Brisk start to Rental Show bodes well for industry

By Murray Pollok12 February 2013

A brisk opening day of the Rental Show in Las Vegas supported widely held positive views about the North American rental sector.

The show is a sell out for the first time since before the financial crisis and exhibitors expressed delight at the busy show floor on the first day.

“There is lots of optimism”, said Rob Collins, president of Sumner, a long-time Rental Show exhibitor, “There’s not a lot of hesitation – people say they need to replace gear. They’re buying.”

The American Rental Association said rental market growth was in the high single digits last year and was likely to continue at a similar rate of growth this year and next, with the rental market outgrowing GDP growth by a factor of three or four.

Matt Allmand, president of Allmand Bros, the lighting tower specialists, told IRN; “It was pretty slow in US rental for the last two or three years, almost four years in some areas. We’re certainly seeing that come back, and it’s very welcome.

“There’s been a building demand for product in the last three or four years and we’re now seeing rental companies ordering.”

Although dominated by rental managers and owners from the US and Canada, there are plenty of visitors from outside North America, including delegations from Australia, Brazil, the UK, the Netherlands and France. A large group from Kiloutou of France, for example, is attending this year.

Jill Towery, president of Magnum Products, a producer of generators and lighting bowers, said she was optimistic about business prospects, with industrial sectors and oil and gas particularly active; “We’re optimistic about the next few years as well.”

At the opening keynote session of the show, Ted Cook, chairman of the ARA board, said rental companies could exploit new engine regulations to provide support to organisations that have to adapt to the regulations. “Our own government agencies are struggling to meet their own regulations”, he said, “The rental industry can help then do that.”

Mike Blaisdell, general manager of Bunce Rental in Tacoma, Washington, who becomes ARA president at the close of the convention, said; “The year ahead is going to be a good one for all of us. We all have the opportunity to grow our businesses profitably.”

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