Dealer Traces its Roots to Rebuilding World War I Surplus Equipment

When World War I ended, there was a surplus of equipment that came back to the United States. Equipment Corporation of America (ECA) was formed in 1918 to remanufacture this post-war equipment.

ECA spent the first part of the century providing and rebuilding World War I surplus equipment, such as boilers, steam locomotives, steam hammers, hoists and derricks. As electric and diesel supplanted steam, ECA shifted its equipment lines to stay current.

Today, ECA is a third-generation family-owned business and prominent distributor of foundation construction equipment, offering sales, rentals, service and parts from nine facilities throughout the Eastern United States and Eastern Canada. Partnering with leading manufacturers of equipment and having multiple locations has helped ECA to thrive by allowing the shuttling of equipment between locations to meet changing regional market demands.

Establishing a Partnership

ECA is also one of the newest FRD USA dealers. ECA became involved in the drilling industry in the 1980s, but recently looked to enter the blasthole drilling market. After researching the market, ECA determined blasthole drills would be a good fit with its product offerings. One manufacturer rose to the top.

“We found that Furukawa Rock Drill (FRD USA) has a sound reputation,” said Dave Johnston, ECA branch manager in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. “As we met with the FRD people and understood the mindset behind the company, we were very impressed with the pride, innovation and dedication they bring to the market. FRD is a very large corporation, but they value the customer-centric mentality that ECA prides itself in.”

As a dealer, ECA now offers the complete line of FRD down-the-hole, top-hammer and pneumatic drills and accessories for construction and quarry sites. ECA has been marketing FRD drills to its existing customers and is working to develop the rock drilling business in its area of responsibility.

A Commitment to Service

Maintenance is another important part of the ECA and FRD USA relationship. ECA carries more than $14 million of inventoried parts across the manufacturers it represents. Depending on the location of the customer’s equipment, ECA can dispatch field service trucks from one of its multiple locations to effectively service its customers.

“We pride ourselves on being a leader and innovator, from customer communication to our factory-trained technicians, we are always striving to improve the customer experience and uptime,” said Johnston.

When looking to the future, Johnston said ECA has surveyed customers and one of the important issues they face is reliability. “Although the equipment has become more complex, it still needs to be reliable to operate. We want to focus on the technical training and parts availability to our customers to increase the uptime of their products,” he added.

Even as ECA has evolved into a much larger enterprise since its humble beginnings after World War I, the company has not lost sight of its greatest achievements: long-term employees, relationships with customers and manufacturers, and the ability to adapt and survive. That bodes well for ECA’s success over the next 102 years.

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