21 Jan Meet Samantha Free
Article first published here: www.therentaljournal.com
Samantha Free is the Director at Freesons Telehandler Hire. Samantha is relatively new to the equipment rental industry, only starting the company in 2019. To support her, both her husband and father are originally from the equipment rental industry. Samantha & the team are building a sustainable business with strong company values and culture.
How and when did you get into the equipment rental industry?
I am fairly new to the equipment industry. An opportunity arose in 2019 to start a Sydney based rental company with my husband and father hiring Telehandlers. My husband Steve Free was already in the crane hire industry and my father Laurie Puddy built a hire business in Perth from one branch, to a national company – United Equipment. Combined they have a wealth of industry knowledge and experience that I have been able to draw upon, to start up and run Freesons Telehandler Hire.
What type of roles and responsibilities have you taken on over your career?
My career started in travel in 1998 at American Express, followed by Media Marketing and Sales at Network Seven for 14 years in various roles including Sales Executive, Implementation Executive and Network Trading Consultant. More recently I’ve been working in the Road Rail Hire Industry, where I’ve been able to build a foundation of knowledge about the plant hire business.
Who played a big influence in your career, and would you consider being a mentor for someone in the next generation?
I had several mentors at the Seven Network, the one that had the biggest impact was my manager for many years Phillip Booth, he taught me many valuable skills that carry across any industry, including:
- Customer relationships
- Being consistent and thorough – Plan – Prepare – Perform
- When to push back and when to hold firm,
- Considering the bigger picture,
- Understanding there’s more grey areas than black and white and how to navigate them
- Negotiating deals
- Strategy and business planning.
I continue to have several mentors that I can bounce concepts, and ideas off.
I would absolutely mentor someone, I think it really helps with perspective, strategy and making you think outside the box.
How has the equipment rental industry changed over the years?
I believe the rental industry will become a lot more digitised moving forward, from remote machine diagnostics, through to online booking portals for hire equipment.
What one piece of advice do you think would have helped you early in your career?
Push yourself out of your comfort zone, it’s uncomfortable because your growing.
How do you define success and what was a defining moment or event in your career?
Success to me is 2 fold, it’s having solid, loyal, positive customer relationships. As well as staff that know you care and are able to grow and achieve their goals.
One of my defining achievements has been working with several staff I have employed, seeing them grow, flourish, and be very successful in their own right. Hopefully they’ve learned a thing or two from me along the way!