Groff Tractor Loads Up on Experience at Its New Stanton, Valencia Branches

Wed July 02, 2003 - Northeast Edition

Groff Tractor & Equipment Inc. believes there is strength in numbers. Just ask Mark Woy, who came on board last year as western region service manager.

“Groff has added four experienced mechanics and two new service trucks. We can be on the road within minutes to handle virtually any problem our customers encounter,” said Woy, who has been involved in the heavy equipment industry for 22 years.

“Our four new mechanics have a combined 100 years of experience on heavy equipment — not just Case. That means that we have the expertise and the ability to do service and repairs on other brands, not just equipment bought at Groff,” said Woy.

Groff’s corporate headquarters is in Mechanicsburg, with branch locations in Ephrata, State College, New Stanton and Valencia — all in Pennsylvania.

Woy is concentrating his efforts on enhancing and improving relationships with contractors and other heavy equipment users in the 11 counties served by the New Stanton and Valencia branches.

“We are a full-line construction equipment dealer. We have been serving Pennsylvania for over 45 years, but to some people in western Pennsylvania we are the new kids on the block,” said John Fleming, vice president-western division. “We have a strong reputation with municipalities and townships and other governmental agencies. We hope to build upon that good reputation to grow the contractor end of the business in our territory.”

As part of that strategy, Groff phased out operations at its Oakdale branch and transferred all the long-time, experienced employees to its two other branches serving western Pennsylvania.

“Oakdale was a cramped facility. Currently, we have a parts drop in the Oakdale area as a convenience for customers used to doing business at that location, and we plan on building a new facility in Cranberry Township next year,” said Fleming.

Fleming said the plans for a new location, plus Woy’s efforts in the service department, further demonstrate Groff’s commitment to western Pennsylvania. The two new service trucks are fully equipped and each has heavy-duty crane capacity. The mechanics also have access to laptop computers to aid in diagnosis of problems.

“When they are on the road, they can just plug the computer into the machine to do diagnostic work on Case equipment. It eliminates guesswork and speeds up repairs, reducing downtime. With the laptop, the mechanics can get a direct hookup to Case’s ASSIST program for assistance. It gives the mechanics another set of brains to pick,” explained Woy.

“All of the technicians are continually updated and trained on changes in equipment and repair techniques and other strategies to keep the iron on site and working,” he added.

“We send the techs to various schools on a regular basis to get updated on the newest techniques. We also have resident mechanics that specialize. Roger Beam, for example, is a service tech and resident mechanic out of Somerset County. He handles equipment in the coal fields in parts of Maryland and Pennsylvania,” said Woy.

The parts department, of course, goes hand in hand with service.

“With our five branches, we have greater buying power because we have a large customer base and are buying for more stores. With five different branches, odds are we have the part in stock and don’t even have to order it. But, if we do, we have 24-hour turnaround. Downtime is negligible. We have 24/7 service for parts and service that will get the mechanics [and/or] the parts to the job to keep the equipment working,” explained Fleming.

“Contractors can call any day, any hour for a mechanic and one will be dispatched to the site. That is especially important for contractors in urban areas, such as Pittsburgh, where they are more likely to be working around the clock,” said Fleming.

“It goes without saying that product support — parts and service — is the key to doing repeat business. You have to be able to keep the machine up and running. We have good equipment in the first place and good people to back it up,” Fleming added.

Groff Tractor & Equipment Inc. distributes heavy and light construction equipment from Case, Bomag, Hypac, Wacker, Liebherr, Talbert, Eager Beaver, Gilcrest Pro Pavers, Duratech, AGL, Stanley and a complete line of equipment parts and supplies. All locations are staffed to sell, rent, and service all equipment.