Online training offers plenty of benefits
By Ashleigh Petersen Brian Grim

Online training offers plenty of benefits

Three reasons why it is worth a rental store’s investment

Understanding how a machine works and its operating best practices are vital pieces of knowledge for any operator. For machine owners, that level of understanding comes from on-the-job training and years of operating experience.

Machine renters, however, don’t have the benefit of that experiential learning. Renters must depend on the training they get from a rental center to ensure they understand all they need to know for a successful project. And rental centers must be experts in providing simple, quick and well-rounded training — because it’s their machine and reputation that can suffer from poor job-site practices.

Online training is one growing option for rental centers to supplement at-the-dealer training. Online training platforms provide a comprehensive, affordable and flexible option for dealers and renters. And as the rental industry continues to deal with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the rise of contactless transactions, online training is becoming an even more attractive solution.

Here are three reasons that online training is worth the investment for your rental center.

Maximizes job-site success. Getting the most out of a machine requires proper equipment operation and handling. Operators not utilizing updated manuals or adhering to the latest equipment standards risk misusing their machines, which can cause costly damage and risk unwarranted downtime. As technology continues to advance the construction industry, rental centers should keep up with changing best practices and equipment standards to ensure they can help their renters succeed.

Online training modules are a quick and simple way to stay up to date on a variety of equipment best practices without needing to invest hours in multiple training sessions. Ditch Witch, Perry, Okla., one provider of online training, offers modern, online modules for a wide range of equipment, including stand-on skid steers, ride-on trenchers and walk-behind trenchers. These modules provide easily accessible, focused training sessions for whichever machine is being rented.

Provides flexibility. Another benefit of using an online training platform is that it allows individuals to learn at their own pace and on their own time. Time is money, and sometimes it can be hard to pull away from work to invest in training. Whether it is for a rental center employee learning more about their equipment, or an equipment renter learning how to most efficiently operate their machine, the flexibility of online training is a primary benefit. With an online training platform, rental center employees or renters can choose the program and time that best fits their needs and schedules. They can login from anywhere with internet access and can complete their training at their own pace.

This flexibility is particularly beneficial for rental centers that serve a wide range of experience levels. Online training can be customized to an operator’s training need. More experienced operators can use the training as a quick review of best practices, while less experienced operators can spend the additional time they need to learn how to confidently operate a machine.

An unbeatable return on investment (ROI). ROI is the gold standard for rental centers. If something doesn’t offer a return, then it’s not worth the investment. Keeping that in mind, some manufacturers, like Ditch Witch, offer their online training module for free.

With the demand for underground construction work at an all-time high — and only growing — it is important that rental center workers are up to date on all industry best practices so they can confidently offer machine training to customers. Compared to learning on the job, online training tools can help speed up the learning process and can provide the ability to refresh on knowledge whenever it is needed. While in-person training certainly has its place, the flexibility, affordability and ease of online training makes it an attractive option for many rental centers.

Brian Grim has more than three decades of experience working within the Ditch Witch, Perry, Okla., organization. He is currently the product training and development manager and was instrumental in developing Ditch Witch Certified Training and the Jet Trac Simulator, as well several other new and innovative online training modules. For more information, visit

Ashleigh Petersen

Ashleigh PetersenAshleigh Petersen

Ashleigh Petersen is the digital communications manager for Rental Management. She writes news and feature articles, plus coordinates the monthly Safety Issue and several sections in the magazine. Ashleigh loves spending time with her husband and young son, baking, gardening and listening to true crime and comedy podcasts.

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