Renting a Mechanical Bull? Questions to Ask When Renting a Mechanical Bull, Part I
Most people don’t rent a mechanical bull every day. And with this new prospect often comes giggles (“Wow, I can’t believe that I am actually looking to rent a mechanical bull!”) and a great deal of confusion (“How much is it? Is it safe? Do I have to run it?”). The Mechanical Bull Association collaborated with our group of mechanical bull owners to create a list of important questions to ask.
Here is Part One of questions to ask and some answers to expect (and some to demand) when renting a mechanical bull.
Do you have mechanical bull insurance, and can I see your certificate of liability?
This is the most important question and should always be a deal breaker. Mechanical bulls should carry commercial general liability policies of at least $1M per occurrence and $2M aggregate (some states require more). With a downturn in the economy, some bull owners chose not to renew their insurance. This unfortunate decision puts you at risk should you book this bull. We have heard too many first-hand accounts of friends suing friends because someone got hurt at a backyard party when someone rented a bull that had no insurance and was not run in a safe manner. Mechanical bull companies should be able to email or fax you a certificate of liability and be able to name any interested parties as additionally insured.
Where is your mechanical bull located?
Now, this one we hesitated to write down because too many people think this is the deal-breaker when it is not. Yes, a bull should be close to you because typically this saves you money in terms of transportation, but not always. Some bulls may be less expensive even though they are based a state away from you. Also, mechanical bulls travel to events, and a bull from across the country may just be in your area at the time of your event. At the Mechanical Bull Association we work with our mechanical bull owners to know their schedules and rates to make sure that the best deal is reached for you.
What safety standards do you have in place when operating a mechanical bull?
A mechanical bull in untrained and unsafe hands, like any mechanical or amusement device operated incorrectly, can be dangerous. You should know that the operator is experienced and trained in certain safety standards to ensure a safe ride. Feel free to ask about safety and the operator when looking to rent a mechanical bull. At the Mechanical Bull Association, we operate under a NO BUCK policy. This means that we don’t throw you off the minute you get on, or try to intentionally throw you off. We strive to help people stay on the mechanical bull and look good doing it. The safest ride begins with an education, so operators provide safety and riding tips. A rider that acquires knowledge and experiences a fun, safe ride will return to ride again.
What type of mechanical bull do you have?
There are several different types of mechanical bulls available, but depending on the location of your event and the availability in your area, you may not ultimately have a choice. The first distinction is power, which leads to differences in appearance and ride style. The professional mechanical bulls are 220 volt and are generally known as “220’s.” These bulls provide the most authentic ride and look the part to boot. They are the bulls that someone training as a professional bull rider would use. In general, these mechanical bulls are preferred if you want a realistic look and ride. The other option available is a 110 volt mechanical bull, or “110’s,” of which there are several different makes. There are definitely better makes than others and some carry very low weight restrictions. These 110’s sometimes come with colorful kid-appealing inflatables surrounding the mechanical bull. The 110 mechanical bulls are the most readily available mechanical bulls and are the only type of mechanical bull in operation in many states.
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