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Pros & Cons of Leasing vs. Owning your tanks

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  • Pros & Cons of Leasing vs. Owning your tanks

    I went to my local welding shop, noticed that they both lease and sell tanks. Are there any obvious benefits to going one way verses the other? I usually like to own my stuff, unless it is something that would be obsolete fairly quickly, and is updated often. Any compelling reason to go one way vs. the other? What do most of you do, and are you a large outfit or a small one man shop? I would be a one man show, & wouldn't use a huge amount of gas, if that makes a diff. Thoughts?

  • #2
    I own my own bottles but trade them in to get filled every now and then. Now if you buy your own small bottles where you can't trade them for full ones you are responsible for the pressure tests every 10 years...Bob
    Bob Wright

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    • #3
      Hydro testing is around $12. Don't let that scare you off. The two bottles I own from "not new" are both on their 3rd certifications. Bottles do wear out and fail the test, but they're not likely to if you don't abuse them. My distributors both know of bottles approaching 70 years in their systems.

      Considering the risk of losing one to the tester (it failing), renting just seems silly to me. You'd pay for a bottle in rent in 1/3 the time you'd have on the first certification. So even if it failed the first one, you'd still be dollars ahead. Even if they won't even exchange tanks, a refill takes less than a day. If I bring it in before 10, I can pick it up after 3.
      Syncrowave 250DX
      Invison 354MP
      XR Control and 30A

      Airco MED20 feeder
      Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 81
      Smith O/A rig
      And more machinery than you can shake a 7018 rod at

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      • #4
        Originally posted by alha
        I went to my local welding shop, noticed that they both lease and sell tanks. Are there any obvious benefits to going one way verses the other? I usually like to own my stuff, unless it is something that would be obsolete fairly quickly, and is updated often. Any compelling reason to go one way vs. the other? What do most of you do, and are you a large outfit or a small one man shop? I would be a one man show, & wouldn't use a huge amount of gas, if that makes a diff. Thoughts?
        You really need to know what you have avilable in your area. If you have a distibutor that will sell the tank, and then exchnge it at refill time, I'd buy if my useage was low. The obvious reason is amortization of the cost over time. Once that's done, your jug ain't costing you!

        If I was running through multiple bottles per week, I'd probably lease. Most high-volume operations get delivery service.

        I can't go through enough of anything to get it delivered - welding gas, beer, nothin'!

        Hank
        ...from the Gadget Garage
        Millermatic 210 w/3035, BWE
        Handler 210 w/DP3035
        TA185TSW
        Victor O/A "J" series, SuperRange

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        • #5
          When I first got into welding, I got a an Oxy-Acet set-up, and rented both tanks because I didn't have the money to purchase outright. I think it was like $12 for one and $15 for the other a month. Sounds cheap right? I ended up not paying for two months and the bill was $75. It still took me over a year to realize that I payed at least twice what they were worth rent.

          Now, I always buy outright first. If for no other reason, price of steel. As steel prices go up, so does the price of a cylinder. With exchange at every refill, the value of your cylinder only goes up. A cylinder that costs $175 now might go for $200 6 months from now. You just made $25 and don't have to pay rent.

          I am a hobbiest and own all my bottles:
          150cft Oxygen
          similar Acetelene
          80cft argon
          120cft argon/co2
          150cft agron
          -SPiNNeR-

