By Steve Noe
In my 18 years as editor of Outdoor Power Equipment (OPE), I can’t recall a month when I received more news about industry expansion plans than in the past month, which is obviously a very encouraging sign. In fact, I received so much expansion news that I had to expand my coverage of it from “Industry News” to this space.
* Ariens Company is planning to invest more than $9 million to upgrade and expand its product research and development capabilities at its headquarters in Brillion, Wis., by building the new 45,000-square-foot Ariens Company Design and Development Center.
* Excel Industries, headquartered in Hesston, Kan., is opening a new facility at Logistics Park Kansas City (LPKC) in Edgerton, Kan., and plans to create 200 new jobs at LPKC in the process. The new facility will include warehousing and distribution space and eventually the manufacturing of an existing product line, although that line was not specified.
* Bobcat Company and parent organization Doosan recently broke ground on a $9.5-million expansion to its existing headquarters in West Fargo, N.D. Company officials say the expansion will help accommodate growth, drive innovation, and improve operations.
* Takeuchi-US has announced plans to expand its Pendergrass, Ga.-based operations by building a new distribution facility on its existing campus. The new distribution facility will increase storage space by more than 40 percent and provide additional parts and machine storage for future growth.
* Pacific Stihl moved to a 140,000-square-foot facility on eight acres, nearly tripling the square footage available to the company and more than doubling its dock doors from eight to 18. The move represents the second expansion at Pacific Stihl in five years.
* PACE Inc. recently doubled its warehouse space in Lakeland, Fla., to 41,628 total square feet. PACE also purchased an additional 44,000-square-foot building near its headquarters and main warehouse in Plymouth, Mich. The purchase and expansion brings PACE’s total warehouse space for its four locations, including West Bend, Wis., and Sacramento, Calif., to 205,000 square feet.
* KPM Exceptional LLC, a wholesale distributor of commercial and consumer outdoor power equipment located in Landing, N.J., moved operations into a newly completed 100,000-square-foot office-warehouse complex.
* Midwest Equipment Sales is relocating the company’s primary facility in Ohio to a new 193,700-square-foot facility on the west side of Columbus, allowing the company to expand the breadth and depth of its aftermarket tracks, tires and undercarriage parts inventory to meet the needs of its growing customer base.
For more details about these and other stories, please check out “Industry News,” starting on page 10 in this issue of OPE, as well as “Daily News” at outdoorpowerequipment.com.
Anonymous Distributor revealed
Since January 2007, we have brought you an “Anonymous Distributor” column with “thought-provoking comments, a little satire and wit, and sometimes a challenge or two” from the same man who has mysteriously remained anonymous.
Although he retired on July 1, 2014, I enjoyed his “Anonymous Distributor” column so much that I pleaded with him to continue writing it, which he graciously agreed to do, but asked me to start searching for his successor. Well, he decided to write his final “Anonymous Distributor” column in the September 2015 issue of OPE and told me that he was fine with me revealing his identity, as we pass the torch to a new anonymous distributor in this issue.
Words cannot express my gratitude to Jim Starmer (pictured) of Servantage Dixie Sales not only for his outstanding work on the “Anonymous Distributor” column for nearly nine years, but also for his friendship, guidance and support as a longtime member of OPE’s Editorial Advisory Board, as well as for his countless contributions to this industry for nearly 45 years. I will greatly miss reading his column each month, but wish him the best of luck in the future.