Pike Equipment Rental specializes in construction equipment rental services and sales of contractor supplies. Located in Troy, Alabama, the company is co-owned and operated by Kendall Allen and Allen Sullivan. They purchased the business in 2015; however, this story actually begins much earlier. As kids growing up in the small town of Ariton, Alabama, Kendall Allen and Allen Sullivan’s brother were best friends almost like brothers. According to Kendall, he hung out almost every day at the Sullivan home until Allen’s family moved to the Panama Canal in 1985. Little did the two boys know how their paths would cross years later.
In the late 1990s Kendall worked for Nations Rent also located in Troy. While there he established a relationship with one of the company’s customers Marlon Hamm. When Marlon decided to open his own business in 2000 he offered Kendall a job and Pike Equipment Rental opened for business.
Kendall brought years of industry experience and a determined spirit to the job. Before joining Pike Equipment Rental, Kendall held various positions with other equipment rental companies including truck driver, outside sales and store manager. In 2003 Marlon sold the business to Claude Wells. For the next twelve years, Kendall put his life into helping Claude build a strong client base by offering a good product and providing excellent customer service. In 2014, Claude added another key employee to the mix – none other than Allen Sullivan. After leaving Ariton, Allen’s life not only took him to the Panama Canal but to other interesting places. He served as an army paratrooper in various locations including Alaska. However, he eventually returned to Alabama where he worked as an aircraft mechanic with a Fort Rucker contractor before joining the Pike Equipment Rental team. Allen’s background as an army paratrooper and aircraft mechanic along with his strong work ethic proved to be an asset to the business. The business continued to grow.
After bringing Allen on board, Claude was free to spend more time outside the business and eventually decided to retire. Because Kendall had been such a loyal and valuable employee, Claude gave him and Allen the first option to buy the business. Kendall and Allen knew that they wanted to purchase the business but
Kendall stated this about the SBDC assistance he received, “The SBDC is a great asset to our city. The SBDC worked with me to establish a business plan model that I could present to Troy Bank & Trust when I applied for a loan. The templates provided were excellent and the help from Judy Callin and Betsy Baker has been priceless.” He further stated, “I have also attended seminars and classes held by the local SBDC office which have benefitted our business in customer relationships, QuickBooks training and networking with other business owners.”
Over the next few years Kendall and Allen continued growing the company as business partners. They both agree that the past three years have been tough but rewarding. Kendall says since the purchase, the biggest challenge has been to build the funds to provide adequate working capital as well as to upgrade and expand the fleet. Since purchasing the business, they have expanded their facility, the fleet, the inventory and also their customer base. During that same period the company has added a fulltime employee and a part-time employee with a total staff of five fulltime and one part-time. The addition of an outside salesperson has enabled them to expand their market area from three to seven counties in Southeast Alabama. Total revenues have grown by 30% — retail sales alone have grown by 10%.
Although Allen’s list of past experiences includes serving in Alaska as a US Army paratrooper, he recently said, “Owning and growing this business is my best job to date”.
Kendall stated, “Our biggest assets are our great employees and a loyal customer base. We have so many great customers that give us repeat business. This business is all about relationships and trust. We have built our business on this for eighteen years. Wow!! It’s hard to believe it has been eighteen years already. All this being said, I thank God every day for blessing me with this opportunity and for each person he puts in my path.”
Through Pike Equipment Rental, Kendall and Allen are members of the American Rental Association and the Pike County Chamber of Commerce. They are also supporters of local youth sports as well as area church organizations’ events and building projects.
Kendall is an active member of Ariton Baptist Church and has served in mission efforts in El Salvador since 2016.