Corey Berry speaks rental 

“Up to half of all the diesel engines built every year are installed in equipment destined for the rental industry. That’s a huge opportunity wrapped up in an even bigger challenge. Until you learn how to speak the rental industry’s language, the solution is probably going to remain just beyond your reach.” 

Corey Berry

Perkins global rental sales manager, Corey Berry, speaks ‘rental’ fluently having spent nearly his whole adult life in and around the industry.

"I started out as a diesel mechanic and worked for a number of OEM dealers repairing equipment that was being used by the rental houses that were their customers. It wasn’t too long before that turned into a job as the service manager for one of the rental companies I’d met while fixing their equipment. They happened to be in Indiana which allowed me to attend Purdue University while keeping their equipment running.”


His hands-on experience as a diesel mechanic, combined with a life-long affinity for construction equipment and the people who own and operate it, made the move from service manager to sales a natural one. But that was not his final destination in the rental business.

“I quickly found that I really enjoy running operations, managing businesses and supporting customers and, more important, that I’m good at it. So I moved from renting and selling cranes to a job opening branches for a regional rental company and then managing a hybrid dealer store and finally to a position as general manager for another rental business.

“Along the way I met my wife who was a branch manager for a rental house, so I guess you could say that speaking rental runs in the family now.”


At the same time Corey was advancing through the rental industry ranks, the diesel engine industry was undergoing profound changes driven by increasingly stringent emission standards being put in place around the world. By the time the most recent EU Stage V and U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final standards took effect, the entire maintenance and service paradigm within the rental industry had been radically transformed.

“When the more complex new engines started showing up in rental fleets, it quickly became apparent to us that neither the rental house service personnel nor the OEMs really understood how to maintain and service them. All of a sudden a previously hands-on service technician needed to add a laptop to the wrenches and screwdrivers in the toolbox and then figure out what to do with the data before anything could be fixed. 

“The engine manufacturers had the answers, but their customers were the OEMs not the rental houses. That left the rental company virtually stranded because the OEM, who wasn’t an engine expert, stood between them and the engine manufacturer who had the answers they needed. At the time there were few practical ways to bridge the gap.

“That, of course, was both an opportunity and a challenge for an engine manufacturer. They had the knowledge, and the larger ones had extensive distribution and service networks, but none of them really knew how to talk directly to the rental industry. They didn’t speak the language.”


Perkins was among the first to recognise both the opportunity and the challenge presented by the rental industry situation and quickly realised the need for someone who spoke the language to manage the solution. 

“Perkins approached me with an opportunity to build a team to address the rental industry’s maintenance and service needs while simultaneously strengthening OEM ties by creating a Perkins brand preference among the OEM’s customers. It’s rare to get a chance to create a solution that lets everyone involved win big, but that’s exactly what was offered. I didn’t have to think it over very long.

“What we created is the Perkins Rental Support Programme. We work across multiple teams at Perkins to bring the voice of the rental industry to every aspect of our business. The goal is to make Perkins the rental industry’s ‘go-to’ brand by providing engines that fit their needs and the maintenance and service support they require to stay profitable. It’s a classic pull-through strategy where taking care of our customer’s customer generates more business for everyone.

“A rental business only makes money when the equipment is operating at a customer site. It’s all about uptime and Return On Investment (ROI) and how to maximise both.

“The Perkins Rental Support Programme gives a rental house access to support for parts and service and a connection to a local Perkins distributor or dealer that goes a long way toward resolving their uptime issues. At the same time, it gives us a deeper insight into what the rental industry really needs in terms of engine size, performance, reliability and packaging that’s fed back to the engineers and product designers. And, in the end the OEM who is our direct customer gets an engine more precisely tailored to his customer’s needs. Win, win, win." 

- Corey Berry 

The Perkins Rental Support Programme initially was rolled out in North America and then introduced internationally in 2019. 

“The strategy we developed focused first on the biggest rental companies because they presented a centralised management structure we could work with to implement the programme over a large base of locations. We negotiated supplier contracts and then aligned the Perkins distributor network with the rental company’s structure.

“We then introduced the Perkins dealers to the local rental company branch and gave them the appropriate contact information. At the same time we worked with each distributor to help them know the parts and quantities rental customers would expect them to have in stock to support the local branch.

“We also worked with the distributor sharing the value of establishing a rental champion inside the organisation to serve as a single point of contact to handle any issues that may arise.

“As of today, all 10 of the Top 10 North American rental companies have adopted the Perkins Rental Support Programme for the Perkins-powered equipment at their branches. Our goal is to continue to significantly increase the number of machines they offer powered by Perkins engines.

“The Perkins Rental Support Programme isn’t just for large dealers. Many of the others are on board as well because we actively support distributor and dealer efforts to reach out to them with the programme.

“We followed the same strategy when introducing the programme internationally with similar results. Of course, there are obvious language, currency and cultural differences around the world. But Perkins distributors and dealers are local and at its core the rental business is driven by the same focus on ROI everywhere.


Rental Industry feedback is actively used to optimise the Perkins engines offered to OEMs and increase their value to end users.

“I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished in supporting the rental industry, and equally proud that the ‘voice of rental’ has been influential in product design and development efforts. The extended service intervals for the Perkins® 400 Series and the continued development of engine-mounted aftertreatment systems are just two examples of product developments that benefit the rental industry customers who asked for them.

“Today, Perkins is a growing presence in the rental industry largely because we speak their language and give them what they need to be successful. Many of our competitors are general engine experts, but Perkins is rapidly becoming a leading rental industry engine expert and that makes all the difference.”

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