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Renting is on the Rise

February 10, 2012

Renting, a cost-effective and increasingly popular option for landscape companies with short-term needs for equipment, is getting easier thanks to a partnership between a relatively new company and Home Depot.

Compact Power Equipment Centers, LLC, founded in 2008, now has equipment rental centers in 280 select Home Depot Tool Rental locations, and expects that number to grow to more than 400 by the end of the first quarter 2012. 

If you're not going to use a piece of equipment more than 50 percent of the time it's usually more cost-effective to lease or rent it rather than buying it. 

"Home Depot is an awesome partner," says Andy Lewis, marketing director of Compact Power. "It builds big stores in areas that are growing and developing and that's where landscapers are working. That's where we put our equipment." The partnership with Home Depot Rentals allows Compact Power to offer rentals on everything from compact utility loaders to mini-excavators to chippers, shredders and skid steers.

Lewis says that rentals are about evenly split between DIY consumers and landscape professionals, although some of the towable equipment is obviously targeted for professional use. "A Terex PT50 skid steer loader is not something an inexperienced operator should be renting to put a pool in their backyard," says Lewis.

To that point, Lewis says that Compact Power is providing safety training to rental personnel at each of the locations where it has equipment.

"We train the associates on how to use the machines, how to check them in and how to check them out, always with an eye towards safety. It starts in the parking lot, ensuring that the equipment is hooked up safely, the brake lights are working and the machine is racheted down correctly. It doesn't stop until the machine is returned," says Lewis.

To date trenchers, chippers/shredders, mini-skid steers, mini-excavators and smaller skid steers have been the most popular rentals at the centers. The range of equipment continues to grow. In March 2011, Compact Power began offering Terex PT30 and PT50 loaders, TSR50 skid steers and TC16 mini excavators, and in May partnered with Kubota Tractor to provide its K008 excavator and BX25 tractor/loader-backhoe to 100 Home Depot locations.

Renting, which is growing because landscape professionals are seeking to keep their overhead low and are taking on a wider range of services to remain competitive, is an increasing popular option for many landscape pros, says Lewis.

"Until their project pipelines become full and reliable again, that will continue," he opines.

A note of interest: The president of Compact Power is Roger Braswell, longtime green industry entrepreneur, who, more than 30 years ago founded Fort Mill, S.C.-based Southern Tree and Landscape that became one the Carolina's largest landscape companies. In the mid-1990s, Southern Tree and Landscape became a founding partner of publicly traded LandCare USA, a rollup of some of the top regional landscape companies in the United States. In 1999, ServiceMaster acquired Landcare USA. From then until now, Braswell has remained actively involved in the equipment side of the green industry.

To learn more about Compact Power Equipment Centers, LLC, visit Compact Power at


Special thanks to:

Ron Hall - Turf Magazine 2.2012

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