An Uber-style service for the construction sector is launching in New Zealand, allowing contractors to rent out unused equipment to others in the industry.
Missouri-based EquipmentShare is expanding into this country at the start of February and New Zealand general manager Michael White says locals have already expressed strong interest.
EquipmentShare is an online platform which allows contractors to make money from idle equipment, such as a bulldozer or excavator.
Those with equipment enter when it is available and are connected with those who log on to search for equipment they want to hire. The service retains a portion of rental income generated.
"It's a concierge-level service. We sort out everything," said White, who compared it to taxi-booking company Uber, a smartphone service which has shaken up the transport industry the world over.
"Your gear might be coming from seven or eight different contractors ... from a client-facing perspective you just deal with EquipmentShare."
The service also tracks where and how equipment is being used and manages its maintenance.
While EquipmentShare charges about 30 per cent less than traditional equipment rental companies in the United States, White said prices here would depend on supply and demand.
The idea, however, is that it saves contractors from having to buy expensive equipment for only one job and often lets them rent it for less than they would from an established rental company.
EquipmentShare would initially target Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga. It was also looking for a partner in Christchurch.
The equipment hire market is worth between $750 million and $1 billion a year in New Zealand.
A geotechnical engineer, White came across EquipmentShare when researching an idea on how to connect people with excess dirt on their construction site with others who needed holes filled.
After meeting EquipmentShare co-founders Willy and Jabbok Schlacks, White acquired the licence for the service in New Zealand.