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Summertime may be busiest for maintenance

Posted on June 12, 2015

“Are you off in the summer?” When someone asks that question, you know they have never worked for a school district.  Between graduation and convocation is when construction, maintenance and custodial staff power through their list of projects that have been waiting in the wings. It is when the purchasing and business offices wind down from one year and gear up for the next. There is no need for frustration for these annual headaches: Resources are available.

Annual Maintenance 
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in the Houston area planned ahead several months and reserved a specialized Teupen lift, known for saving manpower and time. Carey Ramsey, CFISD facilities supervisor, will use it for several weeks this summer to replace lights above the seats in the high school auditoriums. The lift will navigate between aisles and self-level, so staff will only have to set it up in four places to reach the lights above the auditorium seats.

“It looks really neat,” said Ramsey. “We’ll remove just a few seats for the outriggers, but it will be a lot less work than building a lift, moving it and manhandling it down the steps.”

He hopes to get the lights replaced faster and more economically than the single-man lift, which takes three men to put together and move around.

“We haven’t used it yet, but are hoping it will work,” said Ramsey. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed!”

He is renting the lift from United Rentals, using their government-awarded Choice Partners purchasing cooperative contract.

“The time they really need us are odd or are emergencies,” said Brad Laws, senior manager, state and local sales, United Rentals Government Solutions. “That’s where United Rentals really fits.”

Gabriela Santana, government sales specialist, United Rentals, noted that people do take that seriously, as she has been called at 1 a.m. when a high school had no power. She was able to get a generator to the site in time for school to open later that morning.

“I told them they could call me any time and they believed it,” said Santana with a smile.

The Choice Partners contract also includes rental of unique equipment, purchase of equipment, and on-line capability to track rentals and rental history.

“There is value in rental, and that’s where we thrive,” said Laws. “That’s our specialty.” 

Purchase used equipment
Cory Conner, public works director from Sweet Grass County, Mont., believes the best value was not in renting, but in purchasing used equipment using the United Rentals cooperative purchasing contract with Choice Partners.  They purchased a used loader using the contract and “saved about $140,000,” according to Conner.

“It was a very positive experience,” said Connor. “United Rentals really bent over backwards to make sure we got what we wanted.”

“It saved us a lot of money,” said Conner. “[It] is a really nice, well kept up machine. One thing about getting equipment from United Rentals, you know it’s been taken care of,” Conner said. “It’s been working great!”United Rentals logo

“It was really nice to be able to work with United Rentals and Choice Partners; we were able to make everybody feel comfortable.”

Special Events
But it is not only in the summertime that specialized equipment is needed. The city of Grand Prairie in the Dallas / Fort Worth area rents boom and scissor lifts from United Rentals in the fall for their Prairie Lights Christmas Park, which showcases four million lights in two miles of large custom displays in Lynn Creek Park.  More than 190,000 visitors visit during

Prairie Lights Christmas Park in Grand Prairie

the 40-day event to experience Christmas lights, food, carnival rides, a laser show, Santa and Santa’s gift shop.

“The event is absolutely wonderful,” said Beverly Grogan, Grand Prairie’s community events coordinator. “United Rentals has been a very good partner through the years. They are good and reliable and if we have any problems they get right on it.”

With 880 locations in the U.S. and Canada, there are many United Rental locations to serve Choice Partners members nationwide.  

• general equipment;

• power and HVAC;

• pumps and fluid handling;

• trench safety and shoring;

• tools (air, power and hand); and

• supplies.

For more information, go to https://www.choicepartners.org/vendors/united-rentals-2 or call 877-874-4468.


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