Industry BeatCED Magazine, October 2009
Article Date: 10-01-2009
Copyright(C) 2009 Associated Equipment Distributors. All Rights Reserved.
Dealers Join Forces with AGC Chapters to Secure Emissions Reduction Grant
Persistence paid off, and it’s a win-win for dealerships and their customers.
Kentucky and Western-Pennsylvania-based chapters belonging to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) will invest nearly $3.7 million this year to cut diesel emissions. The groups were awarded almost $3 million in new federal grants under the EPA’s National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program.
The Associated General Contractors of Kentucky will use $2 million in federal funds, as well as an additional $466,000 in matching and in-kind contributions. Monies will be used to help AGC members in Kentucky retrofit and repower 87 off-road diesel machines with exhaust control technologies designed to reduce particulate emissions as well as promote adoption of anti-idling practices at 100 construction sites statewide. The result will be an estimated combined reduction of 72.55 tons per year of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide.
Similarly, the Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania will use $925,000 in federal funds, as well as an additional $260,833 in local contributions, to help construction contractor members in western Pennsylvania retrofit more than 20 pieces of off-road diesel equipment with cleaner engines and exhaust control technologies.
According to John Brazel, assistant executive director for AGC of Kentucky, their dealer members played a key role in developing the grant proposal, along with the national AGC association, and key manufacturers.
"I would not have been able to go through all the fleet lists without the dealers' valuable help in selecting the best EPA-approved technology and determining the cost per ton of emissions," said Brazel. Whayne Supply, Holt Equipment and Leslie Equipment all assisted the AGC Chapter by locating approved retrofit solutions, calculating the emissions reductions data and then submitting costs for the retrofit work.
Scott Daubenmire, corporate service manager for Leslie Equipment, a John Deere dealer with locations in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia, pursued nonprofit contractor organizations aggressively in Ohio and West Virginia before he was able to connect with AGC of Kentucky.
"We struggled to find a partner," said Daubenmire. Organizations simply did not have the manpower or resources to undertake the complicated grant process in the short 38-day timeframe. Daubenmire estimates he spent 200-250 hours researching solutions and calculating the emissions savings. "We had the view that ‘the money is going to be awarded, we might as well get it for our customers,'" said Daubenmire.
Persistence on behalf of all the dealers, manufacturers, AGC of Kentucky and the national AGC organization paid off. Out of 98 proposals submitted in the EPA Region, AGC of Kentucky was just one of nine to be awarded a grant. For Leslie Equipment, the grant should translate to 48 retrofits and $745,000 in revenue. For two of the dealer's largest customers, C. J. Hughes and ST Pipeline, it means substantial savings on work that they would most likely be funding themselves in 2010.
Daubenmire says he learned a lot in the process of working on the grant proposal, but above all, he advises: "Don't give up."
LiuGong Achieves Industry First Among Chinese Manufacturers
LiuGong Machinery Corp. has opened its first overseas factory in Pritampur, India, making it the first Chinese machinery company to successfully open a production plant outside of China. The Pritampur area in central India has become known as an industrial powerhouse.
The new LiuGong plant currently employs approximately 200 people, 90 percent of whom were recruited from India. Planned to be launched in three phases, the factory will represent a $30 million investment by 2012. In its final phase, the 215,000 square-foot facility will be capable of producing up to 2,000 wheel loaders per month, as well as excavators, backhoes, compactors and forklifts. Currently, the factory is producing 1.5 to 8 ton wheel loaders to meet the needs of India's booming construction market, where wheel loaders are among the most popular models of heavy equipment sold.
LiuGong is a $1.6 billion global heavy equipment manufacturer headquartered in Guangxi, PR China, offering a full line of construction machinery.
Rudd Equipment Co. Expands into Ohio
Louisville, Ky.-based Rudd Equipment Co., already a full line Volvo Construction Equipment dealer serving Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, has reached an agreement with Volvo CE to expand into Ohio. The Ohio territory includes the entire state, as well as three counties in northern Kentucky and two counties in southeast Indiana. Rudd plans to open three new facilities in Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio, to serve the needs of the Ohio market. The new agreement took effect Sept. 1, 2009.
In conjunction with its move into Ohio, Rudd plans to significantly expand and upgrade its central parts warehouse to continue to provide the level of service its existing customers expect and its new Ohio customers demand. Rudd Equipment Co. maintains its own parts freight system to provide 98 percent next-day parts availability to its customers.
"We are delighted to expand our association with such an experienced and customer oriented company," said Göran Lindgren, president and CEO of Volvo Construction Equipment North America, Asheville, N.C. "Rudd brings over 50 years of strong service, dedicated customer support and extensive industry knowledge and experience to this important marketplace."
