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Industry roundup: Komatsu America announces move of headquarters to Chicago
Beth Hyatt | April 11, 2018
Photo of Triangle Plaza in Chicago, Illinois

Photo: Komatsu America

Komatsu America Corp. recently announced plans to move their North America headquarters location to Chicago, Illinois, in 2020.

The company says the new site, located at Triangle Plaza, 8770 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., will feature a new, open floor plan designed to foster more collaboration and cross-functional team communication. Komatsu says the design will reinforce the company’s focus on cross-discipline collaboration that drives customer-first solutions and services.

The company says that on-site amenities and benefits will include covered parking, proximity to two health clubs, a hotel, many restaurant options and easy access to major highways, public transports and O’Hare airport.

“There’s something for everyone in this move,” said Rod Schrader, chairman and CEO Komatsu America Corp. “Current employees will enjoy the building amenities and convenience to major transportation, the new floor plan supports the company’s efforts to break down team and workstream silos and the move helps Komatsu remain competitive and attractive to prospective employees living in the city and studying at nearby universities.”

The parent company of Komatsu America, Komatsu LTD., established a permanent presence in the U.S. in 1970 with the first headquarters in San Francisco, California. The company says that since then, Atlanta, Georgia, Libertyville, Illinois, Lincolnshire, Illinois, Vernon Hills, Illinois, and -for the past 11 years- Rolling Meadow, Illinois, have served as U.S. headquarters cities.

Case announces “Kickstart” Landscape Business Development Contest winner

Case Construction Equipment announced the grand prize winner of its inaugural Case Kickstart Contest, which the company says allows landscaping contractors to win a suite of prizes designed to take their company to the next level.

Photo of Case Kickstart Contest Grand Prize Winner Austin Kirby

Photo: Case Construction

Out of over 350 entries, Austin Kirby was selected as the winner. Kirby is the owner of in Oxford, Alabama, and won the following package:

  • A six-month lease on any one (1) piece of Case Construction Equipment.
  • A yearlong consultation with landscape contracting industry expert Jeffrey Scott.
  • A $3,500 Case Parts & Service Reward Card to go towards the purchase of attachments, fluids, etc.
  • Fleet management consultation and recommendations from Case staff throughout 2018.
  • Brand-new, custom-branded Case apparel/uniforms for staff.
  • Up to five passes to GIE+EXPO 2018 in Louisville, Kentucky.

“I’m amazed that I won; I think it’s going to afford me some opportunities that I would not have had otherwise, especially with this equipment,” says Kirby. “I’ll be able to do jobs that I wasn’t able to do before – it gives me something to have in my pocket where I know I can go out and get the job done.”

Kirby also told Case that he is looking forward to the yearlong consultation package with Jeffrey Scott, which will include in-depth business analysis, personal coaching and consultation, follow-ups throughout the year and a recap session to gauge results and set next steps.

“This contest is about awarding the entrepreneurial spirit and providing the resources to allow a determined landscape business owner to reach their full potential,” said Michel Marchand, vice president – North America, Case Construction Equipment. “Austin Kirby was chosen as our grand prize winner because he has the drive to do amazing work in his community and take his landscaping business to the next level.”

The following runners-up will receive select consultative and apparel considerations from Case:

  • Jennifer Davies, owner of of Bala, Ontario, Canada
  • Mathew Herjeczki, owner of of Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Matt Thompson, owner of of Gorham, Maine
  • Edward Solomon, owner of of Mauldin, South Carolina
  • Robert O’Leary, owner of of Farmington, New York

Case said all entrants also received a retail offer for $250 off the purchase of $3,500 or more in Case OEM attachments, valid April 1 through July 31, 2018.

To enter, business owners had to answer basic questions about their operation and describe how they would evolve their services by winning the contest.

Terex names Barron to Green Truck Association’s Board of Governors

Photo of Ted Barron, Vertical Marketing Manager for Terex Utilities

Ted Barron

Terex Utilities recently announced that Ted Barron, vertical market manager, was named to the Green Truck Association’s (GTA) Board of Governors. GTA is an affiliate division of the National Truck Equipment Association.

The group says its goal is to improve the efficiency and productivity of work trucks through the development and deployment of strategies to reduce diesel and gasoline consumption and the associated environmental impacts.

As a member of the Board of Governors, Terex says Barron will work with other industry professionals to set policy and develop strategies for the organization, as well as play an active role in the development of programs and services.

Members of GTA include municipalities, utilities and component and OEM manufacturers.

“GTA brings together a variety of users and manufacturers with a common interest of reducing emissions,” Barron said. “By exchanging ideas regarding proven technologies, emerging technologies that are not yet cost-effective or reliable, as well as creative science projects that may be the solutions of the future, we can work together to be good stewards of the world we live in.”

Terex says Barron’s background as a fleet manager for a utility, as well as his current role with the company, provide a combination of perspectives that he is able to share in service to other industry groups.

