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March 1, 2021

Connecting Technology Through Minimizing

Late last year RER interviewed a series of rental people about how COVID-19 affected their business.  Michael Frey, rental operations manager, Finning Canada talks on the company’s safety measures, optimism for 2021, adoption of online tools and helping customers balance the flow of work.

How has business been for you in 2020? How has the pandemic affected your business?

When COVID hit in March our rental business declined and with the closing down of job sites and equipment being returned to the branches, it created anxiety and concern. But since May, business has steadily increased, so the rebound was fairly quick on the rental side. Business in urban centers, particularly in Western Canada, started picking up and it has been steady through the fall.

Although many of our offices were able to move to remote working, at the field and branch level that wasn’t fully possible, as we needed to be present to serve our customers. We acted quickly to ensure our customers and teams stayed safe. Finning invested heavily in outfitting branches with the tools and measures to operate safely – this included an audit of every single location. From signage around social distancing and new processes for cleaning and sanitizing, to plexi-glass dividers between customers and staff, every identifiable risk was considered. And the plan was actioned immediately to get our rental business up and running safely.  

Read the full interview in RER Magazine.


Finning is the world’s largest Caterpillar dealer delivering unrivalled service for over 80 years. We sell, rent and provide parts and service for equipment and engines to customers in various industries, including mining, construction, petroleum, forestry and a wide range of power systems applications. Since 1933, when Finning was first established in Canada by Earl B. Finning, our name has conveyed integrity, reliability and resourcefulness. Over the years, the company has grown as a result of a genuine commitment to earning customer loyalty. With our broad product support infrastructure and unmatched service capabilities, we deliver solutions that enable customers to achieve the lowest equipment owning and operating costs while maximizing uptime. Finning employs nearly 12,000 people world-wide and operates in three geographies, with the head office in Vancouver, Canada.

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