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Hoffman Boasts Wide Array of Quality Equipment Lines

Tue April 28, 2020 - National Edition
Giles Lambertson – CEG Correspondent

A Case excavator is delivered to a customer in Long Island, N.Y. Hoffman, from its three New York locations, has been the Case dealer in the state since 2004.
A Case excavator is delivered to a customer in Long Island, N.Y. Hoffman, from its three New York locations, has been the Case dealer in the state since 2004.
A Case excavator is delivered to a customer in Long Island, N.Y. Hoffman, from its three New York locations, has been the Case dealer in the state since 2004. Along with the Volvo line came entry to the paving business. Hoffman acquired expert paving technicians along with parts and sales expertise with its purchase of Penn-Jersey.. Here, a new Volvo paver (note the Blaw Knox heritage) is delivered to a customer in Northern N.J. Astec Industries’ KPI/JCI line of crushers and screeners are renowned as the best in the industry … and U.S.-made, as well. Hoffman finds this line to be a great complement to its Volvo products, and this picture shows why! This package of machines is hard at work in central N.J.

Not to be overlooked in the shadow of the towering Manitowoc cranes and the expansive Volvo lineup are other product lines at Hoffman Equipment. They are instrumental to the machinery supplier's future growth.

Eric Seikel, a 24-year veteran at Hoffman, is responsible for promoting the complete company portfolio of equipment. As director of sales and marketing, Seikel has a pretty good notion of what's required to move machinery. Even so, the dynamics of Hoffman sales changed in late 2018.

That was when Hoffman Equipment acquired Penn-Jersey Machinery dealerships and territories for Volvo construction equipment and some other equipment lines. The acquisition not only altered the company's balance sheets moving forward, it changed some of the marketing chemistry in Hoffman's mix of leading equipment brands.

"We will focus on Volvo as a leader now and bring along the other products at the same time by highlighting different features and models in different months," Seikel said.

He cited the unique JCB teleskid, which combines a skid steer and a telehandler.

"It's very innovative and we've been quite successful in using that to sell the JCB product."

Hoffman Equipment offerings are enriched by the presence of JCB, the British manufacturer that has crafted a reputation for innovative machinery — of many kinds and sizes. Consider the array of compact and mid-sized machines wearing a JCB badge: skid steers, backhoes, excavators, telehandlers, compactors, loaders, dumpers, forklifts and numerous attachments.

Case construction equipment is the company's longest-running machinery line. It's the top-seller in New York State after 13 years in the Hoffman stable of products. Another Hoffman offering is the KPI-JCI/Astec line of aggregate-processing equipment, which is a leader of the crushing-screening-conveying industry. Related product lines are the Epiroc and NPK excavator attachments for crushing rock and handling demolition debris and Fuchs scrap material-handling cranes.

Nearly as diverse in their offerings are the LeeBoy/Rosco road construction machines available at Hoffman Equipment. The asphalt highway machinery includes pavers, compactors, brooms, spray and tank trucks, spreaders, loaders, motor graders and carriers. Doosan Portable Power and lighting units constitute a sizeable component of Hoffman Equipment sales and Oshkosh snowplow and spreader units are popular with airport managers tasked with keeping runways and aprons clear of snow.

Seikel acknowledged that Volvo was "a great step forward toward further growth," but the marketing director is keen on the other product lines under the Hoffman banner.

"There is great growth potential in all of our product groups and we are excited to work with all of our manufacturers to continue growing successfully."

Equipment sales neared $100 million in 2019 and company budgeters foresee total sales across the equipment lines surpassing that amount in 2020.

The machines' wide appeal also translate into used machinery sales and, of course, rentals, the alternative acquisition method that's mushroomed in the United States over the past two decades. Hoffman Equipment rentals include a spectrum of machine types, from crawler excavators to industrial cranes to portable power units to grapples and on and on. Company President Tim Watters doesn't see rental activity easing up any time soon.

"I think it's going to stay this way forever," he said, partly because it often is in the best interests of manufacturers and contractors to rent. "It would be easier for us and require less investment to just sell equipment and avoid renting … in renting, the risk of ownership is shifted to the dealer. If the rental market didn't exist, contractors would retain all the risk of ownership. Manufacturers have always done pretty good job of keeping risk from themselves. No, I don't see it ever changing."

However, Watters quickly noted, renting out equipment has become much more than an aggravation.

"Rentals have shifted risk and costs to dealers like Hoffman Equipment and while we must accept that burden, there are also great opportunities associated with rentals."

Moving all these brands of equipment off Hoffman's lots is Seikel's job. To help him, he has 35 people in sales and various marketing positions. They know what they're doing, having worked at it for decades.

"We have a couple guys who have been here 25-plus years and many with more than 10 years. And from the acquisition, we inherited some very mature and educated sales professionals and most importantly, we work well together."

The job is made easier, Seikel added, by the stature of the dealership itself.

"Hoffman Equipment is recognized for its ability to deliver, its longevity, its everyday performance. The company name provides a sturdy foundation for any product we're marketing."

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