The California Rental Association last week returned to a live equipment show format with a rental rally in Bakersfield, Calif. Held in the Kerns County Fairgrounds, CRA occupied two pavilions with exhibits along with a spacious outdoor demo area, giving attendees the opportunity to get hands-on experience with much of the equipment offered at the show.
The majority of the 153 exhibitors were happy with the better-than-expected attendance. CRA offered attendees a flat fee. For a $100 fee, any attending company could bring in as many employees as it wished. More than 100 rental companies participated, and with seminars offering topics such as “Airless Paint Sprayer Maintenance” presented by Airlessco; “Servicing Skid-Steer Loaders”, presented by Bobcat; “Hardwood Floor Sanding and Refinishing” (presented by Essex Silver-Line); “Diamond Blades” (presented by Smithton Diamond) and “Servicing Scissor Lifts” (presented by Genie), quite a few companies took advantage of the opportunity for employees to further their training.
Social events such as a western barbecue and dance took place at the fairgrounds, which enhanced opportunities for attendees and exhibitors to socialize and communicate.
“The show was like ‘old-home week,’ ” said exhibitor Dick Smithton of Smithton Diamond Products. “It was like the early days of the industry. Floor traffic was good, we saw interested buyers, the venue was great and the atmosphere was friendly.”
CRA gave out a number of annual awards, including the James Gartland Memorial Award, named for RER founder Jim Gartland and presented annually for service to the rental industry. This year’s award was given to Brian Maginnis of American Rentals in Southgate, Calif. CRA also gave out its annual W.E. “Bud” Loeber Friendship Award, meant to distinguish individuals that always project a positive attitude and willingness to help, to Les Chayo, general counsel of CRA.