If you’re in construction, then you’ve probably rented equipment before – skid steer loaders, scissor lifts, generators, light towers and the like. And when you go to rent, you have a choice and equipment rental companies come in all shapes and sizes.
Equipment rental companies can generally be placed into one of three types:
- National Rental Companies
- Regional Rental Companies
- Local Rental Companies
Here we are going to dive into the second category – Regional Rental Companies. Interested in the “Nationals”? We dive into that segment, as well.
But before we get started, as a professional equipment renter, it’s ideal to have a ranking methodology to understand the relative size and capabilities of equipment rental companies. When looking at revenue as a ranking criteria, we use and prefer the RER100. Around for over 50 years, it’s a fantastic compilation of rental company capability and trends and, via revenue, helps illustrate the different types of rental companies.
Bringing our attention back to Equipment rental companies can generally be placed into one of three types:, we will define them the following way:
- Not one of the three “Nationals”
- Do business in the United States
- Do not do business in Canada
- Don’t have branch locations in more than 40 states
- Have less than 250 locations
- Asset type focus is on general equipment, not specialized (e.g. cranes)
Who are the Leading Regional Rental Companies?
With the above requirements in mind, prioritized by revenue, these are the 15 leading regional rental companies:
- H&E Equipment Services
- Ahern Rentals
- Sunstate Equipment
- Aggreko North America
- Battlefield Equipment Rentals
- Ring Power
- Warren CAT
- Holt CAT
- Finning CAT
- Kirby-Smith Machinery
- Kelly Tractor
- Ohio CAT
- Equipment Depot
- Cleveland Bros
- Mustang Rental
General Trends among the Regional Rental Companies
The general success of regional rental companies is connected to location arbitrage (they’re where competitors aren’t) and, often, a multi-pronged business model that is more rent-to-sell instead of rent-to-rent. They just don’t rent, but they rent with the long term goal of selling the rented asset to the renter.
In the rental space, generally the benchmark for trends is – “how are you compared to the Nationals?”
When compared to the Nationals, regional players are also working on consolidation. Through acquiring local branches, they too are inorganically expanding through acquisition.
In terms of technology and operations software, regionals are often lagging the National rental companies. Too often, the extent of service is based around “give me a phone call”. Critical metrics like % of on-time deliveries,
IronUp, used by contractors as a rented fleet management platform, has numerous features that significantly improve the rental process for all involved, including contractors and rental suppliers.