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Growing fast: Rental Management recognizes the industry's Market Movers

by Wayne Walley

Over the last three years, equipment rental operators have had to deal with a continuing pandemic, supply chain issues that have delayed delivery of equipment to add to inventory, increased costs and difficulties in finding people to hire.

Yet the equipment rental industry continues to grow and expand. In 2022, in fact, the latest American Rental Association (ARA) forecast calls for an 11.1 percent increase in equipment rental revenue, including the construction and general tool segments, to reach nearly $56 billion this year.

While the large, publicly traded equipment rental companies like United Rentals, Sunbelt Rentals and Herc Rentals help move the overall market due to their size and scale, there are scores of other independent rental companies that have found ways to thrive in a competitive marketplace and grow their businesses.

To recognize those who are making a difference, we are introducing Rental Management Market Movers as a way to feature equipment rental companies of all sizes who are making an impact in their respective markets and shine a light on how they are able to grow revenue at such a rapid pace between 2019 and 2021.

For many, 2019 was a record year for equipment rental revenue with expectations of continued growth into 2020 and beyond.

Then came a pandemic and lockdowns that decimated those in the event rental segment as both large corporate and personal celebrations to small gatherings were canceled or postponed. While equipment rental companies initially felt some of the same pinch, pivoting to contactless rentals and more resulted in many businesses growing revenue in 2020 with the momentum carrying over into 2021 and 2022.

Between 2019 and 2021, several smaller independent rental companies with annual revenue of less than $10 million submitted the form to be considered a Rental Management Market Mover and reported rental revenue growth of more than 100 percent. Many other independents with more than $10 million in annual rental revenue also reported more than 25 percent increases when comparing 2019 performances with 2021.

How did they do it? Larger independents, the same as the large publicly traded equipment rental companies, cited acquisitions, opening additional locations and/or specialty rental branches. Others credit growth to the efforts of their employees and creating a better customer service and rental experience.

The following pages will feature a look at the largest publicly traded companies, the fastest-growing independent rental businesses with annual revenue of less than $10 million and those with rental revenue greater than $10 million. In addition, we found a few companies to highlight that started up a rental business in 2019, going from zero to millions.

While this issue focuses on those in the equipment rental segment, the August issue will feature Rental Management Market Movers that are in the event rental segment.