AL/FL - TEC Tractor Times

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AL/FL - TEC Tractor Times

A publication for and about our customers in AL, FL & GA • 2008 No. 1Featured in this issue:S&G EQUIPMENT, INC.The equipment arm of Gilcohelps keep the Tuscaloosapipe-contractingfirm productiveSee article inside...Mark SimpsonJeff GilbertPantone 072 blue


A MESSAGE FROMTHE PRESIDENTDan StracenerRELIABLEEQUIPMENTRESPONSIVESERVICEDear Equipment User:A new year always brings with it a sense of anticipation and hope.So it is with 2008.Last year marked the first nationwide downturn in overallconstruction since 1993. Despite that, a tremendous amount of workwas still done. When you stop to consider the phenomenal runupthat occurred in the previous 14 years, a small decline still leaves theannual total at a very high level, one that can be viewed as more of acorrection than a cause for concern. And much of that downturn canbe attributed to the housing slowdown in a handful of states.As for 2008, forecasts vary as to what the year will bring. Some arepredicting another small decline while others believe the constructioneconomy will rebound. At Tractor & Equipment Company, we’redetermined to help make it a successful year for you and yourcompany.Komatsu will be coming out with many new models designedspecifically to improve performance and lessen fuel consumption.Komatsu’s goal is to produce machines that are demonstrably superiorto competitive units. If you’re in the market for a new piece ofequipment, we invite you to demo a Komatsu machine and discoverthe difference for yourself.Meanwhile, all of us at TEC are committed to providing youwith the parts and service support you need to keep your machinesproductive and reliable throughout the year. As always, if there’sanything you need, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our sales, parts andservice personnel at all of our branches are here to help you in anyway we can.Sincerely,Dan StracenerPresident


atmosphere,” said Kimberly. “Both Dad and Iare on a first-name basis with everybody whoworks here, and with most of them, we knowtheir families too.”“Our employees depend on us and we relyon them,” added Rickey. “As we’ve grown,they’re the reason we’ve been able to maintainour reputation for fast, efficient, quality work.I’ve told them to call me if they need anything,any time of the day or night. Nobody’s a numberaround here. They really are like family.”Smith Pipeline Operator/Lowboy Driver Bobby Oxford uses aKomatsu WB140 backhoe loader to move pipe at the WestbrookCreek subdivision in Paulding County.In addition to the Smiths themselves, keypeople at Smith Pipeline include WaterSuperintendents Ronnie Oxford and Richard“Monte” Conley, Office Manager Ernie Bedelland Estimator Yadira Lopez.Signature jobsSmith Pipeline does a substantial amountof work for homebuilders in and aroundAtlanta, providing water services for newsubdivisions. Two of its largest clients areUnified Residential and Legacy Communities.The company has also done a large volume ofwork for Strack, Inc. through the years.Signature projects include installing thewater lines at some of the Atlanta area’s mostexclusive addresses, including Sugarloaf andSt. Ives Country Clubs, both in Duluth, andTraditions of Braselton.“I still ride through Sugarloaf to take a lookat the hydrants every now and then,” saidRickey. “When we’re working on projects likethat, everything has to be just right and there’spressure on us to perform. I estimate we putin six to seven miles of pipe at Sugarloaf. I’veeven been called out on an emergency to fixanother company’s work the night before thepro golf tournament that’s held there (AT&TClassic, formerly BellSouth Classic).”Most of Smith Pipeline’s work remainsin the Atlanta metro area, but the companyhas also recently begun to travel for largerjobs. For example, Smith recently completeda 70,000-foot water-line job in CrawfordCounty, near Macon, and has recently begun a20-inch-diameter waterline extension projectfor Colombia County near Augusta.Smith Pipeline’s Komatsu equipment fleet includes three tight-tail-swing PC138excavators. “We’re really sold on the PC138,” said Owner Rickey Smith. “It’s compact, yetpowerful, which makes it the perfect machine to lay water line.”“The best machines out there”In order to do its water work efficiently,Smith Pipeline has turned largely to Komatsumachines from Tractor & EquipmentCompany. The fleet includes eight Komatsuhydraulic excavators (a PC200, threetight-tail-swing PC138s, two PC160s, a PC120and a compact PC78); five Komatsu WB140backhoe loaders; a Komatsu WA250 wheelloader; and a Komatsu D37 dozer.“I was using another brand when mybrother-in-law John Bray, who’s also in thebusiness (Bray Pipeline), told me aboutKomatsu,” said Smith. “My TEC Sales Rep,Johnny Rexrode, brought a PC120 excavatorover for me to demo and it was much nicerthan what I was using, so I bought it. I’vebeen buying Komatsu ever since. They’reContinued . . .Ronnie Oxford,SuperintendentRichard “Monte”Conley,Superintendent


Smith Pipeline adds sewer-line work. . . continued(L-R) Kimberly and RickeySmith work closely withTEC Sales Rep JohnnyRexrode regarding theirequipment needs.The Smith Pipelineequipment fleet includes thisKomatsu PC160 hydraulicexcavator. “Komatsuexcavators are comfortable,productive, good on fuel andfairly priced,” said OwnerRickey Smith. “To me, they’rethe best machines out there.”comfortable; they’re productive; they’re goodon fuel; and they’re fairly priced. To me,they’re the best machines out there.”“TEC also has really good financing optionsthrough Komatsu Financial,” added Kimberly.“We often have bankers approach us aboutfinancing some of our equipment with them, buttypically, they can’t touch Komatsu financing.”Rickey says he was one of the firstcontractors to use excavators behind thecurb to install water lines. “Back in the late’80s, everybody used a rubber-tire loader,”he recalled. “But we found that the compactexcavator was much more efficient, yet smallenough that it wouldn’t tear up the curb theway a larger excavator might.”“We’re really sold on the PC138s,” saidKimberly. “The jobsite can get very congestedwhen we’re laying water lines. We often havecurb guys and paving guys there at the sametime, and they’re all in close quarters, so thetight tail swing is ideal. We think the PC138 isthe perfect machine to lay water line.”The Smiths also appreciate their relationshipwith Tractor & Equipment Company.“Johnny Rexrode has always been veryhelpful, and we’ve also dealt with MarkShoults (General Parts Manager-Georgia),”reported Kimberly. “One of the good thingsabout TEC is that when issues arise, they workwith us to make things right.”Diversified, optimisticKimberly Smith acknowledges thatresidential construction has slowed down inthe last year or so, which is one of the reasonsSmith Pipeline is broadening the scope ofservices it offers clients.“We’ve been successful specializing inwater-line work, but we don’t want to haveall our eggs in just that one basket,” observedKimberly. “Our ability to do sewer work andtravel farther to do larger jobs makes us morediversified than ever before, so we’re betterable to cope with the current slowdown inhousing. Over the long term, we’re confidentthat the Atlanta-area housing market willrebound.“Regardless of the type of work we’redoing or where it is, our goal will always bethe same: to do quality work, do it quickly,provide excellent service and treat customersfairly and honestly. As long as we do all that,we believe we’ll be successful in the currentenvironment, and will grow when the overallnational and regional economies improve.” n


