T.J. Hermesman, 34, is one of the owners of Ted’s True Value Rental, Durango, Colo., one of a few different businesses his family has ventured into.
“Looking at our local needs and growth we have always seen the rental industry as having continued growth and potential. It is because of this we have continued to add to our store and expand our abilities and what we have to offer our customers. We have built a strong name and business and I want to continue that into the future,” Hermesman says.
Ted’s Rental and Sales was started by his grandfather, who moved to Durango as a manager for Montgomery Ward in 1969. When he was asked to relocate, he decided to stay and saw a need for equipment rental, starting the business with a few small pieces including a lawnmower and a rototiller.
“Through seriously hard work, lots of hours at the store and good old American stubbornness he grew the business in the following years,” Hermesman says. “My dad has worked in the rental center his entire life alongside my grandfather, so naturally that is where I grew up as well. After high school, I served in the military and at the tail end, I talked with my dad and decided to move back home and help with the family business. That was about 13 years ago.”
Ted’s Rental and Sales is a full-service rental store offering everything from drills to full-size backhoes, targeting local small contractors and homeowners as key customers. The company recently added a full True Value paint center and hardware store to the business as a way to potentially attract more customers. The company has 10 full-time employees as well as four to five that work part time.
“We now have a 6,000-sq.-ft. True Value hardware store along with the full rental center. This rebranding and reimaging have brought in new life and excitement with our long-standing loyal customers and a whole host of new customers as well,” Hermesman says.
The company has been an American Rental Association (ARA) member since 1986 and Hermesman has been an ARA of Colorado board member since 2020, currently serving as treasurer.
“I have been in many different businesses and industries and each of them I have always seen and felt the impact of learning from my peers. With all the knowledge and experience wrapped up in the ARA and its members, I knew I would be on the winning end of the deal by getting involved. That has proven true time and time again. Every time I am lucky enough to get to learn firsthand from fellow ARA members or from the ARA itself, I see the impact in my store,” he says.
Having grown up in the family business, serving in the military and returning to the rental store, Hermesman says working in the equipment rental industry offers a wide variety of challenges and opportunities so that even if you choose rental as a career, you get to do different things all the time.
“With my store, we have a thousand different tools to work with each day, and now we have the whole retail side with the hardware store. That allows a solid place to work and grow that offers new challenges and learning experiences every day, and I think that can be very attractive to employees,” he says.