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October 2018


Construction Equipment Distribution Published by AED: Business Fuel for a More Profitable Dealership

Bergmann is

Coming to America! n A Closer Look UsedEquipment Guide.com

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n Member Profile Ruffridge-Johnson Equipment

n Think BIG

At the 2018 Small Dealer Conference

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Expanding Financial Perspective with AED’s 2018 Cost of Doing Business and Compensation Report




The full, industry-wide report as well as a personalized Company Performance Report (CPR)



Provides an objective, qualitative evaluation of the business’s performance; participants can see how their company “grades” versus the industry on several key financial metrics



Graphically tracks company data versus the industry on several key financial metrics




A feature that allows participants to create company performance reports on demand; participants choose the data cuts they would like to compare against



A feature that allows participants to dig deeper into the data by creating custom aggregations of the survey results

Find out more information about financials in the construction equipment industry by purchasing these reports at bit.ly/aedreports

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CED Magazine | October 2018

vol. 84 no. 10



A Closer Look: UsedEquipmentGuide.com When some of the largest Caterpillar, Deere and Peterbilt dealers in the world invest millions in your startup, you know you’re onto something big.


On the Cover: Bergmann is Coming to America!

The German manufacturer, which specializes in compact articulated dump trucks (ADT Series) and crawler dump trucks (CDT) Series), expects to be operational in the U.S. by 2019.



Make way Centerville, here comes Ruffridge-Johnson Equipment! Staying in touch with the demands of downtown Minneapolis’ road-building and mining equipment customers takes the grit and resiliency that the city is known for.


Small Dealers THINK BIG at the 2018 Small Dealer Conference

This coming November, AED’s small dealer members will be meeting up in New Orleans for the second annual 2018 Small Dealer Conference. This event will give small dealers an opportunity to keep an eye out for developments in the competitive landscape, identify industry drivers and understand strategic indicators. October 2018 | Construction Equipment Distribution | www.cedmag.com | 3

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CED Magazine | October 2018

>> EDITORIAL Editor in Chief SARA SMITH ssmith@aednet.org

vol. 84 no. 10


38 | AED’s Small Dealer Committee Open to Any Small Dealer Who is Currently

16 | Regional Report

an AED Member, in Good Standing.

Design and Layout KRIS JENSEN-VAN HESTE kjvanheste@gmail.com AED Graphic Design Intern PHOEBE DEFENBAUGH design@aednet.org

40 | Advertising for Small Dealers on Facebook A little effort offers big payoffs Great Lakes Region Sees Busy Summer

>> WRITERS Heidi Bitsoli

17 | The AED Foundation Donor Profile

Clifford Black

Heavy Equipment Dealers on Both Sides of

Christine Corelli

the Border Face Similar Problems

Steve Johnson

18 | Linder Industrial Machinery

Joseph Kay


Kelsey Keegan-Fritz

Celebrates Its 65th year, and is All About

Prepare Yourself and Your Business for

46 | The 2018 AED Foundation North American Instructors Conference

the Future

48 | SkillsUSA

Megan Mattingly-Arthur Scott McPherson

Unexpected Life’s Twists and Turns

Marc Johnson

Karen Algeo Krizman

42 | Business Planning for the

20 | Stop Falling Behind Your

Diesel Equipment Technology Competition

Competitors >> ADVERTISING

Seven Steps to Gaining A Competitive

Vice President JON CRUTHERS 800-388-0650 ext. 5127 jcruthers@aednet.org


Production Manager MARTIN CABRAL 800-388-0650 ext. 5118 mcabral@aednet.org Since 1920 Official Publication of

650 E. Algonquin Road, Suite 305 Schaumburg, IL 60173 630-574-0650 fax 630-457-0132

2018 Championships Students Excel at

As the official magazine of Associated Equipment Distributors, this publication carries authoritative notices and articles in regard to the activities of the association. In all other respects, the association cannot be responsible for the contents thereof or the opinions of contributors. Copyright © 2018 by Associated Equipment Distributors. Construction Equipment Distribution (ISSN0010-6755) is published monthly as the official journal of Associated Equipment Distributors. Subscription rate – $39 per year for members; $79 per year for nonmembers. Office of publication: 650 E. Algonquin Road, Suite 305, Schaumburg, Ill. 60173 Phone: 630-574-0650. Periodicals postage at Schaumburg, Ill. 60173 and other post offices. Additional entry, Pontiac, Ill. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Construction Equipment Distribution, 650 E. Algonquin Road, Suite 305, Schaumburg, Ill. 60173.

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New Opportunities Abound for AED Members This Fall and Winter


This year, The AED Foundation will be launching a new seminar that I got to help create firsthand, the Supervisory Skills Seminar.

s your chairwoman, I have the unique professional ethics opportunity of having a hand in two 3. Recruitment, retention, interviewing, different situations at once. I know what is performance management, recognition, happening from a dealership and industry professional development and corrective actions perspective through my company, and I also get 4. Introduction to workforce analytics, to work with AED as its chairwoman to create measuring tangible and intangible results and opportunities to move the industry and each of analyzing the data your businesses forward. Coming from both of The seminar will be led by AED’s new HR these perspectives, I get to share ideas with AED Hotline contact, John Acardo. John is known about opportunities that I believe will be useful for its members in the future. This year, The AED Foundation will be launching a new seminar that I got to help create firsthand, the Supervisory Skills Seminar. This one-day seminar, taking place on December 6 in Rosemont, Illinois, at the Chicago Marriott Suites O’Hare, is for new supervisors, or supervisors who need AED’S Supervisory Skills Seminar will take place Dec. 6 at the Chicago Marriott Suites O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill. Register now at bit.ly/2018supervisoryskills. to recharge their skills and be introduced to strategic management concepts of people analytics as an architect of high-performing teams in and workforce planning. This event is a high-level organizations large and small. He is an MBA overview of compliance-related risks associated executive with over 10 years of results-oriented with workplace management. achievements in providing strategic vision and During their time in Rosemont, participants effective solutions. He can quickly analyze and help will learn fundamental techniques of employee teams integrate into the organizational culture. recruitment, retention and performance John has experience working with organizations management. The seminar will culminate with at various stages of growth, from the initial a primer on workplace analytics, introducing formation of the Human Resources function to supervisors to the nuts and bolts of determining managing substantial change and assisting mature outcomes, measuring intangible expectations, organizations in creating a turnaround culture to and extrapolating results into the performance remain relevant and competitive. management system of employees; they will I am thrilled that this seminar will be running thus gain the ability to analyze results to better this year, and I hope you are as well. address and provide information to their superiors For more information or to register, visit regarding workplace concerns. bit.ly/2018supervisoryskills. The content of this seminar will include the AED and I would love to hear your feedback following: on the programs that you would find beneficial 1. Responsibilities and expectations of a for your team and your company. The AED supervisor Foundation has also added a brand-new Sales 2. Internal and external risks to the workplace, Management Seminar to the fall roster. Please including federal regulations, discrimination, reach out to AED with your thoughts on any harassment, occupational health and safety, and member benefits that you would find helpful. October 2018 | Construction Equipment Distribution | www.cedmag.com | 7

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Mark Your Calendar for AED’s

Upcoming Events! More Info

Oct. 10-12

Oct. 25-26

Leadership Development Institute DoubleTree Hotel Chicago O’Hare Airport 5460 N. River Road Rosemont, IL 60018

Advanced Rental Management Seminar Courtyard Denver Airport 6901 Tower Road Denver, CO 80249

Nov. 7-8

Nov. 8-9

Nov. 15-16

Small Dealer Conference Royal Sonesta New Orleans 300 Bourbon St. New Orleans, LA 70130

Branch Management Seminar Hyatt Regency Dallas 300 Reunion Blvd Dallas, TX 75207

Sales Management Seminar Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago Schaumburg 891 Plaza Drive Schaumburg, IL 60173

Dec. 6

Feb. 4-7, 2019

June 11-13, 2019

Supervisory Skills Seminar Chicago Marriott Suites O’Hare 6155 N. River Road Rosemont, IL 60018

2019 Summit & CONDEX Marriott Orlando World Center Orlando, FL

Washington Fly-In Washington, D.C.

For more information on current and future AED events, visit bit.ly/aedevents

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AED Events: Your Destination for Success


This one-day conference is packed with education sessions, networking and inspirational speakers.

o you have a vision for your dealership? AED’s conferences aim to help your business become more successful and operate more efficiently. We know how difficult it can be to take time away from the office. I’m sure you wear many hats in your organization and are constantly being pulled in various directions. But it is also important to focus on the future of your business, so we encourage you to make the one-day Small Dealer Conference the destination for your team and your company’s success. After an outstanding inaugural event last year in Nashville, we are excited to welcome this year’s Small Dealer Conference attendees to New Orleans at the Royal Sonesta Hotel from November 7 to 8. This conference has been created by small dealers for small dealers. Last year’s event hosted over 40 attendees, with education focusing on growth strategies, maximizing departmental performance, best practices for management and leveraging the power of your AED membership. This conference is targeted to your needs as a small dealer, with education content built by you and your industry peers. When you attend this year’s event, you will gain ideas for best practices, evaluating performance, improving your opportunity pipeline, growing your market share, planning strategically and developing leadership. Attendees will also have a chance to network with their peers at a welcome

dinner and a closing reception. Use this time to connect and gain valuable contacts that you can turn to in the future. We have jam-packed this event with education sessions that are aimed at every area of specialty and level of experience, so each session will apply to every attendee’s needs. This year’s agenda includes sessions such as “Oh, the Places You’ll Go! Seussical Strategies for Leading Anyone in Any Context,” “Reducing Your Customers’ Cost of Equipment Ownership by Managing Their Data for Them,” “Being Scrappy in Marketing Without Spending a Dime,” “Best Rental Practices for the Small Dealer,” “Talent Development for 21st Century Leaders,” “Dealer Competitive Strategy: State of the Art,” and “The Devil’s in the Details: How the New Tax Law Is Affecting Small Dealers and Their Customers.” Inspirational speakers will lead sessions to share their knowledge, helping attendees refocus and discover new techniques for their organizations. This year’s speakers include Kevin Burgess, Dick Stewart, Marc Johnson, Owen Edwards, Alexander Schuessler, Amanda Ayala and many more. We look forward to having everyone come out to create a successful 2018 Small Dealer Conference. To get more details on the agenda or to register today, visit bit.ly/2018smalldealer. To find out about all of our other upcoming events, visit bit.ly/aedevents.