          Hobart 135
          Oxy-Acet w/ Victor torch
          Dynasty 200 DX

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          • #6
            Originally posted by alha
            I went to my local welding shop, noticed that they both lease and sell tanks. Are there any obvious benefits to going one way verses the other? I usually like to own my stuff, unless it is something that would be obsolete fairly quickly, and is updated often. Any compelling reason to go one way vs. the other? What do most of you do, and are you a large outfit or a small one man shop? I would be a one man show, & wouldn't use a huge amount of gas, if that makes a diff. Thoughts?
            Different areas have different prices...When I got my O/A tanks, in the mid 70's, all that I could get was a long-term lease...$100.00 for 20years on the oxygen & 15 on the acetylene, they figured that was the average working life of the cylinders at that time. When I got them filled, they always swapped tanks. Nobody ever asked about the lease, but about 5-6 years ago I got to feeling guilty about the expired lease agreement , so I asked my "friendly local neighborhood Dave" at the LWS if I needed to renew it, & what's it going to cost me? He said the place had changed owners a half a dozen times since that agreement, thanks for asking, but as far as we're concerned, you own those tanks! ( Of course I have bought several thousand dollars worth of equipment from him too). That's another reason to buy from the LWS whenever you can
            You should find out what it costs to lease (in your area) vs cost to buy & "run the numbers" to find out how much it will cost you per year.
            Syncrowave 180 SD
            MM185 with 3035 Spool gun
            1971 Roughneck 1e
            Stars-n-Stripes BWE
            Optrel Satellite OSE
            ESAB 875 Plasma Torch
            Lincoln 200SA Diesel
            O/A Set
            Century 250A/C-D/C BuzzBox
            1.5 kVA Spot Welder
            Phoenix Electrode Conditioning Oven

            Professional Auto Mechanic since 1974
            My own shop since 1981

            Cya Frank

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            • #7
              My O/A bottles are on a 15 year lease with Linweld. The lease agreement states that they can be returned for full credit at any time till 30 days at end of the lease. If not returned they own my deposit I own their bottles.

              My Mig and Tig bottles were outright sales. Just today I traded the Argon out as I was nearly empty. Traded up to K type. (250 cft)
              Dennis


              Thermal Arc 185-TSW
              Millermatic Challenger 172
              VictorO/A
              Atlas Craftsman 12 by 24 Lathe
              Esab PCM-875
              Wholesale Tool Mill-Drill

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              • #8
                Dont you guys know that you can only lease or rent the big bottles, they will sell the small ones but not the big ones. Its a Fedral Law.
                Thats what they tell you in my neck of the woods, When your young you just assume their right.So a couple of years ago I started questioning this and could find no such law. It wasnt just one supplier it was every single one in my area that would tell you ( OH you cant buy them )
                I finally gave my supplier and altamatem and he said he would sell them to me and asked me to keep it quiet because thats how he makes his money.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by frank865
                  When I got them filled, they always swapped tanks. Nobody ever asked about the lease, but about 5-6 years ago I got to feeling guilty about the expired lease agreement , so I asked my "friendly local neighborhood Dave" at the LWS if I needed to renew it, & what's it going to cost me? He said the place had changed owners a half a dozen times since that agreement, thanks for asking, but as far as we're concerned, you own those tanks!
                  The exact same thing happened to my buddy I worked with in Tucson, the only differance is the company changed hands before his first exchange. He really made out good on that deal, I gave him the torch's & regulaters and the gas co. gave him the bottles.
                  To all who contribute to this board.
                  My sincere thanks , Pete.

                  Pureox OA
                  Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
                  Miller Syncrowave 250
                  Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

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                  • #10
                    The tank, boss! The tank!

                    I own all my tanks but I'm not sure of the sizes: Oxy and Acetylene (Ace. is proportionally larger, about 2-3 times the size but they are the same height), An 80? and 125? Argon and 125? Argon/CO2. All were bought from my local Holox/Linde and when I'm out of gas I'll bring the tank to them and just swap with one in the pile, making sure to grab a pretty one since I DID buy a new tank. If they don't have a pretty one they'll either refill mine or get a pretty one for me. My tanks live indoors and are in very good condition. I've swapped up for larger tanks with no problem--they just tack $25 or so onto my account and it is a done deal. If I were to sell them, the buyer could have them filled at any Linde gas supplier in the country, no questions asked. No serial numbers are ever recorded. I write down the new, full pressure of a new tank and compare it to the last fill to make sure I'm not getting boned. I don't worry about pressure testing because I'm always getting a "new" tank. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
                    TA Arcmaster 185 w/TIG/Stick Kit
                    MM210 w/3535 Frankengun
                    MM140 w/o AS w/SM100 & CO2
                    Hobart (Miller) 625 Plasma
                    Hobart 250ci Plasma
                    Victor O/A (always ready, but bored)
                    Lincoln Patriot Autodark (freebie)
                    .45ACP Black Talons for those difficult jobs

