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Jay D. Chapin named to Rental Hall of Fame

By Brock Huffstutler

November 28, 2023

Jay D. Chapin

Jay D. Chapin

The late Jay D. Chapin of Springfield, Mass., past president and co-founder of Taylor Rental Corp., has been named to the Rental Hall of Fame.

The Rental Hall of Fame was created by the American Rental Association (ARA) in 2000 to honor those individuals who have changed the trajectory of the equipment and event rental industry. Each year, nominations are accepted to recognize outstanding industry leaders who have made a substantial and lasting impact on the industry’s success and growth at the national and/or international level.

Chapin began working at Dealer Supply Co. in 1959, the same year that organization put together the first Taylor Rental franchise. He became vice president of Dealer Supply Co. in 1963.

Chapin was named company president in 1971, and in 1972 Dealer Supply Co. became Taylor Rental Corp. Seven years later, there were 626 Taylor Rental Centers (TRCs) in full operation in 49 states in the U.S. As president of the organization, Chapin helped family-owned, small business entrepreneurs prosper by backing them with the knowledge, experience and opportunities that a major corporation could provide.

Under Chapin’s leadership, Taylor Rental Corp. was at the forefront when digital information was in its infancy in the rental industry. In the late 1970s, he introduced TOPIC — the TRC equivalent of Taylor Rental Corp.’s proprietary point-of-sale computer system, CompuRent. In 1982, he made CompuRent available to independent rental outlets.

During his career, Chapin developed many products, programs and services that enabled TRC franchises to grow and expand the rental concept in communities throughout the U.S. He instituted a team of business management consultants to provide on-site guidance and support to franchisees, developed private-label products to enhance brand recognition, created in-store designs and signage, built a 100,000-sq.-ft. warehouse to allow for faster delivery of products to franchisees and instituted national advertising programs.

Chapin also encouraged TRC members’ involvement in ARA.

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