EDA’s OPE Dealership Compensation and Benefits Report

By Joe Dykes


One of the most important functions of the Equipment Dealers Association (EDA) is the collection, publishing and dissemination of important industry information to help members in the operation of their business.

The 2018 EDA Compensation & Benefits Report for outdoor power equipment (OPE) dealerships represents the association’s most comprehensive report and data relative to wages and benefits offered to OPE dealership employees. The survey is produced every two years and is distributed to OPE dealers throughout North America.

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The survey questionnaire is continually revised to address changes in the industry and to ensure the appropriate data and information is collected and compiled. Enhancements include wage data relative to office/professional staff, sales, parts and service departments, and health insurance and benefits options. The survey questionnaire was reviewed and evaluated by industry experts, key dealer management, human resource personnel and EDA staff. The survey is designed to capture data on wages and total compensation of dealership employees and the composition of commission and bonus programs.

EDA’s OPE Compensation & Benefits Report includes four main sections, 1) methodology and statistics, 2) compensation information, 3) employee benefits program, and 4) HR. The report includes wage reporting for dealership staff, and is broken down by departments: office, sales, parts and service. The service department section contains a breakdown of technician compensation, shop rates and other service department information.

The employee benefits section contains dealership information on group health plans, dental and other insurance, and retirement plans. The reports include employer and employee costs related to the coverages. Additional dealership demographic information and projections for 2019 are also included.

The 2018 EDA Compensation & Benefits Survey was e-mailed to outdoor power equipment dealerships in September and remained active for period of five weeks.

Respondents had the ability to complete the survey over the course of several weeks and could return to it as often as needed in order to collect and submit data. This was needed due to the comprehensiveness of the survey and the time commitment required to complete the survey.

Overall, 70 dealerships’ data was included in the survey report. These dealership groups represented 85 locations in 30 states. The vast majority of respondents (76 percent) were from dealerships located east of the Mississippi River, which corresponds to industry demographics. The average total revenue volume from respondents was $3.16 million with a distribution range of $150,000 to $20.6 million.

Individual dealership information was recorded confidentially by a third-party research firm and reported only in aggregate.

Compensation figures are arranged by base salary (or hourly rate), annual commission/bonus, average total compensation, the percentage and method used to calculate the commission/bonus and descriptive comments regarding the commission/bonus for each staff position.

Each of the compensation categories includes an average, minimum and maximum amount for each position and volume category. The average is the sum of all compensation records in each category divided by the total number of records, also referred to as the mean. The minimum and maximum figures represent the smallest and largest amounts reported in each category for each position.

With the challenges of managing an internet sales and marketing presence, it’s important to note that more dealers are incorporating and internet sales manager on staff over the past four years. However, the number remains relatively small with only 7 percent of the OPE dealer respondents reporting having an internet sales manager in 2018, compared to 5 percent in 2016 and 2 percent in 2014.

In the service shop, 51 percent of the OPE dealerships reported using some form of flat-rate pricing, while only 34 percent are basing their technician pay on efficiency.

There appears to be a strong opportunity to incorporate a flat-rate system in the shop to improve overall shop efficiency and provide technician incentive-based pay.

EDA, in conjunction with Bob Clements and the United Equipment Dealers Association (UEDA), has an Online Flat Rate Guide tool available for equipment dealers. For more information, contact EDA at 636-349-5000 or info@equipmentdealer.org.

The EDA OPE Dealer Compensation & Benefits Survey is comprehensive, and, in return, requires an investment in time and effort from the dealer respondents. EDA is grateful to those dealers who took the time and effort to compete the survey questionnaire and contribute this important operational data. Dealers who provided data to the survey will receive a complimentary copy of the full survey report. For those who did not participate, the survey is available for purchase for $295 for EDA members and $495 non-members and can be ordered at https://www.equipmentdealer.org/shop/p/3, or by contacting EDA at 636-349-5000 or surveys@equipmentdealer.org.


Joe Dykes is the VP of industry relations for the Equipment Dealers Association (EDA). Dykes joined the EDA staff in 2008 while also serving as executive vice president of the Missouri Valley Equipment Association. In his current role, Dykes oversees EDA’s Outdoor Power Equipment activities and the OPE Council. He works closely with manufacturer and industry partners, and manages the research, development and implementation of EDA’s affinity programs. Dykes is also responsible for EDA’s data collection and reporting, and is a staff liaison for the Equipment Dealers Foundation, an organization that raises money for disaster relief and workforce development. Prior to joining EDA, Dykes was employed with the American Soybean Association. He graduated from Illinois State University with a bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness.



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