Champion Motor Graders’ compact graders are expanding their niche in Canadian equipment fleets thanks to expert customer support by its top dealer, Strongco Equipment.
Champion Motor Graders has proved for nearly 30 years that “bigger is not always better”. With the recent announcement of Mississauga based Strongco Equipment as Champion’s top dealer in North America, that message has clearly been getting through to Canadian buyers.
“Our product line is not for every application,” said Bryan Abernathy, Champion’s Executive Vice President, and we have been most successful where we have dealers and sales reps who understand where our machines can really excel in meeting customers’ needs. Strongco has made the effort to learn the small grader market, and that’s how they are making Champion a big name in Canada.”
Strongco is one of the largest multi-line equipment distribution providers in Canada with over 600 employees in 27 branches in Ontario, Quebec, the Maritimes and Alberta. The company is best known as a distributor for Volvo Construction Equipment, which also owned the Champion line of compact graders for several years. The Abernathy family, who founded the line in 1980, purchased Champion back from Volvo in 2004.
According to Abernathy, the most important factor in his company’s Canadian success is Strongco’s commitment to understand and demonstrate the unique advantages of the highly efficient compact graders for Canadian customers. When Strongco agreed to take on the Champion line, Anna Sgro, Vice President of the firm’s Multi-Line Division, made the decision to supply an initial inventory of compact graders to several Strongco branch locations. “Customers really have to see the Champion product to appreciate how these small graders ‘think big,’ with all the technology, quality and performance features you look for in full-size graders.”
Recently, Strongco also completed the sale of Champion’s first Production Class Motor Grader in North America. The C110 model was designed to bridge the gap between compact graders, weighing under 16,000 lbs., and conventional graders that typically weigh more than 31,000 lbs.
“Our machines complement the traditional grader line-up,” Abernathy continues, “and Strongco understands what we’re trying to do. With their background in motor graders, they appreciate what Champion graders offer customers that big graders can’t – maneuverability and access to confining work areas.”
Abernathy also credits Strongco’s service philosophy for his company’s Canadian market success. “Strongco’s mission statement puts a focus on succeeding through teamwork. They work very closely with their OEMs to take full advantage of the expertise they can bring to the field for their customers. As a result, they have cultivated a very knowledgeable customer base in Canada. Strongco customers understand the value of matching the right machine to their application – and that’s the kind of customer that recognizes the value of Champion equipment.”
The Champion team works closely with Strongco on jobsites and developing applications all over Canada. “The Canadian economy is running ahead of the global curve right now,” Abernathy notes, “so Strongco is finding us sales leads in all of our key sectors, from paving contractors and resource operations to government fleets. Customers are finding new ways to achieve profitable production with compact equipment, and we’re finding new ways to make our machines fit the needs of Canadian operators.”
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