Ritchie Bros. Breaks Ground on New St. Louis Auction Site
Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, the world's largest industrial auctioneer, recently broke ground on a new permanent St. Louis auction site in the village of Caseyville, Ill.
"Ritchie Bros. has been holding auctions in the St. Louis metro area since 1993 and we're very excited about finally becoming a permanent fixture in the community with the opening of our new St. Louis auction site," said Jesse Cantin, regional manager, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers. "We've built many long-term relationships with equipment owners and solidified a strong presence in the area over the years. This has given us the opportunity to establish a new permanent high-profile auction site and facility on I-64 that will enable us to provide an even higher level of service to all of our customers in the St. Louis area."
Approximately 40-acres of the 68-acre St. Louis auction site will be developed during the first phase of construction. The 13,500-square-foot auction facility will house offices, customer registration and a 500+ seat auction theatre. Construction is expected to be completed by March 2010.
IN THE NEWS
Stephenson Equipment, Inc. (SEI) was recently awarded by VT LeeBoy the 2008 Dealer of the Year award, for North America. The Harrisburg, Pa.-based dealer received the award in recognition of its sales performance, customer training, sales training, service and parts support achievements as well as its outstanding market share. Founded in 1957, Stephenson Equipment operates seven locations throughout Pennsylvania and New York. SEI has built a reputation specializing in asphalt equipment and is one of the largest VTLeeBoy dealers in the country.
SEI also represents Rosco Brand, Dynapac Compaction, CMI, Cedarapids, Midland Machinery, JCB and Tiger.
John Patterson, chairman and CEO of JCB Inc., has been appointed deputy chairman of JCB Worldwide. Sir Anthony Bamford, owner and chairman of JCB, has honored Patterson with this role in recognition of his experience and leadership. In his role as deputy chairman, he will also continue with his responsibilities as chairman and CEO of JCB Inc. and remain based in Savannah, Ga. Patterson is a 38-year veteran of JCB. Last year Patterson accepted the position of chairman and CEO of JCB, Inc., stepping down as worldwide CEO to focus his attention on growing market share in North America.
Susan Connolly, executive vice president and COO of Foley Inc., has joined the Associated General Contractors of New Jersey board of trustees as an associate member representative.
Patrick Brosnan has joined Foley, Inc., as a rental account manager. Brosnan will be responsible for all outside rentals of Caterpillar equipment in Bergen, Union, Morris, Somerset and Hunterdon counties, as well as the sales and rentals of all allied equipment in the same territory, such as Sykes Pumps, Sullair air compressors and Genie aerial lifts. Foley is the Caterpillar dealer in North and Central Jersey, Staten Island and Bermuda.
QUALCOMM Inc., a leading provider of business-to-business wireless enterprise applications and services, and Topcon Tierra have announced a transaction in which Topcon Tierra will acquire some of QUALCOMM's customer contracts for the GlobalTRACS Suite for fleet management.
The alliance represents further progress toward QUALCOMM's planned transition out of a direct sales model for the construction equipment market. QUALCOMM will continue to provide managed network services through Topcon Tierra for these customers and Topcon Tierra will assume responsibility for sales, customer service and other direct support.
Volvo Construction Equipment Rents, Inc. (Volvo Rents) has announced the opening of a new Volvo Rents equipment rental center in Southborough, Mass. It is the company's second independently operated rental center in the state; the new center is co-located with an existing Volvo Construction Equipment & Services (VCES) operation. New England Equipment Rentals, Inc., owned by franchise principals Todd Miceli and Matt Carretero, opened its first Volvo Rents center in Haverhill, Mass. in December 2005.
Volvo Rents has also opened a new rental center located in Winfield, BC (Lake Country). Locally owned and operated by Larry Cormier, the center will carry a comprehensive line of essential equipment for the construction, commercial, industrial and homeowner markets.
Hawthorne CAT, has promoted Mike Carcioppolo as its new corporate manager of its Rental Services. He will be responsible for the rental operations in San Diego, Hawaii, and Guam. Additionally, he will continue to manage Hawthorne's Product Support Sales and Emissions Solutions departments. Hawthorne CAT is the authorized dealer for Caterpillar construction and power equipment in San Diego, Hawaii, Guam, Saipan and American Samoa.
In other news, Hawthorne CAT and Laser West Positioning Inc., a Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and equipment company, recently formed a new alliance to offer GPS technology and service to contractors in San Diego and Hawaii.
"The teaming of our two organizations will further enhance and support our customers' experience, productivity and profitability," said Steve Sager, Hawthorne's vice president of corporate sales and rental…this alliance will produce tremendous customer satisfaction in support of our machine control and guidance initiative."
