Canadian Rental Service

Standing tall – Iron Mountain Equipment Rentals, Coquitlam, B.C.

By Treena Hein   

Features Profiles

Commitment to quality helps Iron Mountain stand out.

Kerry McIntyre (right) bought equipment from Dylan Silvestri for years.

There are over 20 rental shops within a 30-minute drive of Coquitlam, B.C. Into that competitive market, Kerry McIntyre opened Iron Mountain Equipment Rentals in 2007.

A recent story sums up why he had great success from the start. It was early October 2023. As Iron Mountain general manager, Dylan Silvestri, explains, all Iron Mountain customers have his and McIntyre’s cell numbers. The time was 2 a.m.

“A watermain crew in Vancouver was doing a night shift and they’d been using one of our compressors,” says Silvestri. “It was a new compressor and they called about an issue with it not being powerful enough. Kerry immediately drove to the site and got them up and running. It turned out to be just that a member of one of the crews had changed one of the dials – there are three shifts and many people on site – but what matters is that Kerry got a call literally in the middle of the night and he went to them right away and solved their problem. You won’t find that at other rental businesses. I will note, he was also in at six the next morning as usual. That’s typical. Having great leadership is one of the many reasons that I made the decision to come on board at Iron Mountain a few years ago.” 

McIntyre started in the industry, like many other independent rental outlet owners, through being a yard boy learning the ropes from the ground up. It was a good job for a youngster at the place where his dad already worked. McIntyre liked the industry and, as the years went on, he did every job in the place. Part of being a successful leader is having knowledge and experience with every job within a company and, after about 12 years, he took the reins as general manager. About eight years later, he decided it was time to strike out on his own. He found a suitable building and bought a few pieces of equipment with his savings. He picked a strong name, Iron Mountain, and opened up. 


“It doesn’t seem like that long ago I went on my own,” he says. “You look back and you remember that that you started with a few pieces and now you buy 10 at a time. You remember how much things have changed in a fairly short period. I had the experience, I knew every job, so I knew I could handle it. It was just a matter of making the decision to start. I also knew you had to provide excellent service. You don’t want them to go anywhere else and you don’t want them to be down on a jobsite. A big part of the success is listening to our customers and buying the suitable equipment that they need and want.” 

Wind beneath wings
McIntyre’s father, Dave, was retired by the time Kerry struck out on his own, but right away Dave started coming in to help out Kerry and his two employees with whatever they needed.  

“He was very supportive and happy that I tried it,” says McIntyre. “My mom, Marilyn, was supportive too. They are both quite proud.” Silvestri adds that Dave still comes in regularly. “He tinkers, and everyone who works here respects and enjoys when he comes in, as they pick his brain for knowledge and enjoy the conversations that they have. I can see that he’s very proud of Kerry. And once in a while, there’s some small piece of equipment that we can’t seem to fix, and he takes it away and somehow brings it back fixed. It’s something else.”  

But McIntyre also had help at the start from an unexpected source. “There were quite a few large building contractors that I already knew, and they contacted me and asked how they could help me,” he remembers. “It was a breath of fresh air. I didn’t expect to have that support and it’s really quite amazing to have that when you go out on your own. It was a scramble, actually, to get what they wanted. That was the main struggle I’m happy to say, to get enough equipment to look after them.”

Iron Mountain now has a staff of 16, with four mechanics and five or more employees doing daily pickup and deliveries (typically within a 50-kilometer radius). “We have an exceptional staff that is always willing to go the extra mile to help our customers” Silvestri says. They rent to the occasional homeowner, but the majority of customers are infrastructure and building contractors.

When he offered Silvestri a chance to join him in the rental business, he jumped at the chance.

Lift-off during uncertain times
When McIntyre opened in 2007, many building projects were getting up and going for the 2010 Olympics. So when the recession hit in 2008, it was scary, but with the Olympics and other normal construction projects happening, McIntyre was able to stay busy. Iron Mountain typically puts its profits back into equipment, buying almost everything new. 

“We add brands that customers want to run, even if they cost more,” adds Silvestri. “We are very loyal to our suppliers. All the competition, we all have basically the same rates, so having the premium equipment has always been something that Kerry’s done that has set us apart. And if a customer wants a specific brand and model for long-term use, we will get it in to keep them happy.”

At his previous job, McIntyre had gained the most experience with digging and rolling equipment, so he started with that and expanded into things like aerial equipment later. (He particularly notes a strong demand over the last few years for small scissor lifts due to new safety regulations.) And over the last couple of years, he’s boldly branched out into some equipment that’s new to the market and customers haven’t even been aware of. As he expected, customers have tried these new items out and demand has grown substantially.  

Silvestri had been in the equipment world previously and McIntyre had been his customer for years. Around 2021, when McIntyre asked him to lunch and asked if he would come on board, Silvestri paused for only about 30 seconds.  “There were a lot of things we still had to work out, how coming on board was going to look like, but I knew it was the right decision and the right company to join,” Silvestri says.  

McIntyre notes that he wanted a general manager so he didn’t have to manage everything and Silvestri in particular because of his equipment expertise. “I wanted to put the ball in his court, and see what he could do to grow the business. Time flies, and I want to keep growing Iron Mountain, but also have some fun with family at the same time. I’m grateful to my customers and employees. It’s been an adventure all the way through.” 

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