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Building a Legacy

The equipment rental industry in Canada is forecasted to generate nearly $4.6 billion in revenue in 2013 according to the latest figures from the American Rental Association. By 2017, it is projected to generate up to $5.3 billion. This growth is indicative of the trend towards rental after the downturn in 2007 — contractors that have been unwilling, or unable to make investments in capital equipment have turned to rental as a low-cost solution. Although the large consolidated rental companies generate a significant portion of this revenue, there is most certainly something to be said for the smaller guys.

“We’re smaller, more focused, so we can move faster and provide better service,” says Jerry Laboret, owner of Compact Rentals Ltd. in Calgary, Alberta.

Jerry has been in the construction industry for over 40 years. In 1980, he decided to go into business for himself. Developing a fleet of tampers and other small dirtwork equipment, Jerry grew his business over the years to include track loaders, wheel loaders, skid steers and other construction equipment.

“Compact Rentals is a family-owned and operated company. My wife works with me here at the office. My son Rod and his wife work here too,” explains Jerry. “My son will take over for me when I retire in a year or so.”

Having been in the business for as long as he has, Jerry has built strong relationships with some of the biggest contractors in Alberta. “When you have known and worked with these guys for years, and you demonstrate to them the value of top quality products and service to back them up, they won’t shop around with the bigger rental houses, because they know that we are more focused, move fast, and have the service to back up our fleet,” Jerry says.

“That’s why we’ve chosen the Takeuchi line of compact equipment—we know ourselves through years of providing quality service to our customers that that’s what makes all the difference. We wanted to work with a manufacturer who would back up their products, and Takeuchi does just that,” Jerry says. “Takeuchi makes a brilliant product—the machines are bullet-proof.”

“About seven years ago I had another machine in my fleet that had as serious issue—the timing cover came off, got tangled up inside the engine and the engine blew. I called the guys I bought it from; they said to go to the manufacturer. I called the manufacturer, and they wouldn’t even consider covering it. That relationship ended immediately.”

“Our customers love the Takeuchi machines. They’re reliable, powerful, and the cabs are so comfortable it’s like sitting in a car. We get the most comments from our customers about the spacious interiors,” Jerry explains.

Jerry and his son Rod are currently building a new facility, and gearing up for Rod to take over the business when Jerry retires. “We’re actually anticipating a boom here an Alberta. We’re in the middle of these 1000-year floods, and the flooding is causing billions of dollars worth of damage to roads, bridges and property,” Jerry explains. “There’s only so much you can do to prepare for these types of flash floods. It’s a shame, but people will start to rebuild soon, and we’ll be there to help them out.”


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