Road Machinery LLC has become an authorized distributor for Sennebogen, a manufacturer of equipment for the material handling industry based in Charlotte, N.C.
With 14 locations spread throughout California, Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas, Road Machinery LLC provides a large footprint for the manufacturer. According to Gary Beal, vice president of sales for Road Machinery, taking on the Sennebogen line of material handlers complements Road Machinery's other product lines and has provided the company with opportunities in scrap, logging, demolition, recycling, landfill and port applications.
Established in the Phoenix area in 1955 with seven employees, today Road Machinery has more than 300 employees and serves the mining, construction, industrial and governmental markets.
ADP Dealer Services, Hoffman Estates, Ill., acquired PFW Systems Corp., London, Ontario, Canada, on June 24. PFW Systems Corp. is a leading provider of management software for heavy equipment dealers throughout North America. For more than two years ADP and PFW were engaged in an alliance to deliver PFW's industry-leading Dealer Management System via an ASP (Application Service Provider) Managed Services model. Incorporated in 1981, PFW serves the needs of agricultural and construction equipment distributors.
The PFW acquisition follows ADP's long-term strategy to expand its scope into adjacent segments that align closely with its core automotive business. Similar segments that ADP has expanded into in the past have been Powersports/Marine/RV and heavy truck.
Kiely Equipment Co. has been recognized by Inc. magazine for the third consecutive year as one of the fastest growing private companies in America. A three-year growth rate of 295 percent qualified the company for inclusion to the Inc 5000. Kiely Equipment Co. is ranked 53rd of all construction-related business on the list.
"Base retention of core customers and the development of Kiely Distribution Co., a subsidiary of Kiely Equipment Co. that distributes Wheelwash equipment throughout North America, are providing growth opportunities during this challenging economic climate," said John Kiely, president of Kiely Equipment Co.
Founded in 2000, and headquartered in New Jersey, Kiely Equipment Co. is an equipment dealer for Astec Underground, the North American distributor for Wheelwash and operates a traffic safety business in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
Valley Crane & Equipment, LLP, of Montrose, Colo., now distributes the full line of Terex compact construction equipment. The Terex line includes compact track loaders, compact excavators, compact wheel loaders, site dumpers, tractor loader backhoes, light towers, telehandlers, power buggies, compaction rollers and a tracked utility vehicle. Valley Crane & Equipment has been offering customers full service sales, rental, parts and service since 1989.
Rocky Mountain Dealerships Inc. together with CNH Capital Canada Ltd., the financial services unit of CNH Global N.V., has launched the Rocky Mountain Summit Account, offering a new line of credit designed to simplify customer purchases and rentals. The Rocky Mountain Summit Account replaces the dealership's in-house accounts and can be used at any Rocky Mountain branch, including Hi-Way Service, Hammer Equipment, Rocky Mountain Equipment, Roydale International, Lakeland Implements, Heartland Equipment and Miller Equipment.
The Rocky Mountain Summit Account marks the first time that CNH Capital has aligned with a dealer network in Canada. Rocky Mountain represents one of Canada's largest agriculture and construction equipment dealerships with a total of 22 dealership branches throughout Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Morbark is pleased to announce it has signed a dealer agreement with Warrior Tractor and Equipment, based in Northport, Ala. to represent the recycling and forestry product lines in Alabama, Arkansas and three counties in Tennessee (Wayne, Lawrence and Giles).
Warrior Tractor currently operates 12 branch locations in Alabama and Arkansas. Warrior Tractor will handle Morbark's complete line of forestry machines including biomass chippers, Chiparvestors and flails. They will also cater to the recycling industry with Morbark tub and horizontal grinders. Morbark chippers and grinders are well known for their market-leading wood waste reduction technology.
RDO Equipment Co. recently acquired B&B Heavy Equipment Sales & Rentals, Inc., one of the largest heavy equipment rental suppliers servicing southern California and Arizona. With this acquisition, 69 team members have joined the organization. B&B Equipment Rental will assume the lead role for the rent-to-rent business of the combined entity. Bob Wheelington, B&B Equipment Rental's president, will provide the day-to-day leadership for the rental operation.
RDO Equipment Co. is a family-owned and operated business dedicated to providing innovative solutions for John Deere (agriculture, construction, lawn and garden) and Vermeer customers. The company has 55 locations in nine U.S. states, and employs more than 1,400 people.
Former AED President Buck Stith Remembered
Henry Hammond Stith, Jr., died Friday, Sept. 11, 2009. "Buck" Stith, former president and general manager of Atlanta-based Stith Equipment Co., was the national President of AED in 1976. He was 73 years old.
