About Schulhoff Tool Rental

A Service Based Business With An Interesting History

Schulhoff Tool Rental celebrated 80 years of business in August of 2015!

Since 1935 we have been providing great service to our customers in the Greater Cincinnati area. The business has undergone many changes and survived some interesting times over the years. We thought you might enjoy knowing how a one man electrical repair shop progressed to a hardware store and evolved into a successful equipment rental operation, with over twenty employees.

A young and enterprising George E Schulhoff had a dream of running his own business. He had tremendous faith in God, a great work ethic, but very little money. The economy was very slow to recover from the Great Depression caused by the stock market crash of 1929. However, driven by his dream, he started a repair business in the rear of a building at 2812 Woodburn Ave in August of 1935. The business exceeded the limitations of the small room (10’ x 12’) in the first year. George moved down the street to a larger building, at 2709 Woodburn Ave, in August of 1936.

During the late thirties and early forties, the business gradually shifted from an electrical appliance and small tool repair shop, to a general hardware store. In the late fifties, armed with a new idea, Mr. Schulhoff started to gradually replaced hardware with tools that you could rent, and not have to purchase! Listening to his customers’ requests indicated which tools were most needed. Prompt, helpful customer service was the key to his success. The tool rental business became a reality.

Some of the milestones from the 60's include:

  • 1962 – Purchased warehouse located at 2711 Woodburn.
  • 1963 – First drive-in tool rental (entered warehouse through a large garage door).
  • 1960-1970 – The small tool rental line expanded to include large towable equipment.

In 1973 the western look was introduced and the Tool Rental Corral was born. Mr. Schulhoff installed cedar siding on all exterior walls. Gas light were added in front of the building entrance. Antiques and photographs brought the concept to life, creating a realistic western feel. The highlight of the whole design was the addition of a western town inside the warehouse. The facade included a General Store, the Church of the Holy Spirt, the Sheriff’s office, and the Red Dog Saloon, (lunch 5 cents!!).

With growth came the need for more expansions:

  • 1970 – Job site delivery begins and delivery trucks become a necessity.
  • 1976 – Purchased building on the south side of present entrance gate.
  • 1982 – Started construction of a ‘Pole Barn’ warehouse at Woodburn and Burdett.

As the business grew in the 1980’s, a larger variety of equipment required more covered storage areas to protect tools from the elements. New technology was needed to track inventory (computers). The current rental office and show room building was started in 1985. The two story building opened on our 51st Anniversary, Aug. 5th 1986.

More growing and building 1980’s -1990’s

  • 1986 – Purchased lot on Burdett Avenue to use for employee parking.
  • 1988 – Installed computer system for contract writing, purchasing, bookkeeping.
  • 1989 – Purchased and tore down three buildings on east side of Woodburn Ave.
  • 1990 – Erected new warehouse and employee parking on east side of Woodburn.
  • 1993 – Set up equipment wash-down bay.
  • 1994 – Installed propane fill station behind warehouse.
  • 1996 – Erect scaffold storage building behind warehouse.
  • 1999 – Purchased two lots on Clayton St. for open storage.

The start of the new millennium arrives with the Y2K scare, the Fear that some older computers would not recognize the change to the year 2000, and crash the electric grid. No major problems occurred New Year’s day, but we did rent a lot of generators over the holiday! Contractors wanting bigger equipment required larger capacity delivery trucks and C.D.L. drivers. The need for more storage, for rental and sale items, continued to grow.

Through the 2000’s

  • 2003 – Purchased lot behind office for future warehouse.
  • 2005 – Construction begins on new warehouse and offices.
  • 2006 – Open house celebrates opening of new building in May, 2006.
  • 2006 – ArtWorks paints the mural on Woodburn Ave wall.

The new warehouse has a full basement, 130’ x 55’ accessed by 10,000 lb. freight elevator, the main floor is usewd for rental equipment storage. Mezzanine level is 130’ x 15’ on each side for a total of 18,000 sq. ft. of storage. Schulhoff Tool Rental will continue to evolve and create opportunities to grow. We will constantly strive to earn our customers trust through professional service, mutual respect, honesty, and pride in our tradition.

ArtWorks selected Schulhoff Tool Rental for a summer mural project in 2008. The 190’ long Woodburn Ave. wall was the site for fourteen separate, 5’ x 12’ renderings of various East Walnut Hills landmarks. Lead artist Tim Parsley oversaw the project that included three teaching artist and fifteen student artist.

  • 2011 - Demo begins in summer for wash down.
  • 2012 - Wash down is completed and repair shop renovation is started.
  • 2013 - Repair shop renovation is completed in June.

In 2011 construction begins on the new wash down bay. It is built on the site of the original rental counter, it was sad to see it torn down. With the new wash bay closer to the shop, less dirt is tracked throughout the parking lot. The renovated repair space doubles the work area from the old shop floor. The three garage doors allows much better access for larger equipment to the main shop floor.

Schulhoff Tool Rental will continue to evolve by listening to our customers and moving forward on opportunities as they present themselves. We will constantly strive to earn our customers trust through professional service, mutual respect, honesty, and pride in our tradition.