Contractors Can Find Many Options With Dealers and Distributors

Working with dealerships and distributors can provide different advantages for contractors looking to expand offerings

Contractors Can Find Many Options With Dealers and Distributors

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Dealers, distributors and suppliers have a unique opportunity to support contractors in multiple ways that manufacturers sometimes can’t. Through numerous product name offerings, equipment training, extended service and repair work, they are set up to help a company succeed from the beginning all the way through the job.

“We definitely have the experience and the knowledge in the industry, and we are out in the field,” says John Thomson, business development manager of John Brooks Company Limited (Dynablast).

A properly set up truck for vacuum excavation doesn’t come together in one day. By having large inventories of products, dealers can provide options for comparison when shopping for vacuum excavation equipment and have the capability of putting together packages of different product names if it best suits the customer.

“We are a one-stop shop for the whole solution to a hydrovac truck,” Thomson says. “We have the heaters, water pump packages, hydraulic packages, hoses, guns and nozzles; we really have the whole 9 yards to build a hydrovac truck.”

By carrying brands from more than 20 manufacturers, dealers like Thomson are able to put together complete packages that offer job site readiness right out the door. The knowledge to put together equipment packages is perhaps the most valuable item dealers can offer.

“Contractors may come to us for an issue with a water pump, and we have all the technical expertise in this area and know exactly how it should serve in a truck,” Thomson says. The firsthand involvement with the equipment offerings demonstrates to customers that the service provided is coming from in-field experience and that they can be confident in the equipment and advice they are receiving.


Along with carrying an extensive line of product names, contractors benefit from extended service offers provided by many dealers.

“We’ve got 150 road techs — actual guys out in service trucks with welders and cranes all across the country,” says Paul Brouwers, vac product manager of Custom Truck One Source. “That’s key to service. We’re able to help respond to incidents and service issues.”

Custom Truck One Source is a coast-to-coast provider of specialized trucks and heavy-equipment solutions including a large selection of hydrovac trucks. They focus on sales of equipment, aftermarket parts and equipment customizations through 26 locations across the U.S. 

Brouwers offers advice to contractors looking to buy: “Before you make an investment, demo the units and see what they can do,” he says. “We’re willing to go out somewhere and do a demo of a couple different units.”


Getting the best service isn’t completely up to dealers, however. Contractors can help dealers assist them by being prepared when they are ready to buy. Buyers can start by giving the dealer some background information about the service they are trying to accomplish.

“We want to know the application of what they are looking for,” Brouwers says. Things such as geographical location, what type of job are you mostly going to be using the equipment for and where. Brouwers says he will ask standard questions about what the customer is trying to achieve before pointing them in the direction of a specific truck. Questions such as: How far from the truck are they going to work? What type of substrate will they mostly be digging in? What type of dumping needs will they have?

Doing some research and providing information about your specific job requirements will help dealers steer you toward the product that is right for you. Working together can benefit both sides and make for a long-standing business relationship.

“The key advantage is that we develop relationships with customers. We look at the long term instead of the short term,” Thomson says. “And part of the relationship building is trust.” 


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