AUSTIN, Texas — Texas rental industry pioneer Allen Rundell died last month at the age of 74.

Rundell branched out from his father's general contracting business in 1959 to establish Safe Way Rental Equipment Co. in Austin, Texas, one of the first rental companies in the central Texas area.

Rundell began his company with an inventory of one 100-cfm air compressor, a 30-pound chipping hammer and an assortment of scaffolding equipment. His wife, Betty Jean, helped with the books. Eventually Rundell's two sons — Terry Norris and Dale Rundell — joined the business full-time and now own it. Safe Way now has branches in Oak Hill, Jollyville and Round Rock.

Rundell often said his greatest joy was attending American Rental Association trade shows. He loved to share advice with newcomers to the rental business. He was a founding director of the Southwest Rental Association, which later became the Texas Rental Association.

He is survived by his wife and two sons.