Toronto Rental Firm Hammers Out Niche


Congestion. It is a pain whether it is related to traffic, breathing, or the air space we travel. And right now, congestion rules the equipment rental market in the Toronto area, which apparently did not get the memo about a construction slowdown. To stand out in this burgeoning construction market, Ontario Laser Rentals has positioned itself as being one of the most versatile and reliable players in the game. The versatility comes through a full line of more than 70 specialized attachments. The reliability is courtesy of a fleet of 30 excavators that is now more than two-thirds Hitachi — and growing.

Hard Rock Specialists
Started in 1974 as a supplier of laser equipment to the construction industry, Ontario Laser Rentals grew steadily, adding a second location in Ottawa and expanding its business to include trench boxes and other tools for sewer and water contractors. According to company manager Doug O’Malley, tapping that industry changed the firm’s focus.

“We are located in Toronto, near the Niagara Escarpment, a massive shelf of limestone, dolostone, and shale,” says Mr. O’Malley. “So we soon started renting hammers to help our customers deal with the rock that is present on almost any job. It just made sense for us to also rent a machine for those attachments. We purchased a trio of Hitachi excavators – a pair of EX400s and an EX300 – based on the excellent reputation they had. Their power and reliability proved to be just what we needed, and we were on our way.”

Today, Ontario Laser Rentals’ Hitachi Zaxis fleet ranges from a Zaxis 80 up to the new 450LC-3, and the company has become the go-to equipment source for most any application. What started as a selection of hammers and compactors now includes a full line of over 70 different accessories from Magnum Attachments, including shears, grapples, multiprocessors, specialized buckets, and more.

“While others in the area regularly rent machines with standard buckets, that’s not the case for us. Customers turn to us for a specialized tool – and with the full line of attachments we offer, we can be relied on to meet almost any need. We also feel many of those same customers rent from us because they know our Hitachi machines will be up to the task and keep them on track. Hitachi has become an integral part of our business.”

A dedicated rental house, Mr. O’Malley says they do occasionally sell a unit, but only when it makes sense from a customer’s perspective. “If a customer is involved in a longterm project and has been renting for a while, he might ask about an outright purchase. That just makes good business sense for them, and we will go ahead with the sale. But we are first and foremost a rental organization and prefer it that way.”

Smaller by comparison to other Toronto-area rental houses, Ontario Laser Rentals has shown a knack for getting Hitachi units involved on several prominent projects. The company had several at work during Pearson International Airport’s massive apron removal. They recently had an EX450 placing boulders for the showcase Brant Street Pier in nearby Burlington, and currently have several Hitachi excavators working a major hydro project in downtown Toronto.

“The pier job was challenging from so many different angles,” says Mr. O’Malley. “It involved placing massive boulders to provide erosion control in an area prone to high winds and waves. The rocks averaged between four and eight tons, but often exceeded that, and had to be placed to provide the best fit. The contractor says the older EX450 was excellent throughout that phase of the project, providing both power for the lift and stability for the placement. We weren’t surprised they gave the machine high grades; it happens all the time.”

Doug O’Malley adds that the rental experience is rounded out by the best support possible, courtesy of Ontario Laser Rentals’ own service crew and backing from their local Hitachi dealer. “Today the Hitachi units are flat-out the best machines we have in the fleet. And we really can’t say enough about how the dealer has supported us over the years. We see continued growth on the horizon and, despite all the congestion in this market, feel we have all the pieces in place to make that happen.”

Source: Hitachi

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