For years, this successful rental store owner had only one employee — himself.
Armando Margan has been a believer in Bobcat compact equipment for more than 20 years, and today he owns more than 30 pieces of Bobcat machinery for his rental business.
Who needs sleep when there are Bobcat® loaders to deliver, excavators to pick up and landscaping projects to complete? Certainly not Armando Margan — at least for his first 17 years in the rental business. From 1987 to 2004, he was the owner and sole employee of Margan Equipment, Belle Chasse, La., near New Orleans.
“I did everything: delivering and picking up equipment, cleaning and servicing machines, and when I had a skid-steer loader available I would handle my own landscaping jobs,” he says. “When I went out I locked up the store.”
“I had a large advertisement in the Yellow Pages,” he recalls. “If you looked me up in the phone book you would think I was a big company. But in reality, I was juggling those five machines around. If a unit was out and the customer was done with it, I would pick it up early in the morning, check it over and deliver it to the next job. I usually had a three-hour window to move a machine from one customer to the next. I was doing a lot of running around, a lot of sleepless nights.”
This system enabled Margan to build a utilization rate of 125 to 200 percent on those five machines.
“If a customer rented a machine for a day and finished early, I would take it to another customer who would also pay the day rate,” he says. “Same with weekly rentals. Some would last three days and I would have the equipment in someone else’s hands the rest of the week. My customers were very accommodating. They did not try to drag jobs out.”
As an early user of cellphones, Margan was always on call.
“When I had a loader available, I would take on a landscaping job,” he says. “If a rental customer called, I would stop what I was doing, deliver the machine and finish my job later when another loader came back.”
Much of the credit for his early success was due to Bobcat machines and his dealer, Duhon Machinery.
“If Bobcat equipment wasn’t extremely reliable, I would have been out of business,” he says. “I could not have done this without machines that kept working day after day.”
Compact track loaders build businessMargan added two Bobcat compact track loaders to his fleet in 2004, which more or less forced him to add an employee.
“As one of the first in the area to have compact track loaders for rent, the business really took off,” he says. “My existing customers liked the track machines right away, and I picked up new renters as well. At that point I had to hire my first employee to give me a hand with deliveries and servicing. Shortly thereafter I purchased two more compact track loaders.”
Today Margan still has only Bobcat equipment — 24 compact track loaders (ranging from T180s to T770s) and eight excavators (E80, E42s, E50s, 335s and 337s). He also has many Bobcat attachments. “The attachments are just as durable as the power units,” he says. “They never wear out.”
Compared to his early years, Margan has an army of employees — six. They operate two delivery trucks and three service vehicles. The customer mix has changed somewhat as well. The regulars are still with him, but he now has enough loaders and excavators to meet the needs of some of the larger contractors in the area.
At times all of his machines are rented; however, most of the time the utilization rate is a solid 65 to 75 percent, down from the days when he was renting a machine twice on the same day.
One thing that hasn’t changed is his total reliance on Bobcat equipment.
“I have had them since day one,” he says. “From the early years, through Hurricane Katrina when I had a dozen machines out working 24 hours a day, right up to today, Bobcat products have never let me down.”