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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.”

Booth Machinery: Supporting Agricultural Customers During Challenging Times

Booth Machinery delivery

Most businesses experience slow spells from time to time. Booth Machinery, which focuses on sales and rentals to agricultural customers in Arizona and California, is an exception to that rule.

“Our customers farm vegetables, orchards, vineyards—they farm year-round,” said Bobby Creason, President and CEO of Booth Machinery. “We put a high amount of hours on the equipment we provide these folks. It’s always moving. It’s very important that they have their tractors, water trucks, or whatever they need at their fingertips at all times.”

Booth Machinery started as a single location in Yuma, Arizona, more than 30 years ago. It originally opened in the 1940s under the name Caldwell Equipment, and it has served customers in California and Arizona for nearly eight decades. Over the past seven years, Booth Machinery has expanded into seven different counties in California through acquisition.

“Our agricultural customers are running every day of the year,” Bobby said. “This isn’t your typical row crop farm, where they farm part of the year. It’s going all the time.”

He said the COVID-19 pandemic created new and unexpected challenges for his customers. 

“Just imagine that you sold lettuce and your main customers are schools and or restaurants,” Bobby said. “One day, you wake up, and those businesses are closed. What do you do? You can’t just change your packaging overnight. That really presented a bit of a challenge for our customers. Some were able to adjust and come out on top.”

One thing is for sure, according to Bobby: the Booth Machinery team stepped up.

“I’m extremely proud of our team for staying in the workplace as essential workers,” he said. “It goes without saying how important ag is to the entire world. It’s not something that could have just stopped. I’m extremely proud of our team and the steps we took to stay open following CDC’s guidance for social distancing and masking.”

When it comes to agriculture, having dependable equipment, such as water trucks, is crucial.

“One particular challenge our California customers have is drought,” Bobby said. “They have to transfer water, and they also need to be able to get the ground wet to transplant products such as tomatoes. Dust control is also big out here. There are so many things water trucks are used for.”

Bobby said he has been buying Ledwell Water Trucks for 15 years, starting at his previous jobs in Hawaii and Colorado.

“These sales didn’t go through some big fleet manager,” he said. “It has been me personally dealing with Lesley and Steve [Ledwell]. The challenges we face with lead time, quality, and post-sale support—Lesley and Steve have always taken care of me.” 

That’s why Ledwell has an excellent reputation in the West, according to Ledwell Regional Manager Mike Brackins. Mike has represented Ledwell in the West for the past two years.

“I remember the first time I visited with Steve,” Mike said. “I’d been on board for a month. There was a minor issue, and he was ready to move heaven and earth to get it fixed. Our service, compared to our competitors, is unparalleled. Ledwell will make it right.”

Booth Machinery both rents and sells Ledwell Water Trucks. Bobby said Ledwell’s tough build and swift support have made a good impression on his customers.

“When we need something, we get it, and we get it fast,” he said. “We feel like we’ve got a lot of up-front support, as well as the parts and service side post-purchase. For some of our parts and service, we’re dependent on the dealers that handle the chassis, but I’ve always appreciated Ledwell’s ability to nudge those folks at times to help get us moving.”

He said there are less expensive water trucks and manufacturers that are closer to the market where they’re needed, but they don’t provide the value and support that Ledwell does.

“A cheap deal to me is only good until you need help, or you need availability, or you need trucks that are built and ready to go,” Bobby said. “Ledwell brings us so much value. We get the right advice up front. We get market intel. We talk about the different options we need on the truck. We get support afterwards, and communication throughout.”

He said the relationship, quality, and immediate support if you do have a problem presents a good value for Booth Machinery.

“The only problem I ever had was not listening to Ledwell and letting me buy the wrong trucks years ago,” Bobby said. “A topic that still comes up from time to time with people who had to work through those challenges.”

A cheap deal to me is only good until you need help, or you need availability, or you need trucks that are built and ready to go. Ledwell brings us so much value. We get the right advice up front. We get market intel. We talk about the different options we need on the truck. We get support afterwards, and communication throughout.

Bobby CreasonPresident & CEO, Booth Machinery

Maximum Versatility: The Ledwell MaxTilt Trailer

The patent-pending Ledwell MaxTilt Trailer is the powerful, versatile trailer you need in 2021.

