United Rentals buys Coble Trench Safety

By Murray Pollok16 February 2012

United Rentals has acquired Coble Trench Safety, an 11-location rental company that rents trenching and shoring equipment and a range of safety products in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast region.

The sale follows the death of the company's founder, Tom Coble, on 20 January this year when a plane he was piloting crashed after take-off at Rainbow City, Alabama.

Paul McDonnell, United Rentals' senior vice president - operation, trench, power & HVAC, said; "We were looking forward to working with Tom Coble, and were deeply saddened by his sudden and tragic passing.

"He was instrumental in developing innovative new technologies and customer safety training programs in support of the underground construction Industry. Tom was a pioneer in the industry and we intend to build on his legacy."

Mr Coble was 58 years old and had more than 42 years of flying experience, including a period as executive pilot for the late Rev Jerry Falwell, the evangelical pastor. He founded Coble Trench Safety in 2002 and before that established and grew Coble Cranes & Equipment/Coble Rents, a Greensboro, North Carolina firm that he sold in 1999.

With the acquisition, United Rentals' trench presence grows to 93 locations in 28 states and Canada.

United Rentals is meanwhile expecting its acquisition of RSC Equipment Rental to close in the first half of this year.

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