Canadian Rental Service

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Trade show back on track

Show Report: After a two year hiatus, the Canadian Rental Mart returned to Toronto, Ontario.


May 12, 2008
By Chris Skalkos

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The Canadian Rental Mart returned to Toronto, Ontario, for a two day, rental exclusive trade show held on March 4 and 5, 2008.

After a two year hiatus, the Canadian Rental Mart returned to Toronto, Ontario, for a sold out show in March. Demand for a rental show in the Ontario market was evident by the number of companies who took up more than 200 booths at the Toronto Congress Centre, making this one of the largest Canadian Rental Mart exhibitions in history. More than 778 people attended the show with 322 ‘qualified buyers’ representing rental stores from Ontario, as well as out of province visitors.

The now biennial trade show offers rental operators a highly focussed venue to view the latest rental products and services. Many of the traditional and easily recognizable manufacturers
and suppliers to the rental industry were present, but there were also several brand new companies who were exhibiting for the first time at the show to introduce their products to the market.

Dave Jenkins from Mersinco was one of them. He was displaying his Carefree Tire products for wheelbarrow assembly that are made of polyurethanes. The tires do not contain air so they can be punctured and still maintain their integrity. “We are still building on the product’s awareness, so we are exhibiting here and talking to rental operators about not losing money from downtime by using flat-free tires,” he says.

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Rick Darche (left) from RDSI speaks with Rich Overholt and Tim Robinson from Putney’s Rental and Sales.
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Don Ayotte (right) from Multiquip speaks with Gui Chen Qiang from ABC Rental Centre in Markham.
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Dave Jenkins from Mersinco displays his Carefree Tire products.
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Rental operators Keith Smith and Barry Weaymouth (left) from Elgin Equipment Rental speak with exhibitors Tony Shelling and Will Stayer from A.E. Sales.
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Dean Nasato (left) of Wacker Canada speaks to Hank Heuvelen from Tim’s Rent-All in Bowmanville.

Daniel Campo from Campo Equipment in Brampton was also a first-time exhibitor. Although his company has been in business manufacturing high performance pressure washers, portable indirect-fired space heaters and power buggies for a few years, he recently diversified and was making his introduction at the Canadian Rental Mart. “It’s nice to finally meet rental operators that I do business with,” he says.

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For veteran exhibitors, such as Paul Everitt from Rentquip Supply, the brisk pace on the show floor harkened back to years ago when independent rental stores dominated the market. “I’m happy the show is back. It was a very good show especially on the first day. We were writing orders all day which reminds me of when this was a buying show. We had people in our booth all day long,” he says.

Dave Knight from Wacker Canada appreciated the changes made with the new look of the Canadian Rental Mart. “The location is great, I like the layout and it’s nice that we don’t have to pay for parking,” he says, adding that he too was happy with the number of rental operators who visited the show. “The traffic was very good. Visitors are buying, vendors are selling. The timing is good too. It gives rental operators a good look at what’s available for the April buying season.”

Several exhibitors made the most of the show by offering two day ‘show only’ specials. One of the rental operators who took advantage of that was Robert Seabrook from Seabrook Rent-All. “I always come to this show and I always spend much more than I originally intended,” says Seabrook, who is completing $65,000 in renovations at his rental store in Lindsay, Ontario, and was at the show buying equipment for his expanding rental fleet.

For other rental operators, the Canadian Rental Mart was more than a place to scoop deals. Ray Clark of Saugeen Sales and Rentals was at the show shopping for trowels, compactors and a wood chipper, but it was the personal contact with his suppliers that he says he benefitted from the most. “For me, this is one of the only places where I can look at so much equipment and source it from the right supplier. It’s difficult to get sales reps out to my rental store, so I walk around and try to see as many people as I can,” he says.

Rental operator, Barry Weaymouth from Elgin Equipment Rental says it is the educational value that brought him out to the show. “As a fairly new rental company in the industry, we need to grow. This is a good place for rental operators to learn about the industry and see the latest equipment. This is one-stop shopping and it offers the biggest bang for the buck.” -end-

CRA Ontario informs and educates
In addition to organizing the dinner banquet and entertainment at the show, the Canadian Rental Association in Ontario also lined up an interesting panel of speakers for the educational seminars held at the Canadian Rental Mart.

The first seminar titled ‘Economic Forecast of the Rental Industry’ presented a comprehensive and easy to understand survey of the rental industry in North America that includes data collected from American Rental Association (ARA) members, industry and governments. The data was collected by Global Insight, a professional forecasting company hired by the American Rental Association. The speakers delivered a Canadian version of the survey data highlighting key areas of the Canadian economy that has so far weathered the economic downturn in the US.

The second seminar was presented by an officer from the Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO), who reviewed the Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR) system to explain compliance, pre-trip inspections and load safety.

Editor’s note: more information about these seminars will be available in an upcoming issue of Canadian Rental Service. -end-