When a rental client told us they needed a trailer that could more efficiently haul containers, we re-engineered our patent-pending HydraTilt Truck to take it to the next level. The result? One of our most powerful, versatile hauling solutions with the added benefit of little to no breakover.

Highest Tilting Main Deck

Whatever angle you need, the Ledwell MaxTilt Trailer can handle it. This trailer goes higher than ever before with a main deck that tilts up to 32 degrees. But if you don’t need that much height, don’t worry —this trailer can stop at any angle along the way.

Unmatched in Hauling

The Ledwell MaxTilt Trailer is a powerful solution for transporting containers, trucks, and other large equipment. It’s perfect for anyone who plans to use their trailer to carry a wide range of loads, such as rental and construction companies.

Unified Hinge

We introduced our patent-pending unified hinge with the Ledwell HydraTilt Truck, and it makes an appearance in the MaxTilt Trailer, too. This single unified hinge enables you to load and unload low clearance equipment thanks to little or no breakover.

And as always, we can customize your Ledwell MaxTilt Trailer to meet your specific needs.

“Our new MaxTilt Trailer is ideal for unloading containers or dead equipment. It extends up high enough to allow containers or equipment to slide off easily. Everyone needs a MaxTilt Trailer in their fleet.” –Jill Launius, Sales Coordinator

Top 5 Qualities to Look for in a Water Truck

4000 Gallon Water Truck by Ledwell

Thinking about buying a water truck?

Shifting from renting to buying is a significant investment, and the vast options available on water trucks can be daunting. Whether you need a customized water truck or a stock water truck, you must consider several important qualities before you buy.

1. Tough keel

Opting for a quad-bent design in the tank’s foundation ensures you’ll have a heavy-duty, stout truck. Also look for scalloped, interior-welded seams. This makes it harder for the seams to crack, making the tank last a very long time—possibly longer than the chassis it sits on. Internal piping should be welded before the tank is installed, and your manufacturer should test it to 120 psi before it leaves the plant.

2000 Gallon Water Trucks For Sale

2. Heavy-duty liner

The thicker the liner, the better. Our standard is a 30-millimeter finished thickness, which is the thickest in the industry. A good liner protects the tank’s interior from corroding, so the thicker the liner, the longer your tank will live. Look for a tank that’s blasted inside and out for a smooth finish. And pay attention to the type of liner you’re getting. If you’ll be carrying drinking water, your tank needs to have a potable compliant liner.

3. Strong pump and valves

A water truck’s pump is like the heart of the truck—it keeps everything moving. Selecting a water tank with an American-made two-bearing system with at least a 1.25″ input shaft and 3″ diameter driveline will help to keep water flowing. Incorporating in-cab air-operated controls is the best choice to work in tandem with the pump for maximum spraying.

Ledwell Water Tank Trucks For Sale
4000 Gallon Water Truck by Ledwell

4. Sturdy, well-protected hose reel

Keeping your water truck’s hose protected is key to making it last longer. A good water truck will have a rear internal hose reel mounted inside a frame that protects it from the elements. Mounting the hose reel inside of a frame also reinforces the reel to be sturdier. When it comes to your reel, extra storage is always a plus. Look for a water truck that has a storage box for side nozzles, suction hoses, and other accessories right where you need them.

5. Dependable service

Ask about the water truck’s warranty, and ask about service after the warranty runs out. Will you be able to get parts quickly? Will the company be able to repair your equipment at a reasonable cost? Will the service team continue to help you troubleshoot issues with your equipment for the duration of your ownership? These are essential factors to consider when you’re talking with references and peers in the industry.

We hope these top five qualities will help you when looking to purchase your next water truck. If you would like more information on a Ledwell Water Truck reach out to us here.

Change in Season: Time For Preventative Maintenance

Ledwell 6 Yard Dump Truck

Season change means different behaviors for your trusted equipment. But you can make sure that this doesn’t affect your work on the job. There are a variety of actions you can take that your equipment needs in order to stay efficient and running, and one of them is preventative maintenance. Not all equipment is as easy as your typical ramp – having to grease the landing gear only once a year. But maintenance is imperative for longevity.

We believe wholeheartedly that maintenance schedules will allow your equipment a long, happy life, no matter the piece.

