The California Rental Association held a small but spirited rental rally and trade show at the Kerns County Fairground in Bakersfield, Calif., this week. The tradeshow, which filled two exhibit halls, was the second show CRA has held at the venue, which was well received by exhibitors and attendees alike for its convenience and comfort.
Held in the Central Valley city of Bakersfield, about 120 miles north of Los Angeles, the rally is easy to drive to for CRA members from northern and southern California. CRA organizers said about 70 rental companies were represented and about 120 vendors, including major construction manufacturers such as Ditch Witch, Terex, Multiquip, Wacker Neuson, JCB, Electric Eel, Ditch Witch, Volvo, Doosan, Skyjack, Tsurumi, Hilti, Toro, Kohler, Gehl, Biljax, Sullivan Palatek, Mi-T-M and Sullair. A number of party equipment vendors participated as did service providers such as Clearview Financial and software providers such as Alert Computers, Solutions by Computer and others.
“The show had a positive atmosphere despite the softness in the economy and we enjoyed having good contact with customers,” said Mike Grant of Tsurumi.
“It’s a very nice show, better than expected,” added Mark Speranza of Electric Eel. “The CRA did a great job of putting in on.”
With the California economy showing few signs of coming out of its slump, most attendees admitted they didn’t have great expectations of the economy turning around in 2010. Still there was some buying on the show floor, with several manufacturers saying that their expectations were simply to enhance contact with their California customers but glad they received some orders.
The fairgrounds venue also had an ample equipment demo area with at least a dozen manufacturers demonstrating equipment. The fairgrounds also has several social areas, enabling CRA to hold dinners and other social gatherings onsite with spacious rooms available for seminars on a number of topics of importance.
At the CRA show, the association presented its annual James Gartland Award, presented annually to a rental person for their contributions to CRA and the industry as a whole. This year’s award was presented to Vicky Blackwell, wife of CRA executive director Dale Blackwell and an active participant on a number of CRA committees.
Executive director Blackwell told RER that CRA had yet to determine the date of its next Rental Rally and will wait until it consults with members and exhibitors. Blackwell said CRA was likely to skip 2011 because ARA will be exhibiting in Las Vegas, an attractive and convenient location for CRA members.