Canadian Rental Service

B.C. and Ont. lead off

By Ed Cosman and Patrick Flannery   

Features Shows

The B.C. chapter of the Canadian Rental Association recently completed its annual trade show in Surrey, B.C., and by all indications, it was very successful.

The B.C. chapter of the Canadian Rental Association recently completed its annual trade show in Surrey, B.C., and by all indications, it was very successful. One minor hiccup occurred on the opening day when the heating system in the Cloverdale facility refused to co-operate.

The smartest guys in the rental business. From left, Colin Wilson, Paul Potvin, Mike Maltby and Gary Webb.


According to Canadian Rental Association president, Jeff Campbell, vibration from loading some of the heavy aerial platforms tripped an earthquake sensor that automatically shut off the gas supply to the building. The temperature sunk to below 10 degrees until just before closing when it finally kicked in. It was suggested that some of the suppliers (Campo, Sure Flame, L.B.White) that were exhibiting heating equipment at the show, fire up their equipment as a temporary solution but that was just not possible. The temperature inside the building on Saturday was much improved!

According to Mandy Wellnitz, executive director for the CRA, 140 rental people walked the show over the two days and viewed products displayed by 41 companies. Dinner on Friday evening and lunch on Saturday was provided to the delegates right on the show floor. Friday night also featured a hospitality suite back in the host hotel. This, coupled with the consumption of a few adult beverages, provided the perfect setting for solving most of the world’s economic problems.


During the show itself, Rentquip Canada introduced their new Patron heavy-duty pressure washers to the industry while ROM Communications displayed their new GPS tracking system for construction equipment and Barry Ossea from Point-of-Rental Systems demonstrated the latest in rental management software for the industry. Many other suppliers also launched new products and had show-only specials at the show.

The Saturday night banquet was attended by 134 who enjoyed a great meal, drinks and the comedic talents of Roman Danylo, who had the audience in stitches with his improv talents. Many thanks to the “willing” audience members that helped provide the laughs. Afterwards, Campbell addressed the crowd and discussed the latest news coming out of the association. One new initiative is the hiring of a PR agency to assist in rental awareness. Campbell mentioned that he was used as a test case and that a prepared announcement was sent to local newspapers introducing him as the incoming national president while also discussing the value of renting. The story was picked up by three newspapers and provided no-charge advertising for the rental industry. Region 10 director Paul Kenyon also gave an update from the American Rental Association and indicated that Canada is now number two as far as membership goes. Jim Clipperton from Norval Rentals then hosted the annual award presentations.

The rental store of the year award for B.C. went to Winn Rentals (again). The company is celebrating its 25th year in business. The B.C. supplier of the year award went to Star Diamond Tools, which has been in business since 1994 and a CRA member since 2004. The B.C. achievement award was presented to Lori Parks from Rentquip Canada for her tireless work in putting together the local newsletter. Finally, the national B.C. regional award was presented to Karyn Bruchinsky of Pikes Rentals.

“Our association’s members are committed to offering quality service and products to customers,” said CRA president Jeff Campbell. “We are delighted to honour businesses and people doing exceptional work in our industry.”

Ontario tabletop small but mighty

Old friends reacquainted and new friends were made at the CRA Ontario Tabletop Show, held Jan. 19 at the Nottawasaga Inn in Alliston, Ont. Attendance numbers were unavailable at press time, but there were about 80 at the banquet and 27 exhibitors. The Nottawasaga proved to be spacious and comfortable, with an excellent kitchen.

The day started with two excellent seminars, a first for the Tabletop Show. Tom Bell of Haulotte Group gave an interested audience the benefit of his 27 years’ experience in the lift and access field with an in-depth and impassioned talk on lift equipment safety. He explained in the seminar that the topic was near and dear to his heart ever since he was on the scene of a fatal accident involving a lift platform working around the Rogers Centre in Toronto.  Attendees came away with a long list of critical tips for safeguarding their customers. For instance, did you know that you should never rent safety harnesses?

The next seminar was hosted by Robert Goodall of Verisk Crime Analytics, the consultancy advising National Equipment Register on its anti-theft programs. Goodall’s resume alone was worth the price of admission; he was an Ontario Provincial Police officer for 31 years, retiring as head of its theft investigations unit. From there he became head of security for the Darlington nuclear plant near Pickering, Ont. Then the RCMP sent him to Afghanistan.

Goodall gave attendees a good background on heavy equipment theft in Canada and outlined several services that CRA members can access for free through the NER. Heavy equipment theft happens, he said, because it is a relatively low-risk, high-reward form of criminal activity. Skid steers, tractors, backhoes and landscape loaders account for 74 per cent of the equipment stolen.

NER maintains a database of over 110,000 theft reports and 25 million ownership records. Canadian members of the CRA can use three key services to help safeguard equipment from theft and assist with recovery if the equipment is stolen: HelpTech, IronWatch and IronCheck. HelpTech is the equipment registration service operated by NER. CRA members can register up to 1,000 items for free. HelpTech records are then fully searchable by law enforcement across North America, increasing the chances your equipment will be identified and returned if recovered. IronWatch is a monitoring service that tracks your equipment through an attached GPS device. There is no monthly fee. Using IronWatch, you can set up a “geo-fence” for stationary equipment that alerts the system if the machine moves outside of a designated zone. Finally, IronCheck is a due diligence check for buyers of used equipment. Goodall says to think of it as CarFax for the equipment industry.

Ontario rental stars come out to shine

The CRA Ontario banquet was a high-spirited event as usual, with MCPT providing the entertainment in the form of a trivia game show complete with buzzers and light-up podiums. Paul Potvin of Location Equipment Supply proved to be the trivia master, bringing home the pot of collected money for Table Two.

After dinner, the awards were handed out by Mike Maltby, CRA Ontario president, and Dale Brinklow, CRA Ontario vice president. The winners were:

  • Ontario Supplier of the Year – Dean Nasato, Wacker Neuson
  • Ontario Image Award, General Rentals – Paul Potvin, Location Equipment Supply
  • Ontario Image Award, Event Rentals – Hank Vanheuvelen, Tim’s Rent-All
  • National Ontario Region Award – Chris and Colin Wilson, A World of Rentals
  • Ontario Rental Professional of the Year – Ed Cosman, Canadian Rental Service

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