Katoomba, New South Wales, June 2014 – When Sean Jordan and his business partners embarked on construction of an industrial estate in Katoomba, New South Wales, they quickly found there was a need for hire equipment.
As they were developing an industrial estate, it was a relatively simple matter to allocate space where a hire business named Katoomba Hire could be operated. Although the business started around seven years ago it has only been in the last two years when they opened a shopfront and appointed a manager.
“It was always in the back of our mind to open a hire business. Fortunately, our investment risk with inventory was minimised through purchase of equipment items for our own use in the construction phase of our development”, Jordan said.
“I’m one of those people who firmly believes the more ‘toys’ you have the better, so establishment of the equipment hire business really indulged my desire.
”Because the main purpose of having the equipment was originally for our construction needs, we didn’t take as much time as we should to focus on future needs. More recently we have re-assessed the market and found contrary to our belief that the DIY customer would be our strongest, our key market has emerged as predominantly the construction contractor and tradesman.
“With a new and clear understanding of our market, we have been able to focus our message.Today, we are able to target our market better through online communications, highly visible signage on our vehicles and personalised service. Trade rentals constitute around 80 percent of our business. In fact, we carry a much wider range of gear than one would normally expect in a small hire shop — we carry a bit of everything and have expanded our inventory to ensure we have what is needed”, Jordan said.
Understanding the value of strong supplier relationships, Katoomba Hire sources a full range of Toro equipment from the local distributor, Semco. Their range includes both tracked and wheeled compact loaders, with attachments that include a four-in-one bucket, trencher, post-hole auger, leveller, ripper, and a rotary hoe with a turf preparation wheel. There is also a hydraulic model splitter and a 6 inch and a 25 horsepower chipper.
“With machines like the Toro tracked mini loader, within five minutes anyone can jump on that machine and feel productive. It’s so much easier to use.
“In the hire business, the more equipment you can buy from a single supplier the better. Our experience with Toro and Semco has proven that it truly pays to have access to a close relationship that generates a high level of support, both in technical backup and training.
“It also it makes it easier to talk to your supplier about engineering or design issues”’ Jordan concluded.