H.O. Penn hosted an open house Sept. 26, 2019, in Holtsville, N.Y.
Guests were invited to compete in the Cat Global Operator Challenge, enjoy dinner and run various machines in the demo area — even a sandbox filled with mini equipment kept the children busy and having fun.
"We host these open houses to show off everything we have to offer — all of our product support, rebuilds power and rental offerings, and merchandise tent," said Alex Van Pelt, digital content specialist of H.O. Penn. "We serve food and everyone gets a chance to socialize. It is such a tight-knit group down here."
An exciting part of the event was the H.O. Penn Operator Challenge. Participants tested their skills on a Cat 308, using a bucket and thumb to pick up balls and place them into various sized buckets. Winner of the day Arthur Callanan of Lindenhurst, N.Y., also was the overall champion for H.O. Penn's territory. He now moves on to the North American Regional Finals, to be held in North Carolina, to compete against operators from other regions.
The regional champions then advance to compete against operators from other regions and contestants from around the world at the Cat Global Finals at ConExpo in Las Vegas in 2020. The tasks will involve using a Caterpillar compact track loader, Caterpillar wheel loader and Caterpillar excavator, with each task providing various challenges and varying degrees of difficulty.
Guests also were able to explore the product offerings tent, enjoy dinner, and chat with others while waiting for the rain to pass. Once clear, attendees headed back out to the large demo area to test out several of Cat's excavators, dozers and skid steers, most equipped with SITECH technology.
Inside the product offerings tent, various stations and vendors were ready to answer any questions about services or products.
"It is a team effort," said Mike Hattar, H.O. Penn's product support sales and marketing manager. "We get together to do a lot of pre-planning in terms of what to showcase with H.O. Penn's value proposition and what our branded and cornerstone offerings are. Typically our biggest one is Certified Rebuilds. We embarked on this journey in 2010. There was a downturn in the economy, and we found that rebuilding machines had some economic advantages over buying new machines. To some of our customers, it represented in many cases up to 70 percent cost advantage over buying new machines. The CCR, Complete Certified Rebuild, represents the highest level of Cat rebuild that we offer."
CCR involves stripping the machine down to the bare frame, disassembling every component and inspecting it for reusability, typically using approximately 7,000 new parts. The machine is reassembled, repainted to like-new factory condition, with brand new tires, new cab, new electronics, and all new hoses.
According to Hattar, "One of our core strengths is that we can perform these rebuilds at any H.O. Penn location, and we do. We rebuild about 70 machines and components per year through this rebuild process. We have the endorsement of Caterpillar. We can brand it as a Cat Complete Certified Rebuild, and customers are assured and insured for value, quality and warranty down the road."
"The biggest thing for us when we have these events is educating customers about the features of their new machine," said David Barber, H.O. Penn's condition monitoring analyst. "I would say, on average, the majority of the operators are probably only using 40 percent of the machine's full capabilities. One of the things these new machines come equipped with are the product links. They are electronic boxes that tell us the health and vitals of the machine. Most people either know they have it and only scratch the surface or they don't know they have it at all. It's no charge to them. It's not a sales pitch. These open houses are about awareness and being able to explain the ways this technology will help you to take care of your machine and in the long run, your business."
For more information, visit www.hopenn.com. CEG
Attendees gather around the demo area while others test out some of the machinery.
Jeff Dobosz (L), sales representative of SITECH, and Craig Larsen of Larsen Marine Construction in Wading River, N.Y. “I come the event every year. I don’t normally use a machine this large but you get to run stuff like this. I have been running equipment since I was 10 years old, so I enjoy it. It’s always a good time.” Larsen said, after test-driving the Caterpillar 336 hydraulic excavator.
Customer appreciation extends to the children invited to enjoy the event with this special sandbox, which included mini Caterpillar equipment.
“The open house is a great event, especially from the Caterpillar financial standpoint,” said Bob Mulvena, territory manager of Cat Financial. “It gives us a chance to meet many of the H.O. Penn customers face to face.”
David Barber, condition monitoring analyst of H.O. Penn, is ready to explain how equipment management services is designed to help customers with machine conditioning by electronically monitoring the machine and machine overall health and alerting customers with issues or potential issues that may need to be addressed.
(L-R): Bruce Haynes, regional sales manager of SITECH; and Bob Georgetti and Eric Wold, both of Peter Scalamandre & Sons Inc., Freeport, N.Y., at the SITECH information tent.
Kevin Kretschmer, Metso specialist for seven years, assists Gregory Smith of Cardinal Excavating, East Setauket, N.Y., on a Cat 336 hydraulic excavator.
Attendees gather for a delicious dinner served under the tent.
An exciting part of the event was the Cat Global Operating Challenge.
Guests examine the ins and outs of this Caterpillar 430F, specially priced for the event.