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                    • #11
                      I bought my c-25 cylinder from my local Airgas, and when I need it filled (like right now) I just take it in and they give me a full one.

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                      • #12
                        someone else mentioned you need to look at the costs involved and thats true. I can buy my bottles for $550 each or rent them for $60 each for a year. In the long run I'd be better off owning them, but the ease of renting can't be beat. I'd suggest start of renting. Once you get a handle on what your ideal tank sizes are, pony up and buy them if you want.
                        hre

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                        • #13
                          Praxair thinks we own our O/A bottles too. It was another of those acquisition paper chases that favored us in the end. I exchange them, they charge me for the gas, I smile and drive home with a new tank. I did ask what the status was on our account (my father and mines) and they said we owned them. He thinks it was a long term lease when he got them 22 years ago, but doesn't remember. It was a similar situation back then to many of us now (myself included when I started getting my own gear), renting is easier to swallow. I rented my first mig because dropping $600 was harder than spending $75 a month with their understanding they'd never see the machine again. They even put the rental numbers on it on a piece of masking tape rather than stenciling the machine (it was brand new). Things have changed now (same store, same ownership - not Praxair), and they'll only credit you 60% of your rent to the purchase. I might have a 350P instead of my TA 251 if it was still the old way.
                          Syncrowave 250DX
                          Invison 354MP
                          XR Control and 30A

                          Airco MED20 feeder
                          Thermal Dynamics Cutmaster 81
                          Smith O/A rig
                          And more machinery than you can shake a 7018 rod at

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Alha,
                            The great debate.....should I buy or lease.
                            It really depends on the the way the distributors in your area work. Some places will not exchange your cylinder if you bought it at another distributorship (if you have more than 1 in your area). They will only exchange cylinders they handle. Then there are others that will exchange cylinders no questions asked. There is a law that states a distributor can not fill another distributors cylinder without written consent from the owner of the cylinder.
                            The downside of buying cylinders is if you are in an area that will not fill a cylinder except their own, you are at the mercy of the distributor you bought the cylinder from. If you don't like their service or if they raise their prices rediculously or they never seem to have a full cylinder to exchange...you are basically stuck with them. If you are leasing the cylinder, you simply return the cylinder to that distributor and seek your product elsewhere. It gives you an out.
                            Rich Ferguson
                            Sales Technician
                            Jackson Welding Supply Co.
                            "Keep America Strong.....Weld It"
                            www.jacksonweldingsupply.com

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                            • #15
                              I hear a lot of storys about distributers not exchangeing bottles, I believe them dont get me wrong but I have never had a problem. I am however a little concerned becouse the last time I got aceyylene I went to an out of town dist. becouse the local one was closed on saterday and all they had to give me was one of the old style tanks that requires a tank wrench to turn it on & off. I'm hopeing my local guy will exchange it when its empty.
                              The only real problems I have seen was for a while a long time ago they were all checking paperwork before they would exchange becouse of a theft, cant remember if it was a construction site or a distributer that got robbed.
                              I dont know how much good it does them though becouse someone could have a hundred hot cylinders and one reciept as long as you exchange them one at a time.
                              To all who contribute to this board.
                              My sincere thanks , Pete.

                              Pureox OA
                              Westinghouse 300 amp AC stick
                              Miller Syncrowave 250
                              Hexacon 250 watt solder iron

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