Talk to Timothy Smith, Danny Lowe or L. Rashad Major, ask them how business is and you don’t even have to wait for words, the smile on their faces tells all.
One year after the trio and a silent partner launched EZ Haul, a self-drive truck rental company, they have grown their fleet five-fold.
“We started out with one used F150 truck in good condition and we added trucks as the demand justified.
We just introduced our first box truck, allowing us to serve a segment of the market we were unable to provide for before,” said Smith, 24. “We believe it will jumpstart the biggest single lift to our business yet.”
While the open bed trucks have been on nearly constant rental by independent contractors, small business operators and others who need a truck on occasion, the enclosed truck will meet the needs of smaller furniture companies, do-it-yourself home or small office movers, freight forwarders and those who want the security and weather protection of enclosed transport, said Lowe.
All three – Smith, Lowe and Major – are hands-on, from creating the business model based on the efficacy of renting rather than purchasing to sharing responsibility for the management of rentals, checking out the trucks and checking them back in, handling maintenance, servicing, insurance and fuel. They created their own website and manage their Facebook page.
All three balance truck rental company tasks with their other lives as real estate professionals, Lowe and Smith with Mario Carey Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate and Major with Bahama Islands Realty.
Smith was this year’s top producer among the younger set at Better Homes and Gardens where Lowe won that honour in a previous year.
“Yes, I guess you could say we are go-getters,” said Lowe. “We have invested our own money understanding the risk. Having made strategic partnerships and marked our first year, we are following our growth strategy. We believe the timing is right and we agree that the road to ‘overnight success’ takes 10 years.”
According to Major, the combination of lifelong friendships and shared vision provided a solid platform.
“We built on the trust that we had in each other and in the business plan that we developed with great care,” said Major.
“We were also fortunate that we had mentors we could turn to. It was our savings and our risk, but the advice from others was something that money could not buy and for which we are very grateful.”
The three young entrepreneurs who launched the self-drive truck rental business say one of the by-products of their initial success is creating a model for others to follow, identifying a need for rental equipment for temporary use equipment.
Their next step – a space of their own for the housing and maintenance of the trucks.