

How is Sunbelt Rentals using paid social media advertising?

Along with their SEO and search marketing strategies, Sunbelt Rentals also uses paid social media ads to target customers and boost their online brand awareness on Meta’s platform: Facebook and Instagram.

Sunbelt Rentals’ ad campaigns consist of a variety of social media display ads, sharing Sunbelt’s distinctive and eye-catching visual branding.

In each campaign, you’ll find a mix of different ad types. Some are positioned higher in their sales funnel featuring content to peak customers interest – not necessarily to buy as in the case with their Most Rented Winter Tools and Equipment ad.

These ads feature links to Sunbelt’s helpful guides and blog posts, offering useful information about topics like improving airflow and climate control at commercial job sites, or maintaining high indoor air quality. They also cover often-timely subjects of interest to their audience, like reducing the carbon footprint for commercial job sites, or issues like current shortages of much-needed HVAC equipment.

Other ads are more directly product- and sales-oriented, linking out to landing pages for Sunbelt’s products and services. But, these ads also follow the strategic play of painting the picture that Sunbelt Rentals is the place to go for expertise – as exemplified by the last 3 words of this ad: “with expert advice.”

Building visibility around guides and blog topics is a strategic play that Sunbelt is making to portray itself as the go-to resource for all things equipment rental. And, there’s no reason why you cannot do the same for your market.

Be your region’s go-to expert for all things equipment rental

Be like Sunbelt, but for your region. You have the upper hand of being able to target your region at a hyper-local level that will be unlikely to be targeted by a national incumbent like United Rentals.

For example, create a blog content strategy that targets your market and build awareness through social ads. If you reside in a market such as Denver, you could create a blog about “The Most Useful Winter Equipment Rentals for Denver Homeowners” and run ads targeting Denver homeowners. As a local business, you know what your region needs in a way that Sunbelt cannot.

Where Sunbelt might call themselves the expert, you can label yourself as the “local Denver expert ready to help.” By positioning yourself as the local expert and creating helpful content specific to your region, you can set yourself up as the go-to for all things equipment rental.

Grow your business with Quipli

Quipli is an all-in-one equipment rental software solution. Quipli’s software integrates your inventory management, scheduling & booking, accounting, payments and more so that your business is seamless.

Quipli also offers digital marketing solutions to help grow your rental business.

Want Help With Your Digital Marketing?

Grow Your Equipment Rentals with Quipli’s Google Ad Blueprint

You’ve done your research and have a bird-eye view of how to use Google Ads to bring in more customers to your equipment rental business. It’s time to create your first campaign.

Let’s walk step-by-step through Google Ads to create your first campaign.

Step 1: What’s your campaign objective?

The first step in creating a Google Ads campaign is to decide what the objective is for your campaign. What action do you want someone to take when they see your ad?

You’ll be presented with a set of eight options. These include driving sales, bringing in leads (for example, newsletter signups), increasing brand awareness, and other common ad campaign goals.

You’ll also be given the option to create the campaign without basing it on one of these specific goals.

For a rental business, your best bet is to choose “Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.” This option allows you more flexibility in adjusting your Ad configurations. 

Step 2: Select a campaign type

Next, you’ll be presented with eight options for different types of campaign. Out of these, you should select Search. 

We find Search is best for targeting rental equipment customers, because their customer journey is heavily focused directly on Google as they are shopping. 

This ad type lets you run text ads at the top of the search results for relevant keywords. For keywords with commercial intent – things like “rent excavator in Dallas,” for example – these paid Search ads tend to get a majority of users’ clicks.

Search ads are also highly effective for other kinds of searches, like searches for other brands and products, or for solutions to a specific problem that your customers have.

Step 3: Use conversion goals to improve your performance

If you have conversion goals set up, this is where you can ensure your Google Ads campaign is using those goals to track your performance.

Introduced in 2021, this feature lets you group, organize, and manage conversions from your ads. You can designate primary and secondary conversion actions, as well as designating certain goals as the default for all of your ad campaigns. These are also used in optimizing bidding.

