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Offering options: Kuhn offers flexible equipment choices to meet customers' varying needs.


When it comes to investing in equipment, customers often come into a deal with preconceived notions about renting or buying, according to Mike Schulz of Kuhn Equipment, Summerville, S.C. "You run into two different mentalities," Schulz says. "There are guys who see rent as throwing money away. There are others who don't want to deal with the upkeep and maintenance of owning."

Fortunately, Kuhn offers options to satisfy both schools of thought--making equipment packages available for outright sale, rental or rent-to-buy.

Keeping options open makes sense, says Schulz, since Kuhn services customers who are professional demolition contractors to general contractors that do the occasional demolition job as part of a contract to anyone in between those extremes.

For the professional demolition contractor, Kuhn has equipment for sale that is ready to go to work immediately. "When serving a full time demo contractor, it doesn't make a lot of sense for him to rent," Schulz says. In addition to highly customized packages, such as the Extreme Reach UHD machine (See "Extreme Conditions" on Page 1), Kuhn also has a number of standard demolition machines available, including excavators with grapples, shears and multiprocessors. "We offer the whole range," says Schulz. "We're not just into high reach. We cover the whole demolition spectrum."

However, for those of Kuhn's customers who might not be so ready to make a commitment with an outright purchase, they have the option of renting. "The benefit really depends on the customer's point of view," Schulz says. In the case of customer Johnson Bros., a Florida-based general civil contractor (See "Success Story" on Page 3), rental was clearly the better option, Schulz says. "For companies like Johnson Bros., it makes no sense for them to buy. It would have been a disservice to them to own specialized demo equipment," he says.

A third option allows customers to apply rent toward a final purchase. This rent-with-purchase option (RPO) allows customers to try various machines and work tool combinations before making a purchase commitment, says Schulz. This "prevents them from making a costly mistake and ensures the best fit for their application," he continues. "We let them decide that. We'll sell or rent, or if they want an option to buy, we leave that all up to the customer."


A wide variety of Genesis attachments and other demolition machinery is available for rental or purchase through Kuhn Equipment.

Kuhn has recently ramped up its commitment to supplying highly specialized equipment solutions to the demolition industry with the purchase of two new Jewell UHD packages, two new Genesis LXP 500Rs and a new Genesis LXP 300R. Visit for a full catalogue.

Kuhn's fleet of late model specialized machines with more than $10 million in inventory includes:

* Ultra High Demolition (UHD) Machines

* Excavator, shear/concrete processor/hammer packages

* Material Handlers, grapple/generator/magnet packages

* Loaders with Demolition Bucket packages

* Extreme Reach Digging Arrangements

* Compact Recycler/Crusher


The development of the Extreme Reach Ultra-High Reach Demolition machine took more than a little "out of the box" thinking to figure out how to push the limits of traditional UHD machines, according to Mark Ramun, national sales and marketing manager of Jewell Attachments.

Ramun says conventional UHD fronts are designed around the base carrier, the weight of which determines the size of the boom and the attachment it can support. "We took a different approach," Ramun says. "Customers need attachments that can go as high as possible. The other demand is for a larger tool to be on that same size machine to handle larger work."

The Jewell approach to UHD meets both these demands with the capability to carry very small attachments at the highest limit of reach and then heavier attachments at lower heights, all using the same carrier. "We gave Kuhn a 'Swiss Army knife,'" Ramun says. "This allowed them to rent that one machine for two entirely different applications." Using Genesis' LXP multi-jaw processor with the Extreme Reach UHD only served to enhance it further. "The interchangeability gave them the flexibility to swap out a few parts and pieces to use that same base carrier for two unique jobs," Ramun says.

Such innovation comes from real-world experience. "We have access to this industry because our customers want their equipment investments to pay off and encourage us to stay involved. Thanks to our customers, our company has a full understanding of the challenges they face. Our products work better as a result, because from concept to completion, they are designed and built around an accurate understanding of their purpose," he says.

Ramun adds that you can't develop solutions if you don't understand the problems the industry faces. Jewell and its channel partners Genesis and Kuhn get that kind of first-hand knowledge through their customers. "We have a tremendous amount of interaction," he says. "Because we are often on-site while demolition work is commencing, we are able to identify the real situations. Interacting with the customers on a daily basis gives us first-hand knowledge--we share that information within our companies, Genesis and Jewell, and we share that with our partners, like Kuhn."

That kind of cooperation benefits manufacturer, distributor and customer alike. "It's a commitment to the industry at all three levels--Genesis, Jewell and Kuhn. We're able to offer a very good solution in a short amount of time. We make it easy and make it right," he says.


* Portland, Ore. In the 20 years since company founder Jim Kirkpatrick started Jewell Attachments building custom machines for the forestry industry, the company has also grown to serve the demolition and recycling industries.

When serving any of its three divisions, Jewell's focus is on excavators. According to Mark Ramun, national sales & marketing manager for Jewell, an excavator's primary function is as a digging machine. However, as today's demolition industry is calling for more controlled means of demolition, excavators are finding many new uses. By modifying the base machine, Jewell helps unlock the excavator's demolition potential. "We'll take a machine that's inherently designed to dig below grade and enable it to lift upward and reach higher; all the while maintaining it's original ability to dig," Ramun explains.

