Stephen Plunk has found his company’s niche in the heavy equipment market and doesn’t plan on looking elsewhere any time soon.
Plunk, the general manager of Fleet Equipment LLC in Pooler, GA, who has more than 30 years of experience in the industry, sells and rents tractors and pull pans exclusively.
The company is the largest Reynolds and Miskin scraper dealer in the Southeast.
Plunk realizes that pull pans aren’t appropriate for every contractor at every job site, but the machines are increasing in popularity.
He does, however, believe pull pans are the most economical and versatile piece of dirt moving equipment on the market. The machine’s haul capacity can be adjusted by adding or removing pull pans to or from the train.
In certain jobs, the machines could eliminate the need for more expensive pieces of equipment.
With a focus on pull pans and tractors, Plunk said his staff is able to adapt the machines to a contractor’s specific needs.
“Many ag dealers and a handful of industrial dealers will buy a couple of units to put in their rental fleet, but most have no idea how to set these machines up or even how to operate them properly,” he said.
Plunk has received calls from contractors unhappy with their pull pan’s performance.
“We usually find that they have paired the wrong pans with the wrong tractor on the wrong job — not on purpose, mind you, but due to their lack of knowledge of the pull-type scraper world,” he said.
Warren Brown, equipment manager of Shepherd Construction Co. in Atlanta, GA, has been working with Plunk for five years and said the tractor and pull scraper system is the way to go.
“Five years ago, on a road-widening project on Highway 341 near Hawkinsville, GA, we needed more dirt moving equipment. I decided to try the pull tractors and pans on a rental basis. The results were good,” he recalled.
Brown ended up buying the rental units and presently owns three John Deere pull tractors and six Reynolds pans and ended up selling his open bowl scrapers.
“The pull pans do a great job of compacting the soil and we have no need for a pusher tractor for this method of moving dirt,” he said.
As pull pans become more popular, the number of scraper designs on the market increases.
“Every month, we see a new manufacturer join the ranks as another goes by the wayside,” Plunk said.
Fleet Equipment’s technicians have been trained on the industry’s leading manufacturers: John Deere, Reynolds, Miskin, Bell, Case and others.
Fleet’s staff consists of former precision land grading, golf course and utility construction contractors who have had practical experience with pull pans.
“There is nothing better than hands-on experience,” Plunk said. “There are some things you can’t learn from watching tapes or reading operator manuals.”
Plunk said the company offers service first and foremost.
“We of course by no means can serve everyone, but we do offer as a customer perk our experience and knowledge of the industry. If we can’t fill the needs of a customer, we will try our best to connect them with a dealer who we know understands the business and serves the customers in a way we would be satisfied with,” Plunk said.
Fleet Equipment serves southeast North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida and Georgia, but has rented equipment as far away as Belize and southern California.
For more information, call 912/966-1234 or visit www.pullpans.com. CEG Staff