Keep Customers Informed and Your Company Protected

A good restroom trailer rental agreement will help you handle accidents and surprises like a boss
Keep Customers Informed and Your Company Protected
A good restroom trailer rental agreement will help you handle accidents and surprises like a boss.

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Just as you would with a new truck or other important business asset, protecting your new restroom trailer is essential.

Insurance regulations do, of course, vary from state to state, so be sure to look into your specific options. But Charlie Senecal, general manager of the trailer division of Satellite Suites, does recommend insuring your purchase before you take it off the lot. “Once you take possession of it, it’s yours,” he says.

Gretchen Hole, owner of Swanky Restroom Trailers in Michigan, uses the same insurance company that covers her restroom inventory. Operators may need to add an umbrella liability policy to cover unknowns or accidents, such as if someone trips while using it.

She also requires customers to sign a rental contract to further protect her business, indicating her rules, which might include things like not moving trailers or units once they are placed.

Hole researched and drew up her own rental contract. “It’s pretty simple and straightforward,” she says. “I think it’s very important if something does happen.”

And things definitely can happen. Dan Fischer, sales manager of Comforts of Home Services, advises operators to know how to price out a rental and put that in writing. Remember to figure in costs for things like delivery and pick-up mileage, water and electric hookups and whatever other costs you plan on passing along. “These are all things that help offset the cost of the trailer.”

Senecal says to keep in mind what a market will bear, in terms of costs. Satellite can provide examples of rental contracts, but prices can vary widely throughout the nation.

Travis Vargo, a business attorney and co-owner of Texas Waste Company in Alvin, Texas, says writing strong contracts is more than just good business practice — it shows you are professional and helps customers know exactly what expenses and services they can expect.

When Vargo purchased Texas Waste in 2013, one of the first things he did was tighten up the company contracts, rewriting vague clauses to clarify responsibilities of both supplier and clients, and providing the company with greater leverage in settling disputes.

Even though there may be surprises down the road — such as a trailer blocked by a locked fence or other items — there should be no surprises in how the company addresses such situations. An example might be adding terms in the contract noting an extra trip charge in case units are blocked and can’t be serviced. “Tell them what [the charge] is before you take their money and/or before you deliver [the units],” Vargo suggests.

Vargo recommends rental and service contracts for both small and large companies. He reminds operators that it’s impossible to cover every unforeseen circumstance, but a solid contract is a necessary start.

And Fischer concurs. “Always get everything in writing; the days of the handshake are gone.”

Click here for more advice from Travis Vargo on drafting strong service and rental contracts.


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