Premier Equipment Rental Inc.
As a multipurpose company, service and availability are the key contributing factors to the success of Premier Equipment Rental Inc. (PER). “We operate 24/7,” says Lynn Gudmundson, president of PER. Located in Bakersfield, California, the company specializes in supplying and renting equipment to the construction, oil and agriculture industries among others. “We deal with everything from log splitters, hand drills to backhoes, excavators and water trucks,” adds Gudmundson. “We also have a lot of miscellaneous equipment.”
Founded in 1999 by Gudmundson, PER manages 200 full-time employees and performs service on all of its equipment. “We’re mechanics as well,” says Gudmundson. “When we started out, we were able to buy equipment at auctions relatively cheap and repair it and make it better than it was.” While the company maintains its headquarters in Bakersfield, PER also has locations in Grand Junction, California, Utah and a newly developed yard in Texas.
Creating its own market
After working on environmental cleanup projects in the oil refineries in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay area for 10 years, Gudmundson decided to start PER in an effort to fill a void he saw in the equipment rental industry. “I wanted to be able to go home on the weekends and not have the expense of having to pay rental companies on weekends and down time,” says Gudmundson. “Also, we could never go home because we would always to stick around on the project to wait for the equipment to get there. We started small but through hard work, determination and always taking care of the customer, we built the company into what it is today.”
Hard work and determination have always been a factor in Gudmundson’s professional endeavors. As a young boy, he began his career in the farming industry working for Tenneco West. After learning how to rebuild transmissions, Gudmundson worked his way into the automotive industry and eventually became self-employed at 20 years old and has been ever since. “I have always challenged myself to the maximum,” he says. “I have set my goals high and have had the opportunity to learn from some great business partners and have even partnered with some as well.”
As most business owners are aware, the bottom line is important — but some forms of success are not shown in dollars. Gudmundson refers to a recent contract signed with a company as a measure of success. “It was four years in the making so it was a big deal for me to finally get the contract,” he says. “Sometimes it takes a while. I was hoping to have it done in two years and it took four but that’s OK because it was a long-term goal that we stuck with and ultimately achieved.”
Setting goals and striving to achieve them regardless of any obstacles proved to be extremely effective for PER during the recession. Through hard work and innovation, the company has been able to push through another economic downturn. “When times get tough, we stick it out and work that much harder,” Gudmundson explains. “We had to let some people go but we were able to keep the same level of quality and service with less people.”
Adapting to adversity
With every economic downturn there is innovation in products and services of every industry. Companies strive to find new methods of achieving outcomes while spending less money to create the end result. PER has been at the forefront of innovation and has established a reputation for it. “We don’t buy new market shares, we create them,” says Gudmundson.
An example of PER leading innovation in the industry presented itself in the form of preventing heat stroke in oil rig workers. By placing watercoolers on trailers with a design that included reliable filtration systems, PER was able to provide an effective cooling and hydration system to jobsites that had yet to be achieved. “We had about four solid years of providing that equipment before other companies started to catch on,” says Gudmundson. “Now you can find them all over the country.”
Knowing that one has made an impact on the industry they are working in will create a sense of pride just about anyone. Gudmundson says that being able to drive down the street and witness his equipment in use gives him a sense of achievement while inspiring him to keep working hard. “When I started the company I knew that would be a sign of achievement,” he says. “We have pride knowing that we work with those people using our equipment and we give them good satisfaction and they keep coming back to us. And we have continued to grow because of that.”
While Premier Equipment Rental Inc. continues to grow and expand its market share, the company will continue to provide innovative, industry-leading solutions while creating complete customer satisfaction.
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