Get directions to George’s Tool Rental

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Hatfield PA (215) 723-5337

Doylestown PA (215) 348-3426

Horsham PA (215) 443-5599

 

About George’s Tool Rental


About George’s Tool Rental in Hatfield, Doylestown, & Horsham PA Latest Equipment...Classic Service! is the lifeblood of George’s Tool Rental. This family-owned, local business has serviced the Bucks-Mont area in Pennsylvania since 1970 and continues to grow everyday. This business makes a point to never forget their humble beginnings.

Phil Leber was 46 years old when he began his new business venture of owning George’s Tool Rental. He wasn't necessarily looking to purchase a company, but the opportunity arose, and he seized it. In fact, a friend from church who worked as a realtor had listed GTR, so Phil took a look. The deal included everything: building, equipment, even the house on the property. Phil got the whole business for $48,000. Even today, he recognizes what a good investment it was.

There were three months in between the agreement of sale and move-in day. During this time, Phil would go to GTR and learn the ropes. He spent hours training with the original owner and getting the best understanding of the business that he could. After a huge headache in regards to the sale of his old house, finally legal matters had settled themselves, and Phil and his family could move into 3224 Bethlehem Pike. Phil's first day on the job and move in to the house day were one and the same. As members of their church marched boxes up the front porch and into the house, Phil was trying to keep George's running, trusting that his wife, Bert, and the family could handle the house.

Settling in was not their first priority, and Phil recalls living out of boxes for quite some time. Bert was extremely nervous about the business working out, Phil couldn’t even eat breakfast in the morning, and all they could do was just keep praying and working. He and Bert kept at it, and after just a few weeks, began to see the financial benefits of this new business.

Phil worked in the business everyday, running the equipment out of the garage and the finances at his kitchen table. Because rental was still a relatively new idea, it took a while for the surrounding area to fully embrace it. The area was decent and held a good customer base, but people had to come to see the benefit of renting equipment. Phil knew the way to the customer was keeping a good relationship with them, so he made himself available 24/7, even keeping a phone at his bedside so the customer could always reach him.

He recalls a time when the North Wales borough called needing a pump, at 3 in the morning. He picked up the phone, told them to come on over, stating "the light would be on." When asked about what kept his customers coming back, he replied, "I was always available. Good service."

And come back, they did. Success came their way, and the business began to grow. It was the little things at first. Phil remembers the first Saturday he made $1,000 in cash. "I kept putting it in my pocket, and put it in the bank that very night." He describes it as a true benchmark moment. From that point on, George's saw continued progress.

Phil's first employee was his son, Andy, and his second being Sam (you’ve probably seen him at Hatfield’s counter). Sam would come in and help out when Phil and Bert were out of town so Andy wouldn't have to run the entire store by himself. Sam got offered a full-time job and has worked for George's ever since. As George's longest-standing employee, Sam has worked here for over 36 years.

Phil kept the store running for 18 years, adding a few new people here or there, but transition began to happen. It started when current owner, Al Wismer, married Phil's youngest daughter. Al was working as a lead mechanic for Mack Trucks, Inc. at the Philadelphia branch. He never knew much about George's, recalling that he "rented a sandblaster one time." A year and a half into their marriage, Al found himself in a conversation involving the possibility of him joining George's.

He began when the business was still small, with Hatfield as the sole location. At that point, there had only been one addition onto the original building. Hatfield started humbly, as did Al. Working in the shop, he perfectly recalls his first job being overhauling a Smith 100 CFM air compressor, as well as breaking a finger within his first week on the job. However, back when George's was a one-store show, employees did it all. "You wrote up customers, you fixed equipment, you did whatever," Al remembers. He worked hard and was always seeking out new opportunities for the business. He presented these ideas to Phil, who almost always said yes.

In 1988, Al became manager of George’s Tool Rental, overseeing a workforce in the single digits. As time wore on and Al became comfortable in his leadership position, Phil started stepping out of the way and letting Al have more responsibility. He began hiring key employees and looking for more ways to expand the business.

Al's first major decision involved buying a second location. "If it was up to me, we probably would've never gotten past the first store," says Phil. That was as much as he wanted to handle, but Al had different ideas. He often drove by an old farmer's market building, thinking it would make for a good rental store. Finally one July night, he drove by and saw that much awaited For Sale sign. The next day, he called the realtor, took Phil and his brother-in-law, Scott, to go look at it, and drove a down payment check to the realtor's house that night. By the next day, there had already been several offers on the location, but Al had nailed it down with the check the night before.

Their attack on this new location was quick; clearing it out and getting it open for business in just four months time. It was last used as a pet store and left abandoned. It was full of mice, rats, even fish; and let's not forget the geckos. "We found geckos for months," states Al, shaking his head. After some unexpected pet patrol, in November of 1997, the Doylestown location was ready for the public.

During all of this, Al was growing his own family at home, and soon enough, birthday parties started becoming more than annual events; they were annual ordeals. He found himself renting moon bounces from party rental companies, and got to thinking it would be wise of him to invest in his own. What with a huge extended family with lots of young kids, he figured it would be beneficial to have. "We thought, let's try to rent it, and before we knew it, we had thirty. Along with that came tables, chairs, tents, china, trucks, more people, more problems, more headaches, and no fun in party land." Hard as it was, party was an extremely successful division of GTR. It evolved into its own stand-alone store, evening coining the name Good Times Rental. Party was very much its own entity, and Al and Marty decided to focus more on the tool side of things. Good Times was sold in 2009.

Going back to 2004, Phil was looking towards retirement, and was feeling quite at ease leaving the business in Al's hands. He became President just as Phil started to retire. Phil was comfortable with this transition, even enjoying an RV trip to Alaska as his first getaway. He had confidence in his employees and knew that the business was being well-taken care of.

It came time when Al and Marty wanted to purchase the business from Phil. After lots of family advisory and seeking out of counsel, it was decided that they would proceed with purchasing the business.

Since then, George's has expanded to three stores, with the original 1970 location in Hatfield, the second location in Doylestown, and since then, a third location in Horsham, Pennsylvania. In finding this location, Al searched for a year and a half, trying to find the perfect building to match the ideal location of the Horsham area. He found an old U-Haul store that had actually rented tools and equipment in the past, tore it down, and rebuilt it from the ground-up, opening in November of 2011.

The George's of today has grown significantly since Phil and Bert kept a tray under the kitchen counter to keep cash and checks. Now employing 28 people over three locations, George's strives to serve the Bucks-Mont area with their renowned service. When asked about the challenges the business provides, Al replies with "daily," with a slight chuckle.

While George's has had its ups and downs, it continues to take strides every day, broadening its customer base while tending to its current regulars, servicing equipment carefully, ensuring the best quality, all the while sending it out with a smile.

We at George’s Tool Rental hope you'll visit one of our locations in Hatfield, Doylestown, & Horsham PA to see how we can help you with your rental needs.

 

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