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Kirby-Smith Takes Over Fabick Tractor’s Grove Crane Sector

Sat January 19, 2002 - Midwest Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

After having represented its line of products for the past 39 years, The Fabick Companies elected to transfer all Grove crane and crane related operations to the St. Louis branch facility of Oklahoma City, OK-based Kirby-Smith Machinery Inc.

Kirby-Smith took over responsibility for all sales, parts and service for Grove truck cranes, rough terrain cranes and all-terrain cranes for Eastern Missouri and portions of Central and Southern Illinois, effective November 28, 2001.

The transition comes as a result of Fabick’s decision to concentrate its resources on its Caterpillar products.

“In the 60s, Caterpillar had less than 70 products to sell,” said John Schrader, vice president of heavy equipment sales of John Fabick Tractor Co. “Today, we are approaching 400 products to sell for Cat. We are primarily and first a Caterpillar dealer and have been for more than 80 years.”

Although that decision was made in early 2001, the company agreed to, and has honored, a commitment to fully support the Grove line with parts, rental, sales and service until a qualified dealer was selected.

“Since we originally began the process of selling [the crane] business back in January, we have not lessened our efforts one bit during the year because we felt the business was there and it has been,” said Schrader. “We’ve had a great year in the crane business.”

According to the Fabick Companies, the sale of the crane business represents opportunities for both companies and was orchestrated as a seamless transition for customers.

Kirby-Smith has hired Fabick crane technicians, as well as the parts and sales staff. All of the Fabick crane rental fleet also was purchased by Kirby-Smith and is available for rental or sale.

According to the companies, this enables Kirby-Smith to step in and continue the support of this business with people who are familiar with the customers and equipment.

“We wanted to ensure the transition was smooth,” said Schrader. “Our entire crane inventory is going to [Kirby-Smith]. The Fabick family is willing to lose valuable employees to ensure our customers are being taken care of in the future. That is a very important part of this.”

The main office of Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc. is located at 6715 W. Reno, Oklahoma City, OK. The new St. Louis store is located at 12920 Gravois Road. The phone number is 314/729-0125 and the fax number is 314/729-1317.

Ben Graham is the crane division manager of Kirby-Smith Machinery and will oversee the crane business at all locations. Graham has several years of experience with Grove cranes.

Kirby-Smith is a construction equipment distributor owned by H. E. “Ed” Kirby Jr. and Fred R. Smith. Both are active in the day-to-day business. The company was formed in 1983 and has grown to 160 employees with stores in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Ft. Worth, and now St. Louis. The two owners started as construction machinery salesmen in 1970 representing Grove, Link-Belt and other construction machinery products.

Kirby-Smith Machinery Inc. represents Grove, Link-Belt cranes, and National and Manitowoc boom trucks in the Oklahoma market.

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