EDCO Celebrates 65 Years of Rental Tough Equipment
The company’s history is built on their solid relationships and dependable equipment
Being an early pioneer of the rental industry, EDCO has always worked hard to provide the equipment and services that are most needed by contractors in the industry. A value the company has always held strong – even before EDCO officially existed.
“Back in 1955, there was a need to grind down concrete to smooth the edges and my father, Ed Harding, invented a tool for that,” Bill Harding, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors at EDCO said. “He built it by hand and sold it to a company called Rental Tools & Equipment. After seeing a lot of success with the tool, they took it to the rental show and the demand for the equipment skyrocketed.”
At the time, there wasn’t even a manufacturing facility for these machines as Harding was still building them all by hand. Harding and his partner Leo Swan knew they needed to advance their business and the company EDCO was officially born.
“There wasn’t a demand for rental equipment at that time, but EDCO created that demand,” Jason Stanczyk, President of EDCO said. “What Leo and Ed understood however, was that a contractor or homeowner needed equipment to get things done for themselves and they wanted to give them what they needed to do so.”
And EDCO has made it their goal for the last 65 years to grow and adapt to the specific needs of rental houses and their customers.
“With us starting in the rental industry that way, we know what the demands are for equipment,” Harding said. “My dad started out making a bulletproof machine, built out of heavy gauge steel with quality parts throughout and we keep those standards today.”
In fact, EDCO still manufactures, assembles, and ships all of their products from small-town Frederick, MD, a fact they are proud of and know adds to the long-term success of their machines. “We understand that it doesn’t cost that much more to build a high-quality piece of equipment than it does to build one of a lesser quality,” Harding said. “We want to be known for simple and strong equipment that will hold up and give a great return for the users.”
Adapting with the Times
Of course you don’t stay in business for 65+ years without evolving to meet the needs of your customers. While EDCO’s commitment to quality, longevity and support have not changed, they continue to invest heavily in the research and development (R&D) of their equipment so it can continue to meet the needs of their customers.
“We have grown immensely over the years by staying in tune with the needs of our customers,” Stanczyk said. “The rental industry has changed and grown with us and with that so has the need for variety. Growth on both sides has been achieved by giving customers a variety of things to rent that keeps them coming back, and great logistics on our end which allows us to move equipment to these locations faster. EDCO has invested heavily in being able to do this.”
While creating new products for the demand of their customers is one part of that equation, investing in the means to build the equipment more efficiently is another.
“Our facilities have been upgraded many times to evolve with the times,” Stanczyk adds. “We have invested many dollars into high-quality manufacturing equipment and have the latest laser fabricating machines in operation to build our equipment and upgrade as needed. We have also invested in lean manufacturing principles which allows us to get those machines to our customers as quickly as they need. All of this allows EDCO to stay competitive and a step ahead.”
And once EDCO builds a machine, they stand by it – continually making the changes needed to keep the machine performing for their customers.
“We don’t just design a piece of equipment and forget about it and not make any updates or changes,” Harding said. “We are always trying to have our equipment perform up to the highest standard and be safe and we’ve taken that to heart since the beginning. As things evolve within the industry, we build new things and try things out for our customers. We know that we want to increase the performance of the machine so that it does a better job and we have always been open to change.”
EDCO is also on top of changes that need to be made due to evolving industry standards, and keeps their R&D team busy to always be a step ahead for their customers.
“Our latest advancements came from OSHA’s silica dust ruling and so we had to come up with a great vacuum containment system to go along with the product and we’ve done that. So as the world changes and rulings and environmental hazards change, we try to stay on top of that as much as we can,” Harding adds.
Investing in Rental Training
As the landscape of the rental needs change, and the skilled labor shortage becomes more apparent in the industry, EDCO keeps training and education at their core. They know it’s not only important to the success of their equipment and its use on the jobsite, but to the overall success of their customers.
“Training has always been in our DNA,” Stanczyk said. “Leo and Ed understood that a contractor or homeowner needed to know how to use the equipment that they were renting. What they realized as the manufacturer and supplier of that equipment, was that EDCO owed it to their customers to make sure they understood not only how to use the equipment, but how to be profitable. From very early on, EDCO has provided exemplary training, whether in person or in literature or online, that shows our customers how to use this equipment.”
The use of the equipment is only part of the equation. EDCO takes their training even further to show their customers ways to improve their profitability with the proper use of the machinery.
“At EDCO, we know how important it is to train the people and make them aware of what’s going to perform the best and give them the best return,” Harding adds. “We believe very much in educating our customers, so we are sure to train rental users in depth about all of the grinding and scarifying equipment and the tooling that goes on it and what to use it for. That takes a lot of time and effort, but we build that relationship and we show the rental people how to rent the equipment and then use it so that it is profitable.”
The official training program for the company, EDCOed, has been available for years as a place users could go to see how a product works and find relevant information for their needs. On the website, users can complete the virtual program at any time, at the pace of the student. The education is never overwhelming and you continually build on your knowledge with each new educational track.
The company also offers in-person training through their account representatives, and their EDCO 101 program brings EDCO experts into the rental house to teach users how to rent the equipment to their customers while also being a strategic partner to help drive more sales at their business. “EDCO knows that it’s not just the metal that makes the money,” Stanczyk said. “People keep coming back to our equipment because they know we provide the value beyond the sale. We teach them how to use it and how to be profitable with it.”
An All-In Mentality Drives Success
And once you’re an EDCO customer, you become part of the family, which means a lot coming from a company that is still third-generation, family-owned.
“What’s great about EDCO is that we have an active leadership team that continues to invest back in the company and our people,” Stanczyk said. “Because of that, it’s very easy to feel like we are all working towards a common goal and that’s how to be better for our customers. Everyone is “all-in” on building a quality product, supporting it after the sale, representing it in the field in a way that builds trust, and providing that family-feel that customers have come to expect from EDCO.”
That is one thing that you won’t see changing at EDCO over the next 65 years – and beyond – the constant support of their people and their products.
“Our success comes down to our people,” Harding said. “The ones who build and support the products and the ones who buy them. The buyers know the quality of the product, the quality of the service they will get from us, and the support and the training that goes into it. If you put it all together as a complete package, I can confidently say that after 65 years we still build a great product and we support our product. We will always stand behind it.”
Make time to chat with the experts at EDCO during the 2024 ARA show in New Orleans to learn more about their storied history and commitment to their customers. Visit them in Booth #1419.