Your rental store likely casts a wide net to appeal to many types of contractors. Each of them has their own needs and preferences. So, choosing the right size and equipment models to appeal to everyone can be a real challenge — especially for more niche product lines like brush chippers. To determine the right size brush chippers for your rental fleet, you need to think through these details:
- What type of work will customers be doing with a rented chipper?
- What type of wood material is most prominent in the areas?
- What is your customers’ equipment and truck fleet mix?
Let’s take a deeper dive into each of these areas.
Identifying the customer
One of the first things you need to think about when determining the right size brush chippers for your rental fleet is who will be renting these machines from you and what they will be doing with them. Professionals don’t want consumer-grade equipment because it won’t get their job done efficiently and will likely not hold up well over time. So, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can add a gravity-feed chipper and attract professionals to your rental yard. You need a beefier heavy-duty brush chipper.
You also need to segment your contractor customer base. Likely, not everyone renting a brush chipper is a tree care professional exclusively. Many landscape contractors will also handle tree pruning or rent a brush chipper when tearing out existing bushes and trees. These customers are not the same as the crew who makes their living taking down trees or arborists who spend the bulk of their time managing the health of trees, otherwise known as “tree surgeons.”
In most cases, the right brush chipper for landscape contractors and tree surgeons is sized to handle material ranging from 6 inches × 8 inches (15.24 cm × 20.32 cm) to 12 inches × 17 inches (30.5 cm × 43.2 cm). Vermeer offers four different brush chippers in this range, starting with the gas-powered Vermeer BC700XL and BC900XL brush chippers, followed by the BC1000XL brush chipper, which is available with a gas or diesel engine.
For tree care professionals who spend the bulk of their time taking down trees, the right size brush chippers for your rental fleet should likely extend beyond the Vermeer BC1000XL to the BC1200XL brush chipper with an infeed throat capacity of 13.3 inches × 17 inches (33.7 cm × 43.2 cm) or the BC1500 brush chipper with an infeed throat capacity of 15 inches × 20 inches (38.1 cm × 50.8 cm). Every extra cut these crews have to do to size material appropriately for the machine they are using takes time, so they are looking to rent brush chippers that will help minimize the number of cuts they have to make.
Location, location, location
You know the location of your rental store can have an impact on walk-in traffic. But did you know your location also impacts what size brush chippers are right for your rental fleet?
There are two main reasons why location is a factor in determining the appropriately sized brush chipper for your customers. First, harder woods require more power to chip efficiently.
Second, you need to assess how big the trees are around your rental store’s operating area. Mature trees mean a lot of material to grind, so you may want to offer customers larger brush chipper models. However, if you are located in areas where the common tree species do not grow to be tall and/or wide, your customers will likely prefer to rent smaller brush chippers.
Professionals prefer not to rent chippers that are undersized for their needs, but they also don’t want the hassle and expense of renting more machine than they need, either.
An ideal fit
Some rental equipment gets delivered, and other times your customers trailer the equipment they rent. To determine the right size brush chippers for your rental fleet, you need to determine what type of trucks your customers have. They will be pulling chippers from site-to-site, so you need to make sure they have the appropriately sized trucks to do so. Larger brush chippers require larger trucks, and at a certain point will require the driver to have a CDL. That doesn’t mean you should be scared off from adding chippers that cater more to this type of contractor. There are plenty of contractors out there running large equipment, and there are likely fewer rental stores that are willing to stock chippers sized appropriately to meet their needs. You can be that rental store.
However, if the bulk of your customer base is driving around in half-ton or three-quarter-ton trucks, the customer base for larger chippers may not be there. You need to analyze your customer base to determine that.
Also, there are many customer segments that prefer gas-powered machinery over diesel. For example, landscape contractors whose primary business is mowing may prefer to rent gas-powered equipment, while a larger tree care contractor who is running a fleet of diesel trucks and other diesel-powered chippers may prefer their rental machine to match the rest of their fleet. Again, you need to take stock of your customer base to determine what fuel type is best for your rental fleet. Vermeer offers several popular brush chipper models with gas and diesel engines.
No matter what you determine to be the right size brush chippers for your rental fleet, you should be buying quality and reliable units from a manufacturer that stands behind their machine. Vermeer is one of the largest manufacturers of brush chippers in the industry and offers rental stores like yours an extensive network of highly trained dealers.
Your local Vermeer dealer can help you determine what size brush chippers are right for your rental fleet because they understand the needs of the professionals operating brush chippers in your area.
Vermeer Corporation reserves the right to make changes in engineering, design and specifications; add improvements; or discontinue manufacturing at any time without notice or obligation. Equipment shown is for illustrative purposes only and may display optional accessories or components specific to their global region. Please contact your local Vermeer dealer for more information on machine specifications.
Vermeer and the Vermeer logo are trademarks of Vermeer Manufacturing Company in the U.S. and/or other countries. © 2021 Vermeer Corporation. All Rights Reserved.