BRIAN P. McGUIRE is president and CEO of Associated Equipment Distributors. He can be reached at bmcguire@aednet.org. BRIAN P. MCGUIRE AED President & CEO

ROBERT K. HENDERSON AED Executive Vice President & COO

JASON K. BLAKE AED Senior Vice President & CFO




DIANE BENCK Chairwoman West Side Tractor Sales Co.

PAUL FARRELL Modern Group Ltd. GAYLE HUMPHRIES JCB of Georgia STEVE MEADOWS Berry Companies, Inc. JAMES A. NELSON Heavy Machines, Inc. MATT DI IORIO Ditch Witch Mid-States DAN STRACENER Tractor & Equipment Co.


MICHAEL D. BRENNAN Vice Chairman Bramco, LLC RON BARLET Senior Vice President Bejac Corporation MICHAEL VAZQUEZ VP Membership MECO MIAMI Inc. DAVID PRIMROSE VP Canada Finning Ltd. JOHN C. KIMBALL VP of Finance Kimball Equipment Company WES STOWERS Past Chairman Stowers Machinery Corporation WHIT PERRYMAN Foundation Chairman Vermeer Texas-Louisiana

Westrax Machinery, Inc. MATTHEW ROLAND Midwest Reg. Roland Machinery Co. JOHN SHEARER Rocky Mountain Reg. 4 Rivers Equipment, LLC KAREN ZAJICK Northeast Reg. Norris Sales Co. DAVID PRIMROSE Western Canada Reg. Finning Ltd. COREY VANDER MOLEN South Central Reg. Vermeer MidSouth, Inc. MIKE PARIC Eastern Canada Reg. Joe Johnson Equipment Inc. October 2018 | Construction Equipment Distribution | www.cedmag.com | 9

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Legislative Visits With Congress on August recess, AED members across the country played host to their representatives in Congress. AED’s government relations office and the regional managers worked in tandem with AED members to make these visits a success. Here is a sampling of these visits. All visits can be found at twitter.com/AEDSocial Rep. Mike Gallagher visited Miller-Bradford & Risberg Mike Soley, Sr., Mike Soley Jr., and Dan Soley of Miller-Bradford & Risberg in Sussex, Wisconsin were pleased to host Rep. Mike Gallagher (WI-8). Gallagher was recently appointed to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committees.

Rep. Mike Bishop Discussed Infrastructure and Tax Issues at Ditch Witch Sales of Michigan U.S. Representative Mike Bishop visited Ditch Witch Sales of Michigan in Howell for a facility tour and roundtable discussion on infrastructure, taxes and workforce issues.

General Equipment & Supplies Hosted Rep Jason Lewis Rep. Jason Lewis (MN-2) visited General Equipment & Supplies in Shakopee, Minnesota. Issues discussed included Perkins Act, Prosper Act, Tariffs, Mexico Trade Deal, Workforce Development, Tax Cuts, Depreciation and Infrastructure.

Rep. Michael Cloud (TX-27) visited H&V Equipment in Corpus Christi H & V are key players in the oil and gas industry and Rep. Cloud serves on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee and its Energy Subcommittee, which oversees research in oil/gas and the American Energy sector.

Rep Scott Perry (PA-4) Visited Groff Tractor Groff Tractor in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania was pleased to host Rep. Scott Perry for a facility tour and roundtable discussion on infrastructure and other issues. Rep. Perry serves on the Committees on Transportation and Infrastructure, Foreign Affairs, and Homeland Security.Â

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Columbus Equipment Hosted Rep. Bob Gibbs Columbus Equipment welcomed Rep. Bob Gibbs to their Massillon, Ohio facility. Congressman Gibbs sits on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and chairs the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment, which has oversight of the federal regulation of clean water. Re-authorization of Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) has been a key issue for AED.

Rep. John Katko (NY-24) visited Milton CAT Milton CAT welcomed Rep. John Katko to their facility in Syracuse, New York. Rep. Katko serves on the House Homeland Security Committee as Chair of the Transportation and Protective Security subcommittee.  He also serves on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure.  

Rep. Mark Meadow’s visited Ascendum Machinery in Charlotte, North Carolina Congressman Meadows serves on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee where he Chairs the Subcommittee on Government Operations, which has oversight jurisdiction over federal agencies, the Executive Office of the President, the Postal Service, the Freedom of Information Act, and more. He also serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

AED Welcomed Rep Brett Guthrie (KY-) to the 2018 Leadership Conference held in Louisville, Kentucky Congressman Guthrie serves on both the House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce for the 115th Congress. Guthrie also serves on the following subcommittees for Energy and Commerce: Subcommittee on Health, where he serves as Vice Chair; Subcommittee on Communications and Technology; and Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection. He serves as the Chairman of the Education and Workforce Committee’s Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee. Rep. Guthrie was a key player on one on AED’s biggest issues, the reauthorization of the Perkins ACT.

AED Chairwoman Diane Benck met with Rep. Jackie Walorski (IN-2) AED Chairwoman Diane Benck traveled to South Bend, Indiana to meet with Rep. Jackie Walorski. Rep. Walorski sits on the powerful House Ways & Means Committee.

Rep. Scott Tipton Visited Wagner Equipment in Grand Junction Colorado Rep Tipton serves on the House Committee on Financial Services and House Natural Resources Committee. He is Co-chairman of the Congressional Small Business Caucus and Vice Chair of the Congressional Western Caucus. October 2018 | Construction Equipment Distribution | www.cedmag.com | 11

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>> INDUSTRY NEWS Terramac Expands Territory with Kirby-Smith Machinery in Texas Terramac, a leading manufacturer of innovative rubber track crawler carriers, grows its representation in North America with Kirby-Smith’s Texas operations. Since becoming an authorized Terramac dealer in 2016, Kirby-Smith has expanded beyond its original Terramac territory of Oklahoma into eastern Kansas and western Missouri. This second phase of expansion includes adding six existing Kirby-Smith branches in northern Texas to represent the Terramac product line. “Kirby-Smith has done a phenomenal job delivering on the demand for crawler carriers by establishing a large Terramac rental fleet,” says Matt Slater, director of sales at Terramac. “We’re excited to grow our partnership with Kirby-Smith and look forward to much success in the Texas market.” Kirby-Smith specializes in offering Terramac crawler carriers to serve the pipeline industry and has also expanded into the general construction industry.

Kirby-Smith plans to continue identifying and expanding into other markets and is eager to increase the reach of their Terramac fleet with the new Texas territory. “There is a lot of opportunity for the Terramac product line in Texas,” says Del Keffer, vice president of sales at KirbySmith. “Terramac crawler carriers are well-known for extreme versatility and are a reliable solution for contractors needing to transport material or personnel to remote areas. The additional territory coverage furthers our dedication to meet all customer needs by providing equipment solutions that solve job site challenges and boost productivity.” Kirby-Smith is well-versed in the Terramac product line and has extensive knowledge of crawler carrier usage and the many customization options for various applications. Along with the standard Terramac RT6, RT9, RT14, and RT14R units, Kirby-Smith also offers industryspecific attachment rentals such as tac

welders, hydroseeding units and personnel carriers. Kirby-Smith Machinery Inc. is a leading distributor of heavy construction equipment, industrial equipment and cranes. It serves the construction, paving, industrial, aggregate, pipeline/oilfield service, and various other industries with 10 full-service locations. For more information or to view branch locations, please visit Kirby-Smith.com. Terramac LLC, based in Elburn, Illinois, was established to produce the world’s leading crawler carriers. Units are sold through a full dealer network which offers customers easy-to-locate parts and service throughout the world. The units can be customized with support equipment to serve many industries such as pipeline, utility, mining, environmental, general construction and more. To learn more, please visit Terramac.com or call 630-365-4800.

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>> INDUSTRY NEWS Impact Public Affairs Retained to Represent AED in Ottawa Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) announced they have retained lobbying and public affairs firm Impact Public Affairs to represent them in Ottawa and throughout Canada. “I am extremely pleased to welcome Impact to the AED team,” stated Brian P. McGuire, AED’s president and CEO. “Impact has an outstanding reputation as one of Canada’s premier public affairs firms. Their seasoned political consultants understand government and have their fingers on the pulse concerning the current administration’s motivations and constraints. I expect them to be a tremendous asset to AED’s growing Canadian presence,” he added. Impact’s President Huw Williams will spearhead AED’s effort in Ottawa and beyond. Williams is a sought-after professional specializing in government and media relations. With extensive experience in the print and broadcast media, Williams has appeared frequently as a corporate spokesperson on CBC and CTV national news. In 2018, Williams was recognized as one of the Top 100 Lobbyists in Canada by the Hill Times Insider Guide. Mr. Williams’ government experience

is diverse, having served as Acting Chief of Staff to the Deputy Prime Minister of Canada; as a Senior Special Assistant to the Minister of Constitutional Affairs; and as a Legislative Assistant to the Speaker of the Alberta Legislative Assembly among other high profile positions. “Impact Public Affairs is excited to develop this new relationship with AED,” stated Williams. “AED is one of the premier trade associations in North America and their knowledge of, and commitment to, Canada is most impressive. We look forward to assisting them with legislative and public affairs issues as they endeavor to expand their footprint North of the border,” Williams concluded. “AED is excited to work with the Impact team on issues important to the Canadian construction equipment industry,” said AED’s Vice President of Government Affairs Daniel B. Fisher. “With this partnership, AED members will see a new level of engagement in Canada that will increase the industry’s visibility among policymakers and result in policy solutions that induce economic growth and dealer profitability.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Congressman Jason Lewis at Nuss Truck & Equipment

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Paul Ryan and U.S. Congressman Jason Lewis visited the Burnsville branch of Nuss Truck & Equipment on July 9 for a tour and discussion about how the tax reform is having a positive impact on American businesses like Nuss. The facility tour included a look at Nuss’ Service Department, a view of the new Volvo trucks and construction equipment, and a sit in a new Mack Anthem Truck. Nuss also discussed important topics such as tariffs, the glider kit issue with the EPA, and the Federal Excise Tax Repeal Act. To view the KARE 11 news story and video, go to bit.ly/Nuss-SpeakerRyan-Lewis.

