It depends on what it is and how much they are asking.
I found a used propane Ready Heater for $20 from a Nations Rent in the area. It works great and well worth the money.
A few weeks ago I saw a used Ryan Lawnaire IV for $250. The salesmand was hesitant about pulling it outside to start it up. After I persuaded him, he fired it up. 30 seconds later there was a cloud of blue smoke fogging the whole parking lot. Blown engine.
If you're going to buy used equipment, I would think that the rental shop provided better than average preventative maintenance on it. At least they checked the oil on a regular basis.
I bought a used Scag SWM/72" W/B from a fire department in Illinois. The machine looked like new when I got it and you know how fanatical those firemen are about equipment maintenance. I feel I made a good deal even though I had to drive 1000 miles, one way, to pick up the machine.
As with any used equipment purchase, Caveat emptor!
(let the buyer beware)
As we all know, we are a little rougher on the rental equipment than if it were our own. Even i am guilty of that. I would be hesitant to buy certain equipment from a rental shop, if you do make sure you go over it twice and make them fire up the engine and let you demo it first.
I would only buy used equipment from a rental company if they provided a full warranty for the first 2-3 months, and they will not do that because most of the stuff is junk and they know it. I rent quite often and most of the stuff is not maintained and usually has some sort of problems with it.
I think it all depends on the rental shop. Our local Snapper dealer also has a rental business for everything from wedding supplies to track loaders etc. They have a first rate repair and maintenance staff, and the facilities to back it all up. I have bought several items out of rental rotation from them with no problems. They will even wash / wax our z and wbs when they are in for service, and make them look new again. It just depends on the level of service you expect to be offered in ratio to the cost you are willing to pay for that service.
I bought a bobcat 751 from the dealer, they used it for rentals. Ive had it for 13 months now, put about 95 hours on it and havent even had to put a drop of oil in it yet. Though it is almost ready for a PM. Great Buy!!
I have purchased three pieces of equipment from the Home Depot Rental. Extendable power pruner, back pack blower, and hedge clippers. They try and turn over there equipment every two years or so. The blower and hedge clippers had only rented about 5-6 times each in two years. The power pruner rented quite a bit, but it looks and runs great. My good buddy is the head mechanic and he keeps things in tip top shape.
My advice to you is decide on a case by case basis. If you don't think its worth the money then pass up on the deal.
you are not going to get much if any warranty from a rental place on used equipment, unless its a major purchase, like a backhoe or skid steer. Anything with a small engine and yur most likely outta luck. The manufactors won't even warranty small items past 90 days if its going to be used in the rental industry.
I bought a used aerater from a local rental shop two years ago for $1000.00.I had one minor problem with it and brought it up to the place and the manager fixed it for free.He is a friend of a friend so thats why,but I will look again if he has something I might need.