More Attachments Mean More Business for Rental Centers
By expanding the number of Bobcat® attachments beyond buckets and pallet forks, enterprising rental store owners and managers are expanding their opportunities to profit from compact loaders and excavators.
They’re finding that by offering a wide array of attachments, they’re giving their customers more reasons to rent Bobcat machines. At the same time, they’re setting themselves apart from their competitors by offering tools that few, if any, other rental stores have in stock.
These attachment-smart owners and managers are also adding to store revenues by helping other customers, who already own Bobcat loaders and excavators, find new ways of using their machines. And because of the ability to interchange many Bobcat attachments among various models of loaders and excavators, these rental operations are able to make more efficient use of their equipment investment dollars.
It’s a win for rental stores looking to expand business and it’s a win for customers looking for just the rght tool to handle their job most efficiently. Here are some of the specific ways rental stores and their customers benefit from a wide selection of Bobcat attachments.Developing a market niche
With an inventory of more than 20 different types of Bobcat attachments, Landry-Hire-A-Tool, Lynn, Mass., offers one of the biggest selections of compact equipment attachments of any rental store in eastern Massachusetts. And that number doesn’t count multiple units of the same type of attachment.
These attachments complement a fleet of Bobcat equipment that spans the range of Bobcat loader sizes and capabilities—an MT50 mini track loader, 753, S130, S185 and 863 skidsteer loaders and a T300 compact track loader. The Bobcat lineup also includes 322, 331 and 334 compact excavators.
The idea is to provide plenty of choices to satisfy the needs of contractors and homeowners.
Three generations of Landrys (left to right): Ernie Sr., Ernie Jr., and Ernie III
“We don’t like to say ‘no’ to our customers,” says Ernie Landry, Jr. “Our goal is to provide our customers with a variety of attachments and equipment that will satisfy their needs. No other rental store around here carries as many types of attachments as we do. We provide service for customers in Maine and Rhode Island because these attachments are not locally available.”
Those renting the MT50 can choose to equip it with an auger and various size bits, a bucket, grapple, hydraulic breaker, pallet forks or trencher.
The selection of attachments for the skid-steer and compact track loaders includes the above attachments plus a landscape rake, auger, tree spade, grader, dozer blade, planer, soil conditioner, snowblower, stump grinder, sweeper and wheel saw.
The excavators, all equipped with the hydraulic clamp attachment, can be rented with a choice of different sizes of trenching buckets, an auger
and a hydraulic breaker.
“For many rental customers,” Landry notes, “it’s not worth it for them to buy attachments that they don’t use frequently,” he says. “By renting they also save time and money due to storage space and maintenance.”
Ernie, Jr., owns the family business, which his father, Ernie, Sr., started 47 years ago. “In all that time the Bobcat brand is the only compact equipment we’ve owned.“ Landry’s son, Ernie III, helps run the operation. “I was raised on Bobcat machines,” he says.
That loyalty reflects the high level of service the Landrys have enjoyed
from their dealer, Bobcat of Boston, and the quality of Bobcat equipment.
“Bobcat machines and attachments stand up very well to customer use,” he says. “The Bobcat name is very well known. When it’s time to replace them, the equipment sells itself.”
Cor Van Vliet
Expanding the customer base
Another rental store that profits from a wide selection of Bobcat attachments is Woodstock-Paris Total Rentals, based in Woodstock, Ont. It
offers customers a dozen different types of attachments for its eight Bobcat skid-steer loaders (463, S185 and S300 models), five Bobcat compact
excavators (322, 325 and 331E models) and a V623 VersaHandler® telescopic tool carrier.
“Stocking a variety of Bobcat attachments is a plus for us because it makes the individual machines more productive,” reports Cor Van Vliet, who manages the two-store business.
This selection enables him to better serve a broad mix of customers:
• A landscape contractor may rent an S185 with a landscape rake for a
• A grounds maintenance contractor might rent the same machine with an angle broom or sweeper for cleaning parking lots or a grapple for cleaning up brush.
• A paving contractor may rent an S300 with a planer for an asphalt repair project.
• A home builder who rents a 325 excavator and bucket for trenching work might also rent a hydraulic breaker or auger for other work around the jobsite.
Pallet forks have proven to be a more popular attachment for the VersaHandler TTC customers than a bucket, Van Vliet notes.
A landscape rake or an auger, as well as a bucket, appeal to homeowners
who rent the Bobcat loaders. “They’re spending a lot of money to build new homes compared to 10 or 20 years ago,” he says. “And they’re willing to spend some more to make their property look nice.”
The attachments also make money by themselves. Many of Van Vliet’s farm customers own their own skidsteer loader. However, they’ll come to him when they need utility forks for cleaning out manure, an auger for drilling fence post holes or a hydraulic breaker to tear out concrete.
The low-maintenance needs of Bobcat attachments also add to their profitability. “They’re very reliable with few, if any, moving parts,” Van
Vliet says. “They’ll last for years.”
