With the big game kickoff just days away, local businesses in Minneapolis, Minnesota, are busy preparing for the thousands of fans who are expected to visit in the days leading up to the game.
For many of these businesses, it will mean securing rental trucks from Penske Truck Rental’s Roseville, Minnesota, location, which began preparing four months ago for the crush of commercial truck rental business.
How high is demand for trucks serving the big game? A recent article in the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal estimated more than 100,000 trucks are likely needed to transport products into and out of the metro area for the game.
Locally, commercial rental trucks are in high demand for businesses and events as game day approaches.
“It is a lot to wrap your head around,” said Rhett Surman, district rental manager for the Penske facility located in suburban Minneapolis. “This opportunity does not come around to get this many truck rental reservations, with this many customers, so it is very exciting for everyone here.”
The odds-on favorite, the New England Patriots are set to take on the underdog Philadelphia Eagles Feb. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium, with the winner taking home the Vince Lombardi Trophy and bragging rights as the best team in the National Football League.
Long before the first snap, local businesses are expected to reap the benefits of the game to the tune of more than $400 million in new spending, according to Pioneer Press estimates.
Huddling Up to Meet Truck Rental Demand
Surman said his team began huddling up, calling and emailing existing customers, and creating a big game digital playbook detailing customer contacts, number of units rented, pickups and expected drop-offs.
“It takes a lot of work and coordination is the key,” Surman said. “It comes down to being smart with every customer and every truck rental reservation.”
The big game has meant big demand for the Roseville location. “If we look at a normal week in February, I’d estimate we have three times the normal reservations for straight trucks right now,” Surman said.
The rental roster includes a majority of large customers.
Another large order was placed by a promotions company, which rented 12 trucks.
“It is kind of on both sides of the spectrum – either really big customers with a lot of trucks or one or two customers here or there,” Surman said. “It is not one type of customer or type of rental situation.”
The smaller rentals are for Penske’s light-duty trucks, 16-foot box trucks and panel vans, including one catering company providing food to a major athletic shoe manufacturer.
“The customer is telling us to they have to be able to provide non-stop catered food, so they are renting two 12-foot trucks and a panel van for two weeks,” Surman said.
One of the more unique requests has been for the rental of refrigerated trucks.
“Refrigerated units are not a huge part of our fleet, like you would see in Florida or Texas, where they have year-round demand. It was a challenge for us because those units are rented in the summer,” Surman said.
The NFL also put in an order for trucks.
“We have to make sure everything is perfect for them,” said Surman. “We are hoping to make the big game a success for the NFL and all of our customers.”
Countdown to Kickoff
The next few days will probably be the most critical for the Penske location.
“The next couple of days is our big game,” Surman said. “That’s when everything goes out and the bulk of our work has to be done.”
And, that means activating everyone for the big game.
“We are staying late. We are doing what we have to do,” Surman said. “It is definitely go time for us all the way to Sunday.”
Penske offers a wide variety of rental trucks from large commercial semi-tractors and trailers to small box trucks. Penske encourages retailers and businesses to make reservations by calling its hotline for business rentals, 1-800-PENSKE1. New business truck rental customers can enjoy an additional 20 percent off your first truck or tractor rental.
By Bernie Mixon