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Snorkel founder Moore and tent pioneer Etzel selected for ARA’s Rental Hall of Fame

Two veteran equipment manufacturers will be honored as inductees into the American Rental Association Hall of Fame in February – Art Moore, founder of aerial manufacturer Snorkel, and tent manufacturer Spencer Etzel. Moore founded Snorkel Fire Equipment Co. in Grandview, Mo., with a revolutionary platform used for firefighting and rescue. In 1971, the company was sold to ATO, which later became Figgie International, and the company’s name was changed to Snorkel, which now has an extensive product line of aerial equipment.

Moore is widely regarded as a pioneer of today’s AWP industry. Snorkel entered the construction and industrial market with the introduction of the Snorkelift telescopic boomlift in 1977, changing the company’s focus away from firefighting platforms. Moore’s emphasis on innovation, safety and simplicity drove the development of rental-friendly products and made an impact on the overall rental industry.

Moore helped many independent rental businesses explore new opportunities with their rental fleet by focusing on products that could be made available easily. He also introduced a financing program in which Snorkel guaranteed all loans they provided to their customers.

Under Moore’s leadership, Snorkel grew to become a Fortune 500 company, and its products were marketed internationally. Although officially retired, Moore is still active with Snorkel and is on the company’s board of directors.

Spencer Etzel is known for advocating research and education in the party and event segment of the rental industry. He has been active in associations and committees for more than 40 years to understand and promote safe tenting practices and thus mitigate the need for externally imposed regulations that might not be favorable to the industry. His quest to create safer and faster tent installation procedures has had a lasting impact on the materials and processes used today. He has many credits to his name, including being the first to design an all-vinyl fabric tent with welded seams, webbing and load plates; inventing the ‘quick pin’ used in installations; importing the first European fabric structure and laying the groundwork for the first scientific and professional studies on the holding power of tent stakes.
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