Traditional rental centers carry buckets, forks, hammers and other popular attachments. But with a little effort, many of the more specialized attachments can also be located.
Sometimes this takes a little research. “It is not very easy if you do not know who to talk to,” admits Douglas LaCroix, purchasing agent, Cianbro, one of the East Coast’s largest construction and construction services companies. “Fortunately, I know who to call and who to talk to when I need something.” He adds that you should be able to find vendors of specialized attachments in different parts of the country.
Cianbro owns equipment it uses on a regular basis. This includes cranes, aerial lifts, forklifts, generators, compressors and welders — all common rental items for many contractors. But even the largest contractors have a hard time justifying the purchase of specialized attachments.
For example, Cianbro owns over 2,500 pieces of equipment and it may complete $20 or $30 million in demolition work throughout the course of a year. Yet, other than hydraulic breakers, the company doesn’t keep demolition attachments in its fleet. “We don’t own Universal Processors, shear heads or concrete pulverizers,” says LaCroix. “We are a very large contractor, but we are not, per se, a demolition contractor. We are more of a general contractor — heavy civil work.”
The carrying cost of demolition attachments just would not make sense. “Obviously, the piece would be under utilized and it would not be cost effective to own,” LaCroix states. “It is always good to have at your disposal rental vendors that have this type of equipment. When you are renting a piece of equipment, it is a temporary solution to get the job done.”
This allows the flexibility to bid a wide variety of jobs. “Most of the jobs we attain are through the bid process,” says LaCroix.
Planning is required before the operations team tries to win the bid. “We will look at lead time and what equipment will be available in the time frame. We may inflate our budgetary numbers if the availability isn’t there in case we do have to shift gears and purchase something.”
This equipment availability is where Cianbro really counts on the vendors who rent specialized attachments. One such vendor is New Millennium Rentals in New Windsor, NY.
A different approach to rental
“We started in business in June of 2000,” recalls Peter Menner, founder/president of New Millennium Rentals. The idea came from a trade article that covered a person in the Mid-Atlantic region who was operating a similar business. The article, combined with nine and a half years of personal experience working at an equipment dealership, helped Menner to realize there was a real demand for specialized attachment rental. “I knew hammers were popular because [the dealership] I worked for never had enough hammers. We always had phone calls. We never had the attachments we needed to satisfy customer needs.”
Menner decided it was time to address this need. “I actually sat down and wrote a business plan around being a niche [business] providing excavators with specialized attachments to the demolition, environmental and heavy-highway contractors,” he explains.
This focus differentiates New Millennium Rentals from traditional rental stores. “We offer the oddball stuff that some of the guys are looking for,” says Menner. It is really tough to rent a shear, a processor or any of the out of the ordinary demolition tools from the general rental center chains. “Some of these rental centers do have hammers and some of them do have grapples, but that’s usually as far as they go. They don’t get into concrete processors or shears. They don’t get into high-reach demolition fronts. They don’t deal with a fraction of what we do as far as offering specialized attachments in unique combinations to
the clientèle base.”