5 Reasons to Buy One Brand of Equipment for Your Business

Successful construction businesses are often built on the brand name and reputation of the equipment they operate. Missouri-based Ballmann Earthworks is no different. Owner/operator Jon Ballmann works with Fabick CAT to ensure his company's success.

Successful construction businesses are often built on the brand name and reputation of the equipment they operate. Missouri-based Ballmann Earthworks is no different. Owner/operator Jon Ballmann works with dealer Fabick CAT to ensure his company's success. In this interview Ballmann and Fabick Territory Manager Terry Hennessey show what a cooperative, beneficial relationship can look like with your equipment dealer. Highlights include:

Reason 1: A Relationship—With a Warranty

Always putting his customers first, Ballman started searching for used equipment and came to the determination that there were better ways to invest his money.

“My answer was a new machine with a warranty. Fabick CAT stands behind their product, and if there was an issue, they would bail me out. So we took the route of a brand-new CAT 953C (crawler loader)…and we still have it to this day with just over 10,000 hours on it. It really helped us ramp up and get started and control those expenses.”

Reason 2: Great Resale and No Haggling 

Relationships are important to Ballmann. He says his relationship with his CAT dealer is “very strong” and that comes from two things: Transparent pricing up front and products that maintain their value throughout their life.

“The rebuild factor is huge, and then the resale when we're finished,” Ballmann says. “I like to run steel track equipment to the 10,000-hour mark. Maybe we'll run a little deeper, but in an effort to keep up with modern equipment, that's kind of our benchmark for ourselves.”

If he sees something he likes at another dealer or competitor, Ballmann reaches out to Hennessey to see how they can incorporate that into their relationship.

“We’ve earned John's trust, and he knows when he calls me for a price on that new D6 right over there, that I'm going to give him the best price up front right away,” Hennessey says. “He doesn't have to worry about the haggling.”

Reason 3: Fast Parts Turnaround 

Fabick CAT stands behind the product and the parts, which isn’t always what you get with a dealer relationship, Ballmann explains.

“We do have some other brands and specialty equipment, and when there's a three- to five-day turnaround for parts, it stinks, because now your machine is down,” Ballmann says. “If the machine is down, that machine is not making money.”

Quality service and parts also lead to happy employees, which Ballmann has seen first-hand. Rather than have to put an employee on a different job or supplemental machine, he can keep them doing what they do best.

“If Fabick does not have it in Fenton, Missouri, (Caterpillar Morton Parts Facility) in Illinois has the parts,” Ballmann says. “They're shipped down here, and they're here by 5 a.m. the following morning. We did it last night, and we have the parts this morning, and the machine is up and going already.”

Reason 4: Loyalty Breeds Loyalty 

Hennessey may be a sales manager for Fabick CAT, but he ensures his customers are taken care of at every step of the way.

“All the service managers and techs know (John) personally,” he explains. “When I call and say, we need help for John, they jump through hoops. It's roll up the sleeves and get whatever he needs right away.”

A lot of that is driven by brand loyalty.

“We have 40+ CAT machines,” Ballmann says. “They know that we're here, and we count on their service.”

Ballmann saves his ‘911’ calls to the service team for true emergencies.

“It's a two-way street. You want to treat others like you want to be treated.”

Reason 5: Make Life Easier for Your In-house Mechanic 

The in-house mechanic at Ballmann has been able to specialize as a result of working with CAT as their primary equipment provider, which leads to reduced downtime and more self-sufficiency.

“We have virtually the same software on a laptop that Fabick’s mechanics have. So now I have one laptop that services 99% of the fleet,” Ballmann says. ‘It's one computer system, one point of contact, one place to pick up parts, one place to pick up filters. Time is money. Everything's computer driven.”

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