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Tue May 08, 2007 - National Edition
Caterpillar Financial Products Division has created a new way for contractors to acquire used equipment.
Instead of sending machines that have come off a lease and that have been repossessed to a Caterpillar dealer for resale, these items now are heading to the Gregory Poole’s Fayetteville, N.C., location.
Caterpillar Financial Products Divison selected Gregory Poole because of the dealer’s proximity to an interstate and a port. Additionally, the region’s high concentration of machines and a good economy played a large role in the decision.
The dealer has agreed to act as host for the year-long pilot program for the used equipment sales and distribution center.
In the past, the local dealer would have repaired and inspected these machines and added them to its used equipment offerings.
“Particularly in the last couple of years, the dealers are getting so busy with their customers and their rental fleets,” said Ron Bell, remarketing sales manager and project sponsor for the distribution center. “They really didn’t have a lot of extra time to deal with our machines.”
Gregory Poole has devoted one inspector, trained by Caterpillar, and five master mechanics to this project, said Wayne Calton, the dealer’s used equipment manager.
In return, Gregory Poole will increase revenue through the additional service and parts it sells. Bell expects the shop will process approximately 700 machines this year through the program.
The inventory, which is available to all Cat dealers in the country, consists of machines from Massachusetts to Florida. While the pilot program is only one-quarter of the way through, Bell said, “there’s no doubt in our mind that this is a success.” Twice the number of machines were sold than was estimated.
Bell said equipment buyers should take a look at these machines because the prices are comparable to the rest of the market and “they can be 100 percent sure that they’re all inspected the same and that everything on there is repaired and ready to go right to work on a job site.”
Generally, the customers have been small and medium-sized contractors. Bell said the company is making an effort to attract large contractors and people who generally purchase equipment at auction. These machines are generally one or two years old and available “for a price that is equivalent or maybe even better than what they could find at auction,” he said.
In addition to the machines being available through the local Cat dealer, they also are listed at www.catused.com, along with used machines from the dealer network.
Gregory Poole’s Calton said hosting the redistribution center has benefited the dealership in other ways beside the increased amount of work. It has helped streamline its operation and allowed networking opportunities with other dealers across the country.
Calton expects the program to grow, no matter which way the economy turns.
He said a downturn would result in more repossessions, which would keep a steady flow of machines coming to the redistribution center.
Caterpillar Financial is already looking at dealers in the central part of the country to expand the program into that region. If all goes as planned, Bell said the program will include three or four distribution centers throughout the country. CEG Staff