Distributor Member Profile: Equipment Depot is Reinventing an Industry

By Equipment Depot Staff

Equipment Depot’s roots began in Central Texas. Over the past 80 years, its expansion has been primarily through organic growth and acquisitions. Equipment Depot was part of Pon Holdings, the largest family-run business in the Netherlands, and in 2019 was purchased by Mitsubishi Logisnext, the third largest material handling company in the world. Equipment Depot attributes its success and freedom to rethink standard practices to its ability to operate independently.

In 2020, the leadership at the Houston-based headquarters started analyzing how they approached the material handling business, as well as questioning how the industry perceived its solutions. As a result, Equipment Depot knew that the only way it would become the “Best Service Organization” in the industry and reach a billion dollars in revenue by 2025 was by approaching its business, and the industry, in a new way.

This evolution began by looking at top leadership’s unique qualities and skill sets. David Turner, president and CEO of Equipment Depot, stated, “To set the bar for the industry, we need talent with not only vision but great ability.” Adding, “In fact, we need new perspectives from outside the industry.”

Turner recognized Jonathan Hesener and Hugh Parry as standouts due to their remarkable military leadership experience and involvement in General Electric’s well recognized Leadership Program. Jonathan Hesener, Equipment Depot’s chief sales officer, explains, “To truly rethink an entire organization, we need dreams, not goals. We work much harder for a dream than a goal.” He adds, “I’m pleased to be part of the pendulum shift, both at the company and within the material handling industry.”

Turner also brought on board Clint McNair as CFO. “Clint has 22 years at Deloitte and experience in the private-equity sector.” Turner adds, “But it was his strategic thinking and fresh perspective on aligning finance and operations that will help Equipment Depot reach its full potential.”

“When working in the material handling industry, one thing is for sure — there’s never a dull moment,” says Turner. “From finding ways to streamline our customers’ operations to engineering innovative ways of tackling supply chain challenges brought on by a global pandemic, the mission is to help our customer’s success by thinking differently.”

Another area Equipment Depot recognized as an opportunity in the industry was how equipment dealers provide overall solutions. For instance, Equipment Depot’s approach and partnership with Mitsubishi Logisnext allows direct access to the manufacturing plant for Cat® Lift Trucks, Mitsubishi, Jungheinrich® and UniCarriers Forklifts, which is a new approach to assisting customers that are facing equipment supply chain challenges. Additionally, securing strategic OEM partners in the port, heavy equipment and electrification sectors allows Equipment Depot to fill another industry shortcoming — the lack of a fully end-to-end, one-source solution that can help customers solve various challenges within one department. To address this need, Equipment Depot created an entirely new department called EQSOLUTIONS™.

As America’s largest independently operated material handling and rental source with more than 50 nationwide locations and 2,000 employees, Equipment Depot prides itself on helping customers improve productivity and maximize uptime. With full-service material handling solutions, Equipment Depot provides new and used forklifts, aerial lifts, service, parts, equipment rentals, financing and an integrated warehouse with automation solutions.

“The vast majority of innovation in our industry right now is in electric,” Hugh Parry, Equipment Depot’s chief operating officer, states. “We are also seeing the introduction of new technologies, such as robotics and automation, taking a quantum leap in the material handling industry — and we are ensuring that Equipment Depot is there to help customers navigate the best solutions.”