Lyle joins ARA of Oregon board
By Brock Huffstutler

Lyle joins ARA of Oregon board

Jason Lyle, owner, Elite Equipment Rental, Lebanon, Ore., has joined the ARA of Oregon board of directors.

While Elite Equipment Rental is relatively new to the Oregon equipment rental scene — the company opened in April 2020 — Lyle himself is an experienced hand with equipment, business ownership and the variety of applications calling for rented materials.

“I went through a Caterpillar technician program when I first started college,” Lyle says. “I worked at a Caterpillar dealership for a little bit, then went on to school and got an ag systems management degree. I also own a manufacturing business called Lane Manufacturing, which does rubber injection molding. The majority of our business is in agriculture for irrigation sprinkler systems, but we also do OEM molding. We do some stuff for John Deere and Hitachi excavators, then we do other stuff for Kawasaki and a little bit for Freightliner.”

While researching other business opportunities, Lyle discovered a significant opening that allowed him to gain a foothold in the equipment rental community.

“There hadn’t been another rental store in this region, either in our town or the next closest one, since 2012. So, my wife and I thought it would be a good opportunity. Whether or not she agreed with me, I convinced her of it anyway,” he says. “I’ve rented quite a bit of equipment in the past, doing DIY projects and commercial projects on properties we’ve owned. I just saw [opening a rental business] as a good opportunity because our town is growing quite a bit. It’s a lot of work. I thought we were going to start a lot smaller than we did, but the demand was there, so we grew rather quickly.”

Elite Equipment Rental, which caters to Lebanon, Sweet Home and the Willamette Valley, concentrates on mini excavators up to 20,000 lbs. and a range of small contractor equipment and homeowner tools.

A longtime industry contact who serves on the ARA of Oregon board reached out to Lyle about joining the state chapter’s leadership team.

“ARA of Oregon was looking for new blood and different points of view,” Lyle says. “I’m looking forward to getting out there and meeting other rental operators to see how we can help them.”

As he becomes acclimated to his new role with the ARA of Oregon, Lyle — like many of his peers in the industry — is working hard to navigate the challenges of owning a business in 2021 while at the same time recognizing his good fortune.

“I’m just trying to run two businesses and keep my head above water. I stopped advertising for our rental business because I was getting overwhelmed with the volume with the personnel that we had. I was trying to handle it myself with my wife. I do have a part-time employee and another manager from my other business who we can lean on if we need help. But with our other business, it’s a blessing. It’s growing by leaps and bounds in the middle of this pandemic. I’m trying to sustainably grow and not let things get out of control,” he says.

Brock Huffstutler

Brock HuffstutlerBrock Huffstutler

Brock Huffstutler is the regional news editor for Rental Management. He writes and edits articles for ARA’s In Your Region quarterly regional newsletters, Rental Management, Rental Pulse and other special projects. Outside of work, he enjoys biking and spending time at the few remaining vintage record stores in the region.

Other articles by Brock Huffstutler
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