Equipment Rental Rates on the Rise – For Now

Despite a drop in physical utilization in nearly every major equipment category over the last six months of 2012, equipment rental rates were up 7 percent in December 2012 compared to December 2011 for rental companies participating in the Rouse Analytics Rental Metrics Benchmark Service. According to the Rouse Rental Report, auction sale averages of rental and construction equipment from January 2013 to February also increased.

Generators See Biggest Drop

Among participating equipment rental companies, physical utilization dropped 11 percent for generators, followed by excavators, articulating booms, and industrial forklifts. In regards to sales, aerial work platforms were the most popular types of equipment purchased in February 2013 among companies in the rental industry, representing over 40 percent of total acquisitions. Rounding out the top three were high-reach forklifts at 18 percent and excavators at 7 percent.

Orderly Liquidation Values Up Over Last Six Months

In another measure of industry trends – the Rouse Value Index of Orderly Liquidation Values – the Rouse Rental Report shows a 0.4 percent increase across the 14 major rental categories for the six months ending on February 28. Articulating boomlifts posted the highest increase (4.4 percent) in orderly liquidation values, followed by high-reach forklifts (3.7 percent), scissorlifts (3.3 percent), industrial forklifts (3.1 percent), and compaction rolling equipment (3 percent). On the opposite end of the spectrum, loader backhoes and air compressors suffered posted the largest declines at 4.1 and 3.8 percent, respectively.

At a recent grand opening of a Volvo manufacturing facility in Shippensburg, Pa., Volvo CEO Pat Olney told reporters that he expects “a year that’s probably flat” in 2013. After two years of growth at Volvo as companies replenished their rental fleets and the market picked up, Olney believes that sales will level off in 2013 and the market in North America will move sideways.

For more information on the Rouse Rental Report, visit

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