Headquartered here in Sacramento, CA, Western Power & Equipment Corp. has recently taken on the Champion line of Compact Graders to complement its Case construction equipment and various paving products.
Charlotte, NC - Western Power & Equipment Corp., a leading distributor of construction equipment on the Pacific coast, will now represent Champion Motor Graders throughout the region. Bryan Abernathy, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Champion, announced that Champion Compact Graders will be offered throughout the Western Power service network, including locations in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. For Western Power, the announcement means the return of a popular product line to the company’s sales and rental fleets.
According to Dean McLain, CEO and President of Western Power, Champion is receiving an enthusiastic welcome from the store managers who have past experience with the family of Compact Graders. “We sold Champion Compact Graders before. It was a very successful line, well accepted by customers and well supported by the company. The product was unavailable to us for the past few years and our managers could see that they were missing out on some business opportunities because of it. Now Champion is back in the hands of the Abernathy family, and we’re glad to have Champion back in our fleets!”
One of those Managers, Chuck Blanton, operates two Western Power locations in Washington. He was a strong supporter of the proposal to take on the Champion line.
“I spoke to the Abernathys at ConExpo a year ago and told them – if there’s ever an opening, let us know! So I was very pleased when we were approached by Larry Frasier, Champion’s Regional Sales Manager in our area.”
Both of Blanton’s stores are very active in the construction and paving business as well as servicing municipal fleets. “These graders really round out our ability to fully serve the equipment needs of paving contractors. They complement our Bomag and ProPaver lines, they are the right size to work around today’s smaller, more crowded housing lots, and they are a “real” grader.”
Blanton explains that experienced grader operators especially like the feel and performance of a Champion Compact Grader. “It works and operates like a big grader in every way. It has a true All Wheel Drive and it comes with the same equipment and attachments. However, it’s in a smaller package, so it can go places where other graders can’t.”
The Washington stores will be stocking Champion Graders for sale and in its rental fleet. “It’s a great grader for rental use, because it can do any grader job and get it done quickly. Operators that are used to big graders can step right in and begin operating efficiently right way. Besides that, it’s also economical to operate and less expensive to rent.”
His assessment is echoed by Gary Frank, General Manager of the Western Power locations in Portland and Salem. “Our asphalt customers have been asking us about getting them a compact grader. Then we saw some opportunities coming up in municipal works. We started talking it up with our regional VPs and the other store managers a few months ago, which brought us here today.”
The First One Is Already Delivered
“Today” was the day Western Power delivered its first new Champion Grader to the City of Salem, Oregon. The C86 Grader will go into general road service for the city, maintaining streets and alleys. “We find that most municipal fleets choose to go with either large graders or with compact graders, not both. By offering Champion, we are able to respond to our customer’s need. The Champion Compact Graders are a good choice because they can do most anything a large grader can do. They can dress shoulders without blocking traffic. On busy highways, that’s a real advantage. Then, there’s a substantial cost saving, too. This gives the Public Works people more flexibility in their budgets.”
Rick Meyers, the Manager of Western Power stores in Sparks, NV as well as Redding, CA, says the Champion Graders will "fill a hole" that his stores have been unable to fill for some time. "We're real excited to have the line back again," he says. "We used to have a good demand for here, but there's no small graders at all around right now." Meyers says he is spreading the word now and planning a stock order to add Champion Graders to his rental fleet. He expects a good response from the medium-sized contractors who set up pads for housing and clear snow for new subdivisions in the area. He recalls that mining companies have also run small graders in the past, for applications where equipment size is limited overhead.
At Western Power's Sacramento and Stockton, CA locations, the small grader line is new to Manager Joe Davis, but Davis is already enjoying success with Champion. "We had our first one sold on the day we officially started as a Champion dealer," he reports. "The order went to a smaller contractor up in the foothills area, where you get large acreages with small private roads." Davis also sees a good fit for Champion with local government fleets. "When I was working in the rental business, a lot of municipal buyers were looking for small graders, for rental and for purchase." Davis says that his entire team is ready to take Champion to the streets as the sale reps all have customers in the asphalt and paving business. He will have his first chance to handle a Champion when Bryan Abernathy delivers the sold unit to Davis' store, and takes the opportunity to demo the new grader for the staff.
Western Power believes that the company's experience with Champion will ensure continued success for the line. “It’s a proven product and a proven name,” says Chuck Blanton. “We always had good response from customers and, as a dealer, we know that the warranty issues with Champion are rare. This equipment is very reliable.”
“We can really hit the ground running with Champion,” says Frank. “Usually there’s a fairly lengthy training period with a new product. But our parts people and field service people know Champion very well already. I was glad to see how Champion has gone back to its roots. The service is very personal. When I call, I talk to the owner of the company! We get to deal with the decision-makers – and the Abernathys are good people to deal with.”
According to Bryan Abernathy, the feeling is mutual. “The people at Western Power appreciate the fact that Champion builds a compact motor grader that ‘thinks big’ and they did a great job representing us in the past.”
Western Power & Equipment Corp., founded in 1992, has emerged as one of the largest distributor of Case equipment in the United States, operating 11 locations in the western states and Alaska. Western Power sells and services a wide range of specialized lines of construction, agricultural and industrial equipment, and also maintains inventories of short and long term rental equipment in most locations.
Champion Motor Graders, one of the newest companies in the construction equipment industry, can look back on a long and successful history. Their head office and manufacturing facility is located in Charlotte, NC. At this plant, they manufacture five basic models of single axle, tandem and All Wheel Drive Motor Graders with operating weights ranging from 12,000 to 15,500 lbs. and have done so for over 25 years.
For more information on Champion Motor Graders, contact:
Bryan Abernathy, Executive Vice President
Champion Motor Graders
8844 Mount Holly Road
Charlotte, North Carolina 28214