Real-World Improvements to Rental Equipment Service and Maintenance with Technology


Rabern Rentals, featured in Rental Management magazine, is a company that takes a lot of pride into its customer service, and the company needed a way to keep up with a demanding preventative maintenance schedule on machines distributed throughout four states. Their original solution relied on sending personnel to the job sites or using customer reports to know what was going on with the equipment. In some cases, they would wait until it was no longer rented before servicing it.

This reactive approach was filled with inefficiencies. Service technicians were on the road, heading to machines that potentially didn’t need servicing. They also needed to haul oil with them in their trucks, which didn’t have enough capacity for their needs. Rabern Rentals wanted to differentiate themselves from their competitors by being known as the company that prioritizes preventative maintenance. They turned to telematics to start collecting critical data that would make it possible to proactively service equipment. There was no waiting around for a customer to report a problem. Instead, the service technicians were already on their way well before any downtime occurred. Their system tells them the type of machine and its exact location for the efficient use of their technicians’ time.

They wanted to differentiate themselves from other rental stores by performing PMS on schedule as a priority. However, different service intervals across four different states put Rabern Rentals’ service technicians on the road frequently. Telematics made a big difference in getting them better data about the machines. They also ended up getting a Sage Oil Vac lube trailer to make the process easier on their guys and faster for the customers. Both OEM data and aftermarket systems were fed to a customized dashboard that the rental company has access to. The dashboard informs them when a machine needs to be serviced and uses geofencing and GPS for the exact location.

While this article highlighted ways in which Rabern used equipment technology to reach their goals, there are other tech tools that can help Rabern and other equipment rental companies like it achieve customer service excellence and enhance preventative maintenance.

Expanding Service and Maintenance Capabilities with ERP

While making technology enhancements to your equipment in the field is a great step, but if the data that your equipment is reporting isn’t linked to a complete ERP (enterprise resource planning) system that operates as the heartbeat of your rental business, then you are missing out on efficiencies that can enable you to achieve more.

Rental360 is complete cloud ERP system built for the needs of equipment rental companies. As a secure, central data source, it delivers a single version of the truth to all users according to their needs and permissions. While Rental360 does cover the complete spectrum of rental activities, today I’m going to focus on three areas that it could tie into Rabern Rental’s systems and further enhance their maintenance and satisfaction: asset management, dashboards, and mobile route management.

Managing All Aspects of Assets

Rental companies can use comprehensive asset management functionality to find out the status of their fleet at a glance, track the service history of the equipment, and drill down into more data on each asset. A company like Rabern, who is using Telematics to gather equipment data, can have that data automatically populated in Rental360 to maintain real-time, up-to-date information on each piece of equipment so sales and service personnel alike can see the complete history of an asset at a glance.

Dashboards That Tell Your Data’s Story

Rabern relies on custom created dashboards to brings together OEM and aftermarket data on their equipment in order to see what equipment needs servicing and where. Rental360 delivers easily customizable dashboards to deliver essential equipment information at a glance.

Make the Most of Your Driver’s Time with Mobile Route Management

Mobile route management makes it possible to efficiently plan routes, see and update the status of work orders on the go, ensure that equipment is delivered to, serviced at, or picked up from the correct job site at the appropriate time to optimize both the driver’s time and the customer’s experience.

Advances in on-board equipment technology can give rental companies a great deal of insight into how their assets are performing and when they need maintenance. However, having a complete ERP system that ties that equipment data to business information is essential to gaining a competitive advantage through better customer service and efficient equipment use.

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Originally published August 8, 2019. Updated for relevancy and accuracy.