Need help with setting up your conversions? Start here with Google’s Guidelines

Step 4: Select the results you want to get from this campaign

For equipment rental, you will likely want to choose Website visits and Phone Calls. That is, the main goal of your Search ads will be to get potential customers to either visit your site or call you.

Step 5: Create a campaign name

Step 6: Bidding

If you have conversions set up, then you can choose either “Maximize conversions”, or “Maximize conversion value.”

The “maximize conversions” bidding strategy sets your bids to try to get the highest possible total number of conversions for your campaign. Using machine learning, it will automatically optimize your bids based on real-time data. You’ll also be able to designate a target CPA (cost per acquisition), which Google’s Smart Bidding will take into account.

This option will also try to spend your daily ad budget in full. Be aware that if you’ve usually been spending less than your maximum budget, using this option is likely to increase your ad spend. 

If you choose “maximize conversion value,” then Performance Max will optimize based on the value its ads are bringing. This bidding strategy optimizes to try to get you the highest value conversions for your budget. 

If you have multiple conversion goals set up and each have different values, this is what you will want to select. 

If you do not have values attached to goals, then select “Conversions.”

Step 7: Select Campaign Settings

Step 8: Select Your Language

Step 9: Audience Segment

We recommend keeping this on Observation because Google’s segments aren’t specific enough for the equipment rental customer. Select Observation to keep the focus of your ads just to those for your specific keywords.

Step 10: Select Your Keywords

Google Ads will provide you a list of keywords to target in your ads if you provide a URL or input your products and categories. 

The most common keywords rental businesses should target are:

  1.  tool rentals near me
  2. equipment rentals near me
  3. tool rentals [name of your city]
  4. equipment rentals [name of your city]

Plus, the names of your top products. For example, “skidsteer rentals near me,” “mini excavator rentals [name of your city].

Just make sure to delete any keywords in this list that are not applicable.


What is Match Type and & How To Use It?

When selecting your keywords, you can provide match types rules to better control what types of searches your ads appear for. There are 3 types of match types:

1) Broad Match: Broad match refers to any keyword a user is searching for that relate to your keywords. For example, a broad match for “tool rentals” could match to “home depot rentals.”

Pros: You are able to target more keywords easily.
Cons: With less control, you may spend more money targeting keywords that aren’t very relevant.

How to use broad match keywords?
Leave your keywords as is within the “Enter keywords” prompt.

2) Phrase Match: Phrase match refers to any keywords users are using that contain your keywords. For example, a phrase match for “tool rentals” could match to “tool rentals near me”.

Pros: You have much more control on the keywords you are targeting and can target more keywords than just what you manually add to the “Enter Keywords” prompt.
Cons: You can potentially target non-relevant keywords if you use phrase match too loosely – as in targeting “tools” instead of “tool rentals”

How to use Phrase Match keywords?
Add quotations around each keyword in the “Enter Keywords” prompt. For example, “tool rentals”.

3) Exact Match: Exact matches refers to keywords you explicitly state in the “Enter Keywords” prompt. For example, an exact match for “tool rentals” would only match users searching “tool rentals.”

Pros: You have the most control over what keywords your ads show up for.
Cons: It can be manual to create a large keyword list.

How to use Exact Match keywords?
Add square brackets on each side of your keywords in the “Enter Keywords” prompt. For example, [tool rentals].

Step 11: Create Your Ads

Now that your keywords are set, it’s time to create your ads.

Final URL:

Your first step will be to add the Final URL to send visitors to. Your homepage is a good choice if you are targeting general local equipment or tool rental search. If you are focusing specifically on one type of rental – such as skid steers – you will want to send them straight to your skid steer product page.

Display Path:

You are able to add your own unique Display Path to your ad. This doesn’t change what Final URL your ad takes users to. It’s purely for making the ad more attractive to click. For example, you could add “get-a-rental/quote-today” to entice customers to click on your ad.


If you added phone calls as a goal, then you will want to add a phone number. If you didn’t, then the Calls section will not show up here.


