The scope of JT Equipment’s area of expertise is once again growing. The Calgary, Alberta-based construction equipment service and supply company is now expanding into in-house fabrication of attachments.
“We’re kind of spreading our wings,” said Matt Cox, vice president of sales and marketing for JT Equipment. “The fabrication is definitely a new and exciting part of the company that has the potential to be as big, or bigger, than what we currently are.”
Cox explained the attachment business will fill a void in availability of buckets for compact machinery. The fabrication business will focus on building buckets for skid steers and excavators up to 10 tonnes.
“We have a really good relationship with Craig Attachments, so we’re not looking to get into building any of the large machine stuff,” Cox said.
JT Equipment recently sold its first compact excavator attachment package, which includes a digging bucket, clean-up bucket, manual wedge coupler and a thumb for a 5 tonne machine.
As well, they created two demo skid steer buckets, with orders committed for spring. The attachment designs are influenced by the company’s existing customers.
“We spent all of last year rebuilding these guys’ skid steer buckets and listening to their complaints,” Cox said. “So, we invited them to the shop, got their feedback and we’ve incorporated that into our skid steer buckets.”
Originally named JT Repair, the company was founded in 2011 as an equipment service company. From there, they expanded into sales and rentals.
Starts with parts
When their customers began requesting parts, some suppliers required as long as eight weeks to fulfill orders. So, they began fabricating their own parts to cut down on delivery time.
From there, they began to manufacture concrete moulds for Wirtgen and Gomaco machines, as well as packing wheels for excavators.
“That was one of the big things that instigated JT getting its own internal welding department. They had a couple customers interested in getting the moulds made,” said Devon Snelgrove, fabrication and welding manager.
Now, JT Equipment has an engineer on staff, two full-time welders and Snelgrove overseeing the operation. The company will also create the new entity JT Fabrication to handle the attachment business.
Cox explained a focus of the attachment business will be to significantly reduce lead times on products.
“We want to be able to complete orders in one to two weeks, not six to eight weeks,” he said.
Another priority will be materials. Snelgrove said they will only use AR400 steel or better in their attachments.
“And we’re keeping them as thick, or thicker, than some current products right now,” Snelgrove said.
Building attachments based on specific needs is another priority. Snelgrove explained they will customize buckets, without significant added costs for the customer.
“With all the different areas of use with excavators, everybody has individual needs,” he said. “Being able to tailor their attachments, without it costing an arm and a leg, is what I think is appealing.”
For example, throughout their experience repairing buckets, JT Equipment were often asked about bolt-on edges for buckets. So, they’ve decided to incorporate bolt-on edges into their own line.
“That was something we wanted to incorporate, which isn’t quite standard on those small buckets,” Snelgrove said. “We’re leaning really heavy on the history of repairs or modifications we’ve done to attachments.”
While orders so far are from Western Canada, Cox would like to see their attachments on jobsites throughout North America. The company has already provided quotes for packing wheels to contractors in the United States.
“We think with these buckets, we have a real quality product to sell,” Cox said.
“That’s the nice thing about building your own product. No one tells you where you can and can’t send them.”