Holding special events, putting up or taking down four million decorative lights, or replacing lights using a specialized lift that self-levels on uneven surfaces are jobs that are made easier using the Choice Partners United Rentals contract. Unusual occurrences or emergencies are times people naturally think about renting equipment.
“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.
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in the Houston area learned from Santana that United Rentals is one of the few places that carries a specialized Teupen lift, known for saving manpower and time. Carey Ramsey, CFISD facilities supervisor, planned ahead and will have it for two to three weeks in July. He plans to use the lift to replace lights above the seats in the high school auditoriums. It will fit up aisles and self-level, so it only has to be set up in four locations 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 anticipates that they can get the work done much 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!”
The city of Grand Prairie in the DFW area rents boom and scissor lifts from United Rentals for their Prairie Lights Christmas Park, which showcases four million lights in two miles of large custom displays in Lynn Creek Park. With 190,000 visitors enjoying 40 days of lights, fabulous food, carnival rides, a laser show, Santa and Santa’s gift shop, “the event is absolutely wonderful,” according to Beverly Grogan, Grand Prairie’s community events coordinator.
“United Rentals has been a very good partner through the years,” said Grogan. “They are good and reliable and if we have any problems they get right on it.”
She was grateful that there were no problems -- when you have a whole team of people setting up, a boom that doesn’t work can delay a lot of production time!
“This year was so smooth,” Grogan said.
“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., might argue the point, as they purchased a used loader using the contract and saved a bundle.
“It was a very positive experience,” said Connor. “United Rentals really bent over backwards to make sure we got what we wanted.”
Finding what they needed and being able to use a government contract for it was a winning deal for the county; Conner said it saved them about $140,000.
“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!”
“It was really nice to be able to work with United Rentals and Choice Partners; we were able to make everybody feel comfortable.”
With 880 locations in the U.S. and Canada, there are many locations to serve Choice Partners members nationwide.