Southeastern Equipment Promotes Chris Kurz Southeastern Equipment Co. Inc. is pleased to announce that Chris Kurz has been named branch manager at Southeastern’s North Canton, Ohio, location. Kurz’s responsibilities will include overseeing the sales, service and parts teams and assuring customers receive excellent service in every area. “We are very fortunate to have Chris leading our North Canton branch,” said Charlie Patterson, president of Southeastern Equipment. “His extensive experience with the company, knowledge of the industry, and his strong relationships with clients and suppliers will prove invaluable to our continued growth.” Before he was promoted to branch manager, Kurz was a sales representative at Southeastern for 20 years. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business from Muskingum University. A resident of Canal

Fulton, Kurz enjoys boating, fishing, golfing and spending time with his family. He and his wife have a daughter and a son who are both teenagers. Southeastern Equipment has been selling, servicing and renting heavy machinery since 1957. The company has eighteen locations throughout Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Indiana. Manufacturers represented by Southeastern Equipment include CASE Construction, Kobelco, Bomag, Gradall, Kubota Construction, Vacall, Etnyre, Terex, Schwarze, Alamo Industrial, Eager Beaver Trailers, Superior Broom, Midland Machinery, DuraPatcher, Fecon, Genie, SkyTrak, JLG, Sullair and a wide variety of companies that manufacture heavy equipment attachments. For more information, visit their website, www.southeasternequip.com. October 2018 | Construction Equipment Distribution | www.cedmag.com | 13

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>> INDUSTRY NEWS JLG Leads Workshops at National VPPPA Symposium JLG Industries Inc., an Oshkosh Corporation company [NYSE: OSK] and a leading global manufacturer of aerial work platforms and telehandlers, announced that Brent Hoover, director, product safety and reliability department, and Randy Marzicola, director, business development, both presented at the 2018 National Voluntary Protection Programs Participants’ Association (VPPPA) Symposium in Nashville, Tennessee, Aug. 28-31. Hoover’s presentation, titled “What Are the Differences Between OSHA and ANSI?” was held Friday, Aug. 31, at 8:30 a.m. During his workshop, Hoover provided an overview of the two organizations and explain the differences in how their regulations are enforced. Marzicola presented “Trends in Low-level Access and Proper Training” on Friday, Aug. 31, at 8:30 a.m. His workshop demonstrated how low-level access (LLA) lifts help companies address work site safety concerns, as well as review the current conditions and industry trends in this category and what the future may hold. The National VPPPA Symposium brings together safety and health experts from more than 400 different industries who are united in their mission to create safer environments for their peers and colleagues. The event features 100 workshops over three days, 300 exhibitors and numerous networking opportunities. For more information about JLG, please visit www.jlg.com.

Guntram Jakobs Named Director Customer Support For Mobile Cranes Emear At Terex Cranes

Guntram Jakobs has been appointed director, customer support, Terex Cranes Mobile Cranes for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia (EMEAR). The recruitment decision was made against the background of the company’s global Execute-to-Win strategy, with which Terex Cranes aims to regain its global leadership position in the industry. Terex Cranes has defined customer focus as an essential part of this strategic orientation: “Our goal is to become the industry benchmark in this area,” says Thomas Schramm, Terex Cranes vice president for sales and service mobile cranes in the Guntram Jakobs EMEAR region and responsible for the Demag brand worldwide, summing up his company’s mission. As a long-standing Terex Cranes employee, Jakobs can draw on extensive industry experience. When he joined the company in 1991, he initially worked as a service engineer. In this role, he spent several years in various customer support positions in both Europe and the United States, including three years as head of service at the Charleston office. He most recently held a responsible position in global product marketing for crawler cranes. “Guntram is a long-standing team member of Terex Cranes. He is committed to the company, knows the industry, and has technical expertise and experience in dealing with the industry and customers. He meets all the prerequisites to help expand our position in the EMEAR region,” said Schramm.


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John Deere Updates Engine Technology and Makes Model Adjustments to 310L EP Backhoe and 210L EP Tractor Loader The John Deere 310L EP Backhoe and 210L EP Tractor Loader are the latest construction equipment models to undergo updates, with a focus on engine technology and other model adjustments to improve productivity and uptime and to lower daily operating costs. “Our goal is to continue to support the ‘EP strategy’ and to offer an effective backhoe solution under the 56-kW power level, which allows for greater flexibility to meet emissions regulations,” said Brian Hennings, product marketing manager, backhoes and tractor loaders, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “This solution offers rental customers simpler technology, reduced maintenance requirements, greater reliability and a lower acquisition price.” The 310L EP and 210L EP feature a Yanmar 3.3L Interim Tier 4 diesel engine. At 69 horsepower (51 kW), it complies with EPA FT4 emission regulations without aftertreatment, minimizing machine complexity and the number of parts needed to maintain a fleet. A new variable displacement hydraulic pump delivers increased flow and enhanced power

management. As the engine load increases, the pump modulates flow in order to balance the power split between hydraulics and the transmission. Additionally, both John Deere tractor loaders, the 210L EP and the 210L, received a loader performance boost. Loader lift times are 26 percent faster due to increased hydraulic pump flow and larger-diameter hoses and tubes. Loader lift capacity increased 18 percent, from 5,342 lbs. (2,466 kg) to 6,340 lbs. (2,876 kg). Fleet managers looking to get the

most out of their 310L EP backhoe or 210L EP tractor loader can rely on their John Deere dealers to provide Ultimate Uptime, featuring John Deere WorkSight™. With Ultimate Uptime, owners receive predelivery and follow-up inspections that include five years of JDLink™ telematics, machine health prognostics, remote diagnostics, programming capabilities and the ability to add dealer-provided uptime solutions to a customized package. For additional information and specifications, visit your local John Deere dealer or www.JohnDeere.com. Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land – those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at www.JohnDeere.com.

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Great Lakes Region Sees Busy Summer

It’s been a busy summer in the Great Lakes region, with lots of member engagement and some great events. June kicked off with Minnesota U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen visiting Road Machinery & Supplies in Savage, Minn., to discuss infrastructure, mining, tax and workforce issues. Paulsen, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, was welcomed to RMS by CEO Mike Sill. “It was great to have Rep. Paulsen here today to discuss issues of critical importance to RMS and the heavy GREAT LAKES equipment distribution industry,” said Sill. “We appreciate him taking time out of his busy schedule to learn more about what we do, and we value what he does for Minnesota.” “I really appreciate the great Minnesota 8th District Republican Nominee for work you do here at RMS, not only Congress Pete Stauber (left) with RMS Director of Scott McPherson in Minnesota but throughout the Northern Operations Jon Anderson. Midwest,” stated Paulsen. “You create good-paying jobs and careers that contribute to our economy in a big way. I recognize the workforce shortages you struggle with, and I know my colleague Virginia Foxx (Chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce) is working on those issues. I am happy to assist in any way I can.” Mid-June was highlighted by The AED Foundation’s Instructors Conference held at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. More than 100 instructors and industry professionals came together to discuss workforce education issues. The Great Lakes Region was well represented, with instructors from Alexandria Technical & Community College, Dakota County Technical College, and Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Minnesota; Ferris State University, Lansing Community College, and Left to right: Ditch Witch of Michigan Controller Brian Lassey, U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop, Ditch Witch of Oakland Community College in Michigan; and Gateway Technical College and Northeast Michigan President Carl Rogers Wisconsin Technical College in Wisconsin. The AED Foundation instructors are the backbone of The AED Foundation’s Accreditation Program and contribute to the success of construction equipment companies through industry-specific workforce development and professional education programs. In July, Road Machinery & Supplies hosted congressional candidate Pete Stauber at their Virginia, Minn., facility. Stauber is the Republican candidate for the open seat in Minnesota’s 8th District, which encompasses the entire northeast quadrant of Minnesota, Minnesota 8th District Republican including Duluth and the Iron Range. Stauber, a former pro hockey player, retired police Nominee for Congress Pete Stauber officer and current St. Louis County Commissioner, fits the district perfectly and is a (left) with RMS Director of Northern strong proponent of infrastructure projects, including mining, which is making a strong Operations Jon Anderson comeback in northern Minnesota. Stauber recently captured the Republican nomination with 90 percent of the vote. The AED Foundation’s Instructors Conference held at In August, Ditch Witch Sales of Michigan hosted U.S. Rep. Mike Bishop (MI-8) in Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Mich. Howell, Mich., for a facility tour and roundtable discussion on infrastructure, taxes and workforce issues. Bishop, who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, was welcomed to Ditch Witch Sales of Michigan by General Manager Carl Rogers. “It was a pleasure to have Rep. Bishop here today to hear firsthand from him about what’s going on in Washington, D.C., as it relates to key infrastructure issues,” said Rogers. Bishop remains hopeful that an infrastructure package will come together, but he added that it comes down to how to pay for it. On tax relief, Rep. Bishop noted that “everywhere in the district I go, I am hearing positive comments about the Republican tax cuts. There seems to be tremendous optimism out there on the economy right now.” Ditch Witch Sales of Michigan Controller Brian Lassey stated, “Overall, the tax changes implemented by the Republican Congress have been good for our industry. There is confidence out there, and we are investing in equipment and personnel. I know Rep. Bishop understands our issues, and we look forward to partnering with him to further Rep. Erik Paulsen, fourth from left, with RMS Leadership in Savage, Minn. strengthen the economy.” 16 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | October 2018

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Heavy Equipment Dealers on Both Sides of the Border Face

SIMILAR PROBLEMS By Heidi Bitsoli Vermeer Canada is experiencing, just like many of its U.S. neighbors to the south of it: stunted growth. And that stalling is not due to lackluster industry performance but to a shortage of experienced talent. Vermeer Canada, a full-service equipment dealer, sells and services both new and used Vermeer equipment, in addition to offering leasing options, sales support and parts. The company has been around for decades, opening its doors in 1948, and today the Brampton, Ontariobased business has 10 full-service stores nationwide. Craig Drury, vice present of operations for Vermeer’s Eastern Canada region, was previously an AED board member, and the company he represents is heavily involved with and donates to The AED Foundation. The Canadian heavy equipment industry faces many of the same challenges its U.S. counterparts do, says Drury. Labor shortages and a need for more training opportunities put a damper on reaching heavy equipment’s full potential. “We’re starting the process of getting relationships (underway) between AED and colleges,” Drury says. “We need to figure out where the value is. Each province has different needs, and reconnaissance is needed.” Communication is also a key role for Drury. He continues to inform members of what AED and The AED Foundation are doing for the industry. As for Drury himself, his focus is on advocacy in Canada, and Ottawa in particular. Relationships with policymakers need to be built, pertaining to skills development in particular, Drury says. “The government needs to open up spaces in colleges.” It’s not just communicating with policymakers, however. Getting the word out about career potential to students (and their parents) is crucial, too. Parents need to hear that their children can

Your contribution fuels the work that allows The AED Foundation to develop a dealer model for success. The future of dealerships depend on how we come together to build our industry's workforce. Thank you, Vermeer Canada, for investing in the future of our industry! To contribute to The AED Foundation annual campaign, visit bit.ly/2018aedfcampaign.

have a long-term and lucrative future in heavy equipment. Of course, the children (or teens) need to hear that, too. There’s also the hurdle of getting over the mindset of seeing a university education as something elite to aspire to. It’s not a bad thing – not at all – but it’s not for everyone. Not everyone wants to become a doctor, for example. The industry also needs to do more to draw women and indigenous (native) peoples. “As an industry, we have not,” Drury says. “We’re starving after people, and (in terms of trying to bring women aboard) we’re not going after half the population.” With developing technology, leadership opportunities and good pay, there’s a future awaiting those willing to chase after it. “We just need to get the word out.” To learn more about bringing diversity to your dealership, download AED’s Women’s Roles In the Construction Equipment Industry Report at bit.ly/aedwice.

