Falcon rentals

24 April 2008

Two US rental companies have recently invested in Worldlift Industries’ Falcon machines - sold in the US by Reachmaster Inc - although the two are taking quite different approaches to the market.

ACME Lift in Phoenix, Arizona, specialises in re-rentals of unusual or very large machines, and has just acquired a 121 foot Falcon FS121 and a smaller Falcon FS95, both supplied by Reachmaster Inc. Woody Weld, ACME’s president, tells Access International that rental companies are wary of the specialist machines such as the Falcons; “It’s not wildly sophisticated, but it’s just different - there are issues with entry and exit from the site - these things require analysis. There are special requirements to every rental.”

He has no doubt there is a demand: “It’s almost absolutely certain that this machine is needed across the US, and customers don’t have access to the machine. There is definitely a business out there - what size is that business? This is what we are learning.” Rental companies re-renting from ACME will be able to get a 20%or 30% margin on a $20,000-22000/month rental charge with ACME for the Falcon 121, says Mr Weld.

The other renter investing in the Falcons is Cresco Equipment Rentals in Livermore, California. Chris Smith, Cresco’s president, tells AI that renting its Falcon FS95 isn’t like renting a 40 or 60 ft boom.“We won’t put the Reachmaster in the hands of someone without training them ourselves first”, he says. “It also needs a dedicated sales person - general sales staff can’t sell the Reachmaster - as well as a specially trained technician.”

You also have to create the market yourself, and a lot of the work has to be done at night or weekends; “That means you have to have people available for technical support. It’s just a little bit more challenging all the way round”, he says.

The Reachmaster is ideal for cleaning windows inside buildings and other such applications, so it doesn’t get the same robust treatment that conventional booms are subjected to on construction sites.“You can buy one and give it a fairly long life - we think 10 years is conservative,” he says. “They get broken, but it doesn’t wear itself out.” And the returns can be good; “To get 65-70% dollar utilisation is very reasonable,” says Mr Smith.

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