What was the rental sector’s biggest news from 2021?
By Dan Colombini14 December 2021
With Covid-19 continuing to cast its shadow across the world, it has been another challenging year for the rental sector, as well as the wider construction market.
However, there has still been plenty of activity as stakeholders continue to adjust to a new normal and carry out business as usual.
We look back at some of IRN’s biggest and best stories from throughout the year…
1 - IRN100: the largest equipment rental companies in the world
Despite the ongoing challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, there was still room for growth in the 2021 list, especially in China, with Horizon, Pangyuan and new entrant Zhejiang Huatie all in the top 60.
In Europe, Sunbelt Rentals UK, Zeppelin Rentals and Renta Group were among the few reporting higher revenues in 2020.
To view the final list, click here.
2 – Date set for Aggreko sale
Private equity firm TDR Capital confirmed that it expected the acquisition of Aggreko to be completed on 10 August, with the power company’s share listing cancelled on 11 August.
TDR and I Squared Capital made the joint offer to acquire Aggreko for £2.3 billion on 5 March. Aggreko has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since February 1997.
London-based TDR is the long-time owner of Modulaire (parent of Algeco) - which TDR is now selling - and I Squared Capital is based in Miami, Florida, and invests in infrastructure markets worldwide.
3 - Oshkosh reports “significant’ supply chain disruption
Oshkosh Corp, owner of JLG, said “significant” supply chain and logistics disruptions as well as rising costs were hindering the production and delivery of machines and that revenues and profits for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2021 would be lower than previously forecast.
The company, which said the problems were impacting its access business in particular, reported strong growth in demand but said the unavailability of parts was holding up production and leading to inefficiencies in labour.
4 - Himoinsa launches battery power genset
Released in October of this year, the new EHR Battery Power Generator is designed to be used in conjunction with standard diesel or gas-powered generators, as well linked to mains power grids and solar panels.
The unit uses lithium ferro phosphate batteries, an inverter, control unit, power connections, solar MC4 connectors and a maximum power point tricker.
5 - SmartEquip launches in Japan
In September, SmartEquip launched its parts e-procurement network in Japan through a partnership with Tokyo-based Diamond Construction Equipment Corp.
Diamond is co-owned by the four largest Japanese equipment rental companies and Mitsubishi Corp. It provides long term re-rentals of excavators in Japan and other services, including transport logistics, and now also SmartEquip technology. The four rental companies are Nikken, Aktio, Nishio Rent All and Kanamoto, which together account for more than 35% of the Japanese market.
6 - Test drive: JCB 525-60E telehandler
In the first of a new ‘Test drive’ series for KHL, construction equipment journalist Dan Gilkes put the JCB 525-60E electric telehandler under the microscope.
7 – 2021 European Rental Awards winners celebrate in Amsterdam
Rental companies from the UK and Russia picked up the rental company accolades at the 2021 European Rental Awards dinner in Amsterdam on 29 September, while manufacturers JCB and Genie were also honoured.
8 - Prototype electric excavator developed by Yanmar
Yanmar Compact Equipment developed its first prototype electric mini excavator, the SV17e, with the full commercial launch scheduled for Bauma in October 2022.
Described as an “important strategic step in the transformation of Yanmar”, the SV17e will be aimed at European customers and is powered by an electric drive and 48-volt batteries with fast charging capability.
9 – Hitachi to pursue rental market in North America
Japanese manufacturer Hitachi Construction Machinery will pursue growth in the Americas rental market under its own brand following the ending of its joint venture with US-based John Deere in the region.
Hitachi said it will continue to expand the Arizona-based ACME wholesale rental business in which it first invested in 2018 and after February 2022 - when the JV with Deere ends - it will add dealer-rental operations under the ‘Premium Rental’ brand that its dealers also use in Europe.
10 - Aggreko delists from stockmarket
Temporary power company Aggreko delisted from the London Stock Exchange in August following its £2.3bn acquisition by private equity firms TDR Capital and I Squared Capital.
The Scottish company, which is based in Dumbarton near Glasgow and has US headquarters in Houston, returned to private ownership and cancelled trading of its shares on 11 August.