Barron is also a member of the ANSI A92 Aerial Platforms main committee, ANSI A92.2 standards subcommittee for vehicle-mounted elevating and rotating work platform and the event planning committee for the 2019 International Construction and Utility Equipment Expo.

Greenworks and Conniff Sales establish partnership

Greenworks Commercial and Conniff Sales Inc. have announced an exclusive partnership to benefit independent lawn and landscape dealers throughout five Midwestern states. Through this arrangement, the companies say Conniff Sales Inc. will provide distribution, service and sales support and logistics for both the Greenworks commercial 82-volt system and the Greenworks elite 40-volt system, among independent dealers in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Ohio.Photo of Greenworks Commercial Logo

Conniff Sales Inc. says it has supplied a wide array of lawn and garden equipment, service and support since 1970. With the addition of Greenworks commercial and elite lines to its portfolio, Conniff Sales Inc. says it will now offer dealers the line of lithium-ion, battery-powered outdoor equipment, including stand-on and ride-on commercial grade zero turn mowers later this year.

“Conniff Sales Inc. is extremely excited about distributing such a world-class and innovative product line,” said Michael Straszheim, vice president and general manager of Conniff Sales Inc. “The Greenworks product line will allow the Conniff Sales Inc. dealer network to offer products that are clean, quiet and efficient to the lawn care industry.”

“We are excited for the opportunity to partner with Conniff Sales Inc., one of the industry’s most trusted and well-respected distributors,” said Tony Marchese, director of independent retail for Greenworks North America.  “We continue to hear people in the industry say, ‘battery is coming,’ but they’re wrong. Battery is already here! We are confident that the experts at Conniff Sales Inc. will help us educate their dealers on the fact that Greenworks Commercial currently offers two complete, easy-to-use outdoor power equipment systems to overcome their customers’ challenges with evolving noise ordinances and emission regulations, while providing the power and run-time necessary to get even the toughest of jobs done.”

ASV announces new VP of operations and supply chain

ASV Holdings Inc. announced the appointment of Thomas Foster to the position of vice president of operations and supply chain.

Photo of ASV LogoThe company says Foster joins ASV with over 20 years of progressive experience in the industrial equipment sector and a track record of successful, long-term engagements at both the Boeing Company and SAF-Holland Inc., and most recently, TGW Systems.

ASV says Foster is a proven operations professional with a focus on workplace safety, productivity “lean practice,” supply chain management and manufacturing quality.

“We are very excited to have Thomas join our leadership team and will rely on his expertise in every aspect of operations management to strengthen our operation and play a significant role in our future growth,” said Andrew Rooke, chief executive officer with ASV Holdings. “We look forward to his contributions and leadership to help drive operational excellence and fulfill our mission to reach the highest level as an industry leader in performance, reliability, quality and customer satisfaction for the ASV product lines.”

ASV says Foster holds a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial supervision, engineering and training in lean manufacturing, theory of constraints, ERP/MRPII applications and supply chain/MRP integration. He will report directly to Rooke and will oversee all operating activities from sourcing to production and delivery. He will also have strategic planning and P&L responsibilities.

Ruppert Landscape adds location in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Photo of PJ Walters

PJ Walters

Ruppert Landscape has recently expanded its service area in Pennsylvania with an addition in Camp Hill, which joins two existing Pennsylvania landscape management operations in Toughkenamon and King of Prussia.

This new Camp Hill location, home to approximately 50 employees and has 15 vehicles in its fleet, came to Ruppert along with the acquisition of Classic Landscaping. Ruppert says the team has been providing landscape management services to the greater Harrisburg area for over 10 years, including Cumberland, Dauphin, York, Lancaster and Adams Counties.

“The addition of the Camp Hill location places us in a healthy market that values quality landscapes and provides our people with an opportunity for growth,” said Tom Barry, president of the landscape management division. “In 10 years, this operation has grown from one crew to 10 crews, and they are consistently signing major property clients to their portfolio.”

To provide continuity in leadership and service and to ensure a smooth transition for customers, Ruppert says the Camp Hill operation will continue to be managed by PJ Walters, a former employee of Classic who chose to join the Ruppert team following the acquisition.

With eight years of landscape industry experience, and having run his own business for five years, Walters served as a branch manager with Classic for three years and has 16 years of experience in the correctional industry.

Currently, he is attending Harrisburg Area Community College and resides in Boiling Springs with his wife, Taryn, and their two daughters.

“With PJ’s continued guidance and leadership, we are excited about the Camp Hill team’s future under the Ruppert name,” said Barry.

“Ruppert has long been acknowledged as a major industry competitor of Classic in the Frederick, Maryland market,” said Walters. “The recent acquisition and merging of our teams have prompted excitement and opportunity amongst our employees and customers. We look forward to introducing the Ruppert name in the greater Harrisburg market and carrying their torch of excellent service for many years to come.”

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