Photo by PDQ Rentals
Pdq Todd And Dennis 6077aca7dd23b

Todd Turner, Third Generation, Takes Over as President of PDQ Rentals

April 15, 2021
Todd Turner, third generation of rental management, has taken over as president of PDQ Rentals, Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Veteran owner Dennis Turner will remain as CEO but step back from day-to-day operations.

[Editor’s note: Todd Turner, the third generation of rental management, has taken over as president of PDQ Rentals, Santa Fe Springs, Calif. Veteran owner Dennis Turner will remain as CEO but plans to devote more time to golfing, barbecuing, traveling, and watching the company grow under Todd’s guidance. Dennis provided the following description of the history and changes at PDQ]

By Dennis Turner

PDQ Rentals was founded in 1952 as Bud’s Rentals by Bud and Doris Turner in Southern California.  At the time, WWII and returning Korean War veterans were taking advantage of the GI Bill and buying starter tract homes. These first-time homeowners were becoming do-it-yourselfers by adding amenities like lawns, sidewalks, patios, and BBQs and Bud’s Rentals was there to help. Trailers, dollies, rototillers, seed and fertilizer spreaders, cement mixers, and wheelbarrows were among the most common rental items at Bud’s Rentals. 

In a few short years, the Turners would merge Bud’s Rentals with a similar rental company, Joe’s Rentals, founded by Peg and Joe Ewing. After merging in 1961, PDQ Rentals was formed. The two business couples grew the small company to five rental yards while building a lifelong friendship as they did it.

In the late 1950s, at age 10, Bud and Doris’ son, Dennis Turner, started working at PDQ Rentals. His duties included distributing promotional flyers in new neighborhoods, filling the pop machine, folding furniture pads, and sweeping. His responsibilities grew over the years and from 1972 through 2019, Dennis and his wife, Cheryl, managed PDQ along with their business partners, Brian and Susan Miles. Slowly, PDQ evolved from a homeowner rental operation to a DIY and contractor equipment rental center with a party and event rentals division.

As a 10-year-old, Dennis and Cheryl’s son, Todd Turner, followed in his father’s footsteps and started working at PDQ, too. His primary duties were washing and prepping chairs and tables for party rentals.  At 15, he was promoted to the wash rack. As a 16-year-old, Todd was promoted to “yard guy” while finishing high school and then attending community college. In 2003, Todd transferred to San Diego State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. While in San Diego, Todd worked at Hawthorne Rent-it Service as an outside salesperson where he learned about larger construction equipment, larger jobsites, and larger general contractors and their subs. 

After nearly two years with Hawthorne, Todd took a job at a San Diego Harley Davidson motorcycle dealership where he continued to polish his sales skills and learned about retail sales, add-on items, and financing plans. Todd brought those sales skills back to PDQ, helping the company pull out of the 2007-2008 recession while expanding our offerings. His push to rent larger equipment and to specialize in contractor needs changed our marketing strategies: PDQ dropped the party rentals and took on dealerships for tractors, lifts, generators and air compressors promoting rentals, sales and service.

As general manager, Todd modernized PDQ’s operations with updated rental software and workstations, as well as new systems for payroll and accounting, while running the day-to-day business. A few of his innovations included GPS tracking on equipment, use of video for delivery trucks, changes to equipment prep and dispatch, as well as revitalizing the old rental yard into a clean, organized contractor rental center. He also did market studies, shopped real estate, and opened two clean start-up operations.

In 2019, Brian and Susan Miles retired, and Dennis Turner continued to run PDQ with the help of Todd. Now, it is time to pass the torch on to the next generation. PDQ is proud to announce that Todd has been appointed to president of PDQ Rentals.

After 55+ years at PDQ Rentals, Dennis Turner will step back and enjoy the fruits of his labor. He will remain involved as CEO while he golfs, travels, BBQs, and watches PDQ continue to grow under the watch of his son.

Todd is married to wife, Vanessa, and they have two sons.  Rental is in the blood and maybe a fourth generation is in the future?