Top stories of 2013
The year 2013 has nearly passed into the history books, so here is a look back at the top stories affecting the Canadian rental industry over the last 12 months. And here's wishing all our readers and supporters a mild hangover and a happy new year.
By Patrick Flannery
|Volvo sells Volvo Rents |
Volvo Construction Equipment announced in December that it had sold Volvo Rents, its rental business comprising 130 stores and 2,100 employees across North America, to a California private equity firm for just over $1 billion U.S. Olof Persson, Volvo CE CEO, described the rental business as being too far outside Volvo's core competencies.
|Wellnitz leaves the CRA |
Mandy Wellnitz, Canadian Rental Association executive director since 2005, left the association following a unanimous board decision to not renew her contract when it expired in June. CRA Region 10 director, Paul Kenyon, cited the need for a bilingual director with experience running larger organizations.
|Rental responds to disaster |
Rental operators across Canada worked day and night to come to the aid of victims of the devastating floods in southern Alberta in June, and the ice storm that wiped out power to hundreds of thousands of homes in Ontario, Quebec and Atlantic Canada over Christmas.
|Toro launches Stone-based concrete lines |
A year after it purchased the assets of Stone Construction Equipment, a defunct concrete and masonry equipment manufacturer, Toro launched several product lines developed using the popular rental supplier's designs. The addition of concrete mixers, mortar mixers, power trowels, concrete vibrators, screeds and
concrete working tools marked the first entry into the concrete and masonry market for the landscaping equipment manufacturer.
| Skyjack named United Rentals' Supplier of the Year |
Guelph, Ont.-based Skyjack was named United Rentals' Supplier of the
Year for 2012. The award kicked off a busy year for the aerial lift
manufacturer, which also hosted a CRA Ontario meeting and launched a contest to find the oldest Skyjack lift still in operation.
|First Choice growth explosion|
Alberta rental conglomerate First Choice attracted the attention of Canadian Rental Service magazine with its aggressive expansion, acquiring four new businesses in the equipment, waste disposal and oilfield sectors since its inception in 2006. Then it doubled down in 2013, acquiring Thunder Box Rentals, Silverback Equipment Rentals, and Battlefield Supply, all in one year.
|CRA brings National Equipment Register to Canada |
The Canadian Rental Association landed a significant new benefit for its members when it arranged to have the National Equipment Register, an equipment registration database that law enforcement officers can use to track stolen equipment, brought north across the border for use by Canadian rental operators. CRA members can now register up to 1,000 pieces of equipment for free with their membership dues, and the CRA has a director on the Canadian NER board.
| Kobelco and CNH end alliance |
began with Kobelco Construction Machinery and CNH Global announcing
their globe-spanning marketing alliance was allowed to expire at the end
of 2012. Kobelco was now entitled to sell excavators under its own name
in North America for the first time since 2002. Shortly thereafter,
Kobelco opened a new continental headquarters in Houston.
|Morbark enters the skid steer business |
Morbark, better known for its tree care, sawmill,
recycling, forestry and biomass chipping, and grinding equipment, announced it acquired Boxer Equipment, a product line
of Mertz Manufacturing, that manufactures and globally markets a full line of
compact utility loaders and attachments.
A few months later, Morbark's first skid steer rolled off its line in Winn, Mi.
|United Rentals specializes |
placed a bet on the future of the rental industry by opening branch
locations specialized in specific rental sectors in 2013. The
corporation opened three rental stores dedicated to power and HVAC
rentals, including one in Fort McMurray, Alta., and a store dedicated to
tool management and maintenance in Cambridge, Ont .
|Canadian Rental Mart sells out fast |
The Canadian Rental Mart, Canada's national trade show for the rental industry, sold out in record time. All booths for the show were gone by Dec. 12, even though the show does not take place until March 18, 2014. Show organizers credited a strong 2012 edition that attracted 855 attendees.
|CRA Ontario wins ARA Membership Award |
The CRA Ontario beat out local associations across North America to land the American Rental Association's Membership Award recognizing commitment to growth and membership retention.