“We’re a whole lot more, than a rental store” is the slogan at Westchester Tool Rentals (WTR) and they back it up, being recognized as one of the top Rental Supply Houses in the New York Metro Region. The rental store is popular around the Elmsford, New York area and with great demand, the Puff family recently decided to open another branch in Peekskill and it has been a welcome addition to the town, starting with the open house and extending to
Family owned and operated since 1983, WTR is a one-stop shop. Kenny Puff established the company when he was only 18 years old and put in the time, while his parents, Anne and Erwin, invested the money. A few years later, Anne and Erwin both started working there full time. After starting with only family employees, WTR has grown to over 40 employees, which now includes Kenny’s son, Ben.
The stores provide a comprehensive tool and equipment rental and retail inventory, as well as party line tent rentals, road runner mobile kitchens, and New York Production Rentals, a division that caters to the movie industry. That division of WTR has provided tents and generators to some major movie production sets including, “Sleepless in Seattle,” “I Am Legend,” and “Men in Black,” among others. They have a large diversity of products, and while they are primarily rental, they also sell.
“The biggest thing that separates us from other rental stores is that we have a very extensive range of products, while others are either general tool or construction,” said Ben Puff, General Manager of WTR. “We also get pretty heavy into selling new equipment. A lot of rental houses in our area do not sell, but we do and that makes a big difference to our customers.”
WTR’s diversified portfolio allows them to serve everyone from a contractor to a homeowner, as well as small to large construction companies. They never turn away a customer, no matter if it is a $100 rental to a $5 billion dollar project. While they rent and sell anything from snow blowers to earth moving machines, WTR also stocks a broad range of Chicago Pneumatic (CP) products, including hand tools, rock drills, compressors, generators, light towers, breakers, and plate compactors. The Puff family has a great relationship with CP, that began with their customer service.
“CP has really expanded their offerings and we have been working with Dmitri Cremo (CP regional sales manager) forever – he has been right next to us, helping us grow,” Puff said. “CP is a great partner for us, and not only do they have a great product and one that we love, but the customer service they offer is far beyond what any other company offers.”
Good customer service from manufacturers is critical to a rental house like WTR, just as it is for WTR to provide to their customers. Customer service, as well as their sheer volume of products in their lineup, ultimately led them to buying another location. The new branch at Peekskill has already had great success in the short amount of time it has been open.
The thought behind their new location in Peekskill, which serves northern Westchester County, was to focus more on new equipment sales, parts, and service. The location offers a lot more property than their Elmsford location, allowing for more equipment. They opened this past summer, but decided to wait to host an open house until the fall. During their ribbon-cutting ceremony, visitors were treated with free hot dogs, hamburgers and snow cones, as well as a bounce house for kids and a raffle for $1,500 in rental credit. The city council also stopped by with Mayor Frank Catalina who took in the festivities and awarded plaques to the new WTR location.
“When we have done open houses in the past, it has been tough to gauge the type of response from our visitors and we may have had anywhere from 50 to 150 people show up, which is still pretty good,” Puff said. “The recent open house that we held at our Peekskill location had nearly 500 people pass through. For a small mom and pop business, it was an incredible turnout and a great day. Everyone really made us feel welcomed to the city.”
With the success that they’ve had at their Elmsford location and the positive impact they have made on that community, there is a good reason why WTR is a welcome addition to the residents in Peekskill and will be for years to come.