Chicago's SkyKing Lift Rentals Buys Skyjack AWPs | Construction News

When SkyKing Lift Rentals in metropolitan Chicago was preparing to launch its rental business in the fall of 2014, it had no doubt it wanted to invest only in aerial work platforms manufactured by Skyjack.

“I’m not nervous that I’ve invested 100% of our money in Skyjack equipment—I’m nervous that I don’t have more of them,” said Paul Zaremba, one of three equipment-rental veterans who co-founded the new company.

Launched in January, SkyKing Lift Rentals services the greater Chicagoland area with a fleet of some 130 scissor lifts. Currently, the fleet comprises primarily SJIII 3219, SJIII 3226, and SJIII 4632 scissor lifts to meet growing demand from core customers -- electricians, plumbers, and heating and cooling contractors.

“Right now we don’t own any booms but we’d love to grow that part of the business down the line,” Zaremba said.

Customer feedback helped SkyKing decide to invest solely in Skyjack aerial work platforms. “Our customers tell us Skyjack equipment is the most reliable and easiest to fix,” Zaremba said. “Plus, customers are so familiar with Skyjack’s aerial work platforms that in this part of the country, scissor lifts are referred to as ‘Skyjacks.’”

Skyjack engineers its equipment using the Simply Reliable philosophy, which keeps designs simple and uses proven technology in order to make Skyjack products easy to service, maintain, and repair. Steel construction ensures that equipment is strong, durable and easy to repair, while replaceable modular platform railings and repairable fiber glass cowlings help reduce maintenance costs.

“Rental companies like us need to have newer and reliable equipment. We need maximum equipment up-time and can’t afford to have machines breakdown since that might break the company financially,” Zaremba said.

“Skyjack equipment is also the easiest to resell by far,” Zaremba said. “Skyjack equipment typically fetches between 20 and 30% of the original purchase price even after rental companies lease the equipment for a decade.”

“Unlike other brands, Skyjack is consistent in the quality of their equipment,” Zaremba said. “With other brands, when it comes to reselling or purchasing used equipment, everyone is nervous about what year the equipment was made because other brands’ machine had different problems in different years—with Skyjack it’s been strong all along.”

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Availability of parts and great product support are also reasons SkyKing chose to invest in Skyjack equipment.

“Repairing Skyjack equipment is a very simple process for both rental companies and buyers,” Zaremba said. “If a contractor has a problem with it, he knows the problem is fixable and won’t break the bank.”

Skyjack designs equipment to use common components across model groups wherever possible, reducing the number of service parts needed to maintain Skyjack products. About 80% of recommended service parts across the range are common—reducing stock holding needs. Also, the use of “off the shelf” service parts wherever possible, as opposed to custom designs, helps make replacing or repairing components easy and more cost effective.

“For a startup, such as ours, it’s important to be able to do more with less and the commonality of parts across Skyjack equipment enables us to do just that,” Zaremba said. “We love Skyjack equipment and are looking forward to growing our company and fleet.”

Caption for first photo: From left to right are SkyKing Lift Rentals' three founders: Robert Mulvey, Paul Zaremba and Jeremy Coyne.