Some ideas are so crazy they can't help but work.
For instance, the idea of taking a piece of construction equipment, painting it bright pink and renting it out doesn't exactly seem like the most sound of investments, but it has paid off handsomely in more ways than one.
Acme Rents, the rental division of Acme Tools in Minot, has a telescopic boom lift painted completely pink to help raise breast cancer awareness. Jim Harris, marketing manager for Acme Tools who works out of the corporate office in Grand Forks, said the boom lift is currently the only piece of pink equipment in their rental fleet.
Dan Feldner/MDN - - A man works on a telescopic boom lift from Acme Rents at the corner of Central Avenue and North Main Street Jan. 3. The lift is painted pink in support of breast cancer awareness, and a portion of every rental fee is donated to that cause.
He said they first received the boom lift in 2010, and it spent the year on the east side of the state between Fargo and Grand Forks. It was then moved to Minot last year, and has been here ever since. Considering how popular it has proven to be, Harris said it could be here for some time to come considering all the construction work going on in the area.
"I think it's been very well received there in Minot, and we'll leave it there for a while. Obviously the idea is to raise awareness for breast cancer and it does a great job," Harris said. "As long as it's visible and being used there, I think we'll leave it there for a while."
Along with raising awareness for breast cancer, a percentage of every rental fee is also donated to a breast cancer charity. Harris said the donations go to a different charity every year. He didn't have information on which charity was given the funds in 2010, and said a charity for 2011 hadn't been decided upon yet as of early February. He did say over $1,000 was raised in 2010.
This all started about three years ago when a trade magazine did a story on a different rental company in Missouri renting out pink equipment, and Acme officials thought it was a worthwhile project. When the opportunity to purchase the pink boom lift presented itself, Acme went for it.
"I think it's working out well for us," Harris said. "Especially in Minot where any piece of equipment we can get is rented there. It's great for our fleet."
Harris said the boom lift has been an attention-getter wherever it's been. When they first received the machine in 2010 at the Grand Forks store, it immediately made a splash with the locals. People would stop by just to get a closer look at it, which is exactly what that bright pink paint job was designed to do.
"I know when we had it initially parked in front of our store here in Grand Forks with a sign that said 'rent me,' people slowed down or came in the lot to look at it," Harris said. "They commented a lot while we were using it here."
Now that it's in Minot, the boom lift is making yet more waves. It certainly is startling to be driving around town only to see a large pink machine parked in the street, reaching dozens of feet into the air. While it certainly serves a functional purpose at construction sites around the area, it is also doing so much more for many women who might never even lay eyes on it.
"It's not every day you're driving down the street and see a pink lift on the job site," Harris said. "It's a masculine industry, and being able to do something for breast cancer awareness is great."