By emphasizing custom options, Jewell strives to supply its customers with machines that will be useful in many applications.

"What people want now is maximum flexibility and versatility in their equipment," Ramun says. "Whether our customers buy or rent, this equipment represents a significant investment, so they don't want to just be able to dig holes or cut scrap. They want to keep that machine working. So what we'll do is build a machine with multiple functions. We'll turn a digging machine into a multi-purpose carrier."

In addition to its manufacturing headquarters in Portland, Ore., Jewell also has an affiliated facility in Chattanooga, Tenn., Custom Works, which puts the company in a unique position to provide service to both coasts in a cost-effective manner. "That allows us to distribute machines all over the country cost-effectively," Ramun says.

The ability to leverage these two facilities on opposing coasts is part of Jewell Attachment's approach to customer service. "We all strive to make business easy for customers," Ramun says. "We're focused on listening to the customer, being creative and applying our knowledge to ultimately provide the most effective solution to their problems. What that does is allows customers to maintain their competitive advantages and to realize a fuller return on their equipment investments."


* Summerville, S.C. Dallas Kuhn established Kuhn Equipment in 1974 as a used equipment sales company that focused on heavy equipment. Nearly two decades later, when Mike Schulz joined the company, he saw the equipment industry was changing.

"I saw the earthmoving industry getting inundated," he says. So he started looking for something new. "I looked for something that other people weren't doing," Schulz says. "I saw demolition as a trend, so we moved into that."

Today, Kuhn offers a variety of new and used demolition, material handling and earthmoving equipment for sale and rent from some of the industry's most trusted manufactures, including Hitachi, Komatsu, Caterpillar and Liebherr. In addition to carriers, Kuhn also offers an arsenal of attachments, including those manufactured by its Channel Partners, Jewell Attachments and Genesis Attachments.

Kuhn counts among its customer base everyone from the full time professional demolition contractor to the general contractor with the occasional demolition project, who needs advice and guidance as much as quality equipment. By offering to put together solutions for customers, Kuhn is just as much a service provider as an equipment provider, says Schulz. "We're not just order takers," he says. Instead, Kuhn works with the customer from the beginning, sometimes as early as the bidding process before the job is even awarded, to get the right tools mobilized.

And once the equipment is on the ground, Kuhn prides itself on offering the kind of service that creates repeat business. This means being "on-call" to answer customers' questions.

"Customer service is not a nine-to-five profession," says Dave Kurzontkowski, demolition service manager at Kuhn, who adds that he habitually gives customers his cell phone number so they can reach him anywhere at any time. "There's nothing more discouraging than not being able to work, waiting two days or so for someone to get back to you," he says. "I tell [customers] I don't ever shut my phone off. They can call me 24/7--they know if they have a problem, we can lead them in the right direction."


* Superior, Wis. Founded by four entrepreneurial men in 1997, Genesis Attachments now employs 135 people and brings in about 10 times the revenue it did when it started, according to Vice President and General Manager Bruce Bacon.

The company now operates independently as part of the Dover Corporation, which acquired its former parent company Paladin in August 2006. It has sold products in 23 countries across five continents. The company today may look somewhat different now, but the principles that brought such success remain firmly in place.

"We don't have a complex philosophy," says Bacon. "We wanted to build premium products, so our philosophy is to invest heavily in research and development."

The result of that investment has been an innovative line of attachments that reaches new heights in productivity for demolition, scrap processing and recycling work:

* XP Mobile Shear--The XP Mobile Shears are designed to allow mobile shear owners to perform complete piercing tip maintenance on their shears and return to work in less than a half hour. There are 22 models and sizes to choose from, ranging in weight from 4,000 to 53,000 pounds. The shears' patented bolton piercing tips eliminate welding and are replaced in minutes.

* DemoPro Processor--Like all Genesis products, this attachment uses hydraulics to process concrete and steel. Its unique jaw and blade configuration allows it to process all these materials without need for costly, time-consuming jaw or blade change-outs.

* Versi Pro Multi-Processor--This attachment is designed to be used with compact excavators and skid steers. Three jaw sets are currently available: grapple, shear and concrete cracking.

* Linkage Tools--Genesis' engineers have optimized its full line of Linkage Tools for efficiency and versatility. The Rebar Shear, Linkage Shear, Mechanical Pulverizer, and Concrete Cracker have been re-designed to maximize the cutting/crushing forces of the attachment and are ideal for use in a broad range of applications such as demolition, scrap, C&D processing, aggregate production, bridge dismantling and more.

While Genesis strives to build premium products for the industry, the company also makes its R&D resources available to modify tools for its customers, either at its manufacturing facility or in conjunction with sister company Jewell Attachments. "We listen to what a customer needs and what they want," Bacon says. "That formula has been successful. We really do care about our customer base, and it continues to grow."

Bacon is quick to point out that Genesis' emphasis on innovation and design does not come at the expense of its service commitment. "One of the things we pride ourselves on is parts availability and high-quality service to back up the product--that's what keeps customers coming back," he says.
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Publication:Construction & Demolition Recycling
Article Type:Company overview
Date:Mar 1, 2007
Previous Article:Success story: industry know-how of Channel Partners Kuhn, Genesis and Jewell helps get the job done for Johnson Bros.
Next Article:Show time: the National Demolition Association returns to the Las Vegas strip for its 34th Annual Convention.

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