Headlines & Descriptions

Google Ads gives you the option for up to 15 headline variations and 4 options for descriptions.  The headlines and descriptions are very important for your overall Ad performance. Your ads should use a combination of geo-signifiers (the city your business is in), value propositions that entice customers, and your core product offerings. 

Use Quipli’s Google Ad Builder

After inputting your information, go to the Headlines / Descript Output sheet to copy and paste your Headlines and Descriptions into Google Ads.


Add any images to go along with your ads. Choose high-quality images of your equipment to improve your click through rates.


Add additional links for users to click on. The best options would be your top product or category pages.


Callouts are great for adding additional value propositions to your ad such as “locally-owned” or “order online.”

Step 12: Set Your Budget

The final step is set your daily budget for your campaign. It’s best to start small and then increase as time goes on. We suggest starting with $300-$500 a month.

Review Your Performance

Google Ads allows you to track your performance of your ads to understand clicks, impressions, costs, and your conversions. Keep an eye on your performance and adjust your ads over time.

Grow Your Business With Quipli

Quipli is an all-in-one equipment rental software solution. Quipli’s software integrates your inventory management, scheduling & booking, accounting, payments and more so that your business is seamless.

Learn About Quipli’s Equipment Rental Digital Marketing Solutions

Learn More About Growing Your Business with Digital Marketing

  1. The Beginner’s Guide for SEO & Equipment Rentals
  2. The Beginner’s Guide for Google Ads & Equipment Rentals

Don’t Get Left in the Dust with Excel: 6 Reasons to Invest in a Rental Inventory Management Solution

Do you find yourself spending way too much time in the weeds with complicated excel sheets trying to manage your business? That time could be better utilized elsewhere so you can focus on what matters most: the customer experience and growing your business.

It’s time to move away from Excel and Google Sheets and invest in rental inventory management solutions.

Should I Use Excel for Inventory Management?

Many business owners who are just starting out use Excel or other spreadsheet programs like Google Sheets for various business management tasks, including:

  • Budgeting
  • Client invoicing
  • Inventory tracking
  • Time tracking

These tools are useful because they’re typically free, which makes them more accessible to new business owners with minimal budgets. But as your business grows, juggling several different Excel sheets becomes more cumbersome and less convenient.

This is especially true considering spreadsheet software like Excel and Google Sheets come with a bit of a learning curve, not to mention all the manual tweaking and customization required to make them work for your business.

At some point, Excel sheets simply don’t cut it when you need to manage constantly fluctuating items like inventory and financial statements.

When you reach this point in your business journey, it’s time to look into dedicated solutions for business management software to find a platform that meets the specific needs of your business: in this case, equipment rental.

6 Reasons to Invest in Rental Inventory Management Software

If you’re searching for a new business management software, you likely have your own reasons for wanting to invest in a new solution. Here are six common reasons business owners like you choose to invest in a comprehensive rental inventory management software solution.

1. Manually updating a series of spreadsheets takes a lot of time.

Imagine you’ve just rented out a piece of equipment.

First, you go into your inventory spreadsheet and mark it off. Then, you transition to your financials spreadsheet and put down the amount the customer paid (or agreed to pay).

Perhaps you have an accounts receivable spreadsheet, as well, where you have to make a note regarding any outstanding customer payments. Finally, you navigate to your CRM spreadsheet to note which customer rented what.

That’s already four different spreadsheets you’ve been forced to update manually.

With inventory management software, you can make all those changes in one place, and have them automatically communicated to relevant fields across the software.

2. Spreadsheets that need manual updates are prone to human error, raising your risk of potentially costly mistakes.

Not only does updating multiple spreadsheets take time, but it also leaves lots of room for human error since all of these changes are manual.

Excel isn’t exactly beginner-friendly. Unless every member of your staff knows what they’re doing and never makes mistakes, manual updates are bound to produce errors. And in many cases, mistakes in inventory or financial tracking can be quite costly.

While errors are a possibility anytime humans are involved in anything, the risk is decreased with inventory management software. That’s because the software does formulaic calculations behind the scenes, meaning you and your team can’t make mistakes.

