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Local U-Haul dealer ranked nationally

The U-Haul dealer that’s operated out of BC Tool Rental in Ironton was named a Top-100 U-Haul dealer for December 2013.

“Due to your hard work and customer-oriented service, you have become part of an elite class,” Joe Schoen, U-Haul International Inc. president wrote in a letter to owner Bob Cleary. “This is truly a significant accomplishment.”

Less than 2 percent of U-Haul dealers qualify for this achievement, but Cleary said it’s not all about the number of rentals.

“Delaers named in the top 100 know how important clean equipment is, how important a properly lined up display is and how important windshield and promotional signs are,” he said. “It’s all about how important we make our customers feel.”

There are more than 15,000 U-Haul dealers in America and three classes – A, AA and AAA – with A being the smallest and AAA the largest. Each class has certain regions in which they operate, which, Cleary said, makes the competition even more difficult.

“It’s really astounding,” he said. “There are about 20 class AAA dealers in my region and some are in towns a lot larger than Ironton. For example, my region is a 60-mile radius from the middle of downtown St. Albans, W.Va.”

Customer feedback after renting, product availability and storage availability are also criteria assessed when determining the top 100 dealers. BC Tool Rental also offers U-Box, a portable 5-by-8 foot storage bin placed at a person’s home or business, filled with belongings then stored or shipped to its destination.

“We got a high ranking for reservations,” Cleary said. “We have a separate number for our U-Haul business and the company monitors the number of calls we get. About 17 out of 20 calls we get result in a reservation.”

Debbie Gambrel has been working at BC Tool Rental for six years as Cleary’s administrative assistant and he said she is vital to all the businesses, including U-Haul.

“She does an excellent job for everything we do,” he said. “She’s all about customer service and that’s the main thing U-Haul looks at when determining the top 100.”

Cleary said he and Gambrel often go out of their way to help people and in the end it just proves positive.

“We didn’t have any kind of meeting to strategize about what we need to do,” he said. “We just offer good customer service and this is what happens. It just works itself out.”

In November 2013 Cleary received a plaque from U-Haul recognizing his 25th year as a dealer.