A SALUTE TO A TEC CUSTOMERRELIABLE EQUIPMENTRESPONSIVE SERVICES&G EQUIPMENT, INC.The equipment arm of Gilco helps keep theTuscaloosa pipe-contracting firm productiveMark Simpson,Co-ownerJeff Gilbert,Co-ownerIIn April of 2000, Jeff Gilbert and MarkSimpson went to a bank in Tuscaloosa to tryto borrow some money to help them start aconstruction company. The two had workedtogether for several years at another companyand felt they were ready to go out on theirown. The bank agreed to lend them $30,000.“When we started out, it was me, Mark and asecretary,” Gilbert recalled. “We started biddingjobs and we got some of them. Initially, we rentedequipment and did all the work ourselves. Aswe started getting more jobs, we started addingpeople. I have to admit our growth has farexceeded what we were anticipating.”In fact, the company’s growth in seven yearshas been nothing short of explosive. In 2000,Gilbert and Simpson’s company, which theynamed Gilco Contracting, consisted of threepeople. Today, it typically employs about 180people. In 2000, Gilco did a little more than $1million worth of work. This year, it expects todo between $25 and $30 million.Mark Simpson (left) and Jeff Gilbert foundedTuscaloosa-based Gilco Contracting in2000 and are presently Co-owners of S&GEquipment and G&S Properties.“We’re just a couple of normal guys,” saidGilbert. “We knew the business and we werewilling to work hard, and we just hoped thatwould be enough to make us successful. Wereally feel blessed by the way things haveturned out.”Last year, Gilbert and Simpson sold Gilcoto five of their employees — Rodney Camp,Andy Harshman, Danny Weems, Tim Barrettand Lynn Trull. The original owners are nolonger affiliated with the company except asconsultants, and as an equipment supplier,through their company, S&G Equipment, Inc.“We still own the equipment and the newowners of Gilco agreed to lease all theirmachines from us for several years,” saidGilbert, who serves as President of S&G.Simpson is Vice President and Secretary. ClarkBurrage is Director of another Gilbert andSimpson business, G&S Properties.Full-service pipe workFrom the beginning, Gilco’s specialty hasbeen sewer and water work.“I’ve been doing pipe work since I was akid,” said Gilbert. “So when we went intobusiness for ourselves, it only made sense thatwe’d specialize in sewer and water. Up to thispoint, Gilco has worked as a civil contractingfirm almost exclusively, but that’s largelybecause that’s where the jobs were. We’vedone some private, site-development workand we’ll do more of it if that’s where thedemand goes.”“I think one of our strengths as a companyis that we’re very versatile,” said Simpson.“When it comes to doing sewer and waterwork, we can do it all. Of course, we lay pipe,


ut we also build plants and pump stations,and we do road bores. The fact that we’reable to do all the different facets of the workprobably gives us an edge in bidding jobsbecause we’re able to do everything in-housewithout hiring subs.”Most of Gilco’s work has been in westernAlabama, but the company has also done jobsin Mississippi and is willing to travel farther.“We’ll go where the work is and do what’sin demand,” said Gilbert. “If the demand forutility work dries up, then we’ll do site work.And if there’s no activity in Alabama, we’ll goto Mississippi, Tennessee or Florida. We’ll goall the way across the country if that’s what wehave to do.”Big pipe jobsDuring its short time in business, Gilco hasdone some very large jobs. For example, thecompany laid 120 miles of water line in a littleless than a year in Greene County as part of arural water project.“We probably had 6,000 to 8,000 feet of roadbores with some very deep crossings,” saidGilbert. “Pipe diameter on that job was from12-inch down to three-inch, but we’ve also laidwater lines as big as 36-inch ductile iron.”Gilco is currently doing a large sewer job inCullman, Ala. It consists of about 30,000 feet ofgravity sewer.“The Cullman job includes one of the largestpump stations in Alabama,” said Simpson.“It’s about 50 feet deep from finish grade andabout 35 feet wide — and it’s pretty much insolid rock all the way down. A job like that isa challenge, but we’ve never shied away fromdoing difficult jobs.”Best bang for the buckIn order to take on challenging projectslike that, S&G Equipment relies largelyon Komatsu machines from Tractor &Equipment Company. The company’sKomatsu fleet includes PC300 and PC400hydraulic excavators, as well as numerousContinued . . .Gilco’s specialty is sewer and water work, which it does throughout western Alabama.Here, a Gilco operator uses a Komatsu PC400LC-7 at the Highway 43 Expansion job inNorth Port, Ala.In addition to pipe jobs, Gilco also has the expertise and equipment, including thisKomatsu D155 dozer, to do full-service development jobs.A Gilco operator uses this WA200PT parallel tool carrier at the University of Alabamaexpansion site. S&G Equipment, which leases its machines to Gilco Contracting, usesKomatsu machines almost exclusively. “When you look at value, we believe Komatsudelivers far and away the best equipment bang for the buck,” said S&G Co-owner JeffGilbert.


