H&R Parts Named Distributor for Komatsu Canada

Wed July 13, 2005 - National Edition
Tom Stobenau

Similar to searching for a must-have toy at Christmas, finding the right used part for a machine can be just as daunting.

Unlike the toy, not finding a part in a timely fashion will cost more than a disappointed child. When a machine has a damaged part, it can slow a job down. Naturally, a quick solution for the broken equipment needs to be found, and although ordering a new part can ensure quality, salvaged parts can be more economical in the long run.

Most salvage yards simply fill up with old equipment, to be tapped when a part is needed. Finding the right part takes time, and its quality can’t be easily guaranteed. H&R Construction Parts and Equipment has been doing salvage work differently for more than 20 years.

In 1984, Steve Hansen and his since-retired partner Marvin Ruch met while working together at an International-Harvester dealership. They both saw a need in the business for a reliable source of quality used parts.

In the hopes of filling this need, the pair started H&R Parts. Located in Buffalo, NY, the company’s business niche had such a strong demand that H&R has seen consistent growth since its inception.

Over the years, H&R has evolved from a standard used parts yard into a remanufacturing operation that rebuilds equipment parts and components. The Buffalo support facility includes more than 120,000 sq. ft. (11,148 sq m) of indoor space that houses an 800-hp (596.6 kW) engine dynamometer, a 125-hp (93.2 kW) transmission and hydraulic test stand, service and machining facilities, and several large parts storage facilities.

It is H&R Parts “ready to ship” business plan that separates it from the rest, according to the company. Most salvage yards retrieve parts as needed from machines in the yard. Although this is convenient for the company, the customer doesn’t benefit. H&R completely strips all of its machines of usable parts when they arrive at its facilities.

The parts from stripped machines are tested, cleaned, repaired and rebuilt if necessary. They are then inventoried and put into storage. This ensures that when a part is requested, it can be quickly pulled off a shelf, given a final inspection and shipped to the consumer, all in the same day.

H&R sells parts from most major manufacturers’ machinery. The company focuses on machine types such as excavators, rubber-tired loaders, articulated trucks and crawler tractors. According to the company, it maintains an inventory of more than 100,000 different parts, logged by quantity and identified by part number.

Although H&R sells parts and components to all 50 states, the company’s business is not limited to the United States. According to Steve Hansen, H&R has “already shipped to every state in the United States, plus 20 additional countries this year.”

H&R is currently making advances in the international market. The company is experiencing growth in Canada due to an agreement with Komatsu Canada. Komatsu Canada named H&R its preferred vendor for used and rebuilt parts and components for all its dealers throughout the entire country.

Hansen attributes much of the company’s growth to his staff. “Our people are very well qualified primarily because they have been with us for a very long time. We have very little turnover. We have continuous training programs for all of our employees. Ongoing sales training makes sure that every single call is handled quickly, courteously, and professionally.”

According to Hansen, H&R will be hard at work expanding on its worldwide shipping methods over the next few years. To this end, the company has opened a new warehouse in Vancouver, Canada, assisting in deliveries to customers in Canada and the western United States.

From the Vancouver facility, H&R can readily ship to the Pacific northwest, including Alaska, an area that has traditionally had a hard time receiving used parts in a timely fashion. H&R’s increased scope of operations could make easy access to used parts a reality for much of the world. Hansen plans on continuing this pattern of growth and building more new warehouses across the country. CEG