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Business Spotlight

United Rentals Keeps Growing

Victoria Roberts heads up Kelowna's newly opened United Rentals.
June 25, 2018 - 12:00 AM

Victoria Roberts knows what it takes to be successful, and she’s going to put that same vision and drive into the success of the newly opened United Rentals in Kelowna.
     The rental outlet, which has an integrated network of over 880 locations in 10 provinces and 49 states, continues to grow.
     “We’re experiencing tonnes of growth and we wanted to be in this market. It has taken almost three years to get this location,” says Roberts, who has called Kelowna home for two months.
     Before being promoted to operations manager of the Kelowna outlet, Roberts started with the company four and a half years ago in the yard in Bonnyville, Alberta. From there she went into sales, became an operations supervisor, and spent a stint in Nanaimo before being offered Kelowna. Hard work, dedication and support from the company have allowed her to climb the extension ladder, as one of few women who are part of the United Rentals team.
     The new Kelowna location is just one of 16 in B.C. Each can access one another’s fleet of equipment which ranges from compressors and portable generators to scissor lifts, forklifts, excavators and backhoes. Hand tools, fencing, portable sanitation services, trucks and trailers, trench safety and shoring are all a part of Kelowna’s United Rentals fleet.
     “We do have a core group of 80 pieces of equipment here in Kelowna, but we can get anything anybody needs from our other locations within 24 hours, or even the same day,” says Roberts.
   She says that United is committed to building relationships in Kelowna and working with project managers, businesses and homeowners to take a project from start to finish; avoiding the need to call in different companies for different needs. 
      Though United’s business is to rent heavy/light equipment and machinery, for home, construction and industrial use, safety is always at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
     United has one of the best safety records in the business. In an effort to maintain that, they remain focused on safety. To support that, the company has founded United Academy; a safety and certification department. The Academy strives to make all aspects of training easier and more accessible for every industry so that they have the opportunity for employees to remain safe while operating equipment.
      Anyone on a job site who rents and runs equipment from United can take advantage of these training opportunities. There is far more safety awareness on job sites now then there once was, requiring operators to be competent and compliant with certifications.
     Training for anyone; the public, contractors, companies and even trainers, can be done in Kelowna, or any other United Rentals locations. Online (blended) training can also be done at home, at a United location, or even on a jobsite in order to complete certification before deadlines.
     Confined space, fall protection, plant and facility maintenance, trench, excavation, cranes and rigging, road safety, regulated driving, electrical safety, OSSA Accreditation, Train the Trainer, job safety and more are all available in English, French and Spanish.
     Roberts says the next thing she is hoping to offer is the ability to service other equipment that people and companies may own. “We have a mechanic and a new technician starting in July so we’ll have the ability to provide that kind of service,” says Roberts.
     Founded in 1997, United Rentals has become the largest equipment rentals company in the world which comes with a focused and dedicated business plan with safety and quality at the forefront.
     This is evident with the safety training, but also much of United’s equipment is not more than four years old.  Equipment is always purchased new then sold every several years. All equipment is checked and serviced every 250 hours.
     The diverse customer base of United includes construction and industrial companies, utilities, municipalities, government agencies, homeowners and independent contractors. This will be no different in Kelowna.
     United is also a strong supporter of the communities they serve. The company provides support to Ronald McDonald House and Habitat for Humanity via the Women Build program. Nationally, United supports Military Veterans and their families.
     For more information and a look at the rental inventory, visit www.unitedrentals.com

 

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