May Heavy Equip Expands Into South Carolina

Wed September 29, 2004 - Southeast Edition

Like father, like son…

It’s an old saying that still often rings true throughout the majority of small businesses in America. The father will start the business and the son carries on the family name. In the construction industry, you will find a few exceptions.

Since 1997, Jacob May, co-owner and founder of Lexington, NC-based May Heavy Equip Rental & Sales, Inc., has used a slightly different approach. Rather than traditionally working his way up within his father’s established business, May Equipment Company, Jacob chose to open his own heavy equipment rental and sales company.

Given the business wisdom and inspiration from his father and current Vice-President, Bert May Sr., both father and son strive to keep the family name well recognized and respected within the construction industry.

Like many fledgling companies, May Heavy Equip started out with one salesmen (Jacob May) and one mechanic with just a two-bay garage. Since then, the company has converted its garage building into offices, built a six-bay full service shop, and added more than 20 employees.

“Trying to keep up with the company growth and increasing business demands has certainly been an ongoing challenge,” said General Manager Chuck McGirt.

May Heavy Equip provides rentals, sales and service throughout North and South Carolina and Virginia. McGirt noted that rentals have extended as far south as Georgia. Recently, the company branched into Columbia, SC, under the leadership of Jim Hills, former general manager of J.W. Burress Inc. May Heavy Equip-South will continue to provide the same services as its North Carolina location.

“With all of our tremendous growth, we’ve also gained some recognition in the industry,” said McGirt, noting that the company has supplied equipment for names such as Wesley Walls - former Carolina Panther, NASCAR’s Richard Childress, Sterling Marlin and Michael Waltrip. The company also supplied equipment for the new Charlotte, NC, Coliseum project.

And for good reason. The company now stocks more than 200 machines “consisting of every type of ’earth-moving’ equipment imaginable,” according to its newly redesigned Web site.

May Heavy Equip carries a wide-variety of machines valued at nearly $20 million, and its inventory includes Caterpillar, Komatsu, John Deere, and Hitachi equipment as well as Volvo articulated trucks. In addition, it stocks a number of specialty machines including long-reach excavators, hydraulic rock hammers, water trucks, and a variety of compaction equipment.

To maintain its equipment, May Heavy-Equip has a six-bay shop staffed with ten service technicians. The company also operates three service trucks, one mobile lube truck and two low-boys for added customer service.

“Our technicians have over 100 combined years experience and are constantly receiving training to stay knowledgeable and up-to-date”, said McGirt.

With a well-staffed office and shop, along with expanding business interests, there is the persistent need to purchase more equipment for inventory, something that McGirt noted has become quite a challenge.

“Our current dilemma is finding enough low-hour used equipment to meet our customer’s needs and demands,” he said. “In the specialized market of buying and selling used equipment, we only want to offer our customers the best quality at the best prices.”