Herc Rentals CEO to talk about the keys to equipment rental growth at ALH Conference

By Jenny LescohierAugust 20, 2021

Larry Silber, president, CEO and director at Herc Rentals Inc.

Larry Silber, head of Herc Rentals Inc., will talk about “Technology, trust and talent – keys to equipment rental growth,” in his keynote address at the ALH Conference in Chicago on Sept. 14.

The sixth ALH Conference features a strong program that will cover essential information on market trends, safety practices, rental management and product developments.

Organized by Access, Lift & Handlers and its publisher, KHL Group, the one-day event will include a host of guest speakers and provide an opportunity for the industry to reconnect, make new contacts and discover best business practices.

Silber, who serves as president, chief executive officer and director of Herc Rentals, will explore challenges facing the rental industry, including:

  • Adopting technology tools that make it easy and efficient for customers to rent, monitor and manage their fleet
  • Continuously earning trust by meeting service commitments and operating responsibly
  • Attracting and retaining skilled talent to ensure continued operational readiness.

Silber will offer insights in each of these areas and what the industry must do to stay on its long-term growth path.

“All signs point to the continuing growth of the equipment rental industry over the next several years,” said Silber, who joined Herc in 2015 after 30 years at Ingersoll Rand. “But there are three ongoing challenges the industry must rise to in order to maintain its growth trajectory, which relate to technology, trust and talent.”

Also speaking at the conference will be Charlie Dougherty, vice president and economist with Wells Fargo Securities, who will present an economic outlook geared toward the access and rental industries.

Dougherty covers the commercial real estate, housing and construction sectors of the U.S. regional and macro economy. He regularly writes indicator reports, produces special commentary and contributes to the company’s Weekly Economic & Financial Commentary.

His expertise on the regional and U.S. economy has been featured in various local and national media publications, including Bloomberg News and The Washington Post. Before joining Wells Fargo in 2017, Dougherty worked as a regional economist and consultant for IHS Markit and more recently for CertainTeed, one of the largest building product manufacturers in North America.

Attendees will walk away from Dougherty’s presentation with a greater understanding of how the economy is expected to perform as the U.S. and other parts of the world continue to battle the Covid pandemic. The presentation will also explore how long-lasting pandemic-induced headwinds such as supply chain bottlenecks, building material pricing and labor shortages will be for the construction industry.

An in-depth discussion on prospects for growth in all of the major sub-sectors that comprise the industry will also be on the agenda, with a special focus on the access equipment, aerial platform and telehandler industries.

Alise Moncure, CEO of Integrated Rental Systems, will discuss how leveraging dynamic rental rates can drive profitability in her presentation, “Dynamic rates in heavy equipment rental: Stories from the trenches.”

“Dynamic rates, airline pricing, hotel rates… everyone is talking about new ways to set rental rates but what is actually transpiring at the branches?” Moncure asks. “This presentation will focus on the digital and operational aspects of dynamic rates including the actual of what is being used in rental now, what value is it bringing and where could rental be moving toward in the future, borrowing learnings from other industries.”

Specific Questions Moncure’s session aims to answer for attendees include: What rate structures and approaches are being used? What are the benefits of leveraging dynamic rates in rental? Where is the industry heading? What can we learn from other industry verticals who have gone before us? What are the driving factors in the move towards new rate models?

Kevin O’Shea, director of safety and training – Hydro Mobile, will provide key insights into equipment inspection and why they’re of utmost importance. “A comprehensive maintenance program, carried out by trained and qualified personnel will keep equipment in prime condition, fully operational and earning money,” O’Shea says. “It will contribute in a major way to managing the equipment owners’ liability, exponentially increase safety performance and provide an opportunity to spread equipment ownership costs evenly.

“Equipment maintenance is the most cost-effective insurance you can buy. This session will look at the elements of comprehensive maintenance, their contribution to risk management and how they can significantly contribute to the bottom line.”

With cold and flu season upon us, attendees will hear key legal points for protecting workers during the ever-changing landscape of Covid-19 when Iris Halpern, attorney/partner of Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC, takes the stage.

“Based on lessons learned from Covid-19, attendees will learn strategies for operating healthier and safer workplaces not just during the pandemic, but in the future, including broader operational and cultural changes that can be implemented to help mitigate risk of illness and accidents more generally,” Halpern says.

Another big change in the wake of the pandemic is how we learn and train. Tony Groat, North American manager of the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), will dive into the world of e-learning.

“While few good things can be said about Covid-19, the ability to work and train remotely is one,” Groat says. “Remote training can be effective, more convenient and lower cost and investment of time.”

Groat will share IPAF’s experiences – and results – in his presentation “Best practices for e-learning and lessons learned from the past year.”

In the realm of future technologies, Matthew Elvin, CEO of Snorkel and Xtreme Manufacturing, will discuss the electrification of telehandlers and high-reach equipment (with a focus on lithium power.)

“Electrification as an alternative to internal combustion engines is becoming a prevalent theme in the automotive sector and at the initial stages in construction machinery globally,” Elvin notes. “I will explore the drivers behind this shift, as well as consider the business opportunities and challenges for this to occur in the rental and contractor sectors.”

Further electrification information will come from Rob Messina, senior vice president, product development and product management – JLG, when he covers “Advances in electrification: The latest in battery technologies.” With JLG’s parent company Oshkosh Corp. recently investing $25 million into battery technology company Microvast, it’s likely attendees will get a sneak peek at what the world’s largest access equipment manufacturer has in store for the future.

Skyjack’s President Ken McDougall will discuss how rental companies succeeded during the last 18 months when he presents “A post-Covid world: From technology to old-school challenges.”

“While Covid brought the industry challenges, the Skyjack We Rise campaign showed the rental industries commitment to community,” McDougall says. “What have we learned from the last two years? That there is no such thing as certainty, and tough teams survive!”

And rounding out the tech-heavy and progressive program will be Luke Powers, founder and CEO of Gearflow.com, who will discuss e-commerce within the construction industry and its impacts on productivity and costs.

“E-commerce is rapidly expanding beyond its origins of books and home products,” Powers says. “Imagine a world where the top equipment manufacturers, aftermarket parts suppliers and equipment rental companies joined forces to offer their parts and equipment for sale through a platform built just for our industry. Wouldn’t this make a much more compelling platform to customers?”

Immediately, following the event, a drinks reception will be held for attendees to unwind and catch-up. Also, the evening prior, IPAF will host a networking reception with details to be announced soon. Visit Access, Lift & Handlers and the ALH Conference for more information as it becomes available.

ALH would like to thank networking reception sponsor Genie, as well as silver sponsors Bravi Platforms and ZTR and supporting sponsors Easybook Training, Sinoboom North America, Haulotte, Lawsons Global Recruitment, Skyjack and Hydro Mobile. ALH also thanks event partner the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) and media partner Rental magazine.

To learn more and register, visit ALH Conference here.

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