Caterpillar in the US has announced it will provide strategic financing to Yard Club, a company that has developed an online platform allowing contractors to rent idle equipment to each other.

Yard Club, founded two years ago in San Francisco, has so far concentrated on construction contractors in its local area. But with Caterpillar’s investment the platform will now be launched in a number of metropolitan areas in conjunction with the company’s US and Canadian dealers. The platform will include Cat and non-Cat products.

The system will allow Cat dealer rental operations to share their fleets with customers and other Caterpillar dealers.

Phil Kelliher, Caterpillar’s vice president with responsibility for the Americas Distribution Services division, said: “Using this platform, a contractor can rent an excavator that’s in between jobs to another contractor who needs that machine.

“The Cat dealer will use this tool as another avenue to strengthen customer relationships by increasing utilisation rates and lower the total cost of ownership.”

Colin Evran, founder and CEO of Yard Club, added: “The sharing economy is changing the way entire industries operate.”

“Customers can access rental equipment with ease on the web and through mobile devices, while enabling fleet owners to earn income on idle equipment through peer-to-peer rentals.

“Caterpillar has certainly reinforced its commitment to helping its customers succeed with this relationship.”

Greg Folley, Caterpillar vice president with responsibility for the Analytics & Innovation division, said: “With all of the advances in peer-to-peer technology going on around us, we asked ourselves, why shouldn't our customers have the ability to share assets to increase efficiency and lower the cost of ownership? Our agreement with Yard Club will help make this a reality.”

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