Largest N.A. telehandler rental firms

By Lindsey Anderson11 July 2022

All signs point toward a healthy, growing telehandler market in North America according to data collected for this year’s Telehandler30. Following last year’s -7.31 percent decline in telehandler fleet sizes, the 2022 list reveals a 4.04 percent increase, representing a total of 78,638 units.

The top five largest telehandler rental companies – United Rentals, Sunbelt Rentals, Herc Rentals, H&E Equipment Services and Sunstate Equipment – held onto their respective spots, with fleet increases ranging from just over 1 percent to 17 percent. (To access the entire T30 list, read the latest issue of ALH here.)

United Rentals remains at the top spot of the Telehandler30. (Photo: URI)

That 17+ percent boost belongs to Herc Rentals, which for the first three months of 2022, nearly tripled its CapEx from last year’s $90.9 million to a staggering $286.8 million. Speaking during an investors call earlier this Spring, Mark Iron, CFO of Herc Rentals, said, “We took a lot more fleet into Q4 of last year, and in the current quarter than we would in a typical winter, which is a driver of our 23 percent fleet growth year-over-year. In the current environment, we are taking as much fleet as we can get our hands-on, and our volume growth of 29 percent shows that we are putting it out on rent as soon as it hits.”

Iron went on to add, “We are in the early stages of the next construction upcycle, with steady demand, even before we get into any potential benefits from the proposed future boost to infrastructure spending. Equipment supplies are tight, and our teams are challenged to manufacture and deliver new equipment due to worldwide supply chain bottlenecks.”

Regional players

Further down the list, jumping two spots to 16th, is NY-based ABLE Equipment Rental, which increased its telehandler fleet by more than 10 percent to 303 units.

Speaking to the increase, Philippe Bisson, business development director for ABLE, told ALH, “Sales are up for ABLE and so are our rentals. Our business is growing and will continue to do so as the demand to add more residential and rental units to the housing market continues to increase, due to the housing shortage.

(Photo: ABLE)

Switching gears to the South, Florida-based High Reach 2 grew its telehandler fleet by more than 12 percent, bumping up from 500 units to 564.

Samantha Phillips, project manager for High Reach 2, expects the market to continue staying extremely busy, and didn’t mince words when it came to how the market is fairing this year compared to last.

“The telehandler market is on fire, all rental companies are out of them, including us,” she told ALH. “We expect it will continue to be a struggle to get new machines for some time and it will keep utilization high and used machine prices at a premium.”

Fueling demand for the company is construction of multi-family apartment complexes, which, Phillips said “are developing everywhere, with no end in sight.” In relation, new hospitals and assisted living facilities are also being constructed.

Michigan-based AeroLift reported 225 units in its telehandler fleet this year. (Photo: AeroLift)

Heading to the West Coast, Star Rentals is also experiencing high demand for telehandlers. Bob Kendall, president of the equipment rental company, said the sector is thriving for Star.

“The next 12 months looks quite opportunistic,” Kendall told ALH. “We still have a good number to be received in 2022 and have placed our orders for 2023 albeit we are all wondering how much of this will all come to fruition as scheduled. We shall see.

“The used telehandler market remains solid as we continue to turn used machines each month. And just about every customer segment uses telehandlers. It is not just a construction machine these days. Industrial, institutional and governmental applications are prolific.”

And the same positive tune is being sung by Ahern Rentals, which said despite demand exceeding supply, nearly all major markets are up for the Nevada-based company.

“Our company utilization is increasing most in California, Texas, Arizona, Colorado and Nevada,” said Eddie Arant, vice president of national accounts for Ahern. “There are no signs of change right now in demand, but that could shift with inflation impacting the cost of construction.”

High Reach 2 expects the market to continue staying extremely busy. (Photo: High Reach 2)

With its longtime status as the jack-of-all-trades on construction sites, it’s clear the telehandler remains as crucial to fleets today as ever before. While supply chain snafus and material pricing could dampen availability, the overall telehandler sector is poised for growth and high-utilization for the months to come.

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