Preserving Arlington Memorial Bridge

Altman Tractor Opens Branch in Columbia

Mon October 22, 2007 - Southeast Edition
CEG



There’s something about Columbia, S.C., that makes it a good market for excavators.

And Kobelco and Altman Tractor both wanted in.

Altman Tractor opened its newest location in September to sell Kobelco excavators.

The region had been covered out of Altman’s Florence, S.C., location, but General Manager David Griffith said the company, at Kobelco’s request, decided a physical presence was needed to best tap into the market.

The 11,000-sq.-ft. facility has four drive-through bays (for eight work stations), all of which are covered by an overhead crane. The 30-ft. ceiling will allow the biggest excavators to easily fit in the shop.

“We were real fortunate to find this facility,” Griffith said, noting it hadn’t even made it onto the marketplace when Altman purchased it.

Altman is planning for a slow but steady growth in Columbia and will add staff and building space as needed.

“We plan to grow and there’s room for expansion,” Griffith said.

Plus, he noted, “We’ve got the best view of downtown than any other equipment dealer in Columbia,” with its location above town on a knoll.

Griffith, who boasts nearly 40 years in the construction and material handling equipment industry, said the new staffers bring a lot of experience to the table too. One of the common challenges to a new dealer location is getting over the learning curve, but Griffith said his staff has been able to get off to a running start.

Hired by Altman in March, Griffith has been a salesman and a manager at distributors and manufacturers; experience that he believes will assist him in his current position. “There’s not much that I haven’t seen, particularly in the economy,” he said.

Griffith has found a way to get the job done through economic boom and through times when the best interest rates were 20 percent.

Griffith said Kobelco produces “one of the top premium excavators in the marketplace.” It offers features such as a heavy lift setting that will stay on as long as desired with the touch of the button.

Altman Tractor has three other locations in South Carolina in North Charleston, Florence and Conway.

For more information, visit www.altmantractor.com. CEG Staff