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Our most rented machines: the John Deere 160C excavator

One of our earliest blog articles was on the John Deere 200D excavator.  That is a big tough machines for serious jobs.  If you don’t need something that serious, but a backhoe isn’t going to get the job done, then the C-series from John Deere is right for you.  Despite being small they are very productive and have that “big machine feel.”
The C-series comes with the PowerTech engines, heavy-duty cooling systems, reinforced booms, and user-friendly (and comfortable!) operator stations.  Today I’m going to focus on those engines and cooling systems as well as the operator stations.  As someone renting from us those are probably your primary concerns, as we will take care of all the maintenance for you, and you probably already know the legendary reliability of John Deere, even if you haven’t experienced it for yourself.
john deere 160c monticello rental center
Engines
Inside the 160C is John Deere’s exclusive Powerwize II engine.  Its hydraulic management system balances hydraulic pressure and flow.  This helps to save fuel, maximize engine output, and enable multi-function operation with no hiccups.
The engine itself is charge-air cooled which improves fuel economy and engine durability while being “green” by reducing emissions.  How exactly, ask my construction junkies.  Fair enough.  There’s wide fin spacing in the cooling system which allows trash to pass through the cores.  But there’s also a removable trash screen to eliminate plugging.  The top and bottom tanks of the heavy duty cooling system are heavy wall extrusions that are TIG welded to the core so they will be long lasting and durable.
Did we mention the hybrid steel-and-plastic fan?  It has an airfoil-blade design which leads to better cooling performance using less horsepower.  It also runs quieter, which is never a bad thing when you’re out on a project.
Operator Stations
Inside the cab you will see a diagnostic display unit which allows techs to read diagnostic codes (fuel pressure, coolant temperature, manifold temperature) so there is no mystery if something does go wrong.
The operator station itself sits on six silicon fluid-filled elastic mounts.  These take the shock out of the cab and allow the operator to sit back and relax.  While doing so you realize that there’s adjustable lumbar support!  My car doesn’t even have that!  Look up and you’ll see a smoke-tinted sunroof hatch that allows you to have an eye on the sky during your jobs and there’s a retractable shade for when the glare gets too bad.  Charge your phone with our 12-volt phone jack, put your drink in our oversized cup holder, and keep the next beverage in our beverage cooler.
There’s a lot of glass surrounding the operator, which makes for great sight lines in almost every direction (it’s described by many as “panoramic visibility”).  If it gets muddy the wiper blade cleans 25 percent more of your viewing area before tucking out of sight.  There are also adjustable vents everywhere which makes the “blend air” climate control system a dream to operate.

DIY Patio or Deck? Part I: Decision

Our last two articles were about swimming pools which are, admittedly, a very big DIY decision.  One type of DIY project that some people have been known to knock out over a weekend (depending on the amount of help from friends and bribery necessary to get that help) is the building of a pool/deck.  You can preorder the materials, get them delivered to your house, and do whatever preparatory work you need to before the big weekend.  Before you announce said big weekend we need to think about which structure to build: deck or patio?

Broadly speaking, patios and decks are the same in that they are both outdoor spaces which allow you and your guests to enjoy each other’s company and conversation while experiencing the joy of the great outdoors.  Both can give you the sense of that outdoor “room” that’s just another part of your your house.  Both, depending on your municipality, may require permits and an identification and flagging of buried water, gas, and electric lines.  But that’s where the similarities end.  One can make an argument for one being cheaper than the other, but the price difference is not significant enough to be the deciding factor.  Hence, we’ll talk about construction a bit more first.

Decks

rental center monticello deck

Of course “deck” refers to ships and how they were constructed.  And home decks, like ship decks, have been traditionally made of wood.  But as technology has pushed us forward we’ve found that composite materials can still deliver the look and feel of a traditional deck, while delivering a longer-lasting structure (doesn’t need to be powerwashed and resealed) and being “green” (many of those composites are made of recycled plastics).  What’s the catch, you’re asking?  Well, those materials are often cost double their wood cousins.  Whether you choose composite or wood, you’ll need concrete footings to stabliize the structure.

That being said, you have to keep in mind that you are “limited” to standard lengths.  If you start looking at or ordering non-standard lengths for your deck, the price starts to move up pretty quickly.

