Construction equipment rental companies are often a big part of the fabric of the construction industry, but the industry is in trouble.
As more and more people become aware of the risks associated with building in areas with unstable weather conditions, more and larger rental companies have stepped in to fill the void.
The most recent downturn in construction equipment rentals was around 2016, when the Canadian Association of Professional and Occupational Builders called for a major expansion of the industry.
The association says the industry now employs about 30,000 people in Canada.
“As more and less people are looking to rent construction equipment, we see a lot of pressure on rental companies to increase their rental rates,” said Paul Kowalczyk, the association’s director of government relations.
“When the demand for construction equipment rises, so does the demand that’s being put out there for rental companies.”
It’s been more than five years since the association made its call, and the industry continues to struggle.
Construction equipment rentals have been on the decline for some time.
There were a total of 9,800 rental companies operating in 2016, down from 10,500 the year before, according to data from the Canadian Construction Association.
And while rental rates are up across the board, they’re down for some rental companies.
“There’s been a lot more competition and competition has caused a lot less interest,” said Kowalki.
The big problem for rental firms, according the association, is that there is no clear way for the industry to protect workers from the unpredictable weather conditions that can arise.
While the industry has made a concerted effort to reduce staffing costs, it’s hard to do so when many workers are still underpaid.
“You have people who are on the bottom end of the scale, and they’re working at minimum wage, and there’s no way that the employer can guarantee that they’re getting a decent wage when they’re doing the job,” said Dave Kowalski, the president of the Canadian Professional Construction Association, which represents about 5,000 of the country’s largest rental companies and brokers.
The industry has also had to make changes to the way it manages risk.
“The industry is taking more responsibility in how they manage their risks,” said the association.
“They’re managing more risk through their staffing.”
The association estimates that a total $11.4 billion is spent on construction equipment each year.
That includes salaries, insurance, maintenance, insurance and other costs associated with the repair and maintenance of equipment.
It also includes costs related to insurance and the installation of equipment, like plumbing and wiring.
The problem is that it takes more money to fix an old piece of equipment than it does to replace an existing piece of machinery.
And it can be hard to find workers who are willing to do the work.
The union says the majority of rental companies that have been surveyed say they are hiring people to work on their properties, but there are fewer openings for that than there were a few years ago.
It’s also not clear what type of jobs the industry can provide for workers who have moved away from the industry and are now looking for a new job.
“We’re not getting the same number of people who were looking for construction jobs back into the industry,” said Karen McAlpine, a spokesperson for the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.
“What we need is to get people back into it.”
It was during the downturn in the construction market that many of the rental companies went bankrupt, according an industry analysis conducted by the Association of Construction Contractors.
Many of those companies went under at the same time.
And that’s where the current downturn has come in.
It took the loss of some of the largest rental company stocks in the industry, and a combination of factors that caused a number of companies to shut down.
The downturn hit the construction sector hardest in 2016.
“During the downturn, we had a lot fewer people applying for rental positions, so we had more turnover of people and that affected our business,” said McAlpines.
The rental industry is now struggling, and some of those people are struggling to find work again.
But there are some companies that are making some headway.
“One of the biggest things that we’re seeing from a rental perspective is the quality of the people who do the jobs,” said Greg Tapp, president and CEO of the Association for Professional Construction.
“It’s good to see that we’ve seen a few people with the experience to move in and be hired.”
The Association for Professionals in Construction has partnered with a number local companies to provide training to new employees and those who have been laid off.
The training program is designed to give people the tools they need to take on new jobs in the real estate industry, such as interior design and landscaping.
Tapp says the training will help people find work and stay in the field longer.
“People that have had to move out of the business because they were unable to find new work