In fact, we’ve devised several Preventative Maintenance sheets for your benefit. These outline the ways in which you can prepare your equipment for various conditions, and what you must do in order to get the most out of your money. Preventative Maintenance checklists are available for the following equipment:

You can also tune into our social media, on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or YouTube. We know it’s tough trying to remember when your equipment needs routine maintenance when you have a million other things happening on the job. That’s why we do our best to provide you easy access, like adding preventative maintenance questions and answers to those above mentioned social media outlets.

If these just aren’t enough for you, and you’re looking for something a little more specific, you can always check out our FAQ page on our website or give us a call. One way or another, Ledwell is determined to gain your satisfaction through equipment performance.

Get Low With the Ledwell HydraTilt Truck

Ledwell custom hydraulic trail truck - HydraTilt Truck

What do you get when you take a HydraTail Truck and add a unified hinge and tilting deck? You get Ledwell’s groundbreaking new patent- pending HydraTilt Truck, which the company debuted this past winter.

We saw an opportunity to create a more versatile truck that takes up less space on the street, accommodates low ground clearance equipment, has a shorter bed height, and has a deck that tilts high enough to unload containers.

Ledwell custom hydraulic trail truck - HydraTilt Truck“We’ve had a lot of success in the rental industry with our HydraTail truck, but even those customers were having trouble with getting some of their lower ground clearance equipment over the tail and hinge easily,” said engineer Gary Gathright.

Gary said the truck’s innovative design centers around what the Ledwell team calls a unified hinge.

“When you hinge the deck and tail off of the same piece, when they’re parallel with each other, there’s no step-down like you’d get with two hinges,” he said. “It’s an easier loading situation, and you can more easily slide things off, like a container or non-powered equipment.”

Gary said the HydraTilt Truck can be positioned to result in a loading configuration similar to the rollback, but it’s 5 3/4 inches lower in transport mode.

“That makes it easier on the drivers loading the equipment and creates a lower center of gravity, so you have a more stable platform when you’re driving,” he said. “And you can haul larger equipment.”

The HydraTilt Truck’s smaller loading and unloading space makes it an asset in urban areas.

“When you’re on a crowded downtown street, you want to take up as little room as possible as you load and unload,” Gary said. “It makes for a safer environment for the driver unloading the equipment, and it’s safer for the public in general because you’re not taking up multiple driveways or blocking the street.” 

Gary said the Ledwell team ultimately designed the HydraTilt Truck to make customers’ lives easier.

“This is simply an extension of what we have done for nearly 75 years, which is to take feedback from our customers and create the equipment they need,” he said.

Learn more about the Ledwell HydraTilt Truck

Winning at Innovation: Ledwell Solar Lift Loading Ramp

Ledwell Solar Loading Ramp

Ledwell Solar Loading RampIf you are looking for the next innovative piece of equipment – look to Ledwell! Our Solar Lift Loading Ramp is the 2020 Innovative Product Award, Miscellaneous Category winner – presented by RER Magazine.

During a typical workday, the goal is usually to get the most done, in the shortest amount of time and in the most organized way possible. Efficiency is key. The revolutionary Ledwell Solar Loading Ramp is built for just that. If you’ve ever wished you could cut out the lengthy process of lifting your ramp via hand-crank then this is the perfect addition to your arsenal. We’ve managed to give your ramp the capability to harness the power of the sun, so you don’t have to work so hard. Simply connect our Solar Panel to your ramp’s battery system, charge it, and then flip a switch and allow your Solar Lift to do the rest. It’s the easiest way to find the perfect angle for the job at hand.

Maybe you already have a perfectly good Ledwell Loading Ramp, All-Weather or Standard, and wished you had the opportunity to upfit your ramp. Well, you do! We can upfit any current Ledwell Loading Ramp with a Solar Lift Kit and voila, you have your very own Solar Lift Ramp!

The Ledwell staff had heard from many customers that drivers frequently had difficulty lining up the height of the trailer when they backed up their vehicle to a loading dock. “They need to move it up or down to match the trailer height because you don’t want to jump some mower off the ramp,” says Steve Ledwell. “Some drivers either don’t wish to run them up and down because it’s a little work, or some literally can’t physically do it anymore for whatever reason. So, we came up with this plan to put a solar panel and put a switch on it. You pull a switch and it goes up or you pull a switch and it goes down. And now we have a ramp that can go up and down easily, so drivers more easily get it correct. It’s safer and easier for the drivers, it’s safer on the load and this way drivers don’t mind spending a few extra seconds to match up the height because it’s not hard.”

