Editor's Report

By Loren Faulkner | September 28, 2010

The CARB meetings in California have been finally getting the attention of contractors. Having attended the February meeting in Riverside, I can report that there is a disconnect between CARB personnel and the owners of diesel-powered construction equipment. If CARB rules are passed as currently written (we'll know by May 25, 2007) this may be another "shot heard around the world." Virtually no one would be able to meet CARB's unrealistic goals in the short amount of time required. The following has been reported before in CB&E and it is worth repeating:

Anaheim, Calif. — Pete Ruane, CEO of American Road & Transportation Association (ARTBA), spoke to the Southern California Contractors Association (SCCA) recently urging members to get involved in transportation and clean air issues. Ruane is traveling throughout the United States to meet with national and local transportation and construction industry associations at the grass roots level, to get his message across.

Addressing overly stringent proposed California clean air rules (CARB), Ruane said ARTBA is committed to making sure its collective voice is heard in California.

"We know that as California goes, so goes the nation. We believe that the states generally do not have the legal right to set clean air rules; those rules should be set by the national government.

"What is happening," he said, "is that California taxpayers passed recent bond measures to get infrastructure and highways up to speed, but they could be brought to a halt, if overly zealous CARB rules become difficult, if not impossible, to comply with by the very construction companies contracted to perform the work.

"The government needs to recognize the contradiction that is inherent in all this. On the one hand, California just increased the level of resources available to deal with all the transportation problems in this state (i.e. recently passed Propositions 1A and 1B). On the other hand legislation is being considered (CARB issues) that could slow down the actual implementation of those projects. So they have to reconcile that contradiction," he said.

(Editor's Note: Here's a look at some of the latest rental equipment findings from ARA):

At The Rental Show recently in Atlanta, the American Rental Association released its "2006 State of the Equipment Rental Industry" report, the most comprehensive study and analysis of the equipment rental industry to date.

"This is a defining moment in rental industry history. It is very much a landmark research report for the industry," says Christine Wehrman, ARA's executive vice president and CEO.

While ARA commissioned an initial study in 2005 with Lexington, Mass.-based partner Global Insight, the 2006 report is more extensive, using more data sources and Global Insight's econometric modeling to assess the rental industry. Global has more than 3,800 clients in industry, finance and government.

"The equipment rental industry in the United States is the largest in the world, generating nearly $33 billion in annual rental revenues, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the economy in ownership and operations, with substantial contribution to the U.S. gross national product," Wehrman says.

Among the new study's key findings:

  • The total size of the U.S. rental market was $32.8 billion in 2006.
  • The rental market has grown substantially since 1998, at a compound annual growth rate of 7.4 percent, significantly outpacing general economic activity and price level changes.
  • The construction and industrial equipment segment represents the greatest share of the rental market with 68.6 percent of total rental revenues.
  • Rental penetration for the construction equipment market has increased significantly, having doubled in the last decade to its current level of 27.5 percent.
  • The fastest-growing market segment in 2006 has been general tool, with 11.7-percent compound annual growth from 1998 to 2006.
  • In this period of time, party and event rental revenue increased at a rate of 10.1 percent.
  • Canadian rental firms also are well positioned for growth as the modest economic growth currently being experienced in Canada is expected to be followed by greater growth than the United States will experience.

The nearly 100-page report also includes a total industry overview, market sizes for the United States and Canada, a five-year forecast, an investment outlook, competitive trends, and composition of the marketplace, with individual overviews of the three industry segments — construction and industrial equipment, general tool, and party and event. (Editor's Note: For more information: ararental.org)