S&G Equipment supplies machines to Gilco. . . continuedClark Burrage,Director, G&S PropertiesRodney Camp,President/Owner, GilcoTEC Tuscaloosa ServiceManager Larry Watkins(left) and Product SupportRepresentative Marcus“Speedy” Hitt (right) workwith Tim Barrett, one offive Gilco owners. “Larry,Speedy and our TEC SalesRep, Benji Hines, takegood care of us,” said Gilcoco-founder Jeff Gilbert.“TEC has been an excellentpartner through the years.”tight-tail-swing excavators, ranging from aPC78 up to a PC308. S&G also has KomatsuD155 and D65 dozers, WA250 and WA200wheel loaders and parallel tool carriers fromTEC.“Our first year or so in business, we rentedequipment exclusively,” recalled Gilbert.“When we decided to start purchasing somepieces, I went to the three top brands andAndy Harshman,VP/Owner, GilcoLynn Trull,Owner, GilcoS&G Equipment’s Komatsu fleet includes numerous traditional and tight-tail-swingexcavators.put them side-by-side to evaluate them, andit was an easy call. In our opinion, Komatsuexcavators are superior to anything elseon the market, and their dozers and wheelloaders are comparable. Then, when you lookat value — which, in addition to productivitytakes into account price, longevity and resale— we believe Komatsu delivers far and awaythe best equipment bang for the buck.”“We’ve been very pleased with our choiceof Komatsu machines,” concurred Simpson.“Putting utilities in the ground and buildingroads are competitive markets. We thinkour decision to go with Komatsu has beena factor in our success because Komatsuproductivity, reliability and value allow us tobid aggressively.”Dealer supportS&G Equipment pays close attention tomachine service and maintenance.“We take very good care of our equipmentto ensure excellent uptime and to ensure weget a good resale price when we trade it in,”said Simpson.“We also appreciate the support we getfrom Tractor & Equipment Company inTuscaloosa,” said Gilbert. “TEC has beenan excellent partner. Our TEC Sales Rep,Benji Hines, is very helpful when it comesto purchasing or renting equipment and ourTEC Product Support Rep, Marcus “Speedy”Hitt, lives up to his nickname in supplyingus with replacement parts. He keeps us wellstocked with all the routine items like oil andfilters and is also able to get us anything elsewe need in short order.”Bright futureAs for the future, Gilbert says he expectsGilco will continue to aggressively pursuepublic sewer and water projects.“I think Gilco’s goal is to continue growing.If they need to travel, they’ll travel. If theyneed to diversify, they’ll diversify. The key isto always try to give customers good value.If Gilco does that consistently, I believe itwill continue to be a force when it comes tounderground utility work.” n


NEW PRODUCTSRELIABLE EQUIPMENTRESPONSIVE SERVICENEW SMALL WHEEL LOADERSVariable traction control system givesDash-6 models firmer footingIImproving on what was already a good thingis never easy, but Mike Gidaspow, KomatsuProduct Marketing Manager for Wheel Loaders,says Komatsu did it with the launch of its newDash-6 models of the WA200, WA250 and WA320wheel loaders. The main reason: they now offerthe advantage of variable traction control.Variable traction control allows operatorsto fine-tune the machine to match groundconditions. The traction control switchreduces the tractive effort of the machinewhen traveling at low speed. Combined withtorque proportioning differentials, or optionallimited-slip differentials, the variable tractioncontrol provides several benefits.“The WA200, WA250 and WA320 havelong been trusted, versatile machines in roadwork, utility, agricultural and a host of otherapplications,” noted Gidaspow. “With theenhancements we’ve made, such as variabletraction control and Tier 3 engines, users aregoing to find them to be even more effectiveand productive.”Each loader has three variable tractioncontrol modes (A, B and C) that offer differentlevels of traction control. The A mode allowsfor 75 percent tractive effort, B provides 65percent and C offers approximately 55 percent.“Komatsu’s hydrostatic loaders have alwayshad a great deal of pushing power, and theseare no different,” Gidaspow added. “Usually,that’s good, but sometimes it can be too muchpower. In those instances, the tires tend tospin, so the power isn’t going to the ground.With the variable traction control, the operatorcan reduce the pushing power and the spin.Reducing tire slippage will extend tire life, andwith tire prices climbing, that will make a bigdifference in the bottom line.”S-mode, Max. tractionAn S-mode is also standard, and providesoptimum driving force for operation on Continued . . .Brief Specs on Komatsu Dash-6 Wheel LoadersMike Gidaspow,Product MarketingManager Wheel LoadersModel Net hp Operating weight Bucket Capacity Breakout forceWA200-6 126 hp 23,160-23,457 lbs. 2.2-3.2 cu. yd. 18,298-23,038 lbs.WA250-6 138 hp 25,441-25,904 lbs. 2.5-3.5 cu. yd. 24,250-30,535 lbs.WA320-6 167 hp 31,590-32,070 lbs. 3.0-4.2 cu. yd. 24,870-33,380 lbs.Komatsu’s new small wheel loaders have variable traction control, which allowsoperators to fine-tune the machine to match ground conditions. Each loader has threevariable traction control modes that offer different levels of traction control from 75percent to 55 percent tractive effort.“The previous models had only one level oftraction control, which was basically on or off.With the new WA200-6, WA250-6 and WA320-6,users get three,” noted Gidaspow, who addedthat parallel tool carrier versions will be comingvery soon. “The variable traction control offers anadvantage when operating on soft ground wherethe tires are apt to slip. It eliminates excessivebucket penetration and reduces tire slippageduring stockpile loading to improve the workefficiency.


