Dan Kaplan upbeat on rental prospects

By Murray Pollok15 November 2010

US rental consultant Dan Kaplan.

US rental consultant Dan Kaplan.

Rental consultant Dan Kaplan gave an upbeat presentation on the North American rental market at last week's AEM conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Mr Kaplan said some of the biggest US renters would considerably increase their capital investments in 2011, forecasting spending of US$500 million at United Rentals, $400 million at RSC Equipment Rentals and $475 million at Hertz equipment Rental Co (HERC). That is considerably more than the three companies invested this year.

He said that aging fleets and increasing utilisation rates - the result of fleet reductions over the past two years and demand creeping back up - would trigger increases in spending.

Mr Kaplan presented a video interview with United Rentals CEO, Michael Kneeland - prepared for the AEM event - in which Mr Kneeland said that equipment owners who were having difficulty in raising funds to purchase machines would turn to rental. There will be "a paradigm shift from ownership to rental", he said.

According to Mr Kaplan, the North American rental market will be larger in 2014 than it was at the previous high point in 2008. He also repeated his long held view that some construction equipment manufacturers - and possibly Chinese manufacturers - may be tempted to buy large rental companies to find a channel to market.

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