Compact Equipment

SEP 2018

Compact Equipment is a magazine dedicated to equipment owners and operators of small, nimble, tool-carrying construction, landscape and ag equipment — such as skid steers, mini excavators, compact tractors, generators compressors and beyond.

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A tornado hit Pella, Iowa, about 4:15 p.m. Thursday, July 19. According to news reports, seven people were injured and taken to Pella Regional Hospital but were later released. Local equipment manu- facturer Vermeer, which makes everything from trenchers to compact tool carriers, took a direct hit from the storm, causing major damage to several of its plants. Vermeer CEO Jason Andringa got emotional when re- flecting on the day's events. "We are certainly going to re- build, and we're going to come back stronger than ever," he said, fighting back tears near the end of a press confer- ence that Thursday night. Thursday actually started out as a day of a celebration at the Vermeer campus as more than 400 of the company's dealers and customers were there to mark the company's 70th anniversary as part of its 2018 Customer Conference — primarily an outdoor event. Andringa said he was grate- ful that the injuries suffered were minor, and he was proud of the quick response and action of the Vermeer team to move people to safety. "Upon being notified of severe weather, we worked to quickly activate our emergency response system. The emergency alarms in all buildings sounded and team members, dealers and customers were directed to tornado shelters in all facilities on the Vermeer campus," he said. Pella Police Lt. Shane Cox, also at the press conference, commended the Vermeer staff for its actions in getting peo- ple to safety, preventing serious injuries. All dealers and cus- tomers visiting the campus have been accounted for, as have employees. There is significant structural damage and per- sonal property damage across the Vermeer campus, and the process of assessing that damage has been ongoing. Andringa noted the early assessment, saying: "Our corporate office, Plant 1, Plant 2, Plant 3, Parts Distribution Center, Global Pavilion, Lely and Yellow Iron Academy Learning Center appear to have zero to minor damage. Plant 4, Plant 7 and our Advanced Systems/Test- ing facility will need a structural assessment before we can determine the impact of the damage and the ability to continue operations. Plant 5 and Plant 6 both have signifi- cant structural damage that we believe, at this time, will limit our ability to continue operations. Our waste man- agement facility is a complete loss." Andringa also said he was appreciative of the communi- ty support in the storm's aftermath, as well as the support from other manufacturing companies. "The outpouring of help from a variety of other manufacturing entities has been overwhelming," Andringa said, adding the plan go- ing forward is "to be up to full capacity as soon as we can." Andringa noted that the family-owned company had faced serious challenges during its 70-years in business and survived. This challenge would be no different. "We dealt with challenges over [our] seven decades of doing business … as we survived and thrived after every challenge, we plan to do it again," he said. This writer will be flying to Vermeer this September to assess the damage on the ground, so stay tuned for more info. Sharon M. Bueno is managing editor of Trenchless Technology , a sister publication of Compact Equipment . www.compactequip.com 9 AGC PROVIDES OVER $100,000 TO PUERTO RICO CONSTRUCTION WORKERS AGC Charities Inc., the charitable arm of the As- sociated General Contractors of America, is provid- ing 65 construction workers in Puerto Rico with $100,750 in donated funds to help cover losses they incurred as a result of Hurricane Maria. The checks, which amount to $1,550 per construction worker, are intended to help employees of firms that belong to the association cover the costs of uninsured and un- compensated damages caused by the storm. "Contractors may do hard work, but they have soft hearts, especially when it comes to helping some of their own," said Dirk Elsperman the association's na- tional senior vice president and Executive Vice Presi- dent and COO of St. Louis, Mo.-based Tarlton Corp. "These checks won't make everything right, but they will help these construction professionals get their lives back on track." The 65 grants are being awarded to individuals who work for firms that belong to the association who suffered significant, uncompensated Hurricane- related damages. For more info, visit agccharities.org .

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