New features offer efficiency, operator comfort. . . continuedslippery road surfaces. “Many contractorsalso do snow removal in the winter, and theS-mode is well-suited for those conditions,” saidGidaspow. “It changes the tractive effort curve toreduce slipping when traveling at a low speed.”A Max. traction switch is also standard andis located on the work equipment control lever,so it’s easy for the operator to turn it on oroff. When the traction control is on or S-modeis selected, pushing the Max. traction switchcancels the setting of the traction controltemporarily and increases the tractive effortto full. Pushing the switch or changing fromforward to reverse again automatically returnsthe tractive effort to its set value. That’s usefulfor operations such as stockpile work, whichrequires temporary, large tractive effort.Like Komatsu’s other Dash-6 models (WA380through WA480), the new WA200, WA250 andWA320 are powered by ecot3, Tier 3-compliant,turbocharged engines that reduce emissionswithout reducing power or fuel efficiency. Eachmodel got a boost in horsepower and operatingweight that helps increase tipping loadscompared to its predecessor.Also new is a hydraulically driven,auto-reversible fan. When the switch is inthe automatic position, the fan intermittentlyrevolves in reverse for two minutes every twoKomatsu added its ecot3, Tier 3-compliant turbocharged engines to the new WA200-6,WA250-6 and WA320-6 wheel loaders for better fuel efficiency with lower emissions.hours and can be easily reprogrammed forother cycles.“The auto reverse fan works great inhigh-debris applications by keeping theradiator cleaner and reducing the amount oftime the operator has to spend outside themachine cleaning it out,” Gidaspow said. “Itworks automatically, but the operator canalso manually reverse the fan if he feels it isnecessary, depending on conditions.”An outstanding choiceLess time cleaning the radiator meansmore time in the cab, which is larger andmore operator-friendly. Komatsu moved theair-conditioning system from the back to thefront to allow more space for seat adjustment.An electronically controlled directional leverlets the operator change direction with thetouch of a finger, without removing his handfrom the steering wheel, which is on a tiltablesteering column. A multifunction control lever,integrated with a forward and reverse switch,allows easy operation to reduce fatigue andincrease controllability. An adjustable wristrest is standard, as is a right-side control panelwhere the operator can control the speed range,maximum travel speed in first gear, tractiveeffort and reversible fan. Wide, pillarless, flatglass provides excellent front visibility.The improved Equipment ManagementMonitoring System (EMMS) is mounted infront of the operator for easy viewing, so hecan check gauges, warning lights and featurefunctions, such as action-code displays andreplacement-time notices.“Also standard is KOMTRAX, Komatsu’sremote monitoring system which can sendlocation and other valuable informationabout the machine to a secure Web site,where Komatsu and its distributors can trackerror codes and schedule maintenance,”said Gidaspow. “Komatsu offers five yearsof free service, which is unprecedented inthe industry. It’s just another advantage thatKomatsu offers on these new machines.Along with all the other features the WA200-6,WA250-6 and WA320-6 have to offer, they areoutstanding choices for anyone who uses thesesize classes of wheel loaders.” n


INDUSTRY EVENTRELIABLE EQUIPMENTRESPONSIVE SERVICEUTILITY EQUIPMENT EXPO UPDATEAttendees get a chance to demo machinesand see Komatsu’s offerings at ICUEEJohn Facchinei,Director, ProductMarketing,Utility DivisionDavid Caldwell,Product Manager,Compact ExcavatorsJeff Aubrey,Product Manager,Backhoe LoadersGetting a chance to see a wide varietyof the latest in utility machinery is justone of the many advantages of attendingthe International Construction and UtilityEquipment Exposition (ICUEE). Another isthe ability to run some of the equipment andsee how it compares side-by-side against thecompetition.“This is really a unique opportunity forowners and operators to get in the seats andtry machinery out; it’s like no other equipmentshow,” said John Facchinei, Director, ProductMarketing of the Komatsu Utility Division.“If they like what they see, we have productmanagers on hand or they can go back andcontact their local distributor to get moreinformation. From our standpoint, it’s a niceway for us to show the breadth of our productofferings in our utility lineup.”Komatsu’s offering was one of the largeston display at the show, held in Louisville,Ky., featuring more than a dozen machines,including compact excavators, from the1,960-pound PC09 to the 15,850-poundPC78US. Skid steers on display were the SK815Komatsu’s display area included a variety of machines such as compact track loaders,skid steer loaders, excavators and backhoe loaders.and SK1020, complemented by CK30 and CK35compact track loaders. WB142-5, WB146-5 andWB146PS-5 backhoe loaders were available torun, as well as a WA100M wheel loader.Unique features stand outProduct Manager for Compact ExcavatorsDavid Caldwell listed some of the uniquefeatures of the excavators on display. “ThePC35 and PC50 now have a four-way blade,which angles 25 degrees right and left and hasup and down capabilities,” Caldwell noted.“The biggest advantage is in backfilling.The operator doesn’t have to reposition themachine as often, so it speeds up operation.It will be available on future models as well.Also, the tilt-up canopy on the PC27 andPC35 have been simplified. Users can nowremove two bolts instead of six and tilt up theoperator’s platform only. In the past, users hadto tilt up the ROPS structure as well. Now theyhave full access to the hydraulic components,the swing motor and the backside of theengine where the alternator and starter arelocated.”The WB146PS-5 (the PS stands for PowerShift) backhoe loader was also a key memberof the Komatsu display. “What makes thismachine unique is that it uses the left lever toshift, rather than using a shifter in the floor, sothe operator doesn’t have to take his hand offthe wheel to switch gears,” said Jeff Aubrey,Product Manager, Backhoe Loaders. “Witha powershift machine, the operator can putit in second gear and use a trigger button onthe loader lever to control between first andsecond. He can put it in first gear to chargea pile, then immediately kick into second toquickly get back to the truck for loading. He’sgetting more done in less time.”


David Caldwell, Product Manager for CompactExcavators, shows attendees some of the benefits ofKomatsu excavators, such as the tilt-up canopy andfour-way blade (shown above) on the PC50MR-2.ICUEE attendees had the chance to try the latest in utility equipment, includingKomatsu’s PC35MR-2 excavator.One of the benefits of ICUEE is the opportunity forattendees to demonstrate equipment, such as Komatsu’sWB146-5 backhoe loader. Also available at the show wasthe WB146PS-5, which features power shift.Accomplishing more in less time is also anadvantage of the ICUEE show. “This showallows users to see a large number of machinesin a short time without going from dealershipto dealership and taking a lot of valuable timeto test equipment,” said Facchinei. “We’rehere to help them see how Komatsu standsout from the competition and what we have tooffer in terms of productive equipment and theservice and support to back it up.” nFollowing heavy rains, Komatsu product managers demonstrated the benefits ofKomatsu’s skid steer and compact track loaders by moving dirt in the display area.


