Canadian Rental Service

CRA President’s Message: February 2016

By Tim Ranson   

Canadian Rental Association

This year we have experienced changes in federal and provincial government, dropping U.S. exchange rates, and a downturn in economic activity in most regions creating a changing competitive landscape. These pressures are always present at some level, and they have created a difficult road for those in the rental industry and indirectly with our suppliers.

It’s often in these challenging times that we look hard at our business plan making decisions to improve both in the short term and for the long haul. At a recent CRA Alberta meeting, I engaged in conversations with various store operators on the topic of specialization and leveraging resources at hand to improve client appreciation of their business’ clear benefit, in an effort to set themselves apart.

What was most interesting was the clear sense that these individuals understood what their businesses’ “value proposition” was. In one case, by being local, having a readily accessible rental facility in the heart of the community was evidently a key to success, helping them maintain high loyalty from their primary local client base. Another mid-sized regional business was specializing in specific industries that demanded the rental company provide above-average technical capability. That focus led to a unique equipment assortment, special availability terms and a high degree of technical knowledge – this was their edge.  

I mention these discussions as examples of the benefits which I personally receive from attending each Canadian Rental Association event. Networking within the local, appearing at national events, volunteering for various committees and attending the ARA Rental show has afforded me significant satisfaction and created many new friendships. I do recommend to all members to consider taking advantage of these key networking opportunities within our rental industry. Visiting within your CRA local may provide you with a wealth of new ideas and positive networking while potentially improving your business and definitely offering personal rewards. Show season is now upon us. It is within each Canadian local event that we may experience prime opportunities for us to meet likeminded rental people, and in many cases establish lifelong friendships.

In 2016, we have several regional trade show engagements already booked. I am making plans to attend several of these, including the B.C. Show in January, then the Atlantic Show in Moncton, N.B., followed by the 60th anniversary of the ARA Rental Show held this year in Atlanta, Ga.


A sneak peek to the ARA Rental Show was provided to me by Terry Turner, president of the ARA and Christine Wehrman,  CEO. The events, activities and 60th anniversary celebrations will fulfill the promises of a very exciting week. I look forward to hosting the Canadian celebrations on the Sunday-night “Back to the ‘60s” event for all of Region 10 (Canada). You can find out more at

Once we are back from Atlanta, The Alberta and Saskatchewan locals will team up to present the new Prairie Rental show in Edmonton. This is the first year the show will be outside of Saskatchewan in many, many years. I thank the Saskatchewan local for their years of dedicated committee work providing a successful and exciting venue. The Alberta team has been handed the Saskatchewan show playbook and with some great guidance from Gene and Jill and their Saskatchewan Show Committee, along with the CRA staff Nathalie and Jenna; we are all very pleased to welcome you to the new CRA Prairie Rental Show in Edmonton on March 4 and 5. If you only plan to attend one show this year, may I recommend Edmonton? Details are online at

I am sincerely looking forward to meeting many of our membership across Canada this next year as I travel in my term as president. Perhaps I may share some time with you at one of the shows, or at a local meeting, summer barbeque or golf tournament.  In closing, I wish a happy and prosperous New Year to everyone! 

Tim Ranson is Environment, Health and Safety manager at Finning (Canada) / The Cat Rental Store in Edmonton, Alta. He has worked in the rental industry for more than 20 years. Tim sat on the ARA Trade Show Committee and the ARA Risk Management Committee and helped start its Professional Driver Improvement Program. He was also a speaker/panelist over the past three years at the ARA Rental Show learning sessions.

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