March 2015

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>> GOOD COMPANY JOANNE COSTIN T oday, an increasing number of attachments require additional hydraulics, or "plumbing," as many dealers call it. When a customer walks into a dealership and wants to buy a machine with that additional plumbing, they have a couple of options. Depending on the requirements for the attachment and host machine, the dealer can turn to their OEM or seek out an aermarket alternative. HKX has built a business around making it very easy for dealers to choose their hydraulic kits for excavators, selling more than 30,000 kits to date. Robert Burnett, sales manager at HKX, offers this analogy: "If excavator kits were ice cream, OEM manufac- turers might be offering chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. HKX offers 31 flavors." He believes manufacturers really aren't in the customization busi- ness. "At the end of the day, we can help manufacturers sell more iron." e proliferation of hydraulic attachments in the market has expanded the use of excavators to where they are far more than digging machines. Hydraulic breakers, sheers, hydraulic thumbs, mowers, and screening buckets are just part of an ever growing list of attachments that require additional "plumbing." According to Burnett, with so many manufacturers and models, spec'ing the right components or kit is no easy task. HKX takes that off the dealer's plate by calling customers to verify the application, carrier machine and types of tools that will be operated. eir kits simplify installation. Aer more than 20 years in the business, HKX has built an extensive database of machine and attachment informa- tion, which enables them to respond quickly to support issues. HKX was born out of attachment manufacturer MAN-ACS, which built hydraulic thumbs for backhoes and excavators in the '90s. When the owner ran into some issues find- ing machines with the plumbing to support the attachments, he developed his own solution out of need. In 1995, HKX was incorporated and the company got out of the attach- ments market to focus on hydrau- lic excavator kits exclusively. e Seattle-based company has grown from five to 50 employees since that time. "We like the versatility with the HKX kit," said Paul Walters, a sales representative for Roland Machinery, a Komatsu dealer head- quartered in Springfield, Ill. "ey get the model and make sure everything fits precisely." Time-Saving Installation HKX has the installation down to a science, reducing the time dealer technicians spend on installation. According to Burnett, HKX was the first in the industry to design bolt-on kits, and the only one to preassemble the kits. "Instead of sending a box of parts, we take major portions of the kit and pre-assemble them," said Burnett. "e clamps are already on it. e arm assembly can be taken out of the box and mounted. e installer does final torqueing, typically completing the installation of a standard kit anywhere from six to 50 hours," he added. With a shortage of technicians and technician time costing dealers from $100 to $130 an hour, HKX can make good financial sense for a dealer. "Time is so valuable and expensive," said Burnett. "e value we add is the time we save the distributor." is includes time from when an order is More 'Plumbing' On Demand HKX's pre-assembled hydraulic excavator kits and quick delivery make things easy for dealers. 44 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | March 2015 "'The value we add is the time we save the distributor'....from when an order is placed and the dealer begins sourcing components, all the way to the install" Robert Burnett HXK BENEFITS n Pre-assembled components for faster installation n Bolt-on designs for solid structure n Plug-in electrical components ensure proper connectivity n Pre-formed, powder-coated tubes means no paint required and fit is guaranteed n e smartest packaging in the business for faster shipping and easy install n Most standard kits ship within two to four days n Turn-key installation locations across the U.S. and Canada with flat-rate install pricing

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