Canadian Rental Service

Canadian Rental Association
Hose supplier hosts rental tour

The Canadian Rental Association (CRA) in Ontario held its monthly meeting in November at National Hose and Equipment in Scarborough. Despite the snowstorm raging outside more than 40 people attended the five-star catered event that took place in the company’s warehouse amid a stock of hoses skidded and wrapped for domestic and international destinations.


January 15, 2009
By Chris Skalkos

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More than 40 people attended the CRA Ontario November meeting at National Hose and Equipment in Scarborough.


 

The Canadian Rental Association (CRA) in Ontario held its monthly meeting in November at National Hose and Equipment in Scarborough. Despite the snowstorm raging outside more than 40 people attended the five-star catered event that took place in the company’s warehouse amid a stock of hoses skidded and wrapped for domestic and international destinations.

Attendance at meetings has been growing ever since the association changed the format by taking it out of hotel facilities and into the buildings of rental stores and their suppliers for a guided tour.

Many say the novelty of inspecting another rental company’s operation is too tempting to pass up. Manufacturer and supplier members have also stepped up to offer their facilities for meetings, saying they want to give rental operators an inside look at how they operate.

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For Mike Stone, president of National Hose, it was an opportunity to showcase his company, National Hose and Equipment is a warehousing distributor for industrial and hydraulic hose and fittings, and a selection of industrial equipment.

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From
plain black rubber to complicated PVC materials, Mike Stone, president
of National Hose, delivered an interesting presentation covering the
evolution of hose products for the construction industry.


 
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Julian Huby of Dixon Bayco Ltd. demonstrated the assembly of air/water hoses, hydraulic hoses and burst test systems, pointing out the safety issues of hose and fittings and new hose products for the rental industry.


 

“People are amazed at the assortment of products we carry,” says Stone, describing the company’s humble beginnings. “My father Berne, my wife and I bought a bankrupt business in 1976 without a bank loan . . .we used our credit cards. We hitched up our rental truck and set out to buy hoses at an auction,” says Stone.

He recalls an incident where he was visiting a customer to sell a new “crush proof” hose product. “The customer said ‘okay, let’s see about that’ and then ran it over with an equipment trailer loaded with a Caterpillar on it. I thought to myself, well I’ve lost this sale, but the hose went from being flat to expanding itself again, no problem. I went right to my order book and asked ‘how many lengths will you need?’ I couldn’t believe it myself,” he says with a chuckle.

From three employees in a 1,500-square-foot building, the company has worked hard to carve out a customer base. “Now we have a 25,000-square-foot building with 24 employees and a whole lot of customers. Many of our customers are in the rental business and many of them are here tonight,” says Stone. “We have a diversified product line to supply just about any hose and fitting out there in the market.”

The meeting was highlighted by a presentation from Julian Huby of Dixon Bayco Ltd., who demonstrated the assembly of air/water hoses, hydraulic hoses and burst test systems. He also covered a very informative session called “Do’s and Don’ts” pointing out the safety issues of hose and fittings as well as reviewing new hose products for the rental industry.

Other manufacturers who supply the company include Performance Engineering in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Kanaflex Corporation in the U.S.

Stone left the audience with some advice to cope with the difficult economic times that lay ahead for the rental industry. “Focus on offering quality products, diversify yourself and seek out niche markets. When the chips are down you have to go out and find ways to make things happen!” he says.

James Morden, first vice-president for the CRA says the association’s meeting and rental tour program has been growing in popularity as the association continues to add variety to the format. The meeting in January featured a table top show for manufacturers and suppliers along with a world class comedian/hypnotist who headlined the social event. Rental store tours continue with a tour of Stayner Rental, near Collingwood. The Next Generation Committee is actively recruiting members for roundtable discussions, an Island Tour Cruise is also being planned and the association’s summer golf tournament will coincide with a CRA national board meeting.

For more information about Canadian Rental Association meetings, contact CRA Ontario, James Morden, e-mail: jamesmorden@rentshopinc.com. ■

Editor’s note: Canadian Rental Service went to press with this issue prior to the CRA trade shows in B.C. and Ontario held in January. Watch for full coverage of these events in the March issue!