Partners Dale Hubble and Peter Moher opened The Rental Hub in Bowmanville, Ont., last year to serve mostly construction and landscape contractors. Their first Bobcat equipment was an S150 loader and a 322 excavator. They’ve since added a 453 and S150 skid-steer loader and two 331 excavators. Their list of Bobcat attachments has grown, too, and includes a hydraulic breaker, smooth and tooth buckets, two augers with three choices of bit sizes, pallet forks and a sweeper for the loaders and three different widths of buckets for the excavators.
The attachment selection—based on customer demand and the partners’ previous experience in the equipment rental business—is paying off in several ways. For one, it has spurred rentals of the loaders and excavators. “The attachments drive the machine rentals by adding to
their utility,” says Hubble. “A loader may leave the yard during the day
with a bucket on it for landscape work and that night it goes out with
a sweeper with a different customer for cleaning parking lots.”
The partners are sold on the value of their Bobcat machines and attachments.
“It’s great to stick with the Bobcat line because the attachments increase the versatility of the machines and you can switch the attachments from one machine to the other,” Hubble says. “You know the attachments will fit like they’re supposed to and that they will work reliably.”Capitalizing on attachment-only rentals
When Premier Rental Center, Portage, Wis., began offering Bobcat equipment 21/2 years ago, contractor and homeowner customers could choose from several different attachments—an auger, tooth and smooth buckets and hydraulic breaker for the S130 skidsteer loader and two different widths of trenching buckets for the 331 excavator. Since then, manager Todd Almerli has added a Bobcat landscape rake to the list of skid-steer loader attachments. “Customers like a choice of attachments,” he says. “If all I
offered was one type of bucket for each machine, they wouldn’t rent as much as they do. Avariety of attachment choices adds to the versatility and rental activity of the loader and excavator.”
His excavator customers can choose either a 13-in. bucket for digging trenches for water lines or a 24-in. bucket for jobs such as digging wall footings or clearing riprap along shorelines of ponds.
The wide variety of attachments made by Bobcat—more different types than any other compact equipment manufacturer offers—gives him plenty of choices for adding attachments in the future as his business grows. “These attachments fit across more than one model of machine,” Almerli says. “That helps minimize the amount of money we spend on attachments.”Helping customers do better work
As president of All Pro Rental, Inc., Englewood, Colo., Sammy Hanstrom’s goal is to provide his customers with the best tool for the job. That’s why he gives them a choice of five Bobcat attachments when renting skid-steer loaders and two attachments for the company’s Bobcat excavator.
This choice enables his customers, most of whom are contractors, to do a better job. That, in turn, helps bring them back to rent again.
For example, he offers an augermand both a 13-in.- and a 20-in.-wide bucket for his 325 excavator. “A contractor renting the machine to dig a water line will likely choose the smaller bucket,” Hanstrom says. “Why should he have to use a larger bucket that would waste time and money excavating and backfilling more dirt than necessary.”
The selection of attachments for his six Bobcat mid-size and larger skid-steer loaders includes augers, =buckets, hydraulic breakers, scarifiers and tillers. Often his customers will rent several different attachments at a time. “They might rent a tiller, a hydraulic breaker and a tooth bucket—everything it takes to get a job done,” he says.
“Providing a variety of Bobcat attachments helps our bottom line,” Hanstrom continues. “Without the right attachment, we wouldn’t be able to rent our machines. Also, we’d miss out on business from people who already own a skid-steer loader and are looking for an attachment that they don’t have.”
Bobcat attachments are good for business in other ways, too. As he points out, each of his different types of skid-steer loader tools fits each of his loader models. They also offer the dependability and reliability Hanstrom and his customers want.
“Our customers know that our attachments will do the job for them,” he says. “I need attachments that are durable. Bobcat equipment is almost bullet-proof. They’re good products and Bobcat stands behind them.”
Building a one-stop business
A choice of small, mid-size and large skid-steer loaders, combined with a selection of seven different types of Bobcat attachments are all part of Jeff King’s goal to meet the different needs of his customers.
“We make it easy for them to rent everything they need for a job by offering a one-stop shop,” says the general manager of Dahl’s Equipment
Rental, Inc., San Jose, Calif.
In outfitting the store’s 463, S130 and S220 skid-steer loaders to meet
their needs, customers can select from a broad range of time- and labor-saving Bobcat attachments. Among them, an auger for drilling holes for power posts and poles, a backhoe for doing a combination of loader and excavator work, a grapple for cleaning up demolition debris and a sweeper for picking up dirt and mud tracked onto streets from construction sites. A homeowner may rent a bucket, an auger and bits ranging in size from 8 in. to 36 in. as well as a backhoe attachment for a landscaping job.
He also enjoys a fair amount of business from contractors who have their own skid-steer loaders.
“They’ll buy a Bobcat loader and bucket,” he explains. “But often it’s more economical for them to rent the other attachments they need from us. Also, they know that they can count on Bobcat attachments to work properly.”
As the experiences of these rental pros illustrate, Bobcat attachments offer a smart way to earn more revenue from established customers and to generate more business from new customers. Learn more about the industry’s most complete line of compact equipment attachments by visiting your local Bobcat dealer today. See all the Bobcat attachments at www.bobcat.com.