MOUNT FOREST – Having ridden a wave of major growth over the last 10 years, Broadline Rentals has expanded into a new 25,000-square-foot home along Highway 6, just south of Mount Forest.
Now it is ready to celebrate its success with the community.
“We have been on an amazing run for the last 10 years,” owner Lawrence Gingrich told the Advertiser.
Broadline Rentals offers everything from small lawn and garden tools to farm equipment and contractor equipment.
It’s a one-stop spot that rents, sells and services equipment as small as a handsaw and as large as an excavator.
And all of the equipment is especially chosen for quality and reliability.
“It has to be great quality so the term I usually use is we look for the lowest cost of ownership so to say,” Gingrich explained.
“It’s not necessarily the cheapest piece of equipment.”
Over the past 14 years the quality of Broadline Rentals equipment and its “second to none” approach to customer service has allowed the business to grow tenfold.
Much of that growth is due to growth in Mount Forest.
“For the size of Mount Forest it has a lot of contractors, whether it be concrete contractors or electrical contractors or framing contractors, plumbers. It has a lot of contractors and trades people,” said Gingrich.
“We’ve seen it from all sectors here. We have seen the housing side and the agricultural side has been very strong over the past 10 years. The past five years has been completely nuts.”
That led to the move from the 6,000ft2 facility to the new, expansive 25,000ft2 location.
The Grand Opening
Already Gingrich and his team have hit the ground running.
Broadline officially opened the doors of its new location on the Victoria Day weekend of 2018, at the height of the rental business’ busiest season.
“Usually by May 24 weekend is our busiest time of the year, because we are dealing with the homeowners doing their backyard projects and gearing up and the contractors are gearing up,” Gingrich said.
With rentals in full swing, Gingrich and his team decided an opening celebration would have to wait while he and his team got down to business.
The grand opening, set for May 1, will give Broadline Rentals a chance to give back to the community and celebrate its success.
Event festivities will include a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11am followed by a barbecue lunch from 11am to 1pm and a barbecue dinner from 5 to 7pm. Families can also enjoy bouncy castles, a mechanical bull and a demonstration of what quality Broadline equipment can accomplish.
“We have some inhouse things that we are going to do with our equipment,” said Gingrich.
“We are going to do a little excavator rodeo or game where we will set up some excavators and the guy can maybe scoop up a ball and dump it into a bin, that sort of thing.
“I think it should be an exciting day.”
High quality equipment
When Gingrich opened Broadline Rentals in 2005 at the age of 19, he started with a 1,200ft2 shop.
Born and raised in Mount Forest, Gingrich was working in the concrete construction business at the time. However, a back injury he sustained in a biking accident a couple years prior made it difficult to lift the necessary 100-pound concrete forms.
At the time Schenk Equipment Rentals was up for sale so Gingrich took the opportunity to sell the equipment that he knew so well.
“[The previous owners] were looking to sell and do something else, so I said, ‘Hey, you know, I come from the construction world I understand a lot of the equipment,’ so I jumped at that,” Gingrich explained.
At the time he had one employee. Today the business has 11 employees.
Starting with the Schenk equipment, Gingrich expanded the inventory with a focus on quality and reliability.
That is how Domm Construction Ltd., one of Broadline Rentals’ largest customers describes the company.
“Very good equipment at a fair price,” said Domm Construction president Allan Domm.
“Not the cheapest price but a fair price and [Gingrich] has got the variety. He has quite a variety there now. It’s a big business,” Domm added.
Domm has seen Broadline Rentals grow “very large from when [Gingrich] was on Main Street to out on (Highway) 89 and then over here.
“We have been dealing with Lawrence since he was in business.”
Big or small, Broadline Rentals relies on manufacturers and distributors it knows and trusts for its rental equipment.
With over 150 large pieces of equipment, and many more small tools, Broadline sticks to its high standards on everything and stays away from offshore knockoff brands.
As a member of both the Canadian Rental association and the American Rental Association, Gingrich buys from premier suppliers on both sides of the border.
He annually attends the American Rental Association’s trade show, the largest equipment rental show in the industry.
“It’s a fantastic show. I look at everything from a little floor sander to a great big bulldozer and everything in between,” said Gingrich..
“It’s all there. You get to meet your suppliers, you get to see the new products they are bringing out.”
That includes buying from local distributors too.
“We buy a lot of Kubota equipment from DeBoer’s Equipment in Elora. Kubota is a great brand,” Gingrich said.
“Skyjack is a great brand; we use a lot of Skyjack equipment. Those are definitely our two main brands for our larger equipment.”
Broadline Rentals has grown while maintaining a business radius of 45 minutes by car.
“We do sometimes go a little further,” explained Gingrich.
“For example, if we have a contractor in the Mount Forest area that we work with a lot; if he is doing a job an hour and a half away or whatever, then he might call us and just, because we have that relationship, we will take that equipment to him.”
It typifies Gingrich’s humble approach to the company’s success.
“If you talk to Lawrence, he is very conservative with what he says because that’s just Lawrence but when you drive by there, that is quite an operation,” said Domm.
After growing a successful business over 14 years, Gingrich said aspiring entrepreneurs should be determined, prepared for long hours and always thinking about the benefit to the customer.
“Number one: enjoy what you do and be prepared to do what it takes – and sometimes it takes long hours and hard work,” he said.