John D. Makrias
Hello, American Rental Association (ARA) Region Two 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.
And don’t forget about the ARA Facebook groups for equipment rental and event rental. These groups on social media can help you be aware of many topics of discussion from not just within your state but across our full membership. They also can alert you to issues or concerns before they are at your door while providing you a year-round connection to others who do what you do.
On March 28-30, myself and around 55 other equipment and event rental people traveled to Washington, D.C., to take part in ARA’s National Legislative Caucus. We met with our respective members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives and their staff members to talk about four key industry issues: workforce development, H-2B visas, taxes and catalytic converter thefts.
Others from our region who attended Caucus were:
- Reggie Eda, Oxon Hill Rentals, Fort Washington, Md.
- Brian Richardson, L & A Tent Rentals, Trenton, N.J.
- Tim Allen, Allied Equipment Services, Haskell, N.J.
- Lawrence Ott, Rainier Industries, Blue Bell, Pa.
- Travis Shafer, Shafer Equipment Co., Chambersburg, Pa.
- Mike Fitzwater, Special Events Entertainment, Portsmouth, Va.
The National Legislative Caucus may sound like a complex endeavor, but with the support of the ARA government affairs team, this important task is made simple. If you would be open to attending in the future, please reach out to your state board.
You don’t need to be politically active to make sure the issues that impact our businesses are being addressed. I would encourage you to simply join ARAPAC, ARA’s political action committee. ARAPAC supports pro-business candidates regardless of party affiliation. Our legislators make policy decisions every day that impact our businesses. Supporting ARAPAC is a way that you can help further the industry and make ARA the leading voice for rental. ARAPAC is free to join, and I hope you will sign up today. You can get more information and join ARAPAC here.
Our ARA of Pennsylvania chapter is looking forward to a fun time on Tuesday, April 18, at Voodoo Brewing Co. in Houston, Pa. Food, drinks, networking and even a little live music are on the agenda for this member meeting, but the main event is going to be a team development seminar featuring serial entrepreneurs and sister duo, Courtney Hopper and Dana Kadwell from Hustle + Gather. Many of us can’t wait to hear what they have to say with their presentation, “Connecting Culture with Client Experience: A Winning Strategy.”
I encourage you to take part in the events your own ARA state chapters host throughout the year. Attending is just about the best way to gain knowledge you can use in your rental business and make friends and contacts from other rental businesses that can help you both personally and professionally.
By the way, April is 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.
Best wishes for a safe and prosperous month.
John D. Makrias, ARA of Pennsylvania president
A & R Rental Center