The Rental Rate Blue Book is a critical part of the construction ecosystem. As a data product, it’s primary use case is to enable, friction-free reimbursement of extra work/force account by contractors. It’s the leading, third-party unbiased accepted source for equipment costing.
The product is created and maintained by EquipmentWatch, an equipment data and intelligence business, that is part of Informa. Informa is a publicly traded company on the FTSE in the UK.
The history of the product goes back a long way, but the use of Rental Rate Blue Book at a large scale dates back to 1988, when the FDOT provided a public memo specifying the product as their recommended standard for reimbursement.
Who Specifies the Rental Rate Blue Book?
There are 150+ large, public governments that specify the Rental Rate Blue Book. These consist of state DOTs, local DOTs and port and airport authorities. They are primarily in the United States, but some exist within Canada, as well.
What does Rental Rate Data Look Like?
Rental Rate Blue Book data is in the form of a cost per hour. The currency of measure is the US dollar. Example layout of the data is:
Total Cost = Ownership Cost per Hour + Operating Cost per Hour
The data is model specific. Imagine the data for a Bobcat S590, a popular skid steer loader model.
Total Cost = $25/hour (ownership) + $18.00/hour (operating) = $43.00/hour Total Cost
What kind of models does the Rental Rate Blue Book cover?
EquipmentWatch mentions the product covers over 20,000+ models in over 1,000 different types of equipment.
Is there an alternative to the Rental Rate Blue Book?
It depends on your use case. If you are using the product for reimbursement of extra work, force account or similar from a project owner, you likely need to make the investment in Rental Rate Blue Book.
Are you using the product for estimation? There are alternatives, although not necessarily of the same quality. Specifically, check out FEMA Rates and the US Army Corp of Engineers Equipment Rates.