3. Inventory management software provides a more streamlined, reliable way to keep your equipment in good condition.

Unless you have inventory management software, you’ll have to deal with another spreadsheet to track and make notes on the condition of your equipment. This includes any potential damage caused while the equipment was rented out.

With inventory management software, everything you need to know about a piece of equipment is displayed in one convenient place: whether it’s currently rented or not, who’s renting it, what condition it’s in, and when it’s due for repairs or maintenance.

4. Do you know where each piece of equipment in your inventory is at all times? This is a major challenge to handle manually with spreadsheets.

When tracking inventory through spreadsheets, you have to record what’s been rented, who rented it, what they’re using it for, how long they’ll have it, and when it’s due back, among other details. That’s a lot to keep track of.

With inventory management software, you can simply click on the piece of equipment you’re interested in and view its status, with no spreadsheet-hopping or back-and-forth required.

5. Inventory management solutions like Quipli create a seamless end-to-end customer experience that also integrates with your inventory management for accurate tracking.

Using inventory management solutions like Quipli, your customers will be able to locate your products and make reservations to rent the desired equipment. These reservations are communicated to the point of sale, which automatically updates rented equipment for accurate tracking.

This creates a quick, convenient, pain-free experience for your customer and makes life easier for you and your team.

6. Quipli is fine-tuned for gathering useful data — data you can turn into strategies to grow your rental business.

Quipli constantly gathers data behind the scenes while you perform your day-to-day operations. You can use this data at any time to make informed business decisions.

For example, you can pull data on what products are renting, which ones tend to sit longer than others, and which products may be due for replacement due to overuse, all without any tedious manual Excel reporting.

Learn How Equipped Saved 10 Hours a Month by Automating Inventory Management with Quipli

Read Our Case Study

When and Why Excel Falls Short for Managing Your Rental Business

Excel can be a useful tool at the beginning of your business journey. At a certain point, however, it no longer passes muster as an organizational aid.

Why Excel can be useful early in the game

Here are some of the reasons Excel is useful early on:

  • It’s free
  • It comes standard on many operating systems and devices
  • Most people have some experience with digital spreadsheets


These are all great attributes, but they’ll only serve you for so long.

Where Excel falls short every time

As great as Excel can be for tracking simple inventories and transactions, it falls short when it comes to certain aspects of inventory management. For example:

  • It can be a headache to make sure information is accessible to everyone who needs it
  • It requires manual input, increasing the margin for human error
  • It doesn’t update automatically
  • It doesn’t provide an at-a-glance overview

Remedying these issues is necessary to help you manage and scale your business.

When Is It Time to Switch to Software for Your Inventory Management?

You’ll know it’s time to switch to an intelligent software for your inventory management when:

  • You regularly have to audit the same errors in Excel tracking
  • You spend too much time on Excel and not enough time on other important areas of your business
  • You’re ready to level up and scale your rental business

If any of these circumstances apply to your business, it’s time to invest in inventory management software.

Upgrade to Quipli to Scale Your Rental Business

Inventory management doesn’t have to be difficult, at least not when you have access to tools like Quipli.

With Quipli, you get access to POS integrations, customer logins, website integrations, reservation management, inventory management, and critical data — all of which can help you grow your business.

Contact us to learn more or schedule a demo today.

Click here to learn more about quipli’s inventory management software

What to Look for When Buying an Excavator

Excavators can be a great investment for your equipment rental business. Unfortunately, not all excavators are worth the cost. And not all of them will fit the needs of your local market.

When you’re ready to add an excavator to your rental equipment business, it’s important to know what to look for. This is especially true for used excavators. 

Questions You Should Ask When Buying an Excavator

Figuring out how to choose an excavator should start with asking some key questions. Consider these when you create an equipment purchasing checklist.

What Is the Equipment’s Maintenance History?

Ask for the maintenance logs for the machine. A well-kept machine will also have a documented history of servicing. Assess the details of the records and consider whether the service has been reasonable and performed at required intervals. Pinpoint any anomalies, such as long stretches without maintenance records. 

Has the Excavator Undergone Any Previous Severe Damage and Subsequent Repairs?

