Backhoe Rental - Legal Question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Shepherd, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,499
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    IA
    We bought a used backhoe last year and a neighbor of ours would like to rent it for a day. We'll call around for the average price per day rental fees from local companies to help us determine a reasonable price, but I'd like to create some type of "Release" which would protect us from being sued in case they get hurt from carelessness, etc. (We don't know them that well yet.)

    Anybody know where I could get the appropriate type wording online without having to pay for it? I could call an attorney but would have to wait too long and his fee would be at least as much as what we'd rent the backhoe for, if not exceed it.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

    Messages:
    14,177
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    Wyoming
    There is no legal wording that will do the job for you. You would have to have your own liability insurance.

    That may seem like a blanket statement but I work for an excavation company that will no longer let someone else operate our equipment.

    You could write up a document and have them sign it. When something happens and you go to court, you might win on a technicality but you would end up with major legal bills.
     

  3. rivesjct3768

    rivesjct3768 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    77
    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Location:
    Dickinson, TX
    Have you actually "agreed" to rent the machine to him yet? Does he know anything on how to operate it? If the answer is no to either of these questions, then it might be better to hire yourself out with the machine instead......and even that has a risk for legal problems. Your NOT going to find a legal form that will cover EVERYTHING that you are looking for and if you do decide to rent to your neighbor; are only opening yourself up for potential "problems" down the road. Does anyone have workmans' comp insurance to take care of those "problems" ??? I know that you want to be a good neighbor, but as already mentioned, you don't really know him that well ......yet........and maybe you don't want to know him that well if something bad happens. Think LONG AND HARD before handing over the keys to that machine.
     
  4. Shadow

    Shadow Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    762
    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Don't, just don't, I personally have never ran a back hoe, lots of other stuff but not a backhoe. If they want to rent you and your back hoe if you have the time fine. If you get it back damaged, or broken who is going to fix it and it can be really expensive.
    Had a friend who had a track hoe belonging to a friend of his who wanted to leave it at his farm for a couple of days, said he could use it if he would be responible for repairs. Sounded like a good deal utill he found a major repair could be $50,000 he never touched it.
    Good way to lose a friend ship.
    I would just tell him I'm having problems with it and it has problems that I have to watch when I am running it. Me and my equipment have a personal relationship that others would not understand oops too much infromation.
     
  5. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,441
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Location:
    SE Washington
    I would not rent it due to insurance problems and your liability if something happens to the machine and someone gets hurt. Bartering for the value of the use of the machine gets you around the liability problem, but if they break something that needs to be dealt with too. I would get that part in writing. This is a touchy area, the only real way around that is for them to pay you to do the job, that way they are basically renting you and not the machine.

    Bobg
     
  6. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,499
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    IA
    Sometimes just explaining the intent of the form and having a person sign it, curtails their thought of "Oh, I'll just sue them!" if they get careless... even tho it might not be iron clad.
    ***
    Edited:
    Wow - I was just responding to Painterswife's reply - by the time I was done responding there were several more! LOL.

    I realize the ramifications, that's why I wondered if there were some type of legal boilerplate forms online I could gain access to. And I understand few things are iron clad.

    Something else I considered was maybe drawing up a Purchase Agreement (for the backhoe) and having him sign it before he uses it, in case he were to get hurt or do any major damage to it (you break it, you buy it), and explain we're just using it for our protection but we'll tear it up when the backhoe's returned and the job's done. What do you think?
     
  7. painterswife

    painterswife Sock puppet reinstated Supporter

    Messages:
    14,177
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2004
    Location:
    Wyoming
    "Sometimes just explaining the intent of the form and having a person sign it, curtails their thought of "Oh, I'll just sue them!" if they get careless... even tho it might not be iron clad."

    That might work but are you willing to chance it? Say something goes wrong and a child or family member gets hurt. Someone will sue.

    If you were not already worried in the first place you would not have asked the question. The chances are nothing will happen but if it does you have to be prepared to deal with it. Are you?
     
  8. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,787
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2005
    Location:
    IL, right smack dab in the middle
    never loan acar to someone you like and this is worse!
     
  9. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,780
    Joined:
    May 13, 2002
    Location:
    western PA
    Yep, you'd have to have insurance OR the renter would.

    When we built our house, our contractor needed to rent a LULL.
    Couldn't do it without an addition to his ins policy, which cost about $130.
    We agreed to pay that for him, because he was doing our house & this was an extra expense for him that neither of knew we needed ahead of time.

    If you're just renting the equipment, you shouldn't have to pay the $$ but you should require some paperwork from the renter's ins company saying that he's covered
     
  10. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    Messages:
    7,102
    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    Do not rent the equipment -if necessary you can 'sell' it for a limited time period. But again a lawyer would be needed to create the paperwork.
     
