Getting Ahead While Serving Others
Growing construction industry fuels Rental One’s expansion
Rental One’s mission statement, “To Serve Others with Excellence,” transcends words on the office wall. It’s the mantra of four generations of the O’Neal family, leaders in the equipment rental industry for decades.
The company’s primary business line focuses on renting equipment to commercial contractors in the construction industry (R1Equip.com). The company also has strategic supplemental business lines that rent containers for construction sites and sell construction supplies (R1Supply.com).
Rental One was founded in 2004, in the Fort Worth suburb of Colleyville, but the company’s origins go back much further, says Doug Miller, who leads the marketing efforts at Rental One. Husband and wife Ray and Tommie O’Neal started an equipment rental company, A-1 Rental, in the 1950s. A-1 was sold in the 1990s, and the family opted to launch another company, leading to the ultimate birth of Rental One by the couple’s son, Don O’Neal.
Today, the organization is led by Don’s son, Mike O’Neal. Mike’s brother-in-law, Chad Alvarez, also works as a Vice President for the company, and continuing the family tradition are Mike’s children, Hooper and Caroline, and Chad’s sons, Austin and Wes.
Mike, President of Rental One, says that the multigenerational Texas family business is dedicated to service. “We have built an equipment rental company unlike any other,” Mike says. “We continue to listen to our customers and their needs. At each of our locations, as well as through online reservations, the customer has the unique opportunity to get everything they need through Rental One.”
The mission statement guides the company’s decisions. “Rental One is most proud of how we serve other people. We do this in a variety of ways, but ultimately it is through our customer-driven process. The customers choose whether they want to pick up the equipment, have it dropped off at their job site and even who they interact with during the transaction,” Mike says. “And we offer top-tier vendor partners like John Deere, Bobcat, Genie, JLG, Hamm and SkyTrak in a wide array of comprehensive equipment, both small and large, to get any job done.”
The company is in growth mode, Doug says, recently opening stores in Van Alstyne and San Marcos. Rental One has 15 locations across the state with plans to add multiple new locations across North and Central Texas in the next few years.
“The expansion efforts make sense with the growing construction industry,” Doug says. “We see a legitimate desire for something different than most equipment rental companies typically offer. Our customers appreciate our price transparency, ease of doing business and progressive processes. We seek solutions that are more advanced, while we also retain the ‘look you in the eye, my word is my bond’ mentality.”
These business practices focus on going the extra mile for customers by creating a partnership rather than just an account. “That is distinctive in the industry,” he says. “We can deliver and pick up equipment and get it to their work site when they need it and conversely, pick it up quickly, too. Our customers know they can come in and get what they want, when they need it, every time.”
Convenience is another selling point for Rental One. “We teach our employees at each location to say yes, take the order and create solutions for the customer,” Doug says.
One way they take care of customers is by allowing contractors to rent and return all equipment at any of the company’s locations—whichever is most convenient for them. “This allows us to efficiently utilize our equipment while also creating value and efficiency for the customer,” Mike says. “You have to be smart about it, but ultimately our goal is to best serve the customer, large or small.”
Commercial contractors make up the bulk of Rental One’s customer base, Doug says. “We handle a lot of contracts that range in size from the construction of a football stadium, city playground, retail center or business park to the repair of a foundation for a school district building. Our equipment is rented to support multiple events each year at various venues across the state, too. It is common to see Rental One dozers, wheel loaders, containers and power generators at AT&T Stadium in Arlington or skid steers, telehandlers and light towers at other stadium and entertainment complexes across the state.
“We also exist to serve the small and large contractor alike. We enjoy delivering excellence no matter the size or scale of project. We try to take care of our customers and help them meet their needs by creating a one-stop shop,” Doug says. “That is one reason for the container rental. Every job site needs those, whether it is a mobile office or a place to lock and store supplies that you’re going to need. We use shipping containers in varying sizes to bring extra value on a job site to our equipment and supply customers.”
The company supports several charities and organizations that the O’Neal family and partners at Rental One have selected based on each nonprofit’s purpose.
“Our DNA is very centered on biblical values, and our leadership believes strongly in serving others in a way that is pleasing to God,” Doug says. “It really is a differentiator for us.”
The company supports Living Water International, Cornerstone Assistance Network, The Miracle League DFW and 6 Stones. Living Water International works with communities to create solutions for water in developing countries where clean water is desperately needed. Cornerstone Assistance Network provides physical, emotional and spiritual services to people struggling with poverty in Tarrant County. The Miracle League DFW removes the barriers that keep children with mental and physical disabilities off the field and allows them to experience playing as a part of a team. 6 Stones is a coalition of churches that serves the Tarrant County community in a variety of ways ranging from community-wide food drives to home repairs.
Living the Mission Statement
Rental One’s leader, Mike O’Neal says his business plan can be boiled down to the five words of the company’s mission statement: To Serve Others with Excellence. Mike explains, “this mission comes from Matthew 22:37-39. Responding to the question, ‘Which is the greatest commandment in the law?’ Jesus answered ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.’ Our mission aligns with what He considers to be the first and second greatest commandment: To put love into action by serving others with excellence. We strive to serve our customers, other team members, our vendor partners and our community by showing them that we genuinely care for and love them and to show God through our actions that we love Him.”
In order to fulfill the company’s mission, Mike looks for team members who will fit with the culture. “We look for the Three Cs: character, chemistry and competency. We believe character is the most important, and we evaluate who illustrates that trait by using our five core values: honesty/integrity, dependability, teamwork, customer focus and safety. Rental One is hyperfocused on who a team member is first and then what that team member can do second.”
Mike says that understanding those core values makes it easier for his team to understand that they have to deliver on the promises they make. “You can think it. You can say it, but at the end of the day you have to live it.”