Ed Dwyer, president of C&T Rentals and Sales, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, spent about a year and a half planning for Sept. 21, 2012.
That Friday was the grand opening celebration of the company’s third location in Winnipeg, as well as the company’s 25th anniversary and the day after his birthday. In addition, Dwyer is the president of the Canadian Rental Association (CRA) and hosted the national board at the new facility’s grand opening as part the board’s three-day meeting in Winnipeg this year.
C&T rents and sells light and heavy construction equipment to contractors, industrial companies and homeowners and Dwyer says the expansion is designed to move his company into the aerial lift equipment rental business for the first time, exposing C&T to a new customer base.
“You can’t sit still. A rental company has to grow and aerial lift rentals are used all 12 months of the year. They are completely different customers who we haven’t rented to before, but they do glass and siding on buildings and do drywall. The only piece of equipment they rent is an aerial lift,” Dwyer says.
C&T’s two other locations are more seasonal, Dwyer says, with one serving homeowners and the other targeting road builders as customers. “Road builders do nothing in the winter, but go crazy in the summer. It’s the same with homeowners. You don’t rent lawn and garden equipment all year,” he says.
The new 10,000-sq.ft. facility is on 2.5 acres of land, giving C&T the room to house its larger equipment, including aerial equipment, skid-steers and more. “Now we can take all the big equipment into one store, so the mechanics at the new store will just work on big stuff,” he says.
Dwyer says he started the expansion process from scratch about two years ago, first finding a lot, taking care of zoning issues and hiring a builder. The construction phase lasted about nine months and the building reflects aspects of things he’s seen work well at rental stores he’s visited throughout the years.