NEW KOMATSU PRODUCTS & YOURELIABLE EQUIPMENTRESPONSIVE SERVICE“A GREAT TIME TO BE PRESIDENT”Komatsu America Corp.’s new President viewscurrent construction economy as an opportunityQUESTION: You became President of KomatsuAmerica Corp. in April of 2007. Is this a goodtime to be President of Komatsu America?ANSWER: Clearly, it’s a more challengingmarket than we’ve seen for the last three orfour years, primarily because of the housingslowdown. Exactly how challenging remainsto be seen. We’re predicting that overallconstruction equipment sales in North Americain 2008 will be decreasing from 2007. Due tosubstantial growth for Komatsu in Asia, inparticular in China, that means North Americansales will account for about 20 percent ofKomatsu Ltd.’s total sales, whereas in recentyears, it was about 30 percent.That said, I think it’s a great time to be Presidentof Komatsu America. Any manufacturer can sellequipment when demand is booming. But in asomewhat tighter market, you need to be a cutabove. I believe Komatsu and its distributorsare a cut above, and our present economicenvironment presents an excellent opportunity toprove that to our customers.QUESTION: In your opinion, what makesKomatsu “a cut above” its competition?ANSWER: Quality and reliability are thekeys to everything we do as a manufacturer.Our mission is to supply high-performanceand high-quality products and services toour customers. We believe we have the mostproductive and most efficient machines inthe world. Our effort now is to improve ourcustomer relationships. Of course, we havealways tried to work with our customersto meet their needs, but this is a renewedpoint-of-emphasis for us this year.QUESTION: How do you go aboutimproving relationships with customers?Continued . . .Hisashi “Jim” Shinozuka,President/COO,Komatsu America Corp.This is one of a seriesof articles based oninterviews with key peopleat Komatsu discussing thecompany’s commitmentto its customers in theconstruction and miningindustries — and theirvisions for the future.In April 2007, Hisashi “Jim” Shinozuka was appointedPresident and Chief Operating Officer of Komatsu America Corp.Born and raised in Osaka, Japan, Jim earned a law degree fromWaseda University in Tokyo. Upon graduation in 1978, he joinedKomatsu, starting in production control at the Oyama factorywhere Komatsu engines are made.Since that initial job, Jim has held many positions, withnumerous postings around the world, including stops in Mexico,Istanbul and Miami. Immediately prior to becoming President ofKomatsu America, Jim served as General Manager, Americas andEuropean Business Division at Komatsu Ltd. global headquartersin Tokyo.Upon accepting the position of Komatsu America President,Jim and his wife, Hiroko, moved to Chicago, home to Komatsu’sNorth American headquarters. The Shinozukas have twochildren, a married daughter and a son who’s attendinguniversity in Japan.“I’m pleased and excited to be a part of Komatsu AmericaCorp.,” said Jim. “Chairman Dave Grzelak and I work togetheras a team to set policy, implement strategy and to constantlymonitor the construction equipment industry and our place in it.It’s my job to see that Komatsu America is always moving in theright direction, and that we’re taking the necessary steps that willallow us to best serve our employees, our distributors, and mostof all, our customers.”


KOMTRAX gives Komatsu the industry edge. . continuedWith the KOMTRAXmachine-monitoring system,which is installed on virtuallyall Tier 3 Komatsu machines,contractors can track theirequipment’s performance froma laptop or office computer.ANSWER: We believe our KOMTRAXmachine-monitoring system is tremendouslybeneficial for our customers and will go a longway toward cementing a relationship. TheKOMTRAX system provides the customer withinformation, including location, service-meterreadings and fuel efficiency reports. With thecustomer’s approval, his Komatsu distributoralso has access to the information and can use itto take care of basic maintenance services, trackmachine performance and offer advice regardingpossible repairs or component replacements thatwill save money, lessen downtime and improveperformance over the long term.With KOMTRAX, Komatsu, our distributorsand our customers are working together asKomatsu America Corp. President Jim Shinozuka believes Komatsu’s current product lineupis “the best it’s ever been,” and says the company’s target is to have two-thirds of its products be“unique and unrivaled.”a team to improve machine performance,productivity and owning and operatingcosts. We see it as a win-win-win relationshipthat improves communication and benefitseverybody.QUESTION: Don’t most manufacturers havea similar machine-monitoring system?ANSWER: Many do offer such a system, butthere are big differences between their systemsand ours. For example, KOMTRAX is standard,factory-installed equipment on virtually all newTier 3 machines. It’s not just offered as an add-onfrom the dealer. That’s because Komatsu doesn’tview KOMTRAX as a commercial product to sell,but rather as a tool that enhances communicationsamong the customer, distributor and Komatsu.As a result, Komatsu can offer a betterfleet-management opportunity to our customers.With KOMTRAX, customers can expect higherproductivity and lower cost per ton.QUESTION: Other than KOMTRAX, whatdifferentiates Komatsu equipment from thecompetition?ANSWER: We commit substantial spendingon research and development (R&D) toensure that we remain an industry leader, inparticular regarding technologies that makeour machines more productive and moreefficient. This R&D commitment enables us tocontinually release new and updated products.We believe right now our product lineup isthe best in our history and we also think it’sthe best available. Our target during the nextyear or two is to have two-thirds of our productlineup be clearly and demonstrably superior toany competitive machine. The Japanese wordfor such equipment is “Dantotsu,” which meansit’s unique and unrivaled.QUESTION: Komatsu sometimes refers toitself as a “total solution provider.” Whatdoes that mean?ANSWER: It means we cover all the basesfor our customers. We offer all types ofmachines and all sizes, from the smallest to thelargest. It means that, in conjunction with ourdistributors, we’re able to provide the partsand service support to keep that equipment upand running. And most of all, it means we’recommitted to helping our customers succeed,in any way we can. n


