After more than six decades of supplying the do-it-yourselfer with the tools for home repair, Erv’s Equipment Rental will close next week.
From hand drills to plumbing snakes, cement mixers and backhoes, the Tucson shops have rented to contractors and homeowners for generations.
Erv Hartje opened the original store at 4469 E. Fifth St. in 1952, followed by the shop at 1120 S. Kolb Road in 1961.
After his death in 1986, Hartje’s children, Richard and Sharon, took over the business.
Sharon Hartje died in 2012, leaving the business to her brother, said Kellye Webber, Sharon’s daughter.
“It was harder to run the business without her,” she said.
Over the past few weeks, as word of the impending closure has circulated, longtime customers have come into the stores to share their stories and wish Richard well.
“It’s really wonderful to see,” Webber said.
The last day to rent a piece of equipment will be Thursday and all equipment must be returned by Saturday.
The stores will close Sunday, July 27.
In a letter to customers, Richard Hartje thanked them for the years of patronage.
“Our company has faced many economic challenges over the years and although we’ve been able to overcome them, the time has come that we can no longer sustain a thriving business,” he wrote. “We are grateful to have served our customers, our community and our employees in our 62 years and we are honored that you have been an integral part of our family business.”