How did you first get your start in the heavy equipment industry?
I was hired by CG Equipment in 1994 – at that time it was called CG Farm Supply – and we had a construction division and I was hired to sell construction equipment. Prior to that I was a Partner at a manufacturing facility that made structural clay products.
What is the best part of your job?
The customer relationships by far. And seeing each relationship grow into being an integral part of the business plan of these customers. You can pedal the first piece of equipment; it takes the whole organization to sell a second one.
What is your sales territory in Ontario?
I cover Middlesex, Lambton, Perth, Huron and Oxford, as well as London, Stratford and Sarnia.
Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that you sell at CG?
That’s changing. A few years ago I would have said compact Equipment. But these days, I enjoy selling the heavy line: wheel loaders and excavators in the construction and agricultural markets.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
The competition. We’re up against some pretty bigger players within the heavy equipment industry and it seems there is a real strain on margins.
How has the heavy equipment industry changed over the years?
Technology has been the biggest change over the years. Advancements with GPS and the changes in our emission regulations have been significant. Operators must be keenly aware that these machines are not like to old days. We spend more time training customers than we did in the past. Today there are so many more machine categories and options – instead of five wrenches in the toolbox, we now might have twenty-five along with attachments that are specific to every market application. This means there is a lot more choice for our customers.
When you’re not working, how do you enjoy spending your free time?
Family is right up there. I also enjoy working with my hands, creating things.
Where was the last place you travelled to for a vacation?
I did some hiking in Scotland last summer.
Do you have a favourite book, movie or type of music?
I really like historical documentaries. I think the best music was written in the 1970’s – politically-charged Canadian artists like Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot and Bruce Cockburn – which ties into my interest in history.