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Celebrating Its 65th Year, Linder Industrial Machinery Company Is All About The Future By Joseph Kay


 he Linder Industrial Machinery Company is celebrating its 65th year in business, but President and CEO John Coughlin is more excited to talk about the future than the past. He’s overseen a strategic evolution at Linder, engineered to ensure great customer experiences and enduring relationships – a modern competitive approach, concerned with more than just the sale. Linder first opened its doors in Lakeland, Florida, in 1953. The company expanded across Florida, eventually becoming the state’s exclusive Komatsu dealer. Today, Linder provides sales, rentals and service in 18 locations across Florida and the Carolinas. They continue to offer Komatsu equipment as well as Konecranes, Cemen Tech and Wirtgen.

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Coughlin started in the industry as a technician in New York. Eventually he moved into a management role before spending 39 years with Komatsu; then he worked as a general manager of service for a distributor in Ohio. He joined Linder as GM of product support in 2003 and took on the president and CEO role in 2010. The people, he says, make the company unique. Linder associates aim to go further than the sale alone: they build a partnership with the client and work together to develop the most effective and cost-efficient solution. “With our culture comes the word honesty – being upfront with our customers, regardless of the situation,” Coughlin explains. “This is a company that believes in honesty and partnership.” Since his arrival, the company has grown more intentional about being a partner to its customers. It was clear from customer feedback and the direction of the industry that they needed to evolve, so Linder leadership refocused on product support and a solution-based approach. Now, customers rate the Linder experience higher than ever; and with a host of new clients, confidence across the company has risen. Coughlin confidently calls Linder a “product support powerhouse.” “We were a sales-focused company,” he says. “Today, the big focus is on product support after the sale. We aren’t just out to sell equipment; we’re out to understand our customers’ challenges and come at them with the most modern, cost-saving solutions possible.” Coughlin points out educational and advocacy programs as AED’s most effective offerings. Leadership training, financial literacy and product support training have helped get new associates up to speed after they come in from another industry. He adds that it’s crucial for tomorrow’s workforce to gain some of that exposure, too. Young people and students should be seeing that the construction and heavy

equipment industries offer challenging and rewarding careers; and without intentional efforts by industry advocates, the caricature of the grease-stained mechanic will persist. “It’s not just a greasy mechanic job – it’s a technician with a laptop and diagnostics. Since the equipment is getting so specialized, you need to be specialized in each of these specific OEMs and even units,” he explains. And it goes further than that. In a way, the efficiency and effectiveness of the industry have made it less visible; it’s a kind

of erasure from the popular consciousness. Coughlin explains, “When people drive down the road, they don’t think about it, but how did that road get there, how much did it cost, who built it? You can imagine if there were no road, they might have something to say.” But combating that invisibility can be as simple as offering tours to student groups and young people entering the workforce. Linder has opened its doors to vocational students in the past, and Coughlin is interested in expanding those opportunities. As for him, retirement is on the (distant?) horizon – having climbed from tech to CEO and invested forty years in the industry, there are few career challenges left for him to conquer. He’ll continue to keep pushing Linder into its next phases. “In terms of growing our company,” he said, “we’re aligning with more of a modern, more of a solutions-based service – and that means taking this company into the future.”

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4/19/2018 9:34:54 AM

Stop Falling Behind Your Competitors S E V E N S T E P S T O G A I N I N G A C O M P E T I T I V E A D VA N TA G E By Brad Wolff Doesn’t it seem that business is more competitive and difficult than it used to be? ABC Inc. experienced this challenging business atmosphere firsthand. As a building materials manufacturer that previously dominated their marketplace, ABC suffered staggering losses in the previous fiscal year. It became blindingly apparent that what had worked in the past was no longer effective, and the company president had no idea how to fix things. It was time to use proven techniques for achieving a competitive advantage. ABC engaged a firm that identified the root causes of their problems. After two years, sales and profits dramatically increased – even with the same leaders. The results came from a seven-step process based on sound principles that put a focus on leveraging their internal talent. If you find your business falling behind, you can follow ABC Inc.’s lead by putting these seven steps into practice.

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1 Align your employees When a significant portion of duties performed by employees doesn’t fit with their innate characteristics or core nature, they won’t perform well; for example, people low in detail orientation doing work that requires high detail. Training and development, management encouragement and other well-intended efforts will not fix these employee alignment issues. As Peter Drucker said, “A manager’s task is to make the strengths of people effective and their weaknesses irrelevant.”

2 Create a competitive advantage through a culture of personal growth and development In truth, personal growth results in professional growth. It results in a greater capacity to handle life’s challenges, accomplish long-term goals and work well with others. Personal growth and development includes an increased awareness of self and others, the ability to manage one’s ego, the ability to manage emotions, and the development of innate talents to maximize productivity and effectiveness. Most performance issues that managers complain about relate to one or more of the above. These are fundamental character traits of success.

3 Align employees with the mission and vision of the organization Human beings have an innate need for meaning and purpose in what they do. This means that they care about how their efforts affect the world outside themselves – people, the environment, animals, etc. For example, take assembly line workers that produce incubators for premature babies. In one scenario the workers are only told to mechanically perform the prescribed duties. In another scenario it is made crystal clear to them that the quality of their work will have an effect on the survival of infants. Which workers do you think are more motivated? Engagement and performance are directly affected by people’s connection to the outcomes of their work.

4 Align employees with the culture and values of the organization People need to feel that they fit in with their social groups. Employees who are significantly out of sync with an organization’s culture and values will never make their highest contribution. Having perfect alignment is not the goal, since diversity of thought and behavior allow a culture to adapt and thrive. However, significant misalignments are damaging. It’s also important for leaders to consider whether they should change their culture. Examples of this would include a culture that they know is toxic, or when there’s a shrinking population of workers who fit the current culture. In both cases, without the ability to attract and retain needed talent, organizations will fail.

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5 Align roles and responsibilities with the organization’s strategies and goals In today’s environment, organizational goals and strategies must change to adapt. Frequently, roles and supporting job duties don’t adequately change to align with these shifts. When this occurs, some or much of employee work efforts are out of alignment and can impair the ability to achieve the desired outcomes. For example, a company changes strategy to shift most customer communications from telephone to online service, yet the employees’ duties and training continue to focus on telephone communications.

6 Assess personal and professional weaknesses, starting from the top Weaknesses are the negative side of strengths. It’s impossible to have a strength without its vulnerable opposite. We’ve been taught to hide or deny our weaknesses despite their being obvious to others. Our ego’s impulse to protect our self-image is normal but counterproductive. It hinders our true potential from being realized – a loss to the organization and ourselves. When leaders openly and honestly acknowledge “challenge areas,” this sets the example for others. The organization opens the door to growth and development.

7 Commit to working on the personal and professional challenges discovered in the assessment process Studies on human potential and positive change demonstrate that self-awareness is the first step. But it’s not the last. Committing to take steps (starting with baby steps) and then taking them allows for the development of positive habits that create lasting positive change. Deliberate change intended to meet the needs of your environment creates a flexible, adaptive organization, one that is poised to thrive despite the torrent of unpredictable/unwanted change that defines your world. Thriving in an unpredictable world is about you – your willingness to acknowledge change that you don’t like, openly discuss it and consistently take the actions required to adapt and emerge stronger.

At the end of the day, leaders are simply making choices that define the present and future of themselves and their organizations. There’s nothing magical about the most effective leaders. They’re just making more effective choices. These choices encompass how they decide to see the world, their openness to challenge their beliefs, and their willingness to experiment with innovative ideas that can capture breakthrough advantages. Equally important choices include their willingness to objectively look at themselves and take action to grow in specific areas. They choose to become a greater, more effective version of themselves. They know that what they demonstrate (not what they say) is what has the greatest impact on the entire organization. As a leader, the question is, what choices are you going to make?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brad Wolff specializes in workforce and personal optimization. He’s a speaker and author of “People Problems? How to Create People Solutions for a Competitive Advantage.” As the managing partner for Atlanta-based PeopleMax, Brad specializes in helping companies maximize the potential and results of their people to make more money with less stress. His passion is empowering people to create the business success they desire, in a deep and lasting way. For more information on Brad Wolff, please visit www.PeopleMaximizers.com. October 2018 | Construction Equipment Distribution | www.cedmag.com | 23

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UsedEquipmentGuide.com BY KAREN ALGEO KRIZMAN


 hen some of the largest Caterpillar, Deere, and Peterbilt dealers in the world invest millions in your startup, you know you’re onto something big. That is exactly what happened earlier this year to Jeremy Balog, founder and CEO of Used Equipment Guide (UEG), the world’s largest search engine for used heavy trucks and equipment. Balog had the idea for Used Equipment Guide while relaxing in the shower back in 2015. He had discovered it was not possible to search all used heavy equipment listings online unless a buyer was willing to visit over 3,500 websites. Other industries have turned to vertical search engines to solve their fragmentation issues; what Balog envisioned in 2015 has now become a reality.

