Went to rent one (12x18 clarke) and well, it didn’t work once I got to the job site. It was used and abused and a short look at it would have told me not to take it.
I would normally check at the store, but as I was discussing with the rental people a guy in car tried to pull into the parking lot next to us. Just one problem, there was a 8-10" concrete curb where he was pulling in at and he shredded some plastic and made a little noise. He backed out and sped off. Needless to say I lost my train of thought and the guy and I looked at each other and started laughing. Eventually we loaded it into my truck and away I went. Lost half a day between drive time, lugging it up to deck and trying to fix it and then driving and taking it back.
On a side note, the sanding sheets work well once used by the sander for removing furring from spindles, the paper is quite stiff. ALso great for getting into cracks, around handrails where they meet the post, and cleaning furing out of nooks and crannies (paper can be rolled, folded, etc).
Why do I say once used by the sander, well what else would you do with them but throw them out? Plus, using it takes the edge off the grit. I was using 60 grit and it was great for hand sanding after I took it off the random orbital. I could reach under bottom rails with it quite well.
Oh, and I sand against the grain first, then with the grain when doing decks. Just my .02 and worth everything you paid for it.