Top Dealers Lead SENNEBOGEN Into Market Leadership

SAN DIEGO, CA – At the ISRI 2010 Annual Conference, SENNEBOGEN LLC celebrated a successful year that many saw as a validation of the strong distributor network the company has built over the past 10 years. The equipment dealers who represent the now familiar green line of material handlers in North America and South America gathered at ISRI to recognize the top performers in a network that has grown from zero in 2000 to more than 300 locations across the Americas today. The recurring theme for the elite group in 2009 was their ability to capture repeat sales from their existing SENNEBOGEN customers as well as breaking ground in new markets.

Constantino Lannes, President of SENNEBOGEN LLC and Erich Sennebogen, Managing Director of SENNEBOGEN Maschinenfabrik GmbH, in front of their dealer team.

Constantino Lannes, President of SENNEBOGEN LLC, underscored the contribution his dealers have made in the emergence of the green machines as leaders in a growing number of markets. “It’s often said that the machine sells itself the first time,“ he notes, “but dealer service and support make every sale after that.”

Lannes notes that, for the past 10 years, SENNEBOGEN has largely relied in placing machines with first-time customers in recycling, forestry and port facilities. Today, however, the SENNEBOGEN fleet is large enough and old enough that past customers are facing the decision whether they should return to SENNEBOGEN again as they replace and update their equipment.

“Based on the past year’s results, I have to say that the verdict is in,” says Lannes. “Returning customers are telling us that they have confidence in our equipment, and they trust their SENNEBOGEN dealers, too.”

Significantly, the top dealers honored at the SENNEBOGEN sales meeting include some of the company’s most established distributors. As a result of a tie in sales totals, four firms were recognized at SENNEBOGEN’s “Top 3” event in San Diego: Howell Tractor of Gary, Indiana, Bramco of Louisville, Kentucky, Atlantic Equipment & Supply of Hampton, Virginia and Gibson Machinery of Cleveland, Ohio.

People make success
Tom Ellis, General Manager of Howell Tractor, is also no stranger to the top of the SENNEBOGEN podium. Howell Tractor was also a Top 3 Dealer last year and in 2 years previously, as well. “We have a super team working with SENNEBOGEN customers,” Ellis says. “Phil Linoski and Phil Wichowski are exceptionally knowledgeable sales representatives, with a great understanding of material handling applications. And Gary Hammond, our Service Manager, sets an outstanding personal example of commitment to the customer. We’re in the equipment business, but our people make it successful.” Exceptional service support led Howell to a milestone sale in the Fall of 2009, when Midwest Generation’s Crawford Station in Chicago took delivery of the largest mobile material handler in America, the SENNEBOGEN 880 EQ equilibrium machine.

At the formal presentation of the 880 EQ to Midwest, Erich Sennebogen, Jr., Managing Director of SENNEBOGEN GmbH in Germany, told the project group that support to dealers was a key element in the manufacturer’s worldwide strategy. “Our partners, like Howell, are the arm of SENNEBOGEN reaching into the local region. Our customers rely on close local support and service, and our partners rely on close support from SENNEBOGEN.” This kind of partnership, he said, has enabled SENNEBOGEN to become the number one brand in its key markets in the Americas.

Specialized focus pays off
At Bramco of Louisville, Kentucky (which includes both Brandeis Machinery & Supply Company and Power Equipment Company), Gary Hirsch is General Manager of Crane and Material Handling. He credits years of building good customer relations for his own recent success. Bramco utilizes a focused Crane and Material Handling Division, with dedicated product and application specialists that act as consultants to the customer base. “Our focus on a variety of applications and customers – from steel producers, scrap yards, river terminals and transfer stations makes this an exciting business” said Hirsch.” Brandeis Machinery & Supply Company and Power Equipment Company are divisions of Bramco, a third generation family owned business that celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2008. Bramco’s two equipment distribution firms, have both represented SENNEBOGEN equipment for more than 6 years.

Small territory, big sales
Jim Smelgus, the Owner and President of Atlantic Equipment, claims seniority among all current SENNEBOGEN dealers. “We were the second distributor SENNEBOGEN ever signed on in North America,” he says proudly. “It turned out to be a great decision for us. Our service territory is the smallest of all SENNEBOGEN distributors, but we still managed to build up the sales to place in the top group this year. The simplicity of the machine is one of the reasons people like it, and our SENNEBOGEN Team of Garland Miles and Clayton Parker, have done a terrific job making sure customers get what they need and our service group backs them up with great service support.”

Continuing to learn
Although Gibson Machinery has been among SENNEBOGEN’s Top 3 Dealers every year since 2003, Vice President of Sales, Mike Keremes says, “Winning never gets boring.” He admits there were nervous moments in the past year, noting one customer had five machines coming off-lease at once. As it turns out, according to Keremes, “we had fewer deals to work on this year, but we didn’t lose any of them!” President Lee Gibson acknowledges the support he gets from SENNEBOGEN as part of the secret to his firm’s perennial leadership in the industry. “Our guys are very knowledgeable,” he claims, “and SENNEBOGEN provides learning and new technology they need to stay on top.”

SENNEBOGEN has been a leading name in the global material handling industry for nearly 60 years. Based in Stanley, North Carolina, within the greater Charlotte region, SENNEBOGEN LLC offers a complete range of purpose-built machines to suit virtually any material handling application. Established in America in the year 2000, SENNEBOGEN LLC has quickly become a leading provider of specialized equipment solutions for recycling and scrap metal yards, barge and port operations, log-handling, transfer stations and waste facilities from coast to coast. A growing network of distributors supports SENNEBOGEN LLC sales and service across the Americas, ensuring the highest standard of professional machine support and parts availability.

For more information on the full line of SENNEBOGEN green line material handlers, contact:

Constantino Lannes, President
1957 Sennebogen Trail (formerly 7669 Old Plank Road)
Stanley, NC 28164
Tel: (704) 347-4910 or fax (704) 347-8894
Visit the web site at