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To better understand what UEG is, it’s important to understand what a vertical search engine is and does. UEG is not a general or “horizontal” search engine but a “vertical” search engine because its focus is on a single topic: used equipment. Millions of internet users use vertical search engines every day, for example, Indeed. com (jobs), Kayak.com (flights), Hotels.com (hotels), CarGurus.com (cars) and many more. As any industry insider knows, the used truck and equipment industry is highly fragmented, with sellers posting items for sale on thousands of online marketplace, auction, and dealer websites. That created many hurdles for Balog and the UEG team, but after two years of product development, the usedequipmentguide.com website went live, indexing content from just over 300 websites. Today, the website indexes over 2.5 million listings and empowers buyers to search over 3,500 websites with a single search. Balog admitted he was not the first one to think of the idea. “We’re not doing anything new,” he said. “The only thing that is new or different is our business model. Our mission is to create liquidity in the marketplace, and we can only do that by being as inclusive as possible. Previous attempts to launch a search engine have failed because they were based on displacing incumbents and taking someone else’s bite out of a fixed pie. Our strategy is to partner with incumbents to help make their existing products work even better, which creates liquidity and expands the pie for everyone.” The company secured millions in investment earlier this year from big industry names, including HOLT CAT, Doggett Equipment Services and Rush Enterprises. To get buy-in from some of the best-known names in the industry and to move the entire industry forward, one needs to have more than an industry-changing shower idea, but also be the right person with the right team behind them. Balog is also the founder of dieseljobs.com, the largest niche job board for the heavy truck and equipment

industry. He has a master’s in entrepreneurship and, with a background in recruiting, successfully recruited the cofounder of Autotrader.com to join the company as COO. “Our team is awesome,” Balog continued. “We couldn’t ask for a better group of investors behind us, and with my recruiting background, we’ve assembled a strong sales, marketing and engineering team. Everyone has drunk the Kool-Aid and is committed to our mission of creating liquidity in the marketplace.” The most impressive part of UEG is not the data, but how they use that data in their search engine. “Our search capabilities are far more robust than any other industry site I’ve ever seen,” said Balog. “When a user types D6 into our search box, they experience a feature we call ‘magic search.’ Even though they’ve only given us two characters, we already know that they’re looking for a Caterpillar D6, and we suggest the entire Caterpillar D6 model family – it’s very powerful.” With the fragmentation of the industry, one of the largest hurdles Balog faced was getting searchable data from over 3,500 sites. “A user wants to find what they are searching for easily without having to think about all the possible mistakes a listing could have, and we have seen every permutation one can imagine. A Ford F-150 might be put in as ‘F-150,’ ‘F 150,’ or ‘F150’ – our data quality team normalizes this data so that every F-150 is actually called an F-150 and not an F150 or otherwise. It’s not a CAT, but a Caterpillar, and after adding 100 years of acquisitions and name changes, one can start to appreciate what a gargantuan task this really is.” Used Equipment Guide utilizes a dedicated data quality team that converts the vast amount of unstructured data found on the web into structured data that users can use to easily find items for sale. Balog and his team created a search experience where the buyers’ interests come first. “Users can find what they are looking for with two keystrokes and a click. Whereas on other industry sites, they’re required to search through October 2018 | Construction Equipment Distribution | www.cedmag.com | 25

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Interested in learning more? Visit usedequipmentguide.com, download the app on Google Play or the App Store, or contact Jeremy Balog directly at jeremy@ueguide.com.

long lists on multiple pages. In their defense, these sites are set up to serve sellers’ best interests and not buyers’. That’s why our buyer-centric model is completely different than any other website of which we’re aware.” Having an understanding of what buyers are looking for is very powerful. “We’ve had dealers show interest in our dataset to help them understand what buyers are interested in so that they can shift their internal acquisition and divestment strategies,” Balog said. “Dealers want to know who is looking for what, when and where in order to make data-driven decisions in an increasingly competitive marketplace. We have one of the largest datasets in the world and, more importantly, it’s highly structured and accessible.” UsedEquipmentGuide.com doesn’t actually host any listings. Instead, it indexes and links to the original content source. This is particularly important for maintaining the original lead attribution, which is vital for sites that charge a fee for sellers to list their items for sale. “We are committed to being as inclusive as possible and working with everyone, which means not competing. We do not host or sell listings, nor will we ever, as we clearly state on our website. We are a for-profit business, though, which is why we sell data-driven products such as highly targeted branding opportunities, with additional products in the pipeline. Nearly every product on our road map is something that has either never been done before or is currently not sold by any other company today – that’s the power of structured data.” However, the company has its detractors. “We have received some pushback from big names in our industry,” said Balog. “We are very careful to ensure we are not

infringing on copyrights or trademarks, which is why we only display material facts on our website. Users must click through to the source site to view images and full item descriptions, which also maintains existing lead attribution models – we aren’t taking any credit for leads or trying to steal anyone’s clients. We are bound by over two decades of search engine legal precedent, pioneered by Google, that requires us to maintain search neutrality. We can’t alter search results based on financial relationships, which means our investors’ listings are indexed and displayed the same as those of sellers who don’t even know we exist.” Used Equipment Guide allows dealers to create a profile and claim their listings for free, but they do offer digital-savvy dealers and marketers targeted branding and advertising opportunities. “We have created an ad system similar to Google or Bing Ads where sellers can target their ads toward users based on search criteria and keywords. With traditional media in the equipment industry, advertisers pay for a location on a website or for a magazine’s distribution, but the majority of the readers or visitors are not their target market. With UEG, advertisers only pay when people see their ad based on very specific targeting criteria, so it’s not only about who sees the ads, but also who doesn’t see them,” said Balog. Looking for equipment on the go? UEG has released a mobile app that gives buyers the opportunity to find the equipment they want, where they want. “Many buyers are on the go, and we have a native mobile app to help buyers find equipment from the job site. The mobile app is just one of the exciting products on our road map,” said Balog.

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The world's largest used equipment search engine.



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8/15/2018 10:27:44 AM

BERGMANN is coming to Coming to America! America! BY KAREN ALGEO KRIZMAN


 he German manufacturer, which specializes

importer, a master importer, who then supplies

in compact articulated dump trucks (ADT

to other dealers; or if we manage several dealers

Series) and crawler dump trucks (CDT

ourselves directly. It really depends on the

Series), expects to be operational in the U.S. by

contacts and opportunities we get in the next

2019. Bergmann machines are powered by the

weeks and months.”

latest Cummins Tier 4 Final Diesel engines and have payloads between 4.5 and 28 short tons.

“For BERGMANN, the key motivation is to start long-term partnerships with companies who

The family-owned company has been analyzing

share our company values, believe in technical

and planning the market entry since owning

innovation and represent well-working service

managing director Hans-Herrmann Bergmann

infrastructure,” Kirschner added.

visited the CONEXPO fair in Las Vegas in 2017. In business since 1961, BERGMANN built its first “We are looking into different distribution

dumper the following year. Today, it employs 250

concepts,” said Bernd Kirschner, who is in charge

people and is well established across Europe and

of sales management exports at BERGMANN. “It

also Australia. All of its dumpers are still designed

is not fixed yet whether we go with one main

and built in Meppen, Germany.

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“We are completely focused on this product, so we

“We have analyzed the market environment,” said

would consider ourselves dump truck specialists,” Hans-

Kirschner, who will be representing BERGMANN at the

Hermann Bergmann said. “We don’t have excavators or

2019 AED Summit in Orlando February 4-7, “and our

wheel loaders in our portfolio. For BERGMANN, the

research has confirmed that we can be very competitive

compact dumper is not a side product. For us, it is the

with our machines. The technical concepts of the


BERGMANN ADT and CDT Series are different and

Besides product quality, BERGMANN considers service as most important for sustainable success. “You can operate the best machine in the world, but there will be a day when the machine needs maintenance or a repair. That will happen. Quick response times, skilled and welltrained staff, and spare part availability are crucial in this situation. Therefore, it is crucial for us to cooperate with partners who feel and act in the same way.” BERGMANN’s experience and expertise will be transferred to its partners through comprehensive training schedules. “It is necessary for partners to come to Germany and spend around a

lead to safer, more effective and efficient solutions on-site. The CDT 120, for example, is designed with a 180° swivel skip in combination with a 180° swivel seat. This concept does not need a rotating machine frame. By rotating the seat and moving the skip, you get the same flexibility onsite, but the empty weight of the crawler dump truck is significantly lighter and the maximum speed is higher. The customer’s benefits are lower operating cost and shorter working circles. It also provides the operator with a direct and unobstructed view of the unloading area, a decisive benefit for H&S standards on-site.”

week in our facilities to learn the machines inside out.” Like other family-owned operations, BERGMANN has been cautious with its growth. Although the desire to expand into the U.S. marketplace, and ultimately into the rest of North and South America, has long been on its agenda, the decision to make the move was not made in

“Our concept is different and we believe it is unique, so we believe it will attract a lot of attention (from customers).”

haste. October 2018 | Construction Equipment Distribution | www.cedmag.com | 29

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To start with, BERGMANN plans to bring its ADT 150

Even a joint development of a new machine is possible

and CDT 120 dumpers to the U.S. Both machines are also

for BERGMANN customers. One result of such a

available as carrier vehicles with numerous applications

project is, for example, the BERGMANN tunnel line.

like cranes, flatbeds, welding units, water tanks, lean spreader etc. The Articulated Dump Truck, ADT 150, is available with three different skip types designed to carry a maximum load volume of up to 8m³ and 13.227 short tons of payload. Customers can choose from swivel tip, rear tip or three-way tipper. BERGMANN’s Crawler Dump Truck, CDT 120, can carry up to 11.023 short tons and comes with either a rear- or swivel-tip dumper.






currently sell larger-capacity dump trucks in America, BERGMANN is counting on its smaller load capacity to appeal to a certain segment of the U.S. market. “We believe we are coming to a market where we can be competitive on the one side and where we are complementary to other brands’ portfolios on the other side. Dealers always look for opportunities to grow their business, but often the sales areas are

“We have a big design and engineering department in-

restricted. So, an attractive alternative is to extend the

house, and we want to find the best answers for customer-

product range instead,” Hans-Hermann Bergmann

or site-specific problems,” Kirschner said. “Our company

explained. “We believe that our portfolio, including

size and organization allow us to combine the best of

the crawler dumper and the compact but powerful

serial productions with individual, uniquely developed

ADT 150 machine, helps the dealer to provide ‘single

solutions. With every project we add another option to

source solutions.’ Every company has to understand

the BERGMANN ‘tool box.’ Of course, you can order

its own strength and resulting opportunities, and we

our machines with cranes, snow shields, power lifts, lean

position BERGMANN next to the very big players in

spreaders, welding applications…”

the dumper business.” •

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Join tHe BerGMann FaMily! Bergmann is coming to America – and looking for active, long-term partnerships with North America Distributors. For nearly 60 years, we have been completely focused on dump trucks, with innovative concepts and product quality. We consider excellent service crucial for sustainable success. Bernd Kirschner Sales Management Export

Do you feel the same? Are you interested in selling and servicing our machines? Contact us!