MANUFACTURING UPDATERELIABLE EQUIPMENTRESPONSIVE SERVICENEW PLANTHensley Industries’ new foundry increases availabilityof ground-engaging tools for mining machinesHensley Industries, part of Komatsu Ltd.,officially inaugurated its new foundry inDallas with a ribbon-cutting ceremony andtour of the facility last November. The newfoundry will focus on ground-engaging toolsfor the mining industry and features a capacityof 1,300 tons of castings per month.Ralph Huebner, Hensley’s Executive VicePresident for Sales and Marketing said there weretwo primary reasons the plant was needed. “Ourproducts have gained worldwide acceptance, andwith the explosion in the construction and miningindustries in the past few years, this new foundryallows us to expand capacity and bring productto the market quickly.”With nearly 2,000 products, Hensley Industrieshas long been a leader in the manufacture ofground-engaging tools for earthmoving andmining equipment, including the KMAX toothsystem, which features a reusable lockingmechanism for quick installation and removal.Hensley also has an attachment division thatproduces such products as buckets.“This plant sets up Hensley as a majorsupplier of mining castings for Komatsu, andoffers consistent high-quality supplies withefficiencies for cost control to keep the plantviable for a long time,” noted Paul Rudd,General Manager-Manufacturing for Hensley,who helped design the new foundry.“We’re very proud of what weaccomplished. We set out to build a verymodern facility that was environmentallyfriendly and an asset to our neighbors. We’vedone that by investing in such items as adust-collection system and noise suppression.We also recycle nearly 100 percent of the wasteproducts produced during the manufacturingprocess. It’s truly state-of-the-art.”Kunio Noji, President of Komatsu Ltd.,addressed the crowd and helped cut theribbon, which was held by several localschoolchildren at the 40,000-square-footfacility. Komatsu America President JimShinozuka and Komatsu Ltd. PresidentCustomer Support Mamoru Hironaka alsowere among the more than 200 peopleattending the event.During his address, Komatsu Ltd. PresidentNoji noted the reasons for the company’sinvestment in the plant. “There were threereasons we chose to partner with Hensley topromote the growth of our companies,” Nojisaid, “First, the people of Dallas are friendlyand warm. Second, the people working in theHensley factory have a high level of skill. Finally,Hensley has the ability to quickly respond tocustomer requirements, including developmentand design work. It has a history of qualityproducts and service.” nRalph Huebner,Executive VP-Salesand Marketing,Hensley IndustriesPaul Rudd,General Manager-Manufacturing,Hensley IndustriesKomatsu Ltd. President Kunio Noji (below right) spoke before the ribbon-cuttingceremony that officially inaugurated the new Hensley Industries foundry that makesground-engaging tools for mining machines (upper left). Hensley General Manager-Manufacturing Paul Rudd (lower left) gives attendees a tour of the new facility.


PRODUCT SUPPORTRELIABLE EQUIPMENTRESPONSIVE SERVICEIMPROVING AVAILABILITYKomatsu speeds parts orders withthe completion of eight regional depotsKomatsu, long an industry leader inparts availability, further strengthened itscommitment to keeping owners’ downtimeto a minimum with the completion of eightregional parts depots. Located throughoutthe United States and Canada, the depots aredesigned to expedite parts orders.The newest depot recently opened inSavannah, Ga. It joins a list that includesPittsburgh, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Denverand Portland in the U.S., and Vancouver andToronto in Canada. In addition, Komatsu hasa master parts distribution center in Ripley,Tenn.“These regional parts depots combineto significantly increase our availablewarehouse space and improve our overallparts availability,” said Frank Pagura, VicePresident, North American Parts Operations.“They’re strategically located so we can deliverparts to the distributor quickly and effectively.Our distributors already have a vast inventoryof parts on hand, and these regional depots areone way to augment that.”The regional parts depots are part of acomprehensive three-tier approach to partsfulfillment:• Komatsu will work closely with itsdistributors to monitor and improve localparts stocking and availability of “on-the-shelfinventory” at distributor locations. This willensure Komatsu and its distributors optimizetheir “common parts” inventory to best meetcustomer needs.• The eight regional parts depots addanother layer of support to the parts networkwith dedicated and continuous nightlytrucking routes between Komatsu’s masterparts distribution center, the regional partsdepots and distributor locations.• Komatsu has improved the customerservice, technical assistance and responseteams as well as increased the inventorylevels and parts availability at its master partsdistribution center. This facility has 584,000square feet of inventory space, operates 24hours a day Monday through Friday (7 a.m.to 3 p.m. on Saturday), with call-in serviceavailable during all other hours and holidays.Customers always have 24-hour access to partsbooks and ordering at Komatsu’s parts Website, www.epartscentral.com“The regional parts depots are definitely amilestone, but it goes a lot deeper than that,” saidPagura. “This is the culmination of planning andrestructuring to improve and strengthen our totalparts availability and distributor and customersupport at all levels.” ■Frank Pagura,VP of North AmericanParts OperationsKomatsu regional parts depots, like this one in Las Vegas, are strategically located to deliverparts to the distributor quickly and effectively.


SERVING YOU BETTERTEC SPIRIT AWARDSDon Oliver honored in Hall of Fame,10 other TEC PSSRs earn coveted awardTim TiptonVice President ofProduct Support andMarketingJust days before he was to be honored byTractor & Equipment Company at its annualSpirit Awards presentation, Don Oliver passedaway. However, those attending the eventsurely felt his presence that night. Oliver, a30-year industry veteran, worked for TECsince its expansion into Georgia. This year, hewas honored with a Spirit Award for a fifthconsecutive year and became the first personinducted into the company’s Spirit Award Hallof Fame during a Feb. 28 ceremony at The Viewin Birmingham, Ala. TEC created the Hall ofFame to honor PSSRs, like Oliver, who havereceived the Spirit Award five times.TEC presents its coveted Spirit Award toProduct Support Sales Representatives (PSSR)who excel in the five categories of customerperception, territory sales, customer meetings,target accounts and sales training. During theselection process, customers are interviewed toTEC Product Support Sales Representatives who received a Spirit Award include (frontrow, L-R) Mike Douglas, Pensacola, Fla.; Shane Marquis, Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Sean Mehaffey,Augusta, Ga.; Matt Manning, Birmingham, Ala.; (back row, L-R) Barry Thornburg,Anniston, Ala.; Delane Brown, Birmingham, Ala.; Troy Cleckler, Montgomery, Ala.; DougHaas, Albany, Ga.; Rich Trucks, Decatur, Ala.; and Tony Kennedy, Columbus, Ga.determine the candidates’ relationships withtheir clients and assess their work in the field.Oliver exemplified TEC spiritAs a five-time Spirit Award winner, thosewho worked with Oliver recognized him as oneof the best PSSRs the company had ever seen.“It’s hard to lose somebody like that,” saidTim Tipton, Vice President of Product Supportand Marketing. “The relationships he builtwith his customers were among the strongestof any of our employees.”Joe Bechtel, Parts Manager in the Macon,Ga., branch, where Oliver worked, said Olivernever viewed the people who dealt with himas only customers. “He built relationships andfriendships,” Bechtel said. “He even turneddown a promotion to parts manager becauseit would have taken him away from directcontact with the customers.”During Oliver’s battle with cancer, henever let his illness get in the way of thoserelationships, according to Bechtel. “Heeven called customers from the back of anambulance while being transported to thehospital. He was respected and revered by allthe PSSRs, no matter where they were in thecompany,” Bechtel added. “They often calledon him for advice.“Oliver was a born salesman who couldsell ice to Eskimos, but never would, as itwould ruin the working relationship,” Bechtelcontinued. “That trust led to a group ofcontractors who are devoted to TEC, even inOliver’s absence.”An award bearing Oliver’s name will bepresented in subsequent years to the PSSRwho best exemplifies Oliver’s spirit anddevotion to his job. n


