The world's rental companies and equipment suppliers remain generally confident about prospects for the rental market in 2008, although there are signs of caution from the US.

The latest IRN Confidence Survey – published in this issue and based on responses from almost 300 rental companies and suppliers worldwide – reveals a still extremely high level of optimism in the market. The IRN Confidence Index hit an all-time high of 72,9 (on a scale from 0 to 100), and key rental indicators such as investment levels and network expansion are still overwhelmingly positive. For example,

• 58% of renters will invest more in their fleets in 2008 (from an already high level);

• 82% will expand as well as replace their fleets, and 60% plan to add depots;

• Manufacturers remain overwhelmingly optimistic about 2008, with 86% expecting increases in sales to rental companies.

If the results from Europe and much of the rest of the world are buoyant, there are signs of caution creeping in from North America. For example, just 36% of North American companies expect more than 10% revenue growth next year, the lowest of any country or region, and North American rental companies are second least likely to add depots, with 48% expecting to expand their networks. This compares to highs of over 75% for places like Iceland, the Baltic States, Germany and Eastern Europe.

The number of respondents who are anticipating a fall in their revenues next year remains very low. Spanish and Portuguese renters are most pessimistic, with almost 7% forecast a fall next year, closely followed by the UK and Ireland at 5%, Italy at 4% and North America with 3%.

Dynapac's new PL 350 T cold planer includes an integrated removable ballast weight that results in a shorter length and improved operator vision at the front end of the planer. The three-wheel planer, powered by a 45 kW (60 hp) Cummins B3.3 engine, has been specifically developed for partial repairs of asphalt and concrete pavements and removing surfaces in buildings. Dynapac said its reduced length made it ideal for work in confined areas and small job sites requiring a small turning diameter. Maximum cutting width is 350 mm at a maximum cutting 100 mm.

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