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From the ’50s to the 2020s, Rental One Grows with Ledwell Equipment

Rental One is a Texas-sized success story. From its origins as a single store called A1 Rental in the mid-’50s, the company was sold to a national brand in 1998 and then reopened as Rental One in 2004 under third-generation family leadership.

“The core of our business is commercial and industrial contractors,” said Mark Lemons, Executive Vice President of Rental One.

Today, Rental One has 17 locations in North and Central Texas, with a service area stretching from the Red River to south of San Antonio. The company’s decades of renting equipment give them solid expertise that its customers can rely on.

“The knowledge level and industry experience we have at Rental One is unmatched, that I know of, anywhere,” Lemons said. “The years and years and years of experience—that’s what makes Rental One special.”

The original founder of A1 Rental, Ray O’Neal, knew Ledwell founder Buddy Ledwell, and the two started doing business in the late ’50s. 

“When we started back up as Rental One in 2004, it was just natural for us to buy Ledwell equipment,” Lemons said. “There was already a relationship and a partnership we had built with Ledwell.”

Getting equipment to customers on time requires dependable transportation. That’s where Ledwell comes in.

“We purchase delivery trailers, delivery rollbacks, stake bed delivery trucks, and we’ve purchased some Lube Buddies and water trucks,” Lemons said. “We rent out the water trucks, but everything else is used for our own internal delivery fleet.”

Lemons said Ledwell’s stock of chassis and upfitting capabilities helped streamline Rental One’s truck purchasing process.

One of the challenges in the past was that you had to buy chassis from a dealership, and then you'd have to arrange transportation to take it to the body up fitter," he said. "That created issues with weight ratings and warranty issues. With Ledwell, we can just purchase a truck and have it upfitted, which basically saves you from dealing with the issues and headaches of dealing with two different entities and risking mistakes with vehicle rating, warranty issues, and those types of things.

Mark LemonsExecutive Vice President, Rental One

Lemons said working with Ledwell has been an all-around good experience.

“I would rank Ledwell very highly,” he said. “One of the nice things about Ledwell is that they listen to us, they understand our operation, they understand what our use is for a given trailer or truck, and they’re flexible and tailor things based on our individual needs. They understand the product and what they’ve built for us. And if we have issues, they’re quick to respond and rectify those issues. They’re top-notch.”

He said Rental One values its relationships with vendors.

“Sometimes it’s not all about price; it’s just about having a great relationship,” he said. “We truly look at our vendors as partners in our business. Ledwell is in the top tier of folks we deal with as far as relationship, fairness, willingness to look at a situation and help us out when needed. We want our vendors to view us as a company that has integrity, that is willing to work with them and look at the big picture, not just chasing the cheapest deal.”

Lemons said Rental One has a reputation of not changing vendors a lot.

“We really value that relationship,” he said. “We look for the top vendors, and when we build that relationship, we don’t move around. We’re proud to have a relationship with Ledwell that started in the 50s.”