Made in Germany. Bergmann Maschinenbau GmbH & Co. KG Essener StraĂ&#x;e 7 | 49716 Meppen | Germany Bernd Kirschner | Phone +49 (0) 5932 7292-39 b.kirschner@bergmann-mb.de | bergmann-dumper.de Ad_template.indd 2

9/17/2018 10:31:11 AM

Small Dealers THINK BIG at the 2018 Small Dealer Conference This coming November, AED’s small dealer members will be meeting up in New Orleans for the second annual 2018 Small Dealer Conference. This event will give small dealers an opportunity to keep an eye out for developments in the competitive landscape, identify industry drivers and understand strategic indicators.


ttendees will gather at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in New Orleans on Wednesday, November 7, for a welcome dinner, followed by an all-day success-building event on the eighth. This quick, in-and-out conference will provide valuable networking opportunities for those familiar with the daily challenges of operating a small dealership. Over 55 participants from 38 small dealerships attended last year’s inaugural Small Dealer Conference. Dealers of all sizes are increasingly challenged by OEM and customer expectations. But smallersized dealerships that carry lighter equipment have different objectives with regard to training, operations and advocacy. The Small Dealer

Conference was created in 2017 to put these unique objectives front and center. Building on the success of the 2017 conference, AED has added educational sessions on leadership, product support, rental, marketing, and talent development. This year’s conference will also feature a session that will give attendees a 10,000-foot overview of the industry to learn more about where things are headed. According to Liz McCabe, senior director of education and programming at AED, “The agenda was put together with the input of the Small Dealer Committee, so this really is an event tailored to the specific needs of small dealers.”

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Here is an inside look at this year’s conference agenda: Reducing Your Customers’ Cost of Equipment Ownership by Managing Their Data for Them Reducing the cost of equipment ownership has traditionally focused on lowering equipment acquisition cost, or on lowering life cycle cost via a reduction in parts and service cost. Dollar for dollar, the customer’s gain in reduced cost is equal to the dealer’s loss in reduced margin, resulting in a zero-sum game for the dealer. However, technological advances of the last fifty years have expanded dealerfriendly options for lowering the cost of equipment. Dealers and manufacturers can now proactively reduce the cost of equipment ownership and increase equipment uptime while reducing the cost of support, thus preserving their own margins. Such effects can be achieved by managing customer data. At this educational session, attendees will learn how developing technologies, including enterprise systems integrations, remote data communication (telematics/ internet of things), and the electronic distribution of intelligent, “asset-seeking” service and maintenance information, has allowed dealers to directly enhance the efficiency of their customers’ operations. This presentation will be given by Alexander Schuessler, founder of SmartEquip, an internet-based solutions company for manufacturers and rental fleet owners. In 2005, Schuessler, alongside the CEOs of Hertz, United Rentals, NationsRent, The Home Depot, and Volvo, was named by Rental Equipment Register (RER) as one of the “Top 10 People Who Are Impacting the Rental Industry.” Prior to founding SmartEquip, Mr. Schuessler was co-founder and senior partner of Script International (formerly Caterpillar Rental Services Network Inc.), a company that coordinated the start-up of over 80 separate equipment rental operations for Caterpillar in 45 countries across the world.

Being Scrappy in Marketing Without Spending a Dime Marketing guru Amanda Ayala will be giving a presentation on small dealer marketing on a shoestring budget. For small dealers, persistence and tenacity are required to maximize exposure, cultivate a sterling reputation, develop a leading voice, and become sales powerhouses. What is not required is a lofty marketing budget. Taking a scrappy approach to marketing does not have to result in suffering strategies. Ayala will give tips and tricks for developing provoking content, building a social media presence, creating a customer referral program, nurturing local partnerships, and crafting dynamic email marketing to make sure attendees can bring their dealerships the exposure necessary to be successful. The Devil’s in the Details: A Panel on How the New Tax Law is Affecting Small Dealers and Their Customers There has been a lot of buzz among AED’s small dealers about the new tax law. Congress recently completed the first major rewrite of the tax code in more than 30 years. Despite being nearly a year into the new law, there are still implementation questions as the Department of Treasury and the IRS have been slow to release guidance and other rules pertaining to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. As with any major piece of legislation, there has been some good and some bad. At this panel discussion, attendees will learn about how the new tax law has affected small dealers and their customers and what to expect going forward. “There are many differences in how small and large equipment dealers are impacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” said Daniel Fisher, AED’s vice president of government affairs and the panel’s moderator. “Participants will have the unique opportunity to ask questions of a leading equipment industry CPA and gain valuable insight into how the IRS and the tax accounting community are interpreting key provisions of the legislation.” Attendees should bring their questions and be prepared to learn how

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to ensure small dealers get the most benefit out of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Best Rental Practices for the Small Dealer In an evolving marketplace, the rental department is vital for near-term profitability and the longevity of a dealership. Learn best practices for growing your rental business and giving it a competitive advantage at this educational presentation given by Owen Edwards. For over 15 years, Edwards has worked with Doosan Bobcat in dealer development. His primary responsibilities relate to advising the Bobcat and Doosan dealer network on sustaining dealership profitability. In his role with Bobcat, Edwards routinely conducts financial and cash flow analysis, forecasting and budget preparation, performance metric development and comparison, best practice sharing, and dealer succession planning strategies.

Business Report, provides significant insights crucial to small dealerships’ 2019 planning. Speaking of the 2018 Small Dealer Conference, Daniel Fisher said, “This one-day educational event allows attendees to work on their business rather than in their business. AED’s Small Dealer Conference provides a platform for professionals to come together to leverage their membership and address the challenges they are currently facing in their businesses.” Make this conference in “Nawlins” your destination for success!

Talent Development for 21st Century Leaders In this interactive session, attendees will learn how to create a high-performance culture using progressive talent systems that will attract the next generation of workers. Attendees can expect to have their current mindsets about leadership development and traditional performance management tested. Marc Johnson will facilitate the session and help participants walk away with new strategies to increase employee loyalty and engagement. Dealer Competitive Strategy: State of the Art Dealers are increasingly challenged by OEM and customer expectations, which can be tricky market drivers to serve and anticipate. What’s more, strategic options to these two market drivers have narrowed. Through a partnership between AED and the University of Denver, research was recently completed that examined those dynamics. The research identifies specific components of the market drivers causing dealers to adapt their strategies and business models, the prevalence of adaptations being made, and the financial performance of those adaptations. This research, combined with AED’s annual Cost of Doing

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You WON’T Want to Miss... Inspirational speakers to help you refocus and discover new techniques for your dealership

Educational sessions aimed at every area of specialty and level of experience

Networking and quality time with industry peers to connect and gain valuable contacts


Phil Riggs | Senior Director of Member Engagement/ Western Regional Manager priggs@aednet.org or 630-465-3622

Have Questions Regarding the Small Dealer Conference? Having problems registering for this event under your company’s member rate? CONTACT A REGIONAL MANAGER FOR ASSISTANCE.

Michael Dexter | Midwest and Canadian Regional Manager mdexter@aednet.org or 630-465-2888 Scott McPherson | Great Lakes Regional Manager smcpherson@aednet.org or 312-882-2473 Thomas Lunney | South Central Regional Manager tlunney@aednet.org or 630-465-6647 Michael Murray | Northeastern Regional Manager mmurray@aednet.org or 630-465-4232 Sean Fitzgerrel | Southeastern Regional Manager sfitzgerrel@aednet.org or 630-352-9372

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taying in touch with the demands of downtown Minneapolis’ road-building and mining equipment customers takes the grit and resiliency that the city is known for. Ruffridge-Johnson Equipment has been exercising such durability for over 80 years. In an effort to better serve these customers, Ruffridge is finally moving from their downtown location to a site 15 miles north of the city in Centerville, Minneapolis.

Ruffridge-Johnson got its start in the 1930s when they began selling rock crushers to build Minnesota’s streets and highways. They opened their downtown location in 1936. The company’s founders were men who took great pride in serving customers’ needs. That tradition of service excellence continues today as the company utilizes the latest technologies to give their customers an edge over the competition.

“A lot of our customers are coming from outside the area and a few of them are intimidated by driving in Minneapolis, especially to pick up or bring in equipment,” said Ruffridge-Johnson’s owner and CEO Jon Pederson. “We’re really excited about becoming a good community member up in Centerville.” The company’s downtown location closed its doors on May 3 and is currently moving to the new facility. Part of that moving process will include relocating their 15 employees.

A Minnesota native, Jon Pederson served in the United States Marine Corps during Vietnam. Upon returning from his tour, he graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead. In 1976, while studying abroad in Germany, he met his Moroccan-born wife in Paris. He is a peace warrior who has volunteered over the years on Minnesota-Norway projects, the Boy Scouts and Concordia Language Villages, a world-language and culture education program.

