As Hitachi Construction Machinery expands its business, it places great importance on engaging deeply with dealers and customers and finding out what kinds of products, technologies, parts and services are needed on the job site. We interviewed American dealers who handle Hitachi Construction Machinery products and customers who use them on their sites.
1. From the State of New Hampshire
Dealer's Voice Company: Chappell Tractor Sales Cultivates Customers in New England, Where Hitachi Construction Machinery Is Seen as Very Reliable
As Highway 13 passes through the dense coniferous forest in Milford, New Hampshire, there is a white-walled building with a stylish triangular roof in a roadside lot. Inside is a showroom rather reminiscent of a small DIY store. It contains compact construction equipment and tractors, as well as an area selling various items related to construction equipment and original clothing.
Hitachi Construction Machinery Brand Took Off Quickly
Chappell Tractor is a dealer with its head office in that area. Its business extends throughout the New England region, in states such as New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont. A big dealer even for the US, it is a company that has become a fervent ‘evangelist’ for the Hitachi Construction Machinery brand.
“It’s been five months since Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas started doing its own marketing, and we’ve already received orders for dozens of units from our customers. I think the most important factors have been the power and excellent handling performance of the equipment, plus the deep-rooted confidence in the Hitachi Construction Machinery brand that exists in this area.”
Those are the words of Corey Chappell, the 4th generation President of the family-run business Chappell Tractor. In addition to selling new and used construction machinery and agricultural equipment, Chappell Tractor’s business also includes areas such as rentals, parts, maintenance and repair services, and financing for purchases. Medium- to large-sized hydraulic excavators from various manufacturers were lined up in the lot, among which were several Hitachi Construction Machinery equipment, including the ZX490 and ZX250, that were awaiting shipment.
“There was another dealer that sold a lot of Hitachi Construction Machinery products in the 1980s and 90s, and people here still remember the excellent brand image and how strong the products were. New England is a region that places particular emphasis on connections that build trust through word-of-mouth and personal networks. I think that has been tremendously helpful in establishing confidence in Hitachi Construction Machinery,” explained Chappell Tractor Sales Manager Flip Henry.
Listening to Dealers and Customers Is the Key to Success
When Hitachi Construction Machinery terminated and dissolved its partnership with Deere, one major concern was whether it could successfully inherit the dealer network with sales bases throughout the Americas.
Vice President Brad Chappell explained, "We’d heard from Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas that Hitachi Construction Machinery Head Office in Japan would more than triple the number of employees in the Americas, send a large number of human resources from Japan, and increase investment in areas such as the parts business and support for dealers. When we saw how serious you are about it, we decided to continue our relationship with Hitachi Construction Machinery Americas, as we thought we could expand our business further by selling excellent products and services."
“We are offering various attachments such as tilt rotators because we must deliver excavators along with market needs,” said Henry. “Listening to dealers’ and customers’ voices is the key to success in the North American market,” he stressed.
Company: Leighton A. White, Inc. Impressive Simple Operability that Does Not Burden the End-User with Heavy Costs
So, what do Chappell Tractor customers think about Hitachi Construction Machinery? Leighton A. White, Inc., also headquartered in Milford, New Hampshire, is an important Chappell Tractor customer. Its main businesses are construction and civil engineering, and the development and sale of construction and landscaping materials. It is expanding its business from its strongholds in New Hampshire and the northern part of Massachusetts, where the state capital Boston is located.
Dale White, the 2nd generation President, told us, “My father started the business in 1978. Our history began with initially managing farmland in New Hampshire for companies and investors based in Boston, as well as doing construction work. We later moved into the construction of NCAA football fields and large-scale landscaping, for the purposes of which we started to buy construction equipment. So far we’ve bought more than 200 pieces of equipment from Chappell Tractor.”
Dale White, President
Seen as the Very Best for Mining Machinery
Leighton A. White has 50 employees and owns a total of around 80 pieces of machinery and trucks. I try to buy between four and five pieces a year every year, though our accountant will get pretty upset. The two pieces of equipment of Hitachi Construction Machinery we bought were priced in an area that I felt was very fair in terms of cost-effectiveness.”
The Milford-based company is engaged in various businesses, but over the past five years, it has focused particularly on the construction materials business, on materials such as sand, gravel, stone and concrete aggregate. It runs five sand and gravel pits in New Hampshire, one of which has Hitachi Construction Machinery equipment in operation: a ZW370 wheel loader and a ZX350 hydraulic excavator.
White said that he chose the Hitachi brand because he has “always felt that Hitachi has premium products,” and that is why he bought the wheel loader and hydraulic excavator through Chappell Tractor.