Archive for August, 2014

Things to consider when planning an outdoor event.

When you consider having an outdoor event, the most important thing to remember is that the weather conditions can change here in Texas very quickly. Everyone envisions the weather will be 78 degrees, bright sunshine and no appreciable wind, but that is not usually the case. So, you really need someone who has experience in planning these type of events, like Rental Stop. I have used them in the past and they have saved my bacon several times. If you are having an outdoor wedding, birthday party or corporate event, you will probably want to include renting a tent. That means you really need to have a site evaluation to determine where the tent can be placed. Rental Stop will come to your site location to walk the property and ascertain the proper placement of the tent. The planning expert will look for what is above, around and below the site. He will take measurements and look for obvious signs  of trouble such as overhead wires, underground utilities and sprinkler systems, signs of poor drainage , the slope and lay of the ground, prevailing wind direction, trees and shrubs and the accessibility to the area. Be sure you are open to alternative ideas.

If there are issues with the site, it is important to find out as far in advance as possible. This would allow for alterations to be made to the location that can accommodate the activity that is being planned. Rental Stop not only does events, they also have equipment rentals that the property owner could use to correct the issues. The property owner should know where the buried utilities are and can give the site survey team the answers to most of the questions about the site as he develops the site plan for the event. Rental Stop’s site surveyors welcome not only the customers, outside event planners and caterers at the site evaluations, but also code inspectors from all affected civil jurisdictions which aids in speeding up the permitting process. Also, if everyone that is providing services or products for the event are involved early on, it will make the coordination of deliveries, setup and striking much simpler and efficient.

The majority of Rental Stop clients only need one site inspection, but occasionally there may need to be more than one. The site surveyor will take his notes and measurements from the site visit and produce a site plan using CAD drawings on an overhead view of the property obtained from GoogleEarth. This will give the installation crew a visual map of where each tent, stage, lighting and power generation units should be placed. A schedule will be developed for when each piece of equipment should be erected to coincide with the start of the event. In the end Rental Stop’s goal is for the event to proceed without a hitch, and the customer , event planner and attendees will have a great experience.

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What do you need to know before you tow?

If you ever plan to involve yourself in activities such as moving, hauling equipment, boating, camping or some sort of automotive pastime, such as auto crossing or drag racing, then chances are you’ll need to do some towing and you may need to rent a trailer to accomplish the task. At Rental Stop we carry a variety of trailers that our customers use to move all kinds of things. One of the most critical factors to consider will be the capability of your vehicle to tow the trailer you need to perform the job safely and with as little effort as possible. Must paaenger car bumpers are not able to tow a medium weight trailer woithout being re-enforced.

Make sure you truck, van or car is prepared to tow the rental trailer before you go and rent the item. Here at Rental Stop , we have had customers try to rent a tractor and pull it with a Toyota Camry. This will not turn out well for the customer or for Rental Stop. Two of the most important things to have when you tow are basic common sense and the ability to adjust your driving. In other words, when towing, everything you do while driving needs to be done at about half the speed when compared to driving without a trailer. When you turn, go much slower. When you accelerate, do it much easier. When you brake, allow yourself a great deal more space to stop. And when you change lanes, allow room for your vehicle and the trailer.

As far as cars go, a full-size body-on-frame, rear-wheel-drive car like a Ford Crown Victoria (rated to tow 2,000 pounds) or Chevy Caprice is a basic minimum for towing anything approaching the weight of a 2,000-pound trailer. For smaller trailers, a smaller car can work, but for hauling anything more than 2,000 pounds you’re going to need a truly tow-friendly vehicle. Ideally, a truck or an SUV is always a smart choice for towing a boat or camper. Even a compact pickup is going to be better than just about any car. For heavier loads (say more than 4,000 pounds) a half-ton truck like will meet the needs of just about any of the trailer-towing basics we’re discussing here. But even among half-ton trucks, towing ability can vary.

Besides the tow vehicle and the trailer, the other critical element is, of course, the hitch. Trailer hitches are rated according to capacity of the load weight and tongue weight. Load weight is referenced in terms of Gross Trailer Weight (GTW, see chart at the end of article). Tongue weight is the downward force exerted on the hitch ball. This is usually calculated at 10-15 percent of the maximum rated GTW. The tongue is usually formed from the V-shaped merging of the trailer framerails at the front of the trailer. The coupler of the trailer is what accepts the hitch ball. At Rental Stop, we use a 2″ ball which is the most common size in use today. Also, be very concious of the air pressure in your trailers tires. A blowout there can create real handling and braking problems for the most experienced driver. So, ask that the tires be checked before you leave the rental facility.

As we mentioned at the beginning, your driving style when towing a trailer needs to change dramatically. If you’ve never towed a trailer before and you’re nervous about it, we’d strongly recommend seeking out someone who has had experience with towing. In general, you need to remember that when you are towing, you have considerably less room for margin of error. Your vehicle and trailer are much less maneuverable and nimble than your car or truck is without a trailer, and it’s critical that you always compensate for the added length the trailer adds when you change lanes so that you don’t run anyone off the road.

If you are unsure of what you need to safely complete your towing task, call us at 972-336-0059 and our expert Rental Stop staff will assist you in making a great decision.

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