A Tough Critic Becomes a Fan After Just One Use: Commonwealth Event Company
In Richmond, Virginia, Commonwealth Event Company has been growing its event rental business since 1989. On-season, the company employs about 35 people who serve customers in a 75-mile radius. Most customers call on them for repeat events such as a major steeple chase, festivals, sporting attractions and corporate functions, as well as the wedding market
Commonwealth Event Company offers a wide variety of sizes and styles of tents including frame, high peak pole tents, free span structures, wedding tents and sidewalls, along with accessories like lighting, heating, air conditioning and staging.
Steven Wingfield, owner of Commonwealth Event Company, sums up his greatest challenge in one word: labor. There is never enough qualified labor on hand to accommodate the company’s growing book of business.
Winning Over a Skeptical Crew: Commonwealth Event Company
Wingfield first saw the Tent OX system in action at the 2014 MATRA Show in Hershey, PA. He immediately recognized the value in the Tent OX, but had a hard time getting his crew on board with the idea of the new machine. Not long after, Scott Woodruff, owner of Tent OX, paid a personal visit to Wingfield’s facility, giving the crew the opportunity to take the Tent OX with them to their next job so they could see, in real-time, how its power drastically reduces time and labor.
Commonwealth Event Company test drove the Tent OX on the setup of a 60-wide. The crew lead, in charge of operations, had earlier voiced his skepticism along with other crew members. But after spending the majority of the time on the machine, he surprised Wingfield when he returned to Commonwealth’s facility and said, “I love it!”
Wingfield didn’t waste any time getting a Tent OX System in his stable. For 2015, Commonwealth Event Company had a 600-series Avant articulated loader ready to go, along with OX Driver, OX Puller, OX Push and OX Fork attachments.
“I love everything about Tent OX, but for me its speed is such an important feature,” explains Wingfield. “In our line of work, come rain, snow or anything else, you have to get the job done. And the quicker you can get done and out of those conditions, the more valuable the piece of equipment is.”
Tent OX Breezes Through Setup of the Largest Steeple Chase on East Coast
Tent OX really excels on large scale jobs, Wingfield adds. It maintains the same power, precision and efficiency from its first stake to its last. A good example of this is an annual job where Commonwealth Event Company sets up about 250 tents, all in a row, to support the largest equine steeple chase event on the East Coast. When Wingfield brought Tent OX to work on that job for the first time, his crew recorded an almost unbelievable one-third reduction in time and labor required to drive and pull stakes!
Wingfield adds a word of praise for the ability to glide over delicate surfaces without damaging them. “I love explaining to clients who are concerned about a machine damaging their property that Tent OX is designed just for the tent business. I tell them, ‘It’s probably gentler to your grass than that mower over there!’ ”