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Jeff Jackson, ARA of Colorado president, sees steady growth ahead

By Jeff Jackson

August 8, 2023

Jeff Jackson

Jeff Jackson

Hello, American Rental Association (ARA) Region Seven members. I am Jeff Jackson, president of All Purpose Rental & Sales in Greeley, Colo. I also serve as the ARA of Colorado president. Here in Colorado, we had an incredibly wet spring with record rainfall and then moved into summer’s sweltering temperatures almost instantly. That can bode well for those in equipment rental. And the overall economy can help those in every segment of rental.

Regarding the record rain, I imagine every equipment rental store has had plenty of pump, dehumidifier and carpet fan rentals this year. Too much rainfall, poor drainage, poor compaction and backed-up drains or sewer lines all can lead to increased rental revenue.

I have found that pumps and intake and discharge hoses are tough because when you really need them you probably won’t have enough. Making sure you have the gaskets, fittings and a nice hose-clamping tool to keep your hoses in good shape is important. For my operation, dehumidifiers and carpet fans are nice combination rentals that can add up with the time on rent. The added plus is they are generally low maintenance. Sewer augers can be a year-round rental but do take much more in maintenance. These items can play a crucial role in solving people’s problems when too much water comes too quickly, as we have had with this year’s record rainfall in some places along the Front Range.

It’s not just equipment rental stores in the state that have benefited. Colorado’s growth has been strong and steady for some time now, albeit it has been slowing a little this year. Overall, this should have been a benefit to all rental stores here in my state.

I believe the slowing growth is due to a variety of factors such as job growth, the housing market and the Fed’s continued raising of the interest rate to combat inflation. The job market is an employee’s world right now as there is no shortage of jobs to go around. It seems everyone is hiring. Every single customer says they could use more help or that help is hard to find. The state reports one of the country’s highest job-opening rates at 2.6 jobs per unemployed person as of June. The housing market still has slowed a little even with a decrease in the median home price. While the prices remain incredibly high compared with the national average, homes are continuing to sell. The days on the market figure has increased substantially, and that has led to the supply of homes for sale. The construction of apartments is at a fever pitch with investment companies realizing there is a housing need and the cost of buying a home in Colorado is not in everyone’s budget. I personally would rather see more homes being built than apartments, but it’s the world we live in right now.  No matter where your rental store is located in Colorado, be glad you are where you are. I believe the state will have continued growth for years to come and will weather any economic storm better than most with it hitting us later and letting up sooner.

On the state chapter front, the ARA of Colorado recently hosted our spring social meeting at the Coors Field Rooftop to watch the Rockies take on the defending World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies. We had a great turnout even though we switched the Rockies event from an early fall date to a spring game. We will be hosting an educational meeting in late September featuring Colorado Highway Patrol officers and Colorado Department of Transportation speakers who will cover current road and traffic safety issues. This will be held at Wagner Rents in Commerce City, Colo.

Also, the ARA of Arizona hosted a Department of Transportation (DOT) Regulations Update in June at Sunstate Equipment Co. in Phoenix.

Both state associations know how vital this area is to all segments of our industry. That is why the ARA of Arizona covered it in June and we will be covering it in September. This is information that you need to be compliant. I hope to see a large crowd at our event this fall.

I also want to share that a total of $123,500 in scholarship funds was awarded to 44 students by the ARA Foundation and its affiliate programs for the 2023-2024 school year. Several students from our region received scholarships. Please congratulate the following:

  • Joshua Clawson, Diamond Rental, Murray, Utah, received an ARA Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship worth $2,000.
  • Zachary Clawson, Diamond Rental, Salt Lake City, Utah, received an ARA Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship worth $2,000.
  • Caden Phelon, Timp Rental Center, Orem, Utah, received an ARA Foundation Trade School Scholarship worth $2,000.
  • Joseph Shawgo, Sunpro, Springville, Utah, received an ARA Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship worth $2,000.
  • Brianna Sorenson, Sunpro, Springville, Utah, received an ARA Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship worth $2,000.
  • Clara Stewart, Arapahoe Rental, Fort Collins, Colo., received an ARA Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship worth $3,500.

To wrap up what looks like will be a great year, the ARA of Colorado again will host a Christmas party at Topgolf. We had more than 120 guests attend last year. We hope to have even more this year.

I strongly encourage everyone to get involved with their state association’s events. If you don’t have an active state chapter where you live, check us out in Colorado or Arizona. The goal for both our state chapters is to help rental operators receive the resources they need to succeed. Networking and education are key to achieving that goal, so get involved in any way you can.

On that note, I want to say that despite the cost, the rain, the heat and what the Farmer’s Almanac is saying will be a cold and snowy ride in what they are calling the hibernation zone this winter, I love living and running a rental store in this state. Good luck to everyone in Region Seven with the rest of 2023. I hope it is a great one for you.

Jeff Jackson, ARA of Colorado president
All Purpose Rental & Sales
Greeley, Colo.