By Tim Leeds
After more than a year of renovating and refurbishing, Havre Rental will hold a grand opening on Saturday, April 22.
Hugh and Wanda Crowell bought the business on Jan. 1, 1999, and have been busily moving merchandise, renovating and adding to the business's lines ever since.
Refreshments will be served at the grand opening and drawings will be held. The grand prize will be a Stihl® trimmer.
Crowells have made some major changes since they took over the business, adding lines and merchandise for rental, sale and resale.
"What we're trying to do is supply people in the general area with stuff they can come and get that's reliable," Crowell said. He said it's often more reasonable for people to rent something they will only use a few times a year, if that, instead of paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars to buy it. Even local professionals often rent equipment from him for their operations, he said.
The Crowells are constantly increasing their selection. They recently added a scissor lift which lifts to 19 feet with a working height of 25 feet, and a manlift that raises to 34 feet with a 40 foot working height, both with controls in the working area to maneuver and move the equipment. There are also two Bobcats®, a backhoe, ditch diggers, tractors, trailers, sandblasters, generators, welding equipment, pressure washers and more, along with electric tools and manual items as simple as wheelbarrows.
Crowell said his business sells a lot of chainsaws and trimmers, with full service on them and on any small engines. He said their main line is Stihl® saws, trimmers and accessories, and they do a lot of business with them.
His service manager, Shawn Burrington, is a trained and certified Stihl® repairman, and can fix or tune chainsaws and trimmers and do small engine repair and tune-ups. Burrington's apprentice, Russ Zumbaum, is also undergoing certified Stihl® training.
Along with the heavy equipment, saws and trimmers, manual tools and repair work, Havre Rental offers rental, sale and re-sale of many other lines of merchandise. They have a major selection of party items for weddings or special occasions, with photo backdrops, canopies and gazebos, tables and chairs, dishes, plates and silverware. Crowell said they do a lot of business in balloons for special occasions. He said there has been a lot of call for paper plates and napkins for special occasions as well, and they're adding a special line for that.
He said they also do some business renting small refrigerators. He said they make a deal with the students at the college for long-term rentals. They rent out rollaway beds, which Crowell said are often used by the local hotels and motels if there is a lot of traffic in town.
They also carry home care items such as carpet shampooers, and have food preparation items such as a cotton candy machine, hot dog cookers, and popcorn machines.
To top it all off, Havre Rental is also the local Rider Truck dealership, although Crowell said that is not a major part of their operation.
"A few people move in and a few people move out," he said. "It's not a big part of it."