Canadian Rental Service

President’s message: August 2009

By Jay Williams CRA president   

Canadian Rental Association

Summer season is in full swing, businesses are booming, bank accounts are filling up and rental stores can barely take a breath!

Hello everyone!

Summer season is in full swing, businesses are booming, bank accounts are filling up and rental stores can barely take a breath! After the crazy winter we’ve just experienced across Canada, I’m talking about both weather and the stock markets, we are all finally able to enjoy the nicer weather, the sunshine, the heat. Finally! Heat!


We are also witnessing the anticipation of our eager customers beginning their home renovation and landscaping projects, grinning and showing off to their friends the amazing feats accomplished, with the help of equipment rented from their local rental store. And what do they have to say about the customer service? Praise! Praise! Praise! Of course!

Well, this is the type of summer I wish for you, and may it grow in the promise of reaping a bountiful crop for fall and all through the winter – both financially as well as in customer growth and new friendships.  Let us wish this for each other, after all, our industry counts on peer support!  Even with the economic meltdown that is gradually cooling off, the rental industry is rock-solid.


Regarding insurance, there is a concern that rental operators and suppliers have brought to light: the liability for unapproved equipment. With the increase of products imported from overseas, many of these products do not meet the same ULC or CSA standards. We have all heard about the product recalls, from contaminated pet food to lead-tainted toys. Unapproved equipment and tools can cause serious headaches to rental operators if someone is injured while using these products. Such problems can also come from products made locally from small shops that are not properly insured for manufacturing liability.

As Ken Fingler from HED writes: “While your liability insurance does not now specifically exclude coverage for this type of equipment, your chances of defending against liability claims involving unapproved equipment is very limited.  Having a liability claim due to unapproved equipment could seriously affect your chances of obtaining coverage in the future.”

HED Insurance and Risk Services has provided me with a list of precautions to take in order to reduce potential liability claims. I would like to share this list with you:

  • Only buy Approved / ULC/ CSA listed equipment!
  • Suppliers should obtain proof of insurance from the manufacturer that you represent and have them add your agency onto their liability insurance policy.
  • Suppliers representing off-shore manufacturers should assume that you will be responsible for these products and should ensure that your liability insurance covers you.
  • Rental dealers should make sure that your suppliers have liability insurance to cover the products that they are distributing. Ask for certificates of insurance.
  • Be careful when purchasing equipment from small ‘custom’ shops. They may not carry adequate liability insurance. Ask for certificates of insurance.

Please take a moment to contact HED for additional information on this issue. Gathering information is the first step in ensuring your protection.

I would like to congratulate the Dorothy Wellnitz Scholarship recipient, Shannon Penfound with Par-Tec Rentals in Petrolia, Ont. In addition to the CRA/Dorothy Wellnitz scholarship, Shannon also received a $2000 ARA Foundation undergraduate scholarship. Her parents are Mark and Brenda Penfound, who own Par-Tec Rentals. I congratulate her and wish her many successes in her studies. I would also like to thank all the candidates that applied for the scholarships this year. It is refreshing to see the next generation give the scholarship selection committee such a challenge, with the increasing growth in applications received.

One last word: please keep in touch with your local board directors. Your local association has well-planned events coming up. Golf tournaments, meetings, open-doors, and of course: the CRA Regional Trade Shows, kicking off in January 2010. The 2010 ARA Rental Show will be in Orlando, Fla. What better place to salute the sun in the middle of our Canadian winter and participate in the tool, heavy equipment, tents and special events seminars. The CRA will host its Annual General Meeting and the now famous Canadian Hospitality Night. This social event has been increasing every year as it has become a highly anticipated opportunity for the travelling Canadian rental professionals to re-group while visiting our southern neighbours. 

Have a wonderful summer!

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