Canadian Rental Service

Features Profiles
Four decades of renting

For Ivor DeLange success is measured in years and next month the owner operator of A&B Rental Centre in London, Ont., will tally 40 of them.


November 5, 2009
By Chris Skalkos

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For Ivor DeLange success is measured in years and next month the owner operator of A&B Rental Centre in London, Ont., will tally 40 of them.

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Ivor DeLange, the owner and operator of A&B Rental Centre in London, Ont., will celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary on Nov. 1, 2009.


 

A&B Rental Centre in London, Ont., was founded in 1969 by his father Frits DeLange and Fred Freeman, his business partner. The company was originally named A to Z Rental which was part of the A to Z franchise based out of Chicago. When the franchise went bankrupt Frits and Fred acquired the assets and forged their own destiny re-naming the company to A & B, taking the first initials of their wives’ names, Avril and Betty.

DeLange says it was a symbolic gesture to his mother who supported his father’s ambition to make the business work. “The business really started when my Dad, who was from Holland, met my mother, who was from Scotland, at an air force dance during the Second World War. They emigrated to Canada on the Queen Marry where my father worked as merchant marine mechanic,” he says. “With four kids they sold the house to finance the new business. They lived in poverty for the first few years but the business started to grow.”

DeLange says there were several independent rental stores serving the city at that time and the industry did not have the multi-branch chain stores that are common today.“ The rental industry was still developing, the concept of renting was still new,” explains DeLange.

In 1987, the growing business moved to Hyde Park Road, where it stayed for seven more years until the company had again outgrown its property.

The year 1994 brought along two changes. Ivor took over the equipment business from his father and his brother Jerry took over the party and special events division to start A&B Your Party Rental Centre.

DeLange moved the equipment rental operation it to its present location, a 21,000-square-foot building located at Fanshawe Park Road at the northwest end of the city, where it has continued to grow by offering quality products and personal service.

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Team A & B Rental Centre, from left, Ivor Delange, Darren Glavin, Don Wallace, Amandio Capote, Mike Mann, Martin Hughes, Kellie Brown, Jeremy Boucher, Ian Baber and Jim Van Hende.


 

DeLange and his team of dedicated employees have continued to expand their prospects and grow their business by offering reliable equipment at competitive pricing. However, the key to the company’s longevity in the rental business, says DeLange, is listening to customers and adding the equipment lines they need to get their jobs done.

“Since 1994 we have worked closely with contractors to build up the compaction line and this has also worked with our industrial clients in developing the high reach market,” he says.

Today A&B Rental Centre carries a highly diversified line of quality construction equipment for contractors that includes dozers, rollers personnel lifts and cranes to scaffolding, generators and construction heaters. The company also carries a wide selection of plumbing, mechanical, lawn and garden equipment.

Despite the many challenges that rental companies face in today’s economic climate DeLange notes that one of the most discerning factors is the trend of owning certain tools and equipment that has taken root as the market is flooded with discounted offshore products. “People don’t rent as much as they used to because tools and smaller equipment have become so cheap,” he says. “Renting is about customer service, timely deliveries and providing high quality equipment that customers can rely on.”