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Ruffridge-Johnson founders saw the inherent value of AED membership, and the company has been a member for over 75 years. Its leadership team received a 75-year membership plaque at the 2018 AED Summit. “The networking opportunities have always been what I’ve valued most about our company’s AED membership,” said Pederson. “Things have changed drastically since I first started going to AED conventions 40 years ago. Today there are a lot fewer dealers. We’ve seen a lot of other dealers go out of business in the past few years, so to be in business for 75 years is a big deal – and it’s a pretty classy plaque, too.” One recent AED development that Ruffridge-Johnson is taking advantage of is the Small Dealer Conference. Tailored to deal with issues pertinent to small dealers, the conference is having its second annual meeting in New Orleans this November. After attending the inaugural Small Dealer Conference last year, Ruffridge-Johnson President David Hosch said, “It’s refreshing to have subject matter that is tailored to smaller dealers. On top of that I find great value in being able to network with people that can relate to the challenges our business faces on a day-to-day basis.” David Hosch recently became president of RuffridgeJohnson after serving the company faithfully as VP for

15 years. A St. Paul Tech and University of Minnesota alumnus, Hosch is Pederson’s longtime business partner. When asked about this year’s Small Dealer Conference, Hosch responded, “I’m looking forward to networking with my fellow dealers. Out of all the subject matter being presented, I’m most interested in talking about the new tax law and marketing for small businesses.” Ruffridge-Johnson executives and employees are highly trained and committed to providing unrivaled product service and support. Keeping in tune with the issues that face other small dealers is a part of delivering on this commitment.

Hosch remarked, “We have been in business since 1936. The formula for making that happen has always been through developing personal friendships with our customers and taking care of our employees.” Ruffridge-Johnson now offers a full range of road construction and aggregate equipment for sale and rental, including jaw crushers, cone crushers, aggregate screening and washing equipment, heavy construction equipment, and paving and asphalt equipment. They also offer service and repair for all of their equipment lines.

Ruffridge-Johnson’s NEW 25,000-square-foot Centerville facility. They will be moving in at the end of October.

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Small Dealers Committee Update F

By Clifford Black or the past few years there has been talk among small dealers at AED’s Summit that there needed to be an event that focused on issues pertinent to smaller-sized dealerships. Responding to member requests, AED introduced the inaugural Small Dealer Conference in Nashville last November. The inaugural event was a success, offering leadership tools and educational sessions tailored to the needs of the 35 AED members that attended. One of the crowning achievements of the event was the creation of the Small Dealers Committee. The committee exists as a network for small dealers to connect and share with their peers, to provide AED with direction on how to better serve their demographic with educational and networking opportunities, and to help direct the program for AED’s annual Small Dealer Conference and other educational and networking programs. “Essentially, the committee plays an advisory role within AED to help direct content and programming for the Small Dealer Conference,” said Northeast Regional Manager Michael Murray. Murray is the AED staff person responsible for the facilitation of the committee. Membership is open to any small dealer who is currently an AED member in good standing and who is interested in the mission and purpose of the committee and AED. Small dealers are defined as dealerships with annual revenue at or below $50 million, employing no more than 50 individuals, and having three or fewer locations. During this year’s Summit, the Small Dealers Committee’s first official meeting was held. The group established bylaws and elected a chairperson, Jeff Lashley of Lashley Tractor Sales, and a vice chairperson, David Moore of Construction Equipment Sales & Rental. Moore stated, “I’m excited to be the vice chair for  the Small Dealers  Committee. I have always felt that AED does a great  job supporting and including all dealers, large  and small, in the organization.” The group also discussed topics for the upcoming 2018 Small Dealer Conference in New Orleans. “We are excited to get the Small Dealers Committee up and running and look forward to working with committee members to ensure that small dealers have a voice in all of AED’s value propositions and that AED addresses the unique needs of small dealers in all services and products we offer,” said Michael 38 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | October 2018

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Membership is open to any small dealer who is currently an AED member in good standing and who is interested in the mission and purpose of the committee and AED. Small dealers are defined as dealerships with annual revenue at or below $50 million, employing no more than 50 individuals, and having three or fewer locations. Murray, responding to an inquiry about the direction of the committee. Murray pointed out that there are two primary functions of the committee. The first is to provide networking opportunities for similarly situated dealers. Such opportunities hardly consist of competitors sharing financials, but instead create a forum for members to discuss the market drivers and challenges that the industry faces. Second, the committee was designed to tailor conference content toward small dealers. AED knows that a big part of running a small dealership is wearing many hats. Small dealership owners and employees know the multifaceted demands of daily operation. To better

serve AED members facing such demands, the committee has created small dealer content such as “The Art of the Deal: Buying, Selling and Valuing Your Equipment in Today’s Market” and “The Devil’s in the Details: How the New Tax Law Is Affecting Small Dealers and Their Customers.”While the Small Dealer Conference is beginning to pick up steam, the committee is situating itself to get more involved with AED’s policy goals. Providing a unified voice to the hundreds of AED small dealerships, the committee first seeks to determine the objectives of these dealers. According to Murray, the committee will carry out these goals by maintaining a presence at AED’s Summit as well as bringing several small

dealership owners to the Washington FlyIn event. The Small Dealers Committee is looking forward to ushering in a fruitful relationship between AED and its smaller dealers. “Our goal with the Small Dealer Conference is to help bring information to small dealers so we can be  relevant in the current marketplace,” said the committee’s vice chairperson. “Smaller dealers often don’t have the resources that larger dealers utilize and face many of these challenges alone. We are engaging the experienced AED staff and its  resources  to  help  smaller  dealers with useful topics and a great networking opportunity.” CED will keep its readers informed of any developments from this big committee for small dealerships.



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Advertising for Small Dealers

on facebook

By Kelsey Keegan Fritz acebook has become a leading channel through which businesses advertise their products and services. It has evolved from simply a social networking site to a lead-generating and converting tool. So what are some real-life experiences that showcase this? Successful Farming interviewed Brian Scott, a grain farmer in northwest Indiana, and Matthew Sligar, a California rice farmer, about their notable success in using Facebook to reach and resonate with their target audiences. Since the launch of his Facebook page, The Farmer’s Life, in February 2011, Scott has amassed nearly 60,000 followers, and Sligar has built up a successful YouTube channel, Rice Farming TV, through his Facebook following. Here are the key points we took away from their interview about what’s made their pages so successful.


Go live on Facebook so that all followers get a notification you’re live Mention that a new YouTube video is up on the channel; followers can scroll down to find the link It’s a great way of working with Facebook’s algorithm to build a following on both channels! Get Involved in Groups Both Scott and Sligar have found a lot of success in engaging with the right audience by joining relevant groups on Facebook. For example, Scott joined the agricultural group Farm Hats and has actually bonded so much with the other members that he has a running group text with them in which they talk almost every day. Sligar has found success in sharing his videos with a more targeted

Posts Don’t Always Need to Be Detailed

Scott noted that just because Facebook gives you the opportunity to post longer-form posts compared to Instagram or Twitter, it doesn’t mean you should feel pressured to create a detailed post every time. He’s even found, to his surprise, that his audience is oftentimes most interested in the more mundane things that go into his day-to-day work. They don’t have the vast knowledge that Scott does, so even the smallest things are interesting and new for his followers. So even if your dealership’s audience is more attuned to your work than Scott’s audience is to his, it still might be valuable to include some of the smaller details and everyday activities of your dealership to give them some insight into how it runs.

Use Multimedia, Not Just Text

It’s evident that no matter what business you’re in, images and video resonate more with audiences than simple text posts. Facebook also favors these posts in newsfeeds because, naturally, they’re receiving more engagement. When it comes to video in particular, Sligar says the platform favors posting your videos directly to Facebook itself. Despite this, Sligar has built his YouTube channel to 6.3K subscribers with a creative approach to his videos. The steps in his strategy are as follows: Post the video to YouTube Post a link to the YouTube video on Facebook

audience. For example, if he’s talking about a specific tractor, he can find a group that uses that tractor and share it with them. Therefore, he’s reaching a more targeted audience that is actually using the product.

The Biggest Takeaway

Ultimately, the main message of the interview is to just get started on Facebook! It may seem overwhelming with all the features and attributes the platform has, but even dipping a toe in the water to show your inventory presence in another capacity could be a gamechanger for your business. The more comfortable you become with Facebook, the more strategies you can explore.

KELSEY KEEGAN is the marketing coordinator at Commercial Web Services, a division of Trader Interactive, which specializes in providing commercial dealers and manufacturers with products and services to establish and grow their online presence in today’s market. 40 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | October 2018

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The of


Lessons from AED’s Small Dealers

By Clifford Black common mistake made by new executives is to underestimate the value of smaller dealerships. Sure, size matters. Success is often measured in units sold and annual revenue. But when the rubber meets the road, dealers of all sizes are primarily concerned with the satisfaction of their customers. Small dealers thrive on offering their customers diverse solutions with a personal touch that is often unrivaled by the bigs. AED has recently begun developing a Small Dealers Committee and will hold their second annual Small Dealer Conference in November. AED’s small dealers have similar challenges to their larger counterparts, but they often do so without the resources or the specialist to get the job done. As a result, it is very common for small dealer executives to wear many hats throughout any given day. In recognition of those unique challenges, AED started tailoring content for these small dealers and presenting them with a forum for networking and collective action. In collaborating with their smaller dealers, AED has observed many valuable traits that can be applied to larger dealerships. Here are a few:


Stay Nimble

Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, gave a talk at a recent Forum on Leadership. Commenting on the success of his company and his own leadership strategy, Bezos said, “It is great to have the scale of Amazon. We have financial resources, we have lots of brilliant people, we can accomplish great things, we have global scope, but the down side of that is you can lose your nimbleness, you can lose your entrepreneurial spirit and the heart that small companies often have. “A big boxer can take a punch to the head, but you want to be able to dodge those punches, so you have to stay nimble, “ he said.

Increase Access to You

Customers instinctually know when a company is trying to brush them off. It’s the difference between not being able to find anyone to help you in a big box store versus an owner greeting

you at the door of their mom-and-pop store. Of course, the inherent truth is that executives of bigger dealerships do not have the time to speak with many, if any, of their customers. Running a company with hundreds of employees and appeasing the customer’s appetite for facetime can often be a balancing act. Not only do customers want to interact with you; they want to know that you want to interact with them. Have real people answer every call to every department of a dealership. Break the habit of using voicemail during business hours and be more accessible than the competition. Being approachable to a customer will create more personal interactions. We have all had experiences dealing with customer service of big companies and being bounced around from one department to another. Nothing will anger your customers more than having to explain their problem over and over. Instead, when a customer contacts your dealership with a question or problem, do like the small dealers and get them one point of contact that will walk them through to a solution.

Become Specialized

Small dealers do not have the luxury of keeping a large stable of equipment options, but they know that quantity does not always mean quality. Allocating limited resources when choosing inventory requires judiciousness and a close eye to what the customers are buying. Offering fewer options means less when a dealer offers the right equipment. Customers will then come to you knowing that they will find the right equipment for the job.