Stith joined his family's equipment business in 1959 after graduating from Georgia Tech. A distributor of heavy construction equipment and mining machinery to the highway, mining, and forestry industries in the state of Georgia, he retired as its president several years after the company was sold in 1989. Stith Equipment had been acquired by American Equip. Co., a unit of Fluor, in 1997, and the Komatsu dealership was later purchased by Tractor & Equipment in Birmingham.
A memorial service for Stith was held Tuesday, Sept., 15, 2009, at Peachtree Presbyterian Church of Atlanta.
Aspen Equipment Awarded for Wellness Program, Rewarded with Declining Costs
Aspen Equipment, based in Hennepin County, Minn., recently received the Wellness by Design Award from Hennepin County in recognition of their outstanding wellness program. Aspen Equipment Company was one of 60 companies to receive the Gold Award.
Launched in June 2008 and overseen by a committee comprising representatives from every department, the company's wellness program identified key areas of greatest value to employees based on health risk assessments conducted by the program administrator, Wisconsin-based Health Solutions.
In the first year, Aspen focused on raising awareness about good nutrition through creative techniques ranging from putting healthy (and lower priced) snack alternatives in the company vending machine, to hosting healthy potluck lunches (served by management on one occasion), and creating competitions that included the Fast Food Challenge, in which employees avoided fast food eating for three months. Now in its second year, Aspen's wellness program is focused on helping employees become more active with another friendly competition, "Step into a Healthy Weight," which encourages employees to purchase a pedometer with the company logo and track their steps throughout the month, according to the program's champion, HR Manager Sharon Hengel.
"We have seen many positive results from our wellness program, including some potential financial benefits, said Mark Nicolay, CFO of Aspen Equipment Co. "For the one-year period starting from approximately the same time we started the program, our medical claims loss ratio decreased 4 percentage points. We believe the wellness program contributed to this improvement and hope this will lead to lower premium costs on our plan renewal."
Aspen Equipment President & CEO Steve Sill Offers an Executive Perspective
"Like everybody these days, we need to reduce overall corporate expenses more than ever. Health insurance is a big one and in today's world, there are only two ways I know to reduce our health insurance costs. We can lower the benefit quality to our employees or we can work toward improving everybody's health and reducing our unnecessary use of medical attention. Frankly, we, like many others, exhausted Option 1. It is the second option that has real, long-term advantages as it controls costs and makes Aspen Equipment a more attractive prospect for competing health insurer bids and lower premiums.
"The trick isn't to simply sign up for a wellness program through one of the many providers out there," said Sill. "The first step is to find "the one" that best fits your company's needs and culture. And in our case, it wasn't the cheapest one. But the real key is finding an energetic and sincerely interested "champion" within your business to establish a wellness committee, which will organize and inspire and keep the message out in front of the troops month in and month out. Without Sharon and her committee, our investment in a wellness consulting firm would be a waste."
Equal Opportunity Career
Engine camp for high schoolers underscores the fact that there's plenty of room for women in the trades, including equipment service.
Ching Gettman is on a mission with the equipment industry and trade schools to promote outreach to women for technical careers in equipment and engine repair. And she's leading by example. The week of Aug. 31, Gettman spearheaded a week-long "Cummins Western Canada Diesel 101 Summer Camp for Young Women." She is branch manager and a member of the Senior Management Team.
Nineteen girls, mostly high school seniors or recent graduates, paid $50 to participate in the five-day workshop that was promoted and co-presented by five area trade schools: Vancouver Community College (VCC), British Columbia Institute of Technology, Kwantian College, Simon Fraser University, and Junior Achievement of BC. Cummins Western Canada subsidized the program and Snap On tools donated safety glasses and gloves.
Hosted at the distributor's main branch and its training center in Surrey, BC, as well as at VCC, the program featured presentations about Cummins, distribution, challenges with work-life balance, safety, and three days of hands-on total engine dismantle and re-assembly. One speaker was a woman technician at Cummins who had been an automotive technician for six years and is presently a service writer for the distributor.
"On the first day, the class was packed – we expected 12 and got 19," said Gettman. "We ran from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and they were still asking questions right till the end. The energy and excitement of these young women was so rewarding."
Gettman said she's just hired her company's first female mechanic apprentice and hopes to also hire their first female warehouse person – in fact, one of the young women from the camp.
Gettman, a U.S. native, is a vice president in BC's Canadian AED, and has a master's in aerospace engineering and bachelor's in mechanical engineering. From 2000-2005, she was based in Bejiing as general manager for Cummins Westport Asia Pacific and director of power generation marketing for Cummins East Asia. She's also on the faculty advisory board for Simon Fraser University.
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