Murphy Tractor territory sales manager Luke Fanshier and Vacuworx talk about how parts, service and ancillary support plays an important role in ensuring successful project outcomes.
Installers of long-distance oil and gas pipelines and other major infrastructure projects face unique lifting challenges, all tied to transporting heavy machinery and bulky, oversized materials into the field. Inevitably, the most successful project outcomes depend not only on getting the right equipment into the hands of operators, but going the extra miles required to make sure parts and service are available when needed as well.
Vacuworx caught up recently with Murphy Tractor & Equipment Co. Inc., a prominent John Deere North America construction equipment dealer and longtime distributor of Vacuworx.
Murphy specializes in supporting contractors involved with large infrastructure projects in and around sprawling metropolitan areas. The organization has 29 locations in six states, with a comprehensive inventory of equipment and parts reinforced by a team of more than 650 employees including field-service technicians.
Murphy deals heavily in attachments, often packaged as add-on options to help customers tackle projects more efficiently. Vacuworx lifters, said Luke Fanshier, a Murphy territory sales manager, have been a catalyst in terms of building new business, particularly for pipeline construction projects.
Such projects, Fanshier said, can run hundreds of miles in length with multiple excavators, dozers and other pieces of specialized handling equipment required to stay up and running along planned or proposed routes.
Fanshier said Vacuworx has become the industry standard for cross country pipeliners that engage in a broad range of construction applications, moving through a wide variety of topographies that include rigorous road, river and rail crossings. The ongoing partnership between Murphy Tractor and Vacuworx, he noted, has helped solidify business relationships with existing customers who were looking for an extra level of local dealer support.
Murphy Tractor stocks an array of Vacuworx lifters and pad assemblies including the manufacturer’s flagship RC Series units with lifting capacities from 22,000 to 55,000 lb. Fanshier said that excavator-friendly product offerings and robust support from leading manufacturers are fueling customer satisfaction and opening doors for new business opportunities.
“Our customers have a diverse appetite for tools and equipment,” Fanshier said. “They work seven days a week when the weather is good and timing is right. From a service standpoint, it can be logistically difficult to keep staffed up and the parts rolling. The Vacuworx team understands that the cross-country pipeline contractor does not shut down to get parts and pieces even on a Saturday or Sunday morning.”
Fanshier likened the role of Murphy Tractor to a conduit—helping connect the dots and channel all the equipment, parts, service and extra support necessary to deliver for clients and project owners. Above all, they are in the business of helping contractors gain traction and keep the momentum going from key staging points to remote project locations.
“If I do not have manufacturer support, I will choose not to rent or sell those things, products that could create a headache or put strain on the customer relationship,” he said. “From a sales perspective, if your product is good, but you can’t support it, that is what has to happen.”
“Service does not always come out of one local branch,” Fanshier continued. “As (a contractor) moves through a 300-mile line, they may change equipment dealers three or four or five times. Here, we rely on other branches to support our customers in the field so they can stick with Murphy the whole way. Vacuworx also has a support team and done a good job to support that business. We can take them from start to finish.”
Vacuworx offers 24/7 customer service and technical support 365 days a year for installation, training, repairs and troubleshooting. The new online Vacuworx Training Center is available to anyone who operates or services Vacuworx Vacuum Lifting Systems through the company’s website (vacuworx.com). The self-guided program currently includes five modules, each with course certifications, focused on the RC Series lifters including Installation, Daily Operation Checklist, Operation, Maintenance and Troubleshooting.
“They are built well, supported well,” Fanshier said of Vacuworx. “From a rental perspective, it is so nice to put a product out there that is so dependable. In my world, no news is good news. Vacuworx is a premier brand, a leading brand and in this part of the world we don’t see anything but blue and yellow. They do have dominance.”