Patios

rental center monticello patio

Decks have the sense of “elevation” about them – even when you talk about them.  Patios are always imagined as flat structures built on the ground that can be made of differing types of materials – from paving stones to brick.  There is no “sealing” or “resealing” but you can count the grass and weeds that you have to be vigilant about as its own type of “sealing.”  You also have the luxury of having a fire pit, if you’d like (not a deck possibility).

Unlike decks, if you ever decide to change the look and feel of your paving stones, you can simply pull up your old ones and reuse your existing leveled base with new paving stones or bricks.  You also have the freedom to make it as large as you want as you are only limited by the “standard length” issue we discussed with decking.

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Think about the sort of social events that you have and enjoy.  Do they involve a fire pit (patio is best)?  Do you have an inherent love of wood?  What materials make up your home?  What kind of maintenance do you want to do/are prepared to do?  Once you’ve sketched out some ideas, price out possibilities so you know what you are getting into.

Whether you decide to build a patio or deck, remember that at the Rental Center of Monticello we are always here to help counsel with advice;  we can also rent you things like an excavator that can either help give a different shape and structure to the deck you want to build or help you to level and flatten an area you want to use for a patio.

Should I build a swimming pool in my backyard? Part I: Decision

It’s getting towards the dog days of summer and as it gets hotter people might be looking into their backyard, considering just how much better life might be if they had a pool back there.  We’re a rental company so when we get the initial phone call for an excavator for someone who wants to possibly work on (at least part of) a project like this, we ask the originating question: why do you want to build a pool in your backyard?

Reasons to build:

1.  It’s a cool, relaxing feature.  Yes, this isn’t really disputable, is it?  When you see a pool in a backyard you automatically reach for a cold beverage and wonder if there are any lawn chairs.  Whether you are single or have kids a pool is always an option for a day off and when you have one in your backyard it’s just that much easier to get to.  You can add waterfalls to get that zen feeling or to have an added feature to play with in the pool.

2.  I love swimming and the water.  If you want to swim for exercise you can configure your pool in such a way that you can do that well.  You can also build it for floating and relaxation.  And, as we said above, during the dog days of summer, something cool is the best remedy for the heat.  Whether you’re splashing around or just building your tan, a pool is a great answer to the question of “what to do on a free day?”

3.  It’s great for entertaining.  Who doesn’t love pools?  People can bring kids, people can swim themselves, you can add a cookout, and very often visiting a home that has a pool is a treat for those who don’t have one.  You get to be Santa!

backyard_swimming_pool_monticello_rental_center

Things to consider:

1.  Owning a pool is not cheap to build or to maintain.  Should you get concrete or vinyl?  Aboveground or inground?  What kind of chemicals should you use?  Should you use a heater?  Yes, you can do the maintenance yourself if you make sure that you know everything about your pool – but make sure you do!  Add up the costs over a year and divide it up over 12 months so you can get an immediate sense of what it will add to your monthly bills.  Also keep in mind that depending on where you live, having a pool might make a home more difficult to sell.  On the flipside, if you live someplace like Florida (much warmer than Monticello, year-round) having a pool might be a “must” for homebuyers.

2.  The flipside of entertainment is liability.  Many people don’t know that having a pool immediately increases your homeowner’s insurance.  Want to add a diving board or a slide?  Get ready to increase it even more.  What happens if someone gets hurt?  What are the safeguards you are taking to protect your guests, in particular, small children?  Don’t let these questions scare you off: just make sure you have good answers for them.

3.  You will give up a portion of your yard that you cannot reclaim easily should you change your mind.  If you are going to go to the trouble of excavating, leveling, pouring concrete, landscaping, etc., keep in mind that this is a semi-permanent decision.  It’s going to cost you almost as much to get rid of a pool as it cost you to build one.  Keep in mind that you will also want to add landscaping, rock, etc. to make the pool “fit” the rest of your yard.

You’d be surprised, but we go through variation of these questions and answers with each of our potential clients who calls in to build a pool.  This week we wanted to stir these ideas through your mind so that next week (see what we did there – hooked you for our next blog article!) we can talk about the nitty-gritty of excavation and maintenance.

Stay cool as we head into July, whether it’s indoors or poolside!

Three Reasons we deal in STIHL

stihl-corporate

Different companies carry different brands for all kinds of reasons.  In our particular industry if our products don’t work there are major consequences: deadlines aren’t met, events don’t come together, and projects don’t get finished.

