Want to Rent a Generator?
12 Smart Questions to ask your Temporary Power Generator Supplier!
Rental generators can be valuable and strategic assets for many businesses and industries, ranging from condominium management, to food manufacturers, to healthcare facilities, to financial institutions. Here are some of the many reasons your business or facility may want to consider a rental generator:
- To power heavy equipment on work sites
- To power a new building, office, or wing until it is hooked up to utilities
- To supplement or serve as a backup generator in times of emergency or natural disaster
- To provide extra power when responding to temporary surges in production demands—like restaurants preparing extra food in anticipation of a local sporting event
- To cover a building's needs during planned electrical downtime
- To power outdoor events, such as concerts or fairs
- To help lower and mitigate energy costs by drawing from an off-the-grid source
Regardless of the need, rental generators can be a flexible and cost-effective means of power. When choosing a company to rent a power generator from, it’s advisable to ask the following questions:
- Do they have a proper selection? The company should not only have a full range of power generators available, but they should work with you to assess your specific power needs and find the appropriate generator for your facility’s wattage and loads. The generator should also come with every accessory required for running safely and properly. These can include items such as cable ramps, to allow for the safe and compact routing of cables around a site, and spider boxes, for allowing multiple plugins.
- Is it portable? Your generator should not be near air intake vents or loading docks—it needs to be in an area with good ventilation. Even when accounting for this; however, you might find yourself wanting to move the generator. There are many reasons this could come up: equipment gets moved, the site changes, or you don't realize until later that the generator isn't in a convenient location. For the best mobility, look for rentals that come skid- or trailer-mounted, depending on size. Larger generators might even come with a fuel tank as their base.
- Will they deliver, and when? Firstly, the rental supplier should perform the generator delivery themselves. Secondly, be sure you know what hours the supplier will run deliveries. This is especially important if you want a rental generator for weekends, holidays, late nights, or early mornings.
- Are they available on short notice? If your main power goes out due to unexpected outages or harsh weather, you will want a rental supplier who can quickly bring and install a generator with minimal delay. Even people who already have backup generators at their buildings or sites can benefit from having a rental company on-hand, since backups can and do fail.
- Do they offer field services? Maintenance is one of the big costs associated with generators. One of the benefits of a rental is that the supplying company should provide field services as part of the rental contract. This includes a technician, to ensure the generator is installed smoothly and to perform regular maintenance activities, such as changing the oil or checking batteries and fuel levels. Part replacements should also be handled by the rental company, without additional charge, as long as the generator isn't misused.
- What about fuel? Generators should run for a minimum of eight hours without refuelling. If you plan on using one for a longer period of time, make sure the supplier will provide refuelling services or an auxiliary fuel tank.
- Will I need to pay for insurance or warranties? Is the generator compliant? The answers here vary on case-to-case basis. If the supplier does not provide insurance for the rental generator, you may be required to do so. However, it should be the supplier's responsibility to make sure the generator complies with any local laws or bylaws. This can include supplying generators that meet certain emissions standards, or offering generators with sound-attenuated enclosures to avoid excessive noise.
- Is the rental plan flexible? In the event your facility’s power needs change, or if your initial generator doesn't meet expectations, the supplier should be willing to change it for a different type of generator or service. In instances where your rental is meant to cover downtime or outages of a primary power system, make sure you'll be able to return the generator early if the main system comes up sooner than expected.
- How secure is the generator? A properly secured rental generator is designed with hidden exterior fuel drains, interior fuel and water drains, and a lockable door. Look for suppliers who offer remote monitoring features, so someone can always keep an eye on the generator, to catch system or human errors before problems arise.
- What is their network? Working with a single company for your power rentals is easier than two or more. Those looking to power multiple sites should pay attention to the supplier's network and resources. Check to see if they have branches in range of each of your sites, and also look at the size of their fleets, as this will give a sense of the company's availability. The best rental suppliers will be affiliated with one or more long-standing clients, such as industrial companies, manufacturers, construction companies, entertainment venues, or health facilities.
- Do they offer climate control? If you work with perishable food or medicine, live animals, machinery that often runs hot, or other temperature-sensitive items, you may wish to make use of cooling and heating rentals alongside your rental generator. Many generator suppliers also offer climate control solutions. Ask about additional options to see if you can stick to a single company for all your rental needs.
- Is natural gas an option? Most rental generators use diesel for fuel. Although these generators are more environmentally friendly today than they have been in the past, it's not uncommon for cities to have local restrictions on diesel generators. If this is the case for your business or facility, see if your provider offers natural gas-powered generators for rent.
About GAL Power
GAL Power is a leader in turnkey, plug-and-play rental solutions. Our full-service staff members are trained to assess your power needs and provide top-of-the-line commercial generator rentals, anywhere in the 60 to 2,000-kilowatt range. Our recent acquisition of L.M. Temperature Control Inc. has allowed us to expand our service to climate control rentals and sales as well. For more information on our full range of services, please contact us.