GREENWICH, Conn. — United Rentals has acquired the assets of Coble Trench Safety, a market leader in the rental and sales of trench safety and traffic safety equipment with 11 locations in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast region.
Coble Trench Safety was founded by Tom Coble in 2002, and has branches in Atlanta, Baltimore; Charleston and Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh, N.C.; Norfolk and Richmond, Va., and Washington, D.C. Coble, an experienced pilot, was killed Jan. 20 when his plane crashed shortly after takeoff outside a regional airport in Rainbow City, Ala. (See related story page 18.)
“We are delighted to expand our trench safety rentals business through the acquisition of Coble Trench Safety,” said Paul McDonnell, senior vice president - operation, trench, power & HVAC for United Rentals. “We're attracted to Coble's mix of government and industrial customers with very little branch overlap in strong markets. We were looking forward to working with Tom Coble, and were deeply saddened by his sudden and tragic passing. He was instrumental in developing innovative new technologies and customer safety training programs in support of the underground construction industry. Tom was a pioneer in the industry and we intend to build on his legacy.”
With the acquisition, United Rentals' trench business grows to 93 locations in 28 states and Canada.
In related news, United Rentals announced that its excavation safety training courses are now available online to help contractors to comply with Occupational Safety and Health Administration requirements. The online curriculum has been developed by instructors with trench site experience, and mirrors the classroom training the company provides at each of its trench safety locations nationwide.
Excavation Safety Training for Competent Persons addresses OSHA 1926 subpart P, including proper soil test procedures, types of protective systems, and guidance on how to take control of hazardous conditions. Confined Space Training addresses OSHA 29 CFR 1910.146, including safety procedures, hazards, and the duties of confined space entrants, attendants and supervisors. When successfully completed, both courses provide written documentation that satisfies U.S. federal requirements.
“Online access extends the benefit of classroom training to contractors who find it easier to train on their own schedule,” said Paul McDonnell, senior vice president - operations, trench safety, power and HVAC. “Since the launch of our national trench safety training program in 2006, our instructors have trained more than 60,000 workers face-to-face. We expect that number to accelerate dramatically with online convenience.”
United Rentals' trench safety training is part of a broader curriculum that includes safety and fall protection, site-specific regulatory compliance, and operator certifications for equipment such as aerial lifts, loaders, backhoes, forklifts and cranes.
United Rentals is No. 1 on the RER 100.