Ask about any previous damage that the excavator experienced, as well as any major repairs that were needed. Additionally, inspect the equipment for major wear and tear, dents, and signs of past repairs.

If there was past damage and repairs, what types of repairs were needed? And did the equipment experience recurring issues? For major damage, you’ll have to assess whether the equipment’s useful life could be reduced due to it. 

Will It Need to Be Serviced in the Near Term or Require Any Replacement Parts?

Figure out when the last service date was and whether there are any needed replacements due in the short term. Note that older excavators may be especially hard or expensive to repair due to hard-to-get parts. Make sure there’s enough manufacturer support for the parts for the excavator you’re considering. 

If there are near-term repairs needed, will the seller cover them? If not, any upcoming repairs should be accounted for in the final sale price. 

What Are the Seller’s Guarantees and Warranties?

Ask the seller about potential warranties or guarantees about the equipment’s condition. If possible, get any warranties or guarantees in writing. Also, gauge whether the seller will be around to honor these guarantees and try to get references or reviews from prior customers.  

Used Excavator Inspection Checklist

Buying a used excavator requires special attention. You’ll want to do a more thorough inspection than you would when buying a new machine. For an excavator, you’ll want to assess the condition of items like the bucket, boom and stick, and slew ring. Here’s what to look for when buying an excavator. 

Buckets and Attachments

First, inspect the bucket and attachments. You’ll want to look for excessive wear and tear, as well as any rust. Also, assess the integrity of the welding and look for any scalloping. 

Scalloping is the wear between the teeth of the bucket. Half-moon shapes may indicate reduced cutting force of the bucket. Knowing what to look for — and where — will go a long way in helping you know how to buy an excavator. 

Boom and Stick

With the boom and stick, look for any cracks in welds (or rewelds) at connection points between the stick and bucket and between the boom and stick. You want all the pins and bearings to be tight at the connection point. Loose connections in the boom and stick will reduce the excavator’s accuracy. 


Hydraulics includes the hydraulic cylinder, pump, and lines. Look for any leaks and cleanliness. Leaks don’t necessarily mean a replacement is needed, but it may mean you need to repair it soon. You’ll also want to consider the hydraulics (and the flows) when it comes to the potential attachments you’ll use. 

Slew Ring

Damage to the slew ring can be very expensive to fix. Make sure that the slew ring is in good shape and that there are no signs of overloading or poor lubrication.


The engine is another major cost component of the excavator, so you’ll want to check for any leaks. Turn on the excavator and listen for knocking or rattling, and look for excessive smoke. Test the various speeds to see if smoke becomes an issue as it’s used. Continue to listen for abnormal noises after you turn the machine off. 


Make sure to test the steering components and assess any play in the steering. Do all functions work? How is the rotation, and is the steering responsive in all directions?

Does the steering offer full rotation of the equipment? 

Tracks and Rollers

Regardless of whether the excavator you’re looking at has tracks or wheels, you’ll want to make sure everything is intact and there’s no damage. If the excavator has tracks, how is the tension? If there are rubber tracks, are there any cracks in the rubber? Excavators with tires should have proper pressure and not have any visible damage. 

Hour Meter

Make sure the hour meter is operational. If the hour meter appears to be questionable, assess whether the control pedals and other cab elements have excessive wear. If so, this can indicate the machine has had more hours than the meter counts. 


Ensure that the fluids, such as oil and hydraulic fluid, are at acceptable levels and aren’t running low. Look for any visible leaks. Some leaks are easy fixes, but others could be deal breakers.


Ask to see all original paperwork on the equipment, as well as service records. You’ll want to get as much information as possible, including performance and usage history. What projects has the machine primarily been used for, and where? 

Ready to Add an Excavator to Your Rental Portfolio? 

Is buying an excavator a good investment? If you’re renting out heavy equipment, or even if you’re catering to smaller projects, an excavator is a great option. They’re versatile and can be used for grading or home projects. But you need to find an excavator in good condition to see a great return on your investment.

Growing your rental business is what the Quipli team focuses on. Find out how our rental business software can streamline inventory management — book a demo today.

