Minnesota skid-steer maker ASV Holdings, Inc. signed a new agreement with Australia's largest independent industrial equipment-rental chain, officials announced Friday.

The deal with Kennards Hire means that ASV's Grand Rapids-made construction vehicles could be rented from any of the 150 retail st​ores Kennards Hire runs in Australia and New Zealand.

"We are pleased," said ASV Sales and Marketing Vice President Justin Rupar. Kennards Hire made ASV an "approved supplier" following an 18-month trial period with ASV's Australian distribution partner, CEG Distributions, he said.

Going forward, the third-generation, family-owned Kennards Hire is expected to rent  ASV's RT-30 Posi-Track loaders at its various stores. The effort dovetails with ASV's efforts to broaden its reach into the equipment rental market, where it is "underrepresented," said ASV spokesman Peter Seltzberg.

He could not say how much the deal may ultimately be worth to ASV. No plans exist to ramp up production or staffing as a result of the new arrangement. 

That could change over time. The agreement announced this week "gives our Australian dealer the opportunity to sell into this large rental house in Australia by being an approved product their branches can order," Seltzberg said. "Time has to be spent to get the branches to order the ASV. Then in due course we will see replacement stock sales from us here in the US to Australia.

Kennards Hire has 150 stores, $336 million in 2017 revenue, and about1,400 employees in Australia and New Zealand. 

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