Ledwell emphasizes the safety benefits of the solar ramp. “The drivers are taking a chance not matching up right,” he says. “The driver will take a machine and try to drive it on a ramp that’s either six inches too low for the trailer or six inches too high because they didn’t want to crank it anymore. So, this is a much safer and easier solution.”

We are beyond proud of the team that made this new ramp operation a success. To read the entire article go to rermag.com.

Learn more about upgrading your Ledwell ramp with a solar lift kit.

Lube Buddy Provides Service On the Go

Ledwell Service Skid - Manufactured in America

Ledwell Lube Skid with CompressorWhen you’re on the go, working a time-sensitive job, or just looking for convenience, you need access to service equipment fast. Ledwell has your quick solution to perform in-the-field equipment PM service and maintenance.

Ledwell Lube Buddy JrOur Lube Buddies provide an easy and efficient way for you to keep your equipment serviced and ready to go. This equipment can be utilized as a mobile unit or serve as a stationary portable maintenance center at the job site!

Our Lube Buddy, Jr. is suited for light-duty vehicles. Its smaller stature makes it lighter, and easy to move from location to location. Convenient to place. Allows for easy access to air, fresh fluids, and properly dispose of waste. This piece of equipment comes with spill and overflow pans to minimize mess, and non-corrosive pipe fittings to ensure longevity.

If you’re searching for something a little more heavy-duty, we’ve got you covered.

This Lube Buddy option can turn any of your medium-duty hauling vehicles into a skid-mounted, self-contained fuel and lube service center! Much like the Lube Buddy, Junior, the Lube Buddy Max is designed in such a way to prevent excessive spillover and ensure a long lifespan.

Easily move these units with a forklift. Place on a level surface to avoid any spills and to ensure proper operation. Be sure to always read the accompanying operators’ manuals in regard to all pieces of equipment you own.

To learn more about the Lube Buddy, Jr. or Lube Buddy Max and other service equipment, visit our Service Truck page. Ledwell service skid - Lube Buddy Max

Achieve Peak Performance

When your equipment gets a little run down, it’s not at its peak performance. How do you feel without a little rejuvenation every now and then? Tired?
Sluggish? Well, your equipment works a lot like you do. What happens to our joints as we age? Do we move most efficiently our entire lives? No, but the wonderful thing about machinery is that it can.

A proper maintenance schedule, including greasing, can keep your equipment’s movements swift and its folds or other points of operation smooth. We have schedules for each piece of our equipment readily accessible to you! Just visit the Resources section of our website. You’ll find everything you need to know about taking care of your machinery and making sure it’s in tip top shape.

Outlook for Rental in 2020

The rental industry exploded in 2019 and according to Rental Management Magazine 2020 is looking to the positive side too.

The equipment and event rental industry in North America is expected to finish the year with total revenue up 5.35 percent to $61.56 billion, the first time combined rental revenue for Canada and the United States has surpassed $60 billion, according to the latest forecast released by the American Rental Association (ARA).

The latest updated figures, released Nov. 7, show rental revenue in the U.S. forecasted to be $56.02 billion in 2019, with Canada generating $5.54 billion in revenue from rentals of construction and industrial, general tool, and party and event equipment.

The five-year forecast calls for continued growth with U.S. rental revenue in 2023 reaching $64.1 billion and Canada at $6.35 billion.

Although the outlook calls for slightly slower growth rates than the previous quarterly forecast in August, the industry continues to outpace the general economy in the U.S. where gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed from a 3.1 percent annual growth rate in the first quarter to 2.0 percent in the second quarter. The third-quarter GDP growth estimate is 1.9 percent.

According to the full report in December’s issue, Steve Mau reports, “As we look toward 2020, it is safe to say we are cautiously optimistic.” We are excited to start another amazing year and can’t wait to help the rental industry grow!

Be sure to read his entire report on the construction outlook, as well as, corresponding reports on general tool and event outlooks.