A big part of renting heavy equipment is making sure that you’re renting from someone who keeps his/her inventory in good repair.  But even more important than that is renting equipment from a brand which is high quality in the first place.  There is a lot of truth to the old adage, “you get what you pay for.”  That class, that quality, is how we feel about STIHL and we would like to take a few minutes today to tell you why we are proud to sell, repair, and rent out their equipment (and have been from the first day we opened our doors for business).

1.  We service what we sell.  As is the case with all STIHL dealers, if you buy from us, you can get service from us.  And we stock many parts (or can get them for you) if you want to service or maintain your equipment yourself.  You don’t have to worry about finding and developing a repair relationship apart from the place where you bought your equipment to start.  STIHL doesn’t just offer their products to anyone.  Each firm who wants to sell STIHL has to go through a screening process.  You can have the confidence that whether you come to the Rental Center of Monticello or any other STIHL dealer, you’re going to get the convenience of service at the point of sale.

2.  We are technical experts and are there to give you face-to-face customer service.  We know that not every customer who comes to us is an expert on a particular machine or even heavy equipment in general.  We can help everyone – from the novice to the expert – pick out the right equipment for his/her needs – be it for a long-term purchase a or a short-term rental.  STIHL ensures that its dealers deliver this level of service and expertise.  We won’t talk down to you or expect you to buy from us just because we’re talking.  We love what we do and are happy to talk about our products and what they can do for you.  Our most important value is listening to what you have to say so we can help you get the tool/equipment that will accomplish your task.

3.  We stand behind our products through a tradition of providing the best.  STIHL has been around since 1974 and while we can’t claim to have been around that long (we’ve been in business roughly half that time) we bring the same philosophy to work every day: offer the best products with competent and professional customer service so that people can TRUST in our products (and service).  We know that this philosophy will keep people coming back and instead of getting a customer for a day we can develop a client for life.

We’re proud to be your STIHL dealer in Monticello, NY, and look forward to helping you with any sales, service, or rental needs you might have!

Our most rented machines: the Yanmar SV08

This month we’ve looked at a couple fairly large pieces of equipment.  We thought we would end the in-between (as Spring struggles to defeat Winter) month of April by talking about a very popular compact excavator, the Yanmar SV08.  Here in Monticello we’ve been hoping for the breakout to 70 degrees and that didn’t happen very often in April but in May we are looking forward to blue skies.  Great weather often means people are excited about doing great projects and we want to help you understand the possibilities you have available to you.


The “SV” in Yanmar’s designation means “ultra-tight turning.”  This means the front and rear turning radius is very minimal.  Why would this matter to you?  You might have a tight work site and hence not a lot of room to maneuver.  This can include indoor renovation, pipe laying, landscaping, and housing foundations.  You could also possibly have to move through some tight spaces to get to your work site (you can narrow to 2’ 3” to get through a space and widen to 2’ 9” for more stability as you work).

The SV08 isn’t just adjustable in track width.  It can also adapt to different inclines.  The variable undercarriage allows for the right and left tracks to lower and raise independently so as to correct the SV08’s angle on steps or slopes.

It’s not just compact in size and operation, it’s also “compact” in the demands it makes on the operator.    It has a great seat with a retractable seat belt, a footrest, lever controls that respond well, and uncomplicated levers.  There’s a 2-way controller pattern so that the operator can easily change the lever pattern (from backhoe to excavator functionality) to what he/she prefers for efficiency.

As with all Yanmar products, the hydraulic hoses and Boom cylinder are covered for protection, but additionally, the hoses are housed under the cylinders as well.

We know that some of our readers are very much into “just the facts,” so we will share a few of those as well.  It has a water cooled 2-cylinder diesel engine with a 10.3HP output.  It’s got a digging force of 2360 lb for the bucket, 1390 lb on the arm.  It’s not a speedster at 1.1 mph traveling speed, but given the purpose of use for a compact work site, you won’t be in a hurry anyway!  It has a swing speed of 9 rpm and fuel tank capacity of 2.6 gallons.  At an overall weight of 2,348 lbs, it probably isn’t heavier than your car.

This is the smallest compact excavator in Yanmar’s line and if you have any questions about the SV08 or about any Yanmar products, please feel free to give us a call (so we can share some (always free) advice!

Heavy Equipment: Buy or Rent?

Some things have always made sense as business models.  Renting movies, for one.  It made sense in the days of VHS and Laserdisc, it made sense in the days of Blockbuster Video, and it makes sense today, in the era dominated by Redbox and Netflix and streaming options.  Part of why this makes sense is because you only “use” the video for a short time, and then may not want to use it soon after, if ever again.  This is perhaps the first and most obvious reason people rent equipment from us.