Check out our list of best mini excavators to rent and our top skid steer brands to rent.

Learn About Quipli’s Construction Equipment rental Software

How Tractor Supply delivered triple-digit growth

With Net Sales increasing by 42.5%, how does Tractor Supply keep growing? 

16 months ago, Tractor Supply brought in CEO Hal Lawton, the former President of Macy’s. With Covid dampening sales, Lawton made substantial investments in digital offerings and e-commerce capabilities. Those investments have paid off handsomely.

For 4 consecutive quarters, the company’s e-commerce division has seen triple-digit growth, boosting Net Income 116.5% from $83.8 million in 2020 Q1 to $181.4 million in 2021 Q1.

Tractor Supply describes itself as “the largest rural lifestyle retailer in the United States, serving recreational farmers, ranchers, and those who enjoy the rural lifestyle.”

It’s clear from Tractor Supply’s performance, that e-commerce and technological innovation is happening in every industry, and those at the cutting edge are reaping serious first-mover advantages.

Will rental companies that take advantage of e-commerce technology see similar growth?

Source: BusinessWire

Let’s strike B2B and B2C from our vocabularies

“The most damaging phrase in the language is: It’s always been done this way.” — Grace Hopper, Computer Scientist and US Navy Rear Admiral

Looking back over the last 10-15 years, business people transacting with other businesses simply had lower expectations than what they experienced as consumers. During the 9-5 workweek, transactions were done over the phone and in person. Documents were faxed and sent back and forth over a several-week period. Forget one-click digital transactions. The process wasn’t smooth, but this was work, right?

On weekends, these same business people would click two buttons and order Amazon packages delivered to their doorstep. If the package was (God forbid) delivered in three days, instead of two — it was time for a Twitter tweet-storm at the company.

Why is it that these same people had vastly different expectations for B2B transactions at work than their own B2C transactions at home?

Well, that’s changing. Research from Deloitte Digital indicates that 34% of buyers are more likely to buy from companies that master customer experience than from those that do not. Even more, 80% of B2B buyers now expect real-time interaction. Expectations for business transactions now equal expectations for consumer transactions and companies that don’t acknowledge that will be left behind.

In rental, that means companies need to enable their business to accept rental requests 24/7. Renters want to sign digital agreements, pay their invoices, and manage their rentals on their time — not when your sales reps happen to be available.

To achieve this, rental companies need to lean into online reservations and offer self-serve rental transactions. Online transactions aren’t right for 100% of customers, but there is a growing population who wants and expects to engage with your rental store digitally. 

What got you here, won’t get you there.  It’s now time to strike the terms B2B and B2C from our vocabularies.

Source: https://deloitte.wsj.com/cmo/2021/03/15/close-the-expectation-gap-with-b2b-customers/

Source: https://www.convinceandconvert.com/online-customer-experience/buyers-expect-real-time-interaction/

A decade of e-commerce growth in 8 weeks — what’s next?

“There are decades when nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”

How is this quote from over 100 years ago, now relevant to e-commerce technology in the rental industry?

This theme has been playing out in e-commerce trends right before our eyes for the past few decades. E-commerce first started making meaningful headway in 2000, when Amazon and other upstart companies, started making inroads with 1% of retail sales happening over the internet.

us ecommerce penetration

Source: Bank of America U.S. Department of Commerce, ShawSpring Research, 2020

Since then, e-commerce sales grew linearly with 16% of retail transactions occurring digitally at the start of 2020. Then the pandemic happened. In just 8 weeks between March – April 2020, that number almost doubled to 27%. That’s a decade of e-commerce growth in just eight weeks. And we aren’t going back.

Consumer habits are fundamentally different and renters are expecting the same from their rental companies. Once the barrier of setting up the online account, getting used to the functionality, etc. is met, new habits are formed. Consumers now expect to rent equipment online the same way they expect to order food from DoorDash, order a cab from Uber, and book plane tickets from delta.com. The Covid pandemic will ultimately accelerate history rather than re-shape it. Is your rental company ready for the surge in e-commerce rental transactions?

Source: Post Corona: From Crisis to Opportunity