We have received the sad news of the death of rental industry veteran Dan Kaplan, who passed away last Thursday, February 28th, aged 78.
He died from pneumonia and complications resulting from a fall and broken hip. He is survived by his wife Doris, son Bradley and daughter Tammy, along with three grandchildren.
Kaplan made his name as president of Hertz Equipment Rentals where, between 1982 and 1997, he is credited with building the first major national rental company in the USA, taking revenues from $58 million to more than $500 million.
After leaving the business in 1997 he set up a consulting business - Dan Kaplan Associates - working with rental companies in North America, Australia and Europe. He also wrote a book Service Success! Lessons From a Leader on How to Turn Around a Service Business and was a regular speaker at industry events. Kaplan was inducted into the American Rental Association's Hall of Fame in 2006 and was awarded an Kaplan presents the IPAF top rental company award in 2018.
At Hertz, Kaplan developed a way for the multi outlet organisation to work as a unit, with a unified image, sharing equipment between branches and making use of economies of scale along with a systematic management structure with branch managers, districts and regions, and a system of reporting and communication. He introduced and developed a range of measurement criteria in order to gauge the performance of managers and employees and was an early advocate of using dedicated rental software to help manage the business. As a consultant he played a significant role in helping United Rentals manage its industry ‘roll-up’ which grew into the world’s largest equipment rental company.
Larry Silber, chief executive of Herc Rentals - as Hertz is now known - said: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Dan Kaplan. Dan was a true pioneer, visionary, and innovator in the equipment rental industry, and created a legacy that those in the industry will benefit from for many years to come. He was a leader, mentor and friend to many people in our business and his influence was felt far and wide, from small independents to global equipment rental companies. Dan will always hold a special place in Herc Rentals as a central figure in our company’s history, and we were especially honoured by his presence and remarks at our company’s annual conference and expo in 2018. We know he was proud of what we had accomplished since becoming an independent company and he gave us excellent advice to help us continue our momentum. We will miss Dan tremendously and we will always do our best to live up to the example he set.”
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers any donations be sent to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Donations can be made online at: www.michaeljfox.org/donate.