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Rental Rates and Methods

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TrackAbout Feature
Feature Name: Rental Rates and Methods
In Module: Rental
Short Description Set up List and Special pricing for items rented through TrackAbout.
Available In:
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Rental Rates

Standard Rates

Standard Rates are intended to be the List Prices for rental. This is typically the most that any customer would be charged for rental. By default, new customers will fall into the Standard-Rates-table rates until they are moved to a Rate Bracket or they have Customer-Specific Rates added for them.

Standard Rates:

  • Are the default rates for all customers. Any rates not overridden in Bracketed or Customer Rental Rate Tables will default to the values in the Standard Rental Rate Table
  • Are set at the Rental Class level or Asset Type level. (The system defaults to Rental Class rates. There's a special configuration to use Asset Type level)
  • Are configured from the Rental Menu
  • Do not expire
  • There can be only one Standard Rate table
  • The Edit Standard Rate screen functions just like the Edit Rate Bracket screen.

Rate Brackets

Rate brackets allow for the creation of different rental rate levels for customers. Multiple customers can be assigned to a single bracket. It is can be easier to manage a few rate brackets than to manage a special price for every customer that needs something other than the standard price. You might create a rate bracket for customers of a certain size or industry or for new customers. For instance, a rate bracket could be created for customers with 50 to 100 rental assets on site. Similarly, a rate bracket could be created for a customer segment, such as small retailers. Once a rate bracket is created you can then assign customers to this bracket from the Rental Rates section of the Customer Detail View screen.

Rate Brackets:

  • Group similar customers under the same non-standard set of Rental Rates
  • Are set at the Rental Class or Asset Type level. (The system defaults to Rental Class rates. There's a special configuration to use Asset Type level)
  • Are configured from the Rental Menu
  • There is no limit to the number of Rate Brackets, there can be many or none
  • A customer may be assigned to only one Rate Bracket
  • Customers are not automatically assigned to a rate bracket by TrackAbout
  • For departments (ie ship-tos or child accounts), the Rate bracket is always inherited from the parent - even when the child is set as Billed Separately.

The Edit Rate Bracket screen functions just like the Edit Standard Rates screen

New edit rate page.png

Customer-Specific Rates

Customer-Specific Rates are set for the individual customer and are used when a customer needs special pricing outside of the pricing specified in the Rate Brackets. This is commonly thought of as 'contract pricing'. A customer may be in a bracket and also use Customer-Specific Rates. Unlike Standard Rates and Rate Brackets, Customer-Specific Rates may be set on either the Rental Class or Asset Type level. There can be only one Customer-Specific Rate table for each customer. If a customer has departments, these departments automatically use the Customer-Specific Rates of their parent. However, Customer-Specific Rates may be set on the individual departments independently of their main parent account should there be a need to charge them a different rate than the parent customer. But if the department is set to Bills With Parent, then the department uses the parent's rates and any customer-specific rates set on the department are ignored.

Customer-Specific Rates:

  • Are special rates for individual customers
  • Are set at the Rental Class or Asset Type level
  • Take precedence over the Standard Rental Rate table, and over any Rate Brackets assigned to the customer
  • Are ignored if set on a department when the department is set to Bills With Parent.
  • Are configured from the Customer Detail screen
  • Are effective immediately
  • The Edit Customer Rate screen functions just like the Edit Rate Bracket screen.
  • Customer Specific Rates and Rate Brackets can be assigned from the Rental Rates section of the Customer Detail View screen
CustDetailView RentalRates.jpg

Review By Date

Clicking on Create New or Edit Details for Customer-Specific Rates opens a screen which has a "Review Rates On" date field. This is the date by which the rates should be checked. This is not an expiration date. If the date passes the rates will continue to be in effect. This "Review Rates On" date is the date by which someone should review the rental rates. The idea is that periodically the rates should then either have their ‘"Review Rates On" date extended or these customer-specific rates should be removed. Custom Reporting can be developed to list all the Customer-Specific Rates which are set to be reviewed within a selected time frame.

Tiered-Rate Rental

NOTE: By default, this feature is NOT enabled.

