L & A Tents was founded by Brian Richardson in 1986 and is headquartered in Hamilton, NJ. The business mainly serves the Mid-Atlantic region within a 100-mile-radius of its headquarters, but has been called upon for on jobs as far away as Michigan and Florida. L & A’s off-season team of 17 employees nearly doubles during its busy season. The L & A crews work with pole tents ranging from 10’ x 10’ to 100’ x 300’ and frame and clearspan structures ranging up to 60 feet wide.
Like many tent and event companies, L & A’s biggest challenge is finding enough qualified and reliable staff members to send out on jobs. But since the supply rarely meets demand during the busy season, Richardson tries to augment his crew with machinery that will help reduce his labor needs.
“For years, we were looking for any possible method to cut labor,” explains Richardson. “We even resorted to renting equipment like skid steers. But many clients objected to our running those machines on their property because of the damage they often caused.”
It wasn’t until 2015 that Richardson found an answer that not only promised to reduce his labor requirements, but also would be kind to client lawns and other easily damaged surfaces. He was attending a landscaping show in Lexington, KY when he saw the Tent OX System.
After sliding behind the wheel to try it out, he talked with Scott Woodruff, president of Tent OX and a 30-year veteran of the tent and event rental business. Liking what he heard about the potential for this new kind of installation system – designed specifically to help tent rental business owners boost revenue – Richardson took delivery in November 2015. Tent OX delivered an Avant 600 series articulated loader equipped with OX Driver, OX Push and OX Puller attachments.
Now 15 months in use, Richardson views Tent OX as a wise purchase. “Tent OX saves us, at minimum, two guys per job, which is huge, especially in an industry that relies so heavily upon labor,” he points out.
But more than just adding manpower, Tent OX excels where man – and other machines – fall short. A specific example for L & A played itself out on a jobsite in the Poconos. L & A had an annual contract to install a 100’ x 260’ tent on a dirt horse track. But because the surface had become heavily compacted over time, it proved to be harder than concrete. In fact, it was nearly impossible to drive or pull stakes. In the previous year, this job required them to rent a huge wrecker, the kind normally used to move disabled trucks and other very heavy machinery. Even that machine was showing stress when pulling recalcitrant stakes!
In 2016, with the Tent OX system on the job, the wrecker was no longer needed. The same 10-person crew easily pulled the stakes using Tent OX and finished the job three hours earlier than usual. L & A substantially increased their profit margin on this single job!
As a final point, it is interesting to contrast the Tent OX’s power with the way it treads lightly on customer properties served by L & A. Where the Poconos job required Tent OX’s strength, Princeton University has designated the Tent OX as the only loader permitted on its pristine lawns and grounds. The machine’s unique ability to traverse the Ivy League school’s property without damaging it adds to L & A’s long-standing relationship with this client.« Previous