Tent OX Founder Wins One of US Rental Industry’s Highest Honors

Award is Given On Tent OX’s 10th Anniversary

New Orleans, LA   at the 2024 ARA Show – Scott Woodruff, whose work on mechanizing tent installations has upended centuries-old methods for putting up commercial tents, has been awarded one of the US rental industry’s highest honors. On Sunday Feb. 18, the American Rental Association presented Scott with the 2023 American Rental Association (ARA) Industry Impact Award at its annual trade show in New Orleans, Louisiana. The award “recognizes a manufacturer supplier …who made a significant impact on the association and/or industry during the past two years.”

The ARA Industry Impact award was presented by ARA president Steve Mau (far right) and president-elect Jeff Crotto (far left ) in this photo, taken at the Sunday Awards Luncheon in New Orleans, Louisiana

As a well-known, former commercial tent rental company owner and long-time safety advocate for the sector, Scott’s industry innovations have been a key driver in helping event companies adopt faster, safer ways to accomplish their work. His nearly three decades of involvement in the tent and event rental business give him a unique insight into the needs of commercial tent installers who routinely struggle to fill out their installation crews to meet an escalating demand for their services. Over the last 10 years, his Tent OX company has transformed the way hundreds of tent and event company companies across North America work out in the field, while helping to cut installation costs by an average of 40-50%.

Scott’s award at the 2024 ARA, shown here, follows another major industry recognition he received in 2015 from the Manufacturers and Tent Renters Association., when he was named to its Hall of Honor

Innovative products developed for safety and profitability

Scott’s idea for mechanizing commercial tent installations was born directly out of his own concerns over reducing injuries, navigating frequent labor shortages and meeting skyrocketing labor costs. Thousands of North American tent and event rental companies have faced this dilemma for years. Scott developed and refined the design and manufacture of a set of tent-industry-specific, labor-saving attachments custom-designed to speed up tent installation tasks. The attachments mount on a full range of Avant Tecno articulated hydraulic loaders, the most advanced and tent-ready machines available to the event rental market.

After selling his rental business in 2015, Scott concentrated full time on building his company, committing to manufacture the attachments locally in Pennsylvania and delivering them with Avant machines as a complete tent installation system. Tent OX recently became the largest single vertical market for Avant loaders, shipping machines and attachments out of three regional North American distribution centers.

The first significant new tent installation technology in decades

Tent OX systems were designed from the start to mechanize commercial tent installation tasks that have been performed manually for generations, including stake driving and stake pulling, pushing massive center poles, and transporting materials from truck to tent sites. Before its introduction 10 years ago, the physical toll experienced by workers on tent sites was driving the tent and event rental sector toward some of the highest turnover rates in the entire equipment rental industry. Scott’s Tent OX System began to address this widespread labor issue when it went on sale in 2014.

To date, several hundred companies have integrated the Tent OX system into their field crews. They routinely report that they can erect both temporary tent structures and pole tents in about half the time required by traditional methods, using roughly half as many crew members. “Many early adopters of the technology have expanded their Tent OX fleets to seven or more Tent OX Systems, leveraging attachments we specifically designed for commercial tent installations,” says Tent OX General Manager Andy Mattrick.

Tent OX reverses the “aging out” syndrome

By helping crews work smarter rather than harder, Tent OX helps companies reduce crew injury rates and extends crew member careers. Experienced workers would otherwise have “aged out” of a tent rental career in their 40s or 50s are reported more likely to remain on the job all the way through to retirement age. At the same time, seasonal workers – who often tended to drop out at the peak of a tent company’s summer activity to seek less strenuous work – are now far more likely to serve out a complete season.  

It is for these achievements that Woodruff has been awarded the ARA’s Industry Impact Award.