Access, Lift and Handlers magazine has published its 2019 AERIALS20 (A20) list of the biggest rental companies in North America, based on aerial platform fleet size.
This year, for the first time in 10 years, the full A20 ranking shows a slight decline of -2.4% in North American access rental fleets.
While the American Rental Association, which revised its market forecast in August, expects slower growth than it previously reported, the access industry’s market outlook remains positive and the top 10 companies on the A20 have continued to make substantial fleet investments.
Top 10 largest rental companies in North America 2019
10. High Reach
Breaking into the top 10, High Reach moves up one place from last year with an estimated MEWP fleet size of 3,200 units. Over the past twelve months the independent business, which was re-established in 2003 and offers rental, sales and servicing solutions, has expanded its offering by 4.07%.
9. Star Rentals
First established as a family business in 1900, Star Rentals now has 18 location across the Pacific Northwest. With a range of equipment and training solutions available, Star’s estimated fleet of 4,150 units sees the company rise from tenth place in 2018 to ninth place on the A20 this year.
8. Briggs Equipment
Materials handling supplier Briggs moves up one place this year with an estimated aerial platform fleet of 5,200, following a 2.46% increase over the course of the last year.
7. Equipment Depot
Climbing to seventh place on the A20, Equipment Depot has a fleet of 6,000 units – up 2.74% on last year. Supplying the construction and agricultural markets with both used and new equipment, the material handling company has over 40 locations across the US and employs more than 850 people.
6. Sunstate Equipment
With a fleet of 21,500 units, Sunstate is a non-mover at number six. Over the past year the company, which offers a range of construction equipment rental and sales services, has increased the size of its aerial fleet by 5.65% across its 72 US branches.
5. H&E Equipment Services
Following significant investment in 2017 and 2018, this year saw H&E Equipment Services slip one place to number five on the 2019 A20 ranking. With a 6.62% increase, the company now has 29,157 platforms in its fleet. Operating across the US, the past 12 months have seen the firm complete its acquisition of construction equipment rental business We Rent It and open a new facility in Oregon, US. It also relocated its San Diego, US, branch to a larger facility and appointed a new CEO.
4. Ahern Rentals
Up one place, Ahern makes it to number four with a MEWP fleet of 29,560 units. After investing heavily in its operations between 2017 and 2018, adding around 4,500 units in those years, 2019 has seen Ahern increase its fleet by 8.55% - significantly less than in previous years. The company, which has 89 branches across the US, is part of the Ahern family of companies. Earlier this year the group opened its eighth Ahern International business.
3. Herc Rentals
Herc Rentals marks a clear jump on the A20 top 10, with over 70,000 units between it and the top two access rental companies. The past year has seen Herc increase fleet by almost 2,000 units, or 7%, to an estimated 29,960 aerial platforms. The American company, which has around 270 locations and employs roughly 4,900 people, has reported notable growth following a pricing restructure earlier this year.
2. Sunbelt Rentals
With an estimated aerial platform fleet of 104,200 units, Sunbelt Rentals holds second place for another year. Over the past few years the company has made significant increases to the size of its fleet, adding almost 45,000 units since 2016 from strategic business moves. In 2018 Sunbelt acquired Nickell Rental and, earlier this year its parent company, the Ashtead Group, announced a further US$1 billioninvestment into growing the Sunbelt’s fleet.
With a massive 150,745 aerial platforms and almost 50,000 more units than Sunbelt, United Rentals continues to dominate – despite divesting over 7,000 machines, or 4.79%, in order to right-size its fleet. Founded in 1997, the company now has over 1100 branches around the world thanks in part to its acquisition of companies such as BlueLine Rental, WesternOne and Industrial Rental Services. It is now reported to have a 13% share of the North American market.
To view the complete list of the top 20 rental companies, download the October issue of ALH magazine here.