American Rental Association’s 2009 The Rental Show

The drive from Tuscaloosa to Atlanta, GA for The Rental Show, sponsored by the American Rental Association (ARA), was uneventful. The snow had melted off the roadways and only small patches still remained hidden from the sun along the embankments.

This year, the 53rd Rental Show was held for the sixth time at the Georgia World Congress Center and started with training sessions on Sunday and Monday. The exhibits opened on Tuesday with exhibitors displaying products and equipment of interest to rental dealers. As the world’s largest rental trade show, successful rental businesses around the globe consider it the one event of the year they can’t miss. It’s the place to research products firsthand, meet others in the industry and learn valuable ideas you can use right away in your business.

This year’s show was host to 650 exhibitors occupying 700,000 gross square feet of exhibit space with the exhibits separated into three categories: Heavy Construction, Light Construction/ General Tools and Party/Special Events.

The following is a partial list of equipment manufacturers that held press conferences and/or introduced new products during the show:

Allmand – New light towers, 4-wheel drive backhoe loader
Astec Underground – New equipment and products for underground construction
BLS Enterprises
— New polyurethane Hi-Topper street pads
Bobcat – Bobcat T110 compact track loader, improvements to other CTL’s, Bob-Tach mounting products
Bomag Compaction – New technology for the compaction industry
Case—Skid steers & backhoe loader updates, True Value agreement
Ditch Witch – Two new walk-behind trenchers
Easy Cut – Pipe cutting system
Gehl – All-wheel-steer loaders, skid steer loader, compact track loaders and improvements to other machines
General – New equipment
Geni – New personnel lift
HaulotteBilJax – New scaffolding, scissor lifts, telehandlers and other information
Hilti – 34 new products, press intros for Combihammers, vacuums, electric cutting saw, and rotating laser
Honda Engines – new generator sets
Lincoln Electric – Mew Welder, helmet plus
Loegering—Versatile Track System updates
Mi-T-M – Pressure washers
Nascent Design – New product, Power-Shifter engine mounting system
Solutions by Computer – Enfinity release and enhancements for existing products
Stone – Mixers, screeds, vibrators and more
Subaru – New generators and engines
Terex – Backhoe loader, telehandler, new compact equipment line
Toro – Changes and improvements in its compact equipment line
Volvo – Volvo Rents franchising information and details

Over the next few days we will review some of these product introductions and updates.

The overall tone of the show was improved when compared to earlier shows I have attended. There was more confidence that stimulus money would really be distributed and projects that have been ready and waiting since the economy took a nosedive would resume.

Again the biggest concern was the availability of money. Show attendees were still saying that it was not easy to get but had improved in the last 30 days. There are still concerns that it may take too long to get the economy turned around and moving in an optimistic direction. A number of manufacturers said that they were selling equipment and making deals.

Greg Sitek

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