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Chuck Mason Equipment Expands With New Lines

Fri April 16, 2004 - Southeast Edition
CEG



For more than 30 years, Chuck Mason Equipment Sales Inc. has been offering contractors in Tennessee and beyond quality used equipment, from backhoes and excavators to buckets and trailers.

Over the past four years, the Johnson City, TN-based company has expanded into the new equipment market, and the lines –– which include JCB, Hyundai, New Holland and Kobelco –– have spawned new growth and mounting awards.

In 2000, the company took on its first new equipment line: JCB.

“We had been in the used equipment business since the 1960s,” said Dale Mason, vice president. “The used equipment business consists of a lot of traveling. We’d rather do our business closer to home and have the opportunity to get to know the local customer base.

“The JCB franchise was available in our territory,” he noted. “We were real familiar with the line because of the used ones we bought over the years. We jumped on the opportunity.”

To sell new equipment, the company understood it needed to expand, noted Mason. “We knew we were expanding to the Knoxville location, so that was a good fit.”

Chuck Mason Equipment opened its first Knoxville, TN, location in 2002, only to outgrow it within the same week the doors opened.

“We rented the building, which was on three acres of land,” said Mason. “We were concerned about making sure it worked out, so we decided to stay [in the rented facility] for an additional year. In the meantime, we decided to open an Asheville [NC] location.”

The rented facility worked out so well, he noted, that the company put the Asheville location on hold and built a new Knoxville location two miles down the road on 5910 Rutledge Pike, on what is commonly known as “equipment row.” The company moved in March 1.

“We went from a 40 by 50 foot building to a 100 by 250 foot building,” said Mason. “Our parts department went five times bigger. We went from a two-bay shop to a 10-bay shop and from three acres of land to eight acres.”

Chuck Mason Equipment hired two mechanics at the new Knoxville location, which now has a total of nine employees. All of the company’s technicians are factory trained.

“Ninety percent of our service is customer related,” Mason said.

The location also has three 4600 International service trucks that are fully loaded with welders, torches and hydraulic cranes.

This new Knoxville facility is playing a key role in not only JCB sales and service but with the three additional lines as well.

In 2002, Chuck Mason Equipment took on the Hyundai line.

“Hyundai came about because we ended up buying every available Hyundai dozer –– we’re the biggest [Hyundai] dozer dealer in the world. We’ve been the number one dealer both years we’ve had the line,” Mason said. “After getting their dozers, we saw the quality. The territory was open and we picked up the rest of the line in Tennessee and also in western North Carolina.”

Soon after, in 2003, the company picked up the full New Holland line.

Chuck Mason Equipment topped off its new equipment offerings with the addition of Kobelco in 2004.

“We were a Kobelco dealer from 1982 to 1985, but we gave up the line in 1986,” said Mason.

Because New Holland owns Kobelco, which recently became available in the territory, the company believed taking on the line would make sense, said Mason, noting the strong demand for Kobelco excavators in Middle and East Tennessee and in western North Carolina.

“With the New Holland/Kobelco contract, we’re opening the store in Asheville. We’re shooting for June 1.”

(The Asheville location is located off Interstate 26.)

Chuck Mason Equipment has had its headquarters in Johnson City, which employs 31 parts, sales and service personnel, since 1967. Mason’s father, Chuck, started the business that year as a farm equipment dealership. In 1972, the company entered the used equipment business.

“And we’ve been doing it ever since,” noted Mason. “[Chuck’s] drive and 24-hour, seven-days-a-week work ethic has been our guiding force.”

On top of the new equipment lines, the location carries Long and Massey Ferguson tractors. It also stocks a number of commercial mowers and is a Steel Products distributor.

The Johnson City and Knoxville facilities also stock Fontaine, Witzco Challenger, Eager Beaver, Econoline and Pitts trailers.

The company has a parts inventory running close to $1.25 million. “Every year we’re in business, we’re expanding,” said Mason. “There’s a Mason at every location, and we’re soon going to be in our third generation.”

Chuck Mason Equipment supplies new and used dozers, crawler-dozers, track dozers, loaders, crawler loaders, track loaders, backhoes, loader/backhoes, excavators, crawler backhoes, track backhoes, mini-excavators, wheel loaders, front-end loaders, forklifts, shootbooms, straight mast road graders, skid steer loaders, rollers, ditchers, trenchers, trucks, detachable trailers, tag-a-longs, farm tractors, industrial tractors, buckets, backhoe buckets, dirt buckets, rear buckets, trackhoe buckets, excavator buckets, lawn and garden equipment, motorcycles, sidecars and parts for all brands of equipment.

For more information, call 423/926-3881 or visit www.chuckmasonequip.com.