Operating an equipment rental business can create unique, specific maintenance challenges. The team at Crown Rental in Burnsville, Minnesota, has over the years learned how to overcome those challenges in serving its consumer and small contractor customer base in Dakota County, Minnesota, and the South Metro area of the Twin Cities. A year after adding a Sage Oil Vac lube cart system, the Crown Rental team is taking stock of how it’s changed their machinery maintenance operations for the better.
The idea of delivering a new level of service was in mind when Crown Rental maintenance techs and leadership saw a Sage Oil Vac 3011-1100 evacuation lube cart and the functionality the small but mighty tool could bring to their maintenance needs. So, when a stroke of luck provided them the opportunity to try it out, they jumped at the chance to put it to work. In doing so, they discovered the benefits of the pump-free Sage Oil Vac compressed air system, not just taking care of routine machinery engine maintenance, but also to manage some of the maintenance tasks that come with renting excavation and power equipment in a largely suburban marketplace.
“We rent a high volume of equipment to small contractors, homeowners and municipalities. Our customers may rent equipment for one day or one month, and 95% of the time, we conduct the service once the rental is completed,” said Crown Rental Service Technician Jarrod Heath. “We rent and maintain air compressors, drivable boom lifts, wood chippers, excavators, bulldozers, light towers and small generators.”
Luck of the draw
With expanding ways to serve that equipment rental business customer base in mind, Crown Rental Owner Doug Haas attended the 2020 American Rental Association (ARA) convention and trade show in Orlando, Florida, where he connected with the Sage Oil Vac team. Haas was the winner of a Sage 3011-1100 evacuation lube cart giveaway at the Sage trade show booth, and that tool introduced Haas and his team to a new way to change oil in machinery. Haas eventually also purchased a Filter Stinger™ and Dipstick Tube Evacuation kit for the cart. Now a year later, the system has altogether changed how Crown Rental maintenance team members do their jobs.
“Before Sage, we hadn’t really explored new options for lubricating equipment. We were just pulling drain plugs and draining into pans, then into a bulk waste tank. The main headache we had with changing oil on smaller equipment was caused by the location of drain plugs and the process of draining oil. We used to have to take multiple drain pans with us on our service trucks, and they would always overfill and spill oil everywhere,” Heath said. “With the Sage unit, our mobile service techs can vacuum out the oil pans while we’re draining the oil out of the machinery. It changes the job completely and eliminates so much of the mess we faced before.”
The lube cart solution to routine and unique problems
And that’s just with routine maintenance; Heath said his team’s been able to use the Sage lube cart to manage problems that would otherwise be much more costly to solve.
“The lube cart was a huge help when we had an issue with a customer mistakenly filling a diesel engine with gasoline. We were able to vacuum and evacuate the gasoline from the entire diesel system,” Heath added. “We also used it once when a customer mistakenly added diesel fuel to a hydraulic tank. Those are headaches that can become bigger and costly issues, but they didn’t because we had the Sage system. It saved us a lot of time and we were able to get equipment back up and running and on to the next customer.”
An easy transition for service teams
Though the transition to the Sage Oil Vac system was a departure from normal operations for the Crown Rental equipment rental business maintenance team, Heath said it was an easy one. While he did have initial questions, his Sage Oil Vac rep was quick to find answers, so he was able to easily integrate it into his operations. Now a year later, he said it’s helped open his eyes to how tools like his Sage lube cart can help streamline once-cumbersome, messy and time-consuming jobs like changing machinery oil.
“Our relationship with the Sage Oil Vac team has been awesome. We’ve had no problems with the cart from an operational standpoint,” Heath said. “Whenever we’ve had questions or have needed additional parts, everything always happens in a timely manner. That helps us take good care of our machinery, keep it rented and keep our customers happy.”
If you’re thinking about ways to streamline your own equipment maintenance, contact a Sage Oil Vac dealer to learn more and put a system to work in your business.