Tiered-Rate Rental allows allows you to charge different rates for the same product depending on volume. Best practice is that you would charge customers a lower rental rate when they’re renting greater quantities of assets from you.

As an example, a cylinder Rental Class may have a rate of $55 for customers with an asset count between 0 and 2, another rate of $50 for an asset count between 3 to 10 and a final tier of $44 for 11 assets or more.

This is how the same pricing structure would appear when set up in TrackAbout.


Tiered Rates can be created and applied at all levels, i.e. Standard, Bracket, and Customer Specific Rates, and they can be set for Rental Classes or Asset Types.

Here tiers are shown for Asset Types:

AssetType Tiered Rental.png

At any level, the rates pages display current default rates. These can then be overridden by the new desired/custom rate tiers.

If you do not want to use Tiered Rates, no changes are needed on your part. However, the capability is available on your system to use anytime you wish. Contact TrackAbout Support to enable this rental-rate model.

Audit Trail of Rate Changes

Audit Trails track changes at each different level of rate tables. Any time a user makes a rate change, information about this change is stored, including the date, person who made the change, and old values of the rates that were changed.

  • Clicking the 'View Audit Trail' link in Standard Rates, Rate Bracket or Customer Specific Rates displays a history of rate changes.
Audit trail.png

Rental Methods

Daily Rental

Note, the notes below do NOT deal with Equipment Rental. See the Equipment Rental section for more info

Daily rental is calculated based on a Customer’s asset balance for each day of the rental billing period. A Customer’s daily asset balance can be determined one of several ways. These are called Rental Bill Calculation Methods:

  • Start of Day - Use asset count from the start of the day.
  • End of Day - Use asset count from end of the day.
  • Max of Start and End of Day - Use the largest number of the first two options.
  • Assets Tied Up - Use count of assets that the Customer had for any fraction of the day. Therefore, Customers would be charged for both assets on the day of an even exchange.
    • Assets Tied Up will revert to "End of Day" if the rental method is set to Monthly rather than Daily.
    • Assets Tied Up will also revert to "End of Day" in the case of a monthly lease. If there is a monthly lease in place for the Rental Class or Asset Type, Assets tied up will not override the lease. The Lease will still apply even if the rent days, as calculated by Assets Tied Up, exceeds the lease period for that month.
    • More on Assets Tied Up: This means that on days exchanges are made, it is not the final balance that is billed on those days but the total number of assets that was tied up for the transaction. For instance, if the asset balance is 1 and an exchange (1 for 1) is made, the asset balance for the day of the exchange is actually 2.  In this scenario, assuming one exchange for the month in December, you would actually have 32 total rent days for the product code.

General Rental Calculation Example

Here is an example that might clarify the above options: A customer receives their first asset on Monday. Then even exchanges this asset for an identical asset on Wednesday. Then the customer returns this asset on Friday.

  • Monday: Asset delivered
  • Tuesday: No change
  • Wednesday: Return the asset and get a new identical asset
  • Thursday: No change
  • Friday: Return the asset

How many days of rental is this customer charged for the week with each of these rental methods?

  • Start of Day: 4 days. No rental is charged on Monday
  • End of Day: 4 days. No rental is charged on Friday
  • Max of Start and End of Day: 5 days. One day of rental Monday-Friday
  • Assets Tied Up: 6 days. Two days of rental are charged on Wednesday and one day each of the other four days of the week.

TrackAbout support staff can configure TrackAbout to calculate rental based on the desired method of determining customers’ asset balances. It is also possible to set a default Daily Rental Calculation Method for all customers and an override per specific customer. In this way, a more aggressive rental calculation can be tried, and if any customers complain, they can be switched back to the old way. In the Rental section of the Customer Detail View, the Daily Calculation Method may be changed for an individual customer.

Monthly = End of Month Balance Rental

This method of calculating rent takes the asset balance at the END of the LAST day of the billing period and multiplies it by a monthly rental rate to determine rental. The starting balance and transactions throughout the month have no effect. The balance at the end of the billing period (commonly the last day of the month) is the sole determining factor. For example, a customer could have 100 assets for most of the billing period. If all the assets are returned before the end of the billing period, then no rent is charged for any of the assets for that billing period.