Just getting the job done

They have a specific job they need to do they might need a highly specialized piece of equipment to do it.  Typically that equipment will be expensive and have certain maintenance responsibilities, and unless you are using it often in order to pay off the capital expense of the purchase, you run the risk of having a life-size toy sitting idle somewhere on your property.  Renting removes those concerns.  No maintenance, no storage, and no large capital expense.  In some places you’ll have property taxes and insurance concerns above and beyond those expenses!

Moreover, unlike other equipment rental centers that charge by the day AND by hourly usage, we just charge you for the day and don’t care about your hourly usage.  We know you just need to get the job done so we make the billing part of that simple for you.

Try before you buy

Let’s say that you are considering buying an excavator or a backhoe.  These are expensive propositions.  Renting can provide a great opportunity to try before you buy.  Deciding between two different models or two different brands?  You can try the equipment out for the job you are trying to do and if you still feel like you want to purchase, you can do so.  Your capital has to be spent smartly and part of that smart spend is taking the time to actually use the machines in the situations you are planning to use them in, instead of just guessing based on spec sheets you pick up on the internet.

A Yanmar mini-excavator

No upgrade angst

Machinery, like all other parts of our technical world, is constantly being updated.  There’s nothing worse than spending a large amount of money on a great piece of equipment only to see an even better piece of equipment come out for the same price or later months or even a year later.  With renting you can always get access to relatively new equipment.

Everyone’s situation is different, but unless you are a contractor who will use the equipment very frequently for a number of months – hopefully in situations that will either make you money or be worth money to you – renting is always your best option.  Our equipment costs money but our advice about what makes sense for your given job is free.  Give us a call at 845.794.0100.

Our most rented machines: The John Deere 200D

Continuing our series on our most frequently-rented items, today I want to talk about the John Deere 200D excavator.  This model is not just popular with our clients, but also with kids!  It’s a very popular toy (in its scaled-down version, of course).


Who is going to get an excavator?  Well apart from the professional contractor with a specific job in mind, we have many home/property owners who simply need to move a large amount of turf or earth around.  Maybe you’re digging a pool.  Maybe you’re trying to level out some area for a garden.  Maybe you want to create a berm.  Perhaps you want to do some finesse work like setting pipe.  For projects like these, an excavator is going to play an important role.

John Deere makes all kinds of excavators but the 200D is in their compact line.  In this case “compact” means capable of excavating 20 metric tons, powered by a 6-cylinder, 159 hp, Tier 3 Powertech E diesel engine with a 106 gallon fuel tank.  It has a spacious and comfortable cab.  It’s got a top speed of 3.4 mph (no speed demon, but that’s not what you are looking for in an excavator), a swing speed of 13.3 rpm, and swing torque of 50,662 lb/foot.  It has a digging force between 27,000-30,000 lb, depending on whether you need to use the Power Boost option, and it has a lifting capacity over front at ground level of 14,607 lb.  It has a maximum reach of a little over 30 feet, a maximum digging depth of 20 feet, a maximum dumping height of 22 feet, and a tail swing radius of 9 feet.

The 200D’s hydraulically driven van runs only as needed, reducing noise, fuel consumption, and operating costs.  There’s also a reversing option that automatically back-blows cooler cores to reduce debris buildup.

These advancements don’t come at a noise premium.  Noise levels (and with them, operator fatigue) have been significantly reduced in the 200D.  The dual-pass muffler, isochronous high-idle speed, and a variable-speed fan all help to make your job a little less noisy to those around you.

A quieter ride certainly helps the operator, but so do creature comforts.  The 200D comes with a huge amount of tinted glass to give great visibility to the operator.  There’s more legroom, more climate control options, more storage, and an AM/FM radio to make things go a little bit faster.  The short-throw pilot levers provide smooth, predictable fingertip control with less movement and effort.

And if you’ve never had a chance to work with a John Deere machine before you’ll come to find yourself that “nothing runs like a Deere.”

As with any equipment rental vs. equipment purchase, you don’t have to worry about maintenance and repair.  We keep the machines in top operating condition so that you can simply do your work and get the machine back to us without worrying about maintenance.  Give us a call at 845.794.0100 and let us know if we can help you with your equipment rental needs.