After 60 years in business, Shawmut Equipment continues to carry its founder’s name.
Shawmut represents the Manitowoc Crane Group’s range of construction cranes. It’s three locations, in Saint John, N.B., Manchester, Conn. and South Easton, Mass., offer equipment sales, rentals, parts and service.
The company was created in 1957 by George O’Connell. His son, David, joined the family business in the 1960s, becoming president in 1978. Today, David’s sons Brian and Kevin act as vice-presidents and sales representatives for the company. As well, his nephew Joe Vergoni serves as Shawmut’s Canadian president.
“I am extremely fortunate to have my two boys, Brian and Kevin, and my nephew, Joe Vergoni, deeply involved in this family business,” David said. “They are learning the same business values from me that I learned from their grandfather.”
Shawmut’s customer base has similar traits as its personnel.
“We have repeat customers who have done business with us for generations, as well as new customers who are doing business with us for the first time,” David said. “Our business philosophy is to do the right thing for the customer in each and every aspect of the business. This is the only way to succeed.”
Under the Manitowoc range, Shawmut carries Manitowoc crawler cranes, Grove rough terrain cranes, Grove GMK all terrain cranes, Grove hydraulic crawler cranes, Grove Yard Boss industrial cranes, National boom trucks and Potain self-erecting cranes, as well as a variety of utility equipment.
In 1963, the company became one of Grove’s first distributors, serving Connecticut and Western Massachusetts out of its Manchester office. In 1995, Shawmut was made the exclusive dealer for the Manitowoc Company’s crawler crane line for all of New England. By the late 1990s, a new facility was needed to meet demand. So Shawmut opened another full-service facility in Massachusetts, speeding up response time for service and parts in the expanded territory.
As a result, the company continued to expand in 2008 when they were awarded the territory of the Atlantic provinces of Canada. Shawmut Equipment of Canada was created and opened the doors of their facility in Saint John.
New Canadian location
Demand for sales and service in Canada continues to steadily grow, allowing Shawmut to break ground on its second location in Canada. A new facility is in the process of being built in Elmsdale, N.S. This location will serve as the headquarters for the Maritime provinces of Canada and will increase access to a larger geographic area and more remote jobsite locations.
“The United States economy slowed in 2008 and 2009 while we were growing our business in Canada where the economy was still strong,” Vergoni said. “Our new territory is due east of our traditional territory of New England. Culturally New England and Atlantic Canada are very similar which made the transition very smooth.”
Shawmut has not only grown in territory throughout the past 60 years, but also has expanded the range of products offered and industries served. The company recognized an opportunity to provide equipment to utility contractors across the United States and Canada. Finally, in 2014, Shawmut started offering utility equipment sales and rentals, as well as the support required for these machines.
Today, Shawmut supplies the utility industry and utility contractors with Terex Hi-Ranger tracked material handling buckets, Terex general digger derricks, Tracked National cranes and Morooka rubber track carriers.
“This transition was very organic for Shawmut. We had already been providing utility contractors with cranes, so when they started to ask us to provide additional utility equipment, we felt it was a great opportunity for our company,” Vergoni said. “At the time of our utility equipment expansion, major utility projects such as the Maine Power Reliability Program, New England East West Solution and Maritime Link were underway with the Northern Pass on the horizon.”
Shawmut Equipment maintains a fleet of service trucks equipped with the latest repair and diagnostic tools. These trucks provide 24-hour on-site service for both repairs and routine maintenance. Furthermore, Shawmut has an expansive parts departments at all three of their facilities. Inventory is closely managed and most parts are stocked to reduce any unplanned machine downtime.
Service support is available, either on the road or at any of the three facilities. As well, Shawmut believes in constant factory training for its service technicians. The training provides the expertise needed to work on the specific products represented.
Shawmut has many Factory Certified Technicians that have the highest level of education on particular product lines, giving them the ability to fix customer’s machines effectively and on-budget.