For a family-owned company specializing in rental equipment for both the residential and nonresidential industries to not only stay in business, but to thrive is a rarity. It means taking the good lumps with the bad, having and keeping core values, staying on top of the equipment, and surrounding yourself with smart people to help lead the business. Tates Rents, a 3rd-generation family owned rental company, is not only successful; they have become the largest rental company in Idaho.
Tates Rents, which has just over 100 total employees, is Idaho’s premier provider of rentals, sales and services and distributes throughout Idaho. About to embark on their 70th year in business, the rental company originally started in 1946 under the name Safway Scaffolding Co. in Boise, Idaho. After being renamed Tates Rents, they gradually expanded throughout the years, adding locations in the Treasure Valley area. They now have nine rental stores and an event location throughout five cities. They have locations in Boise, Eagle, Nampa, Caldwell, and their newest store in Meridian that opened in 2013.
Their business is nearly split down the middle at 50/50 between homeowners and construction. While their most common customer is a homeowner, contractors rent bigger equipment, so the bottom line drops nearly even between the two. Tates Rents has a wide array of equipment to rent and buy, including generators, air compressors, and compaction equipment. Recently they made the decision to go with Chicago Pneumatic plate compactors. The decision to go with the Chicago Pneumatic brand really came down to the affordability when compared to other competitive products that Tates Rents looked at. The plate compactors have proven to be successful on the Idaho rental market and have been a big hit among customers of the rental store.
“As far as compaction ratio, workability, and ease of operations go, the CP plate compactors do a fantastic job and are very affordable compared to competitive brands,” said Joe Plehal, Sales Manager and Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Tates Rents. “I am very impressed with the plate compactors. I have a hard time embracing change, but the transport wheel kit on the plate compactor turned out to be a really beautiful thing for us. It saved us money from buying related items and is easy for our customers to transport as well. They are definitely growing in popularity among our customers.”
Used for compacting dirt, gravel and soil in a variety of applications, including bike paths, parking lots, landscaping and repairs, the CP plate compactors are known for strength and durability. Features include a great blend of power and speed. Designed for the high demands of every day use, a durable frame and cover protect vital engine parts, it has lifelong lubrication and easy maintenance, and a range of sizes are available to meet a variety of needs. Ultimately, the plate compactor allows the operator to achieve the right compaction level. While Tates Rents has enjoyed those features, they felt the plate compactors gave them more bang for their buck, and the transport wheel kit was an added bonus that gave them an even more viable option out on the jobsite.
The transport wheel kit has been getting a lot of attention at Tates Rents. Many contractors have projects where they would either have to cart the plate compactor in or put it in a skid steer bucket to move it across a construction site to the location that they need it. Instead, the wheel kit allows them to drag it where they need to with little to no friction. It also keeps from interrupting a skid steer operator that was moving dirt around just to go move the compactor to its site location.
With the rental industry on the rise, Tates Rents has enjoyed the surge in business over the last few years, but it hasn’t come without a lot of hard work. Plehal will be joined by 13 of his associates for the upcoming ARA Rental Show in New Orleans and the company is very optimistic about the future forecast.
“The rental industry is going good, strong, and at a healthy pace currently, and as a business, we’ve seen significant increase in the last two to three years,” Plehal said. “Nothing is growing beyond what is sustainable. As far as construction work goes, our customers are very optimistic and are landing new projects. We have seen a monumental percentage of increase in our rentals and sales over the past few years and it is still steadily inclining.”
What started as a mom and pop shop has turned into a conglomerate over the years. But, the core values remain the same throughout all 10 locations as it did when they opened their doors back in 1946. Customers always come first, which is why they have the largest equipment and event rental inventory in the state.
“Taking care of our customers and equipment is very important to us,” Plehal said. “We work hard to provide the best equipment and legendary customer service.”
There’s no question why Tates Rents is the premier provider of rentals in Idaho. When you’re loyal to customers, things tend to work out the way they were meant to.