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ARA of Maine president talks about theft prevention

By Dan Morris

April 11, 2023

Dan Morris

Dan Morris

Hello, American Rental Association (ARA) Region One members. I hope your business is off and running to a strong spring rental season. No matter how busy we get, there is one thing we absolutely must keep our eyes on: equipment theft. It’s a problem that seems to be getting worse for many as crooks get more emboldened. Fortunately, ARA has some resources to help us with the risk:

  • Preventing and Handling Theft — This newly-released video is part of ARA’s Prioritize Safety monthly video series and provides information on how to prevent and manage theft within the equipment and event rental industry. This and other entries in the Prioritize Safety series are two-minute, animated videos that address a variety of safety topics for rental businesses. Each video is accompanied with two questions to test the knowledge of the viewer. These equipment- and event-specific videos can be viewed in RentalU, ARA’s online learning platform.
  • Manage Your Risks: Equipment — This downloadable document, also available through RentalU, details proper security measures to have in place to protect your inventory from theft and other criminal activity.
  • NER partnership — By partnering with the National Equipment Register (NER), ARA members can register up to 1,000 pieces of mobile, off-road equipment with NER’s HELPTech database for free. Learn more about it here.

Now for something a little more pleasant.

Among other important observances, the month of April contains “Community Spirit Days.” It’s a time for small businesses and citizens to give back to their communities by supporting local charities. We can do that any time of the year, of course, but this is a good opportunity to shed light on the good work being done through the Community Impact Program.

The Community Impact Program is a joint initiative of the ARA Foundation and The Toro Company Foundation and is designed to improve the communities where rental members work and live. It involves the foundations partnering with local nonprofit organizations to coordinate community service projects, with an emphasis on assisting underserved populations.

Rental equipment and volunteers in action at a Community Impact Program project

Rental equipment and volunteers in action at a Community Impact Program project

The purpose of the program is twofold: to allow those in the rental industry an opportunity to give back to their community as well as build public awareness and demonstrate the advantages of rental.

One of the Community Impact Program projects took place in San Antonio last year in conjunction with an ARA Young Professional Network (YPN) conference. I and several other YPN members had a chance to take part in the project, which involved building garden beds, installing irrigation, creating an outdoor classroom space, and painting classrooms and hallways at a local elementary school. It was such a good feeling to participate and see that project come to life firsthand.

Is there a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in your area that could benefit from a day or two’s worth of equipment and hands-on labor from the rental community? Click here to view Community Impact Program project criteria and to submit that organization/project for consideration.

By the way, April is also Volunteer Appreciation Month. ARA’s success is due largely in part to the work of members who volunteer their time to help drive the industry forward. If you’re interested in learning more about ways to get involved, you can find more information here. From my experience, I can tell you that it is extremely fulfilling.

My organization, Kennebec Equipment Rental, is proud to be hosting two upcoming sessions for the ARA Certified Mobile Elevating Work Platform (MEWP) Train-the-Trainer program this month: Wednesday, April 19, in our Fairfield, Maine, location, and Thursday, April 20, in Portland, Maine. It will be a great opportunity to qualify industry professionals to train operators and their customers using ARA materials that satisfy OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requirements and ANSI (American National Standards Institute) A92 standards. If you are not familiar with this industry certification program, click here for details.

Best wishes for a safe and prosperous month.

Dan Morris, ARA of Maine president
Kennebec Equipment Rental
Fairfield, Maine