Maximizing Resources

In order to make the impact on the construction equipment industry that small dealers have, they must maximize the resources available to them. One such resource, Associated Equipment Distributors has been helping small dealers organize and weather market trends. Some small dealers have been taking advantage of AED’s services for over 75 years. AED’s educational seminars, webinars, and certified manager/ technician programs help small dealers all over Canada and the United States make a larger impact on the industry.

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AED Business Services Program Gives Members Complimentary and Discounted Access to Essential HR Services BY M E G A N M AT T I N G LY- A RT HU R


ssociated Equipment Distributors (AED) has selected human resources professional John Acardo, principal and founder of BlueCornHR, to provide support for the association’s new members business services program. Launched earlier this fall, the program gives members access to HR services that can help equipment dealerships grow their businesses and develop their employees.

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While Acardo is relatively new to the AED team, he brings with him more than 15 years of experience in the management and HR field, and is committed to helping organizations and businesses solve the complex challenges that prevent them from performing at their optimum capacity. “Throughout my life, I’ve been inspired by service and helping others achieve their full potential,” he said. “After getting my feet wet and getting my first taste of HR management, I was really drawn to the complex, daily challenges HR is asked to solve. That quickly transitioned to the realization of my passion to help organizations and people excel at what they do best, whether that’s helping organizations grow their businesses or helping individuals advance their careers and professional aspirations.” HR professionals are tasked with a number of important functions, including constructing compensation programs for organizations and benefit packages for employees, assisting with employee and personnel management, and serving as risk managers and sounding boards for new ideas. “HR plays a role in evaluating the risks of decisions and helping leaders make the best decisions they can by evaluating ideas and proposals from all aspects,” Acardo said. “I often describe an HR professional’s function as that of a risk manager – we evaluate risks and talk executives or individuals who are in charge of the business through decisions they’re considering making.” It’s a big job with wide-ranging duties, but Acardo loves what he does – and especially enjoys seeing clients achieve the recognition and success they deserve. “The best part of my job is helping organizations create high-impact teams, but I would have to say that the most rewarding part of the job is seeing the recognition of the people and individuals within the organizations once they’ve gotten the confidence to tackle exciting, new and challenging opportunities,” he said. Thanks to the new and improved business services program, AED members can now benefit from Acardo’s HR expertise. Acardo will provide support for the AED HR hotline, and members can call the

To learn more about BlueCornHR, visit www.bluecornhr.com. hotline, start an online chat or schedule a one-on-one consultation to discuss a wide variety of HR-related issues. Most importantly, the hotline offers more than just cookie cutter answers to complicated HR challenges. Members can take advantage of Acardo’s extensive knowledge and receive advice that’s tailored to their unique situation. “AED members can expect more than just a quick questions and answers service,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for individual employers to call if they need sample documents, commonly used forms or someone to bounce their ideas off of or discuss in-depth projects. I can also suggest best practices in certain areas, and clarify difficult compliance or employment-related challenges.” AED members can also access negotiated discounted rates on additional HR services Acardo offers, such as updating policy handbooks, performing compliance checks, assisting with employee training and professional development opportunities, conducting workplace investigations and mediating workplace disputes. Acardo can also help businesses implement other HR strategic programs that allow them to identify and create analytics on performance, and examine ways to introduce employee or customer surveys to gauge how well the organization is responding to concerns. When he’s not working to help organizations, businesses and employees solve challenges to become even more successful, Acardo’s three children – ages 3, 6 and 17 months – keep him busy at home. He is also an avid distance runner. For more information on AED membership benefits, including the new members business services program, visit http://aednet.org/aed-membership-guide.

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The 2018 AED Foundation North American Instructors Conference By Steve Johnson The 2018 AED Foundation North American Instructors Conference took place at Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan, on June 11–14, 2018. The Heavy Equipment Technology program at Ferris State University became The AED Foundation’s first accredited dieselequipment program in January of 2001 and remains accredited today. Previous conferences were at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton, North Dakota, in June 2014 and at State Technical College of Missouri in Linn, Missouri, in June 2016. The Foundation thanks the conference planning committee for doing an outstanding job: Gary Maike, Ferris State University; Ed Frederick, State Technical College of Missouri; Matt Riesberg, John Deere Construction and Forestry; Dick Weber, Minnesota State Community and Technical College; and Bobby Kellum, Caterpillar. We appreciate those at the college who worked with the Gary Maike Foundation to make it a success. A special thanks to Gary Maike, program coordinator and associate professor, and Joyce Mudel, secretary, Heavy Equipment Technology Center, for their “above and beyond” efforts, Joyce Mudel without which the conference would not have happened. Our thanks also to David Eisler, president; Paul Blake, provost and VP academic affairs; and Larry Schult, dean of CET. We would like to recognize our conference sponsors for helping to make this conference possible: AIS Equipment, CDX Learning Systems, Goodheart-Willcox and United Rentals. A total of 87 attendees represented 37 diesel-equipment technology schools, five AED member dealerships and two manufacturers. Of those 37 schools, nine are in the process of having their college programs accredited or their high school programs recognized by The AED Foundation. Representatives from seven of

the schools were exploring possibilities for AED Foundation college accreditation or high school recognition of their programs. The event provides a great forum for instructors, representatives from industry, and other stakeholders to learn from others, share best practices, make broad networking connections and provide program advisory input to the Foundation. Prospect colleges can better explore AED accreditation and its benefits by talking with and learning from those who have already been through the process. Last but not least, there are plenty of opportunities to just get to know one another better over good food and drink. Instructors from diesel-equipment technology programs and supporting dealers across North America are welcome.

A highlight of the conference was dinner at the Blue Lake Tavern in Mecosta, Michigan. At this historic log cabin restaurant overlooking scenic Blue Lake, attendees enjoyed prime rib, pork chops, chicken and Great Lakes perch, a house specialty. The dinner speaker was Russell Davis, Michigan state director, U.S. Dept. of Labor, Office of Apprenticeship. Mr. Davis spoke on the status of apprenticeship programs in the U.S., as well as providing information about who to contact and what is required to get involved.

Many thanks to those who presented during the educational sessions at the conference. These presentations included the following: • “Diversifying male-dominated fields: why it matters and tips for encouraging female participation and success,” Leigha Compson, Ferris State University • “Track steering systems,” Dr. Tim Dell, Pittsburg State University • “Telematics and machine controls,” Will Burtt, AIS Equipment • “Fluid filtration for the future, Now,” Richard Smallwood, DAVCO Technology • “Strategy-based instruction for imparting and assessing skills,” Kevin Murphy, CDX Learning • “Millennials in the shop,” Dan Meyers, Ferris State University • “Salt Lake Community College, a success story,” Jeff Scott, Intermountain Bobcat The AED Foundation encourages everyone with a stake in equipment technician recruitment and education to make note of June 2020, when the next instructors conference will be held. Stay tuned for more details. Should you want to learn more about how equipment dealers can become involved with AED Foundation accreditation of dieselequipment technology college programs to meet their own hiring needs, please contact Steve Johnson at The AED Foundation.

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SkillsUSA 2018 Championships Students Excel at Diesel Equipment Technology Competition

By Steve Johnson On June 25–29, the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference was held at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The philosophy of the championships is to reward students for excellence, to involve industry in directly evaluating student performance, and to keep training relevant to employers’ needs. Each of the 102 competitions at the SkillsUSA Championships falls under one of 11 categories known as “sectors.” The diesel equipment competition is in the transportation sector. Competitions are carefully planned by technical committees composed of representatives from industry and are designed to test the Nick Rummel skills needed for successful performance in a given occupational field. Mr. Nick Rummel from Caterpillar Inc. is the chair of the Diesel Equipment Technology Technical Committee for SkillsUSA. SkillsUSA state competition winners took part in the national diesel equipment technology competition. For this competition, contestants cycle through fourteen stations: precision measurements, engine diagnostics and troubleshooting, electrical and electronics system circuits, electric and acetylene welding equipment, chassis and transmission technology and troubleshooting, drive axle component measurements and adjustments, to name a few. Contestants demonstrate skills in hydraulic systems, vehicle inspections, fundamental components failure analysis, brake systems, air-conditioning systems and general shop skills. Contestants also perform a job interview and complete a written test. Each station has company sponsors and a chairperson. Students from AED Foundation accredited or “inprocess” diesel-equipment college programs really shined at the 2018 SkillsUSA national competition. Cooper Blakeney from Illinois Central College in East Peoria won the first place gold medal in the diesel equipment technology competition. Cooper attended the Diesel-Powered Equipment Technology AAS degree program, which covers construction, agricultural and Cooper Blakeney

on-highway truck equipment. He has completed an internship at Peoria Disposal Co. and has accepted a full-time position with them upon his graduation. Matthew Smith won the second place silver medal. Matt is from Salt Lake City, Utah, and attends the Salt Lake Community College’s Diesel Technician Systems program. Matt feels the program does an excellent job of presenting a well-rounded program in all aspects of being a diesel and heavy-duty technician, including diesel engines, transmissions, hydraulics and electrical. Salt Lake Community College’s diesel program Matthew Smith offers a certificate of completion along with a two-year AAS degree. Matt is now employed by a large local concrete and paving contractor, repairing heavy equipment. Senior Grady Cebelak from Ferris State University’s Heavy Equipment Service Engineering Technology program took the bronze medal for third place. last year He worked in his grandfather’s business, Mason Street Garage, and Nation Dynamics. There he learned automotive repair, hydraulic repair and, most recently, Palfinger crane authorized repair. Grady interned at AED member Alta Equipment in Grand Rapids during college. He was an honor student at Ferris State University and earned a 3.99/4.0 GPA.

Ryan Meppelink, left

We also want to recognize Ryan Meppelink, who won Gold at SkillsUSA while in high school and as a result has advanced to the World Skills competition in 2019. Ryan is from Zeeland, a small town in western Michigan close to Grand Rapids. He graduated from Zeeland East High School and attended Careerline Tech Center for their Diesel Heavy Equipment program. Ryan is currently working on his associate degree from Ferris State University in the Heavy Equipment program, with plans for achieving his bachelor’s in fleet management. Ryan works as a technician for Inontime, a small logistical fleet in Zeeland, Michigan.

48 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | October 2018

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