Pon North America has re-branded its U.S. rental group as Equipment Depot, Don Moes, president of the Pon North America material handling group and founder of Waco, Texas-based Equipment Depot, said last week.
The Equipment Depot dealer group is comprised of five regional dealerships — Waco-based Equipment Depot; Forklifts Inc., in 1955 and based in Mechanicsburg, Pa.; Levee Lift, founded in 1954 and based in Evansville, Ind.; Portman Equipment Co., founded in 1960 and based in Cincinnati; the original Equipment Depot, founded as Central Texas Clarklift in 1975, based in Waco, Texas, and known as Equipment Depot since 1995; and Equipment Depot of Illinois, founded as Material Handling Services in 1951 and based in Chicago. The five companies will now use the Equipment Depot name.
“Operating as Equipment Depot we now offer our customers access to more people, products and services under one brand name at more than 40 locations in 12 states,” said Moes. “We believe this new name better reflects the breadth of products and services we offer throughout our markets. Going to market using a common name better reflects our ability to offer customers more choices of new and used equipment, expanded services in more places, and better access to national fleet services, rental equipment, parts inventories and training expertise.”
The dealerships sell, service, rent and provide parts and training for more than 50 leading brands of forklifts, aerial lifts and construction equipment. They offer factory, distribution center and warehouse equipment solutions in all markets as well as farm equipment, rail car movers, scrubbers, sweepers, tuggers and utility vehicles in selected markets.
“Each of the five regional companies contributes to Equipment Depot a rich heritage of providing outstanding customer service and product support in its respective market for more than 35 years each,” Moes added. “Each of these family-owned companies became a leader in its markets. Each company takes pride in the honesty, integrity and reliability it brings to its customers. These are familiar and trusted names in our industry. In many cases our multi-state customers have been working with more than one of our operating companies but didn’t know they were all owned by one company. As we expand our rental operations throughout our dealerships it will make it easier for our customers to rent the products they need from people they already know.”
Each operating company offers a different product mix and a unique approach to its market. All of the companies were acquired over the past 10 years by Pon North America, a division of the Dutch trading company Pon Holdings B.V. With more than 10,000 employees in 11 different countries, Pon Holdings is one of the largest family-run businesses in the Netherlands.
“While each company still makes local decisions, they all draw on the financial resources, experience and innovations from all of the operating companies in the group,” Moes said. “They can select from a short-term rental fleet of more than 7,500 forklifts, scissorlifts, boomlifts, telehandlers, skid steers and backhoes. With more than 1,750 employees, including more than 900 qualified and trained service technicians, Equipment Depot is uniquely positioned to take care of the more than 26,500 customer-owned units under service contract.”
In the past year the Equipment Depot dealership group exceeded $420 million in sales. The company had $114.7 million in rental volume in 2007 and is No. 21 on the RER 100.