Start of Month Balance Rental

This method of calculating rent takes the asset balance at the START of the FIRST day of the billing period and multiplies it by a monthly rental rate to determine rental.

Peak Rental

  • Peak Rental uses the highest balance at any point during the rental period.
  • There are two flavors of Peak Rental: Peak Daily and Peak Monthly
    • Peak Daily = Peak balance x number of days in period x daily rental rate
    • Peak Monthly = Peak balance x monthly rental rate
  • If you are rolling up the rental information by Rental Class, it is important to note that the peak is still calculated at the Asset Type level.
    • The peak is calculated for each Asset Type, then the peaks for each Asset Types are summed together to get the peak for the Rental Class.
    • For example, Let's say that you have Asset Types A and B and they are both in the same rental class. If a customer has 10 assets of type A for half of the month then the customer returns these 10 assets of type A and takes 10 assets of type B for the second half of the month. This customer will have a peak balance of 10+10=20 for the month.

Equipment Rental

Equipment Rental is done by setting a daily, weekly and monthly rate. The customer gets the daily rate until they have had the equipment long enough that weekly is cheaper and then the weekly rate until monthly is cheaper.

Note that only users who have been granted the access equipment rental features permission on the User Access Control page will be able to view and edit equipment rental rates. Users without this permission will simply not see rental rates related to equipment when viewing the rental rates page.

For more information, see the Equipment Rental section.

Monthly Demurrage

Demurrage is the way that most gas cylinders were rented years ago. Most distributors have moved away from this to daily rental. Some gas distributors in certain geographical markets still have a significant percentage of their business using demurrage and it would be hard to get the end customers to switch.

The basic idea of demurrage is that you don't pay rental if you return the tank relatively quickly. Each new tank you get delivered buys you a certain amount of free rental. You only start paying rental when you fail to swap out or return your tanks relatively quickly. ­­­ Demurrage is a form of end of period (aka monthly) rental. End of period monthly rental is the rental method where we take the balance as of the end of the period and simply multiply it by a rental rate. So for instance if you have 10 cylinders at the end of the month (actually the end of the rental period) and the rate is $3 per month then you would pay $30 in rental. The difference with demurrage is that every delivery of one asset during in the month (the rental period) reduces the ending balance by one. So the calculation is like this:

[Ending balance to use for demurrage] = [End of period balance] ­- [Shipped during the period]

There is no carryover from one period to the next. So a delivery on January 5 or on January 25 both have the same effect. They just reduce the end of month balance for January by one. In neither case do they affect February rental at all.

Demurrage is a way of providing an incentive for the renter to keep turning over his rented equipment and to keep his rental balance low relative to the number of tanks he uses in a month.


Monthly Rental (end of period)

Item Start Count Ship Return End Count Monthly rental rate Total
AC4 2 0 0 2 $3 $6
OXT 2 5 1 6 $3 $18
AMC 2 0 3 0 $3 $0
COK 2 1 1 2 $3 $6

Monthly Demurrage Rental

Item Start Count Ship Return End Count Monthly rental rate Total
AC4 2 0 0 2 $3 $6
OXT 2 5 1 6 $3 $3
AMC 2 0 3 0 $3 $0
COK 2 1 1 2 $3 $3

Bulk Updating Rental Rates

'There is a defect in this page regarding Rental Brackets. Do not use this for bracket rate updates as it will result in duplicated rates. You may request access to the tool for informational reporting or updating standard or client specific rates.

Most companies review and make global changes to their rental rates on a periodic bases. TrackAbout's Bulk Update Rental Rates tool, can help you through this process.

Navigate to Bulk Update Rental Rates through the TrackAbout Config website menu or through the Quick Search Box.

Updating existing rental rates is completed in a 4 steep process:

  1. Download existing rates in Excel format
  2. Edit and update the rate file
  3. Select your updated Excel file to be uploaded
  4. Import the updated rates

Bulk Update Rental Rate will allow you to update all existing rates at the Standard, Bracket, and Customer Specific levels.

The tool is also useful simply as a report. Download the Rate file from Step One to see your current rates.

This tool is available to any customers who subscribe to TrackAbout’s Rental module.