RELIABLE EQUIPMENTRESPONSIVE SERVICEThe winners of the 2007 Spirit Award are:Don Oliver, Rich Trucks, Shane Marquis, Sean Mehaffey, MattManning, Tony Kennedy, Barry Thornburg, Doug Haas, MikeDouglas, Troy Cleckler and Delane Brown.Steve Day, Vice President/Parts ManagerOther awards went to:Reed Jackson and Troy Cleckler, labor sales; Rhett Autrey and BrianHagood, reman sales; Mike Douglas and Matt Manning, undercarriagesales; Joey Majors and Barry Thornburg, filtration sales; Jim Saunders,Tony Bertino and Edwin Murray, G.E.T. sales; Rich Trucks, DelaneBrown and Tony Kennedy, hydraulic sales; and Delane Brown, TerryShepherd, Edwin Murray and Bob Raley, used parts.NATIONAL RECOGNITIONBlaw-Knox names Tractor & Equipment Companyits top dealer in North AmericaFor the third time, Blaw-Knox has namedTractor & Equipment Company its No. 1 dealerfor paving equipment in North America.TEC earned the top spot for its superior sales,service, product support and parts availability.Blaw-Knox announced the award on January10, during the annual Associated EquipmentDistributors (AED) meeting in Chicago. TECCEO Jim Waitzman Jr., President Dan Stracenerand VP/General Manager-Georgia SteveMcCondichie accepted the award.“We are delighted with this award becauseit recognizes the total dedication to customersupport that is the hallmark of Tractor &Equipment Company,” said Waitzman. “Wehave a team of professionals throughout ourorganization committed to the success ofour paving customers, and this honor trulyunderscores that commitment.”To ensure the company maintains a highlevel of customer support, TEC recentlyopened new branch facilities in both Calhounand Savannah, Ga., and many of the firm’sother branches have recently undergoneextensive upgrades to help better meetcustomers’ needs. nShowing off the Blaw-KnoxTop Dealer award are(L-R) TEC President DanStracener, VP/GeneralManager-Georgia SteveMcCondichie, VP/Sales Manager-GeorgiaMike Copeland, VP/Sales Manager-GeorgiaHugh Stith and RegionalSales Manager-GeorgiaDeVaughn Pettit.


INDUSTRY NEWSNew report highlights states’ waterinfrastructure needsFood & Water Watch has made availableon its Web site, fact sheets detailing eachstate’s need for increased water resourcesfunding. Food & Water Watch is a consumerrights group that promotes corporate andgovernment accountability relating to foodand water issues. It’s one of many members ofan umbrella group, the Water InfrastructureNetwork, which is a lobbying coalitionworking to secure federal dollars to create aClean Water Trust Fund.According to Food & Water Watch, “TheUnited States’ wastewater infrastructure,aging and increasingly unable to handle thepressures of modern society, is in seriousdanger. When pipes break and sewersoverflow, communities, the environment andour economy all suffer.”The group’s statement adds: “States andcommunities are making tremendous effortsto handle their clean water needs, but theproblem is too big for them alone. The publichas overwhelmingly claimed clean water asa national issue, and Congress should offer asolution that will keep politics out of criticalinfrastructure financing.”The fact sheets include detailed informationon the funding gaps between current stateneeds and federal sewer constructionspending. They also contain information onwater quality, based on EPA assessments.To visit the state analyses page, go to:www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/americaswater/clearwaters/state-analyses.Food & Water Watch contends that investingin infrastructure improvements would alsobenefit the economy considerably by creating,in its estimation, 47,500 new jobs for every $1billion spent. ■Highway and bridge construction should increase in 2008Here’s good news for contractors involved inhighway and bridge construction. Accordingto the American Road & TransportationBuilders Association (ARTBA), highway andbridge construction should be relatively strongin 2008.According to Dr. William Buechner, ARTBAvice president of economics and research,the value of construction work performedon highway and bridge projects will growto almost $78 billion in 2008, which wouldbe a 3 percent to 4 percent increase from theestimated $75.5 billion during 2007. Equallyimportant, according to Buechner, arerecent signs that the rapid inflation, whichdramatically impacted the cost of highwayconstruction materials, is easing. If that’s trueand prices stabilize, it means the highwaydollars will go further and more projects canbe built in 2008.Buechner says federal funds historicallyaccount for 40 percent to 45 percent of allhighway capital investments, with state andlocal governments supplying the rest of themoney. SAFETEA-LU, the current highwayand transit law, provided a $3.4 billion increasein FY 2007, which is expected to support about$30 billion in work in 2008.ARTBA projects little growth in subwayand light-rail construction for 2008. The groupforecasts airport construction will also bemodest until Congress completes action on anew aviation authorization measure. ■


