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SMHG Seeks Dealers for European Material Handling Lines

Thu October 01, 2020 - National Edition #21

Mantsinen, based in Finland, builds large purpose-built material handlers only. The huge Mantsinen 300 is its biggest machine, weighing 373 tons, with a reach of 118 ft.
Mantsinen, based in Finland, builds large purpose-built material handlers only. The huge Mantsinen 300 is its biggest machine, weighing 373 tons, with a reach of 118 ft.
Mantsinen, based in Finland, builds large purpose-built material handlers only. The huge Mantsinen 300 is its biggest machine, weighing 373 tons, with a reach of 118 ft. The compact Mantsinen 60 is strong, smart and well-tailored for round-wood and scrap handling. The material handler has a maximum reach of 67.25 ft. The Atlas 520 MH material handler includes mobile industrial and tracked industrial machines. It is designed to work on applications such as scrap, wood, bulky goods, special recycling, port applications and vacuum operations. Tom Hickson (L), general manager of SMHG, and Len Lawrence, material handling development manager, stand in front of the Atlas 350 MH, a material handler with an operating weight of 79,366 lbs. and a maximum range of more than 59 ft. SMHG made a high-tech investment in parts. The two-story tall vertical lift module (VLM) holds more than 10,000 pieces. Linder Industrial Machinery’s Aaron McLaurin can quickly and easily locate the parts he needs in the VLM.

SMHG (Sumitomo Material Handling Group), based in Concord, N.C., just outside of Charlotte, is a subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation. This is the same company Warren Buffett recently invested more than $1 billion.

After taking a close examination of the material handling equipment offerings in the North American market and getting direct feedback from end-users, there was a little doubt there needed to be other options.

The company's executives' global search for manufacturers to fill this need and find the highest quality equipment ended in Europe. The SMHG team found two companies that fit the full spectrum of capacities needed for the U.S. and Canadian market.

The Equipment

Atlas Cranes & Excavators builds a wide variety of material handling and earthmoving equipment at its factories in northern Germany. SMHG will only offer the material handling portion of the Atlas portfolio at this time. The company that prides itself on being strong, reliable and multifunctional has been in existence for more than 100 years. Equipment ranges in size from 20,000- to 125,000-lb. capacity. Atlas can build a machine with customers' input for their specific application and stand behind it throughout its entire life.

Mantsinen, based out of Finland, builds large purpose-built material handlers only. With more than 50 years in the material handling business, the company has a great deal of experience on the end-user side as well as the manufacturing of extremely high-quality machines. These machines start at 150,000 lbs. and go up to the Mantsinen 300R, which is 815,000 lbs. The giant machine features a 125-ft. reach and are available in diesel, electric and hybrid models.

The People

Tom Hickson was selected as general manager of SMHG. He has nearly 40 years of experience in the material handling world. His knowledge of the various applications, end-users and the existing brands in the U.S. market has proven extremely valuable in showing the quality and support behind these two premium products.

"Attracting reputable dealers to represent the North American will not be difficult once they see the quality of the machines," he said.

Hickson recruited Len Lawrence, a veteran dealer development manager in material handling, and both have a combined 75 years in the industry. They've brought onboard top talent in technical solutions, part support and operator and machine training.

Product Support

SMHG has a state-of-the-art warehouse that contains all replacement parts required by end users.

The company invested in a high-tech solution in the storage of parts. The two-story tall vertical lift module (VLM) holds more than 10,000 pieces. Major components and assemblies are readily available as well at the North Carolina location.

"We do not want to delay the delivery of parts to support our dealers and customers," Hickson said. "SMHG has made a significant investment in the amount of inventory and attachments readily available in North America."

SMHG also will provide the best in technician and operator training for dealers and end users.

"There's a modern training center in Concord [N.C.] with ongoing sessions for Atlas and Mantsinen products," Hickson said. "Besides extensive sales training, distributors and end users are sending employees for machine operations and hands-on learning."

Technical and parts specialists also are part of the support team for dealers and customers. Factory representatives are based in North Carolina to provide immediate solutions for any challenges that may arise.

The Dealer Network

After showing selected dealers the quality and value in these units, there is a lot of excitement over the opportunity to represent these products. SMHG is carefully aligning with dealers that have great reputations in their marketplace.

SMHG is only considering dealers who have or recruit specialists for the Atlas and Mantsinen product lines. The distributors also must commit the needed financial resources for stocking parts, attend continuous training and the invest in the necessary tooling.

"Among the dealers we have, Linder [Industrial Machinery] is the southeast distributor for both Mantsinen and Atlas," Hickson said. "ROMCO Equipment in Texas is a dealer for both product lines, as is 5R Enterprises outside Chicago. Also, New Millennium Rentals in New York and Maryland is currently an Atlas dealer."

The goal is to cover every state and province in North American in the next 18 to 24 months.

SMHG has the experience, passion and a designed plan to make Atlas and Mantsinen the number one choice at every site that has material handling applications from coast to coast, according to the company.

For more information on SMHG and information on becoming a part of its growing dealer network, visit or call Tom Hickson at 833/251-5696. CEG

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