This first ALH 20/20 is a listing of the largest aerial work platform and telehandler rental fleets in North America. The figures are the latest information available for each company's listing.

The purpose of the survey is to create benchmark figures for the size of North America's largest fleets. We have been able to use some material from the worldwide Access-50 survey published by our sister magazine, Access international, but much of the data is new and will ovide a great resource for tracking trends and changes in the sector.

The aerial work platform listings include scissors, booms, trailer- and truck-mounted equipment, vertical mast personnel lifts, mast climbers and hoists. Telehandlers include both forward variable reach machines and rough terrain straight mast units, but not including industrial forklifts.

Aerial equipment, of course, accounted for more in equipment, given its range of all the AWPs included in this list. Collectively, the top 20 in this category have 240,760 aerials. The telehandler rosters have a total of 29,653 units.

Holding top prize is United Rentals, in both sectors, who more than double its second competitor. It is to their credit, as well as deep pockets, that it can boast as much as 73,555 aerial work platforms and as much a 10,455 telehandler fleet, with a combined number of units of 84,010. RSC Equipment Rental holds second in aerials, yet because its 3,000 units was only an estimate in handlers, it appears Ahern Rentals takes second place with its 3,130.

You may notice around the middle of the list, the independents come into picture. Simplex and Venetor, sizable Canadian rental yards, make this a true North American listing. Even Indiana's humble Dick Kagy, owner of Airworx, who laughed and said he wasn't big even to be on the list but gave his figures anyhow, made the bottom of the handler pile. The company's aerial list didn't make the Top 20, however his aerial fleet of 710 isn't a bad figure at all.

For next year's list, we will be in a position to gauge the growth of each of these players and perhaps introduce some new companies. Although it seems the top 5 may be a staple for a bit, it will be most interesting to watch the independents grow in their fleet sizes.

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