RER: What is new technologically for your company in generators?
Eberhardt: Our products at Generac Mobile Products continue to evolve to meet customer needs and regulatory requirements. On the regulatory side, emissions is an area that we have to always be aware of and adapting to. Final Tier 4 requirements have us working closely with our engine suppliers to make sure that the engines and our control systems are aligned properly for our customer and end user. Customer needs drive toward more and more analytics and making sure that we can provide customers with the data that they want.
What are the latest trends and developments in generators for the rental market?
Eberhardt: The latest trend is focused on analytics. Just like the rest of the economy, rental company owners want to be able to understand how their equipment is being used so that they can plan the maintenance appropriately and keep the units utilized and uptime high.
What types of trends do you see coming in the near future in generators?
Eberhardt: Trends that I see coming focus on finding ways to make the generators easier to use and maintain. End users want to be able to connect to generators and run their required equipment. Rental companies want to be able to drive high utilization rates, which means fleet flexibility across the country and quick regular maintenance tasks.
We are just around the beginning of hurricane season. What advice would you give to rental companies about how to prepare for the impact of major storms?
Eberhardt: Rental companies are well experienced in understanding the impact that hurricane season can have. They have already prepared their units by running them through their preventive maintenance intervals and they will monitor storm activity for moving products from areas that have lower utilization to areas of anticipated higher utilization. Last year was highly unusual that we had so many storms hit landfall in such a short duration of time and had one of them (Harvey) hit land and stayed in place for days.
As hurricane season begins, what do you do as a manufacturer to prepare?
Eberhardt: Outside of having product available, the biggest thing that we do is focus on service. As much as everyone wants everything to run smoothly, something will not work and will need to be fixed. We have an excellent service team who work tirelessly to meet customer needs with parts and on the ground service issues
What are the basics that rental companies should know if they want to be successful in generator rentals?
Eberhardt: Be focused on meeting the needs of the end users. If they are happy, we all will be happy. A more specific technical item that has been enhanced by emissions regulations is to make sure that end users have properly sized their generator needs so that they are running the generators at a sufficient electrical load. When a diesel generator is run at a lower load (less than 25 percent), it can drive wet stacking which has negative impacts on the diesel engine and increases maintenance costs and time.
What trends do you see in generator rentals?
Eberhardt: Generator rentals continue to push to use data from analytics to improve operating costs.