Top 10 MEWP rental companies in North America

By Lindsey Anderson12 October 2021

The top North American access equipment rental companies have been revealed in ALH’s October issue (download and read for free here.) Here, we take a look at the top 10, which make up more than 94% of the total units on the annual Aerials20 ranking.

10. ABLE Equipment Rental

New York-based ABLE Equipment Rental invested heavily in its aerials division this year, adding 1,201 units to its access fleet for a total of 3,829. The significant increase saw ABLE march up three spots to number 10 on the Aerials20.

ABLE Equipment Rental provided this JLG 1350SJP to a recent jobsite.

“Currently, ABLE is very well utilized in all classes, but we are witnessing an increase demand for all electric products, forklifts and cranes,” says Chris Pera, ABLE’s COO. “[We] have a very positive outlook for 2022 within our market.”

ABLE is one to watch in the years to come; it has significantly grown year-over-year since joining the Aerials20 in 2012 (when it was listed with 423 units.)

9. Star Rentals

Seattle-based Star Rentals reduced its MEWP fleet size by just over -4% to 4,150 units this year due to the oversupplied, local market, says Bob Kendall, president.

“Big booms are leading the way in regards to aerial [oversupply,]” Kendall says. “Scissors have been a bit off primarily due to high-rise work in both Seattle and Portland still being somewhat restricted due to Covid-19.”

Kendall expects a rebound and improvement for aerial equipment in 2022, however, and notes that new providers coming into the North American market could drastically shake things up. (Read the full report in the October issue for Kendall’s insights.)

8. Briggs Equipment

With 24 locations under its belts, Briggs Equipment added an estimated 100 units to its MEWP fleet this year, bumping it up over 1% to 5,300 aerial assets.

7. Equipment Depot

Equipment Depot stayed level this year with 6,500 MEWPs in its rental fleet. Equipment Depot has locations across 23 states, covering nearly 3,000 miles.

6. Sunstate Equipment

Sunstate Equipment increased its fleet size by nearly 3.5% to 20,900 units this year. With 85 locations spread out across the Southwest, Sunstate Equipment continues its growth as one of the largest independent rental outfits in the U.S.

5. Herc Rentals

Herc Rentals reported a MEWP fleet decrease by just over -1% this year to 28,750 MEWPs, but that figure is likely to change into a positive as Q3 wraps up. Herc is upgrading its fleet expenditure plan, with spending on equipment to increase from between $500 and $550 million this year to a range from $820 million to $1.12 billion in 2022.

Herc’s President and CEO, Larry Silber, said the company is expected to grow through “acquisitions, greenfield openings, and investment in key fleet categories as we continue to seek improved scale, profitability and shareholder returns.”

4. H&E Equipment Services

H&E’s access fleet grew by almost 5% this year to 29,200 units. The company’s equipment rental operations extend across 101 branch locations in 24 states. H&E recently sold its crane business to Manitowoc for $130 million.

3. Ahern Rentals

Ahern Rentals added 165 MEWPs to its fleet in 2021, bringing it to a total of 31,432 units. As the third-largest aerial equipment rental company in the U.S., Ahern has a total of more than 67,000 pieces of equipment in its fleet, according to its website.

2. Sunbelt Rentals

Sunbelt Rentals reported 120,000 MEWP units for its 2021 fleet, narrowing the gap between itself and top-spot-holder United Rentals. Sunbelt is capitalizing on a healthy market - in the quarter ending July 31, the company invested $551 million across its existing locations and $123 million in five bolt-on acquisitions.

United Rentals tops the Aerials20 with 146,738 MEWPs in its fleet.

1. United Rentals

United Rentals, the world’s largest equipment rental company, reported 146,738 units in its MEWP fleet, a reduction of -2.66%. Despite the slight divestment in its aerial fleet, United is experiencing strong market demand, and in relation, raised its total revenue outlook to $9.45-$9.75 billion from the previous outlook of $9.05-$9.45 billion.

“Looking forward, we remain encouraged by the gains we’ve seen in end-market indicators, including our customers’ sentiment and project visibility,” noted United CEO Matthew Flannery.

To read the full article, click here to download the October issue. 

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