  11. farminghandyman

    farminghandyman Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,415
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado
    usually when money changes hands the liability is greater in the hands of the person receiving the moneys,

    from a legal stand point your probably better off letting them use it with out the exchange of money, and if any thing gets damaged they are willing to repair and they return,they will fill the tank of the tractor with the proper fuel,

    regardless in this day and age if you have looked at it, they can probably tie you to a law suit if so wanted, nothing you do besides not allowing them to us it will relieve you of all responsibilities,

    and since your tractor doesn't meet all current standards for safety, (ROPS), and a roll over would occur I don't know what the lawyers would do,

    I know it is a mess you try to be a good neighbor, and the law all most prevents you from helping them out,

    a lot would depend on how good you know them and trust them,
     
  12. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,499
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    IA
    Yeah it's a shame isn't it? On the other hand, we have a lot invested in the equipment too.

    I wonder if we should trade/barter... like he uses the backhoe and in exchange, puts in some fence we need done, instead of money being exchanged.
     
  13. spam4einstein

    spam4einstein Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    273
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Location:
    North GA
    ITS A MISTAKE! dont do it. Things always seem to break whan lent out and nevermind the liability. There are rental places, why cant he use one of them.
     
  14. kmaproperties

    kmaproperties Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    222
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2005
    Location:
    ohio
    offer to do the job for him, I would neeeeeeever loan a backhoe to anyone, too much liability. you can't write a long enough releas to cover everything.
    look at the ladder industry, they have to say don't set the ladder in soft cow manure piles, give me a break!!
     
  15. fin29

    fin29 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,622
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    Maine
    And what if you hit a gas main and blow his house up?
    Or crack the septic pipe?
    Or run over his kid?

    I actually agree with moopups on this one in theory, though the "sale" would never hold water in court.
     
  16. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,301
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal Mtns
    Dont do it,simple as that.Do the work for him,and barter that.

    BooBoo
     
  17. Bret

    Bret Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    5,554
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2003
    Location:
    IN
    I rented a backhoe a few years ago for about 300.00 for an entire weekend. I needed to return it full of fuel. I thought that was very reasonable. I was cleaning up a short fence row so I didnt have to be good.

    I learned that I would rather rent one than to borrow one. If I borrowed one and broke something, I would want to fix it. Fixing one could cost more than a weekend of renting.
     
  18. wyld thang

    wyld thang God Smacked Jesus Freak Supporter

    Messages:
    7,456
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Turtle Island/Yelm, WA "Land of the Dancing Spirit
    Before we bought our bulldozer, my hubby borrowed it from the neighbor(great guy!) for free, he just had to buy diesel for it. We used it without incident(it's an oldy moldy bucket of very large bolts). We bought it from him later, and hubby has done work for another neighbor for about half the going bulldozer+operator rate--hubby offered to do the work. No legal stuff, just a lot of common sense on both sides(where's the septic, where's the water/electric, keep family members and animals away.) I know we're "lucky". I would do the work yourself for the neighbor--or second that advice. Repairs(as you probably know) are very costly, and at least when you're running it you can take care. Is there a reason why you wouldn't want to do the work?

    Or he can can go rent one somewhere. I suppose he is trying to get out of having to pay the delivery fee and minimum hours--the only advantage I can see by him renting yours. Around here people ask private equipment owners to do the work, they don't ask to just rent their machine(our neighbor was an exception, he offered it to us to use) because of the breakdown issues. It's a courtesy to offer the work $$ to your neighbor before going "outside".

    On the other hand people are sue happy these days, and rental companies and big equipment operator guys have the insurance to pay--and you don't have to pay to fix it if it throws a giant bolt and the tracks fall off(maybe you get a new lawn ornament!!;)).
     
  19. Shepherd

    Shepherd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,499
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    IA
    WildThang - dh doesn't have time to do the work, or he probably would consider it. I discussed all these things with him when he got home from work and he was still going to go ahead with it. I told him I wasn't comfortable with it but... figured I'd let him make the final decision.

    ...UNTIL the neighbor called tonight. DH told him the amount per day and he said he'd call back after talking to "the guy". I asked dh - What guy? I guess he (the neighbor) was talking to a co-worker of his who was wanting it, not our neighbor. I told DH we're not renting it to anybody we don't know... (and that I wasn't even comfortable with the neighbor arrangement). He said that was what he was thinking. So when the neighbor called back later tonight, I answered the phone and talked to him.

    I told him we didn't spend that much money on the backhoe to rent it out - just for our own use and really weren't interested in renting it to people we didn't even know. I said the only reason we were considering making an exception was for him (the neighbor) because we thot HE needed it. But even then we weren't real comfortable with that because so many things could go wrong. We'd be looking at some hefty expenses to get it fixed if anything broke.

    So - thanks for all your advice. The backhoe will stay parked right here!
     
  20. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

    Messages:
    11,456
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    NW Pa./NY Border.