A Brief History of All Star Equipment Rental and Sales
Family Owned and Operated
All Star Equipment Rental and Sales is a family owned and operated business. Originally named Actron, the first location of All Star was created in 1974 in Fort Lauderdale by Sam Taylor and his then junior partner Richard Botting.
My Three Sons
Within a few years, three more locations were created in Florida and each one of these locations was operated by each of Sam Taylor’s three sons: Scott, Matt and Todd. Each of the 3 sons took Actron into different markets with different management styles. Even though their management styles were different, each of them had the same unwavering focus on light contractor equipment and consistent service.
Bulk Buying Power and Close-Knit Employees
The four Actrons enjoyed the advantages of both a larger corporation and a smaller independent company. They all received the benefits of the bulk buying power and statewide name recognition a larger corporation would receive and the close-knit employee environment and low overhead a small independent company would receive. Most importantly, they enjoyed the autonomy and flexibility to adapt to the rental industry’s changing realities.
Fourteen Branches in Fourteen Years
During the 1980’s Actron opened 14 branches in as many years. “We saw a niche in the equipment market where we could offer a good piece of equipment at a fair price, back it up with excellent service and on top of it all, deliver and pick up at no charge” says Sam Taylor.
Sam wanted to give his 3 sons an equal shot at managing and growing the business on their own terms and in their own fashion. After graduating from college each of the 3 sons returned to Actron’s head quarters for intensive preparation in every phase of the operation before setting out on his own.
Learning all about the Equipment Rental Business
The Taylor sons delivered equipment, worked in the shop with mechanics, at the counter with customers, and on the road as sales reps. Then they went off in different directions and opened branches.
Scott Taylor opened Actron’s first branch in 1997 in Bradenton and later expanded into Clearwater and Tampa on Florida’s West Coast. Two years later he was followed by Matt, who took Actron into the Orlando area and oversaw branches in Orlando, Longwood, Melbourne, Daytona and Titusville.
And then There were Sixteen
About four years later, Todd opened the first location in Fort Myers, adding West Palm Beach, Naples, Port St. Lucie and Cape Coral branches later. Along the way, the original Actron headquarters moved to Pompano Beach, where Richard Botting, who also has two sons in the business, oversaw Actron Inc. including two other locations in Davie and Kendall bringing the total branches for Actron at the time to 16.
Light Equipment for Contractors
Part of All Star’s success can clearly be attributed to Actron’s steadfast specialization in the light equipment arena, including air compressors, saws, generators, pumps, hammers, grinders and diamond blades.
“Our intention is to serve the contractor with small equipment and always has been.” says Taylor, “so after the years of customers knowing that they’re being treated fairly and trusting a company, it takes more than a little bit to jolt them away from us.”
Adding a Few Larger Pieces
In the late 1990’s it added some bigger pieces to its inventory, including 50-kW generators, skid-steer loaders and ride-on rollers. The move was motivated by a desire to satisfy some longtime customers who were constantly asking for the items.
“If we got into heavier equipment in a bigger way, we’d have to sacrifice service on the smaller equipment,” says Todd Taylor. “When you’re making a delivery on a skid-steer, you’re putting it on a trailer, binding it down and hooking it to the truck, while another customer is waiting for that rotary hammer that you promised in 30 minutes.”
Consistency and Loyalty
“The whole key to our success has been consistency” says Sam Taylor.
“We’ve had a lot of luck with very loyal employees over the years and I believe we have been very loyal to the employees. It makes a difference, especially in today’s corporate world where there seems to be a big problem with loyalty both ways.”
All Star believes that the way to stay on track and grow in a time of unprecedented competition is to earn the loyalty of the staff, who, in turn, must earn it from the customer.
This article was excerpted and re-written from a January 1997 issue of Rental Equipment Register. The original article was written by Aaron R. Smith.
All Star Locations
All Star Equipment Rental and Sales currently has locations in the following Florida areas:
West Palm Beach
Port St. Lucie