DISTRIBUTOR CERTIFIEDRELIABLE EQUIPMENTRESPONSIVE SERVICEQUALITY USED EQUIPMENTKomatsu Distributor Certified used machinesadd value to this contractor’s operationsWhen Rupert Lemons bought and beganrunning Carson Construction in 1980,doing dirt work wasn’t on his mind. ThePhoenix-based business’ sole focus wasconcrete construction, but it didn’t take longfor Lemons to add excavation work.“We weren’t satisfied with the quality of workwe were getting from the people who werepreparing the subgrade for us, so I decidedwe should do it ourselves,” said Lemons, whoserves as President of Carson Construction,while his wife, Kay, is Vice President. “Inthose early stages, we did smaller jobs, such assidewalks and driveways for private residences,apartments and commercial properties. Oncewe added the dirt work, our focus shifted todoing more large-scale municipal projects.”Carson Construction typically works as ageneral contractor that self performs everythingon a job from mass excavation and buildingwalls to paving and installing street lights.Like all contractors, Lemons looks for valuein the equipment he uses to get the job done.That’s why he has several Komatsu DistributorCertified used machines in his fleet. The KomatsuDistributor Certified pieces include threePC400LC-7 excavators, a WA380-5 wheel loaderand a BR380JG mobile crusher he typically uses athis Ten X quarry site near Wickenburg, Ariz.The right equipment decision“Our first Distributor Certified machinewas a PC400 excavator, which we used at thequarry to feed a crusher,” Lemons noted. “It’sa demanding application, but the machinenever had a problem. That sold us on the valueof the Distributor Certified machines and ledus to buy the additional Komatsu pieces. Iknew they had been inspected thoroughlyand that they would have a good warranty.The low interest rates and financing throughKomatsu Financial made them affordable.“We’ve been proven right in our decisionto buy the Komatsu Distributor Certifiedmachines,” he added. “They’ve performedexceptionally well — beyond our expectations.They’re a great value. We do get into somerough conditions at the quarry and on some ofour jobsites, but the excavators still have verygood power to dig and they provide excellentcycle times. We expect that to be the case forsome time to come. If we need additionalequipment, Komatsu Distributor Certifiedused machines will be a first option for us.” ■Carson ConstructionOwner and PresidentRupert Lemons hasseveral KomatsuDistributor Certifiedused machines, includingPC400LC-7 excavators,a WA380-5 wheel loaderand a BR380JG mobilecrusher. “They’veperformed exceptionallywell — beyond ourexpectations. They’re agreat value,” he said.Carson Construction uses a Distributor Certified WA380-5 wheel loader in conjunction with itsBR380JG mobile crusher at the Ten X quarry near Wickenburg. Ariz.


If it can be measured,we measure it!Whether you’re looking for a highqualitymachine that will become part ofyour fleet, or for a machine that will get youthrough the busy season, Komatsu Distributor Certified Used Equipment is your best alternative to buying new.If it can be measured, we measure it! Specially trained Komatsu Distributor Certified evaluators check, measure and diagnosevirtually every aspect of the machine. Once the machine meets Komatsu’s high performance standards, your local distributorcan tailor the machine for your site-specific needs. And to add to your peace of mind, most Komatsu Distributor Certified UsedEquipment is eligible for special financing and warranty.Purchasing Komatsu Distributor Certified Used Equipment makes sound business sense. You’ll receive good value foryour money and a reliable and productive machine that will get the job done for years to come — we guarantee it!To learn more about Komatsu ReMarketing’s Distributor Certified Used Equipment, contact your local Komatsu Distributoror go to our Web site at www.equipmentcentral.com and click on “used equipment.”


Call Skip Walker404-366-0693Fax: 404-366-9688swalker@tractor-equipment.comCall Rick Mathis205-591-2131Fax: 205-592-7581rmathis@tractor-equipment.comKOMATSU D61EX-12, S/N B3188. .................$ 95,500 KOMATSU PC600LC-7, S/N 20082. ...............$ 350,000EXCAVATORSKomatsu PC128US-2EO, 8325, 2004 .................... $ 45,000Komatsu PC128US-2EO, 8503, 2004 .................... $ 50,000Komatsu PC200-7, C71501, 2004 ....................... $ 63,000Komatsu PC200LC-7, C70880, 2003 ..................... $ 60,000Komatsu PC200LC-8, C60031, 2006 .................... $ 110,000Komatsu PC200LC-8, C60452, 2006 .................... $ 110,000Komatsu PC300LC-6, A84198, 2000 ..................... $ 75,000Komatsu PC300LC-6, A84775, 2002 ..................... $ 95,000DOZERSKomatsu D31PX-21A, 50691, 2005 ....................... 40,000Komatsu D31PX-21A, 50780, 2004 ...................... $ 47,500Komatsu D31PX-21A, 50897, 2005 ...................... $ 58,500Komatsu D41E-6, B30111, 2001 ........................ $ 60,000Komatsu D41E-6C, B40042, 2004 ....................... $ 82,500Komatsu D41P-6C, B40225, 2004 ....................... $ 65,000Komatsu D61EX-12, 0B1589, 2001 ...................... $ 59,000Komatsu D61EX-12, B1823, 2003 ....................... $ 85,000Komatsu D61EX-12, B3188, 2004 ....................... $ 95,500Komatsu PC300LC-6, A84872, 2002 . ................... $ 110,000Komatsu PC300LC-7E0, A88770, 2007 . ................. $ 220,000Komatsu PC300LC-7L, A85994, 2004 . .................. $ 149,500WHEEL LOADERSKomatsu WA150L-5, 71908, 2006 . ...................... $ 79,500Komatsu WA250-5L, A73333, 2004 . ..................... $ 68,500Komatsu PC400LC-6, A85352, 2003 .................... $ 102,000Komatsu PC400LC-6LM, A85333, 2003 ................. $ 250,000Komatsu PC400LC-7L, A86414, 2005 ................... $ 155,000Komatsu PC600LC-7, 20082, 2005 ..................... $ 350,000Komatsu PC750LC-7, 20011, 2004 ..................... $ 425,000BACKHOE LOADERSKomatsu WB140, A22290, 2006 ......................... 28,000Komatsu WB146-5, A23551, 2006 ........................ 41,000Komatsu WB146-5, A23607, 2007 ........................ 41,000Komatsu WB146-5, A23769, 2007 ........................ 41,000www.tractor-equipment.com


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