COVID-19 Response Shows Herc Rentals Stands By Its Purpose Statement

“We equip our customers and communities to build a brighter future.”

In a time of crisis, a partner and team you can depend on is invaluable.

Whether it’s responding to the threat or aftermath of natural disasters like hurricanes and wildfires or a major health crisis like the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, Herc Rentals is ready to respond and deliver the equipment our customers need effectively, efficiently and safely.

Throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic, Herc Rentals has remained committed to helping our customers and communities adapt and adjust to conditions that can change by the hour. From branch managers and territory sales reps to yard workers, technicians, and drivers, the dedication to the job of assisting those on the frontlines has been noticed from coast to coast.

“This thing hit like a ton of bricks,” Loukas Tsopanoglou, a regional vice president for Herc Rentals. “You think about not leaving home. You wonder if we’re going to be able to do our job. Are we going to be able to rent equipment?”

Tsopanoglou, who oversees about two dozen branches in the Pacific Northwest – one of the first regions in the United States to be impacted by the coronavirus – said answers to those questions came shortly after California’s Bay Area began requiring citizens to shelter in place. “We were designated an essential business, and that’s when our purpose statement – ‘We equip our customers and communities to build a brighter future,’ took on a new meaning.”

In almost every quadrant of the U.S., Team Herc has been on the ground assisting customers in a wide range of fields, whether it entails setting up and running temporary coronavirus testing facilities, providing space for patient overflow, and more.

“Some of our customers weren’t even sure we’d be open,” Tsopanoglou said. “They’ve been really appreciative of the creative ways we’ve solved their needs.”

  • In Southern New Jersey, Herc Rentals’ Philadelphia, PA, branch assisted in the construction of four testing sites by supplying them with power, cooling, and heat.
  • In North Carolina, two Herc Rentals teams from different branches worked together to deliver four 20-ton AC units to four different hospital tent sites set up for patient overflow, while additional team members rented generators to power washing machines and dryers for troops coming home to quarantine at a U.S. Army base.
  • In Houston, TX, when our military needed a clean zone to house local personnel, Team Herc was ready, and within 48 hours, the team on the ground had a plan in place. They delivered and installed three 40-ton air conditioning units and two Hydroxyl generators along with necessary cable and ducting.
  • In Louisiana, the company’s Harvey branch rented generators, two dozen air conditioners, and nearly 300 air scrubbers to cool and clean air inside local healthcare facilities, while the company’s ProSolutions team in New Orleans rented nearly two dozen AC units to a contractor for use at various medical facilities. And when a big challenge arose such as creating a negative air pressure environment for a hospital, Team Herc was ready with a solution, delivering more than 30 500 CFM air scrubbers with medical-grade filters, one 40-ton AC unit, three 20-ton AC units, a 100kW generator, a 500-gallon fuel cube and loads of ducting and cable in almost no time at all.  “COVID-19 has tested the country and our region tremendously,” said Timothy Powe, a ProSolutions representative based in Louisiana. “Our branches have  risen to the occasion of helping our customers in any way possible — I really can’t say enough about this team.”
  • In Florida and Georgia, teams there have rented air scrubbers, AC units, containment walls, and more to hospitals, nursing homes, and aerospace customers.
  • In Washington and California, Herc Rentals teams assisted hospitals, medical centers, and local governments by setting up screening tents complete with power, cooling, heating, and air filtration systems for patients and housing tents for doctors, nurses, and medicines.

“Everything was changing weekly, daily and hourly,” said Territory Sales Rep Frank Sirolli. “The only thing that did not change is our ability to safely and efficiently serve our community when called upon.”

Rob Cowing, a regional vice president based in the Northeast, whose territory includes the country’s hardest-hit area, New York City, said the teams there continue to prove their value.

“This is the third major issue this group has faced since I’ve been here,” said Cowing, who is now in his 26th year as a member of Team Herc. “The first was 9/11 and then Hurricane Sandy, but both of those were one-time events. There was a mourning period and a recovery period right after. This has been different. We have 19 million people living on top of one another and used to interacting with one another. Staying away from each other is an extremely difficult thing to do.”

Equipment rental is a person-to-person business, added Tsopanoglou. “Social distancing and working remotely have made that tough,” he said. “We’ve done a really good job of adapting during this time …”

“Our customers are going through a lot of the same things we are,” said Tsopanoglou, noting customers’ communications and the safety issues are similar. “We’ve had a lot of existing and new customers going into segments they never imagined they’d be performing in, whether it’s general contractors, mechanical contractors, tent and event companies, and hospitals … I’ve been really impressed with our team’s resourcefulness, resilience, and their ability to adapt on an hourly or daily basis.”

Customers have noticed too.

Most satisfying, however, has been the customer feedback, Cowing said. “It isn’t often that a customer takes time to call or write an email in support of a rep or branch, but over the last 30 days, I’ve received a lot more compliments from customers than I can ever remember.”

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