Banking on snowfall
Sep 1, 2008 12:00 PM
Temperatures frequently plunge to -40° F. Snowstorms of 20 inches or more are not uncommon. Add it all up, and it can make a very beautiful day in the Adirondacks for those who sell snow and ice control equipment.
Not surprisingly, Arrowhead Equipment cashes in on the blustery winter weather in upstate New York. The company is one of the top Fisher snowplow distributors in the country, and most of its sales come from products designed to combat snow and ice.
It's that time of year again.
We are geared to snow and ice, says William Ehlert, president. Here it is July, and we have been selling snowplows every day since April.
The company operates two facilities, both in New York. The Queensbury shop, located just outside the southeast boundary of Adirondack Park, is the original location. A second store, some 60 miles to the south in Albany, opened in 2000.
We are having our best year ever for both stores, Ehlert says. So far, so good including a record month in June.
The two locations enable the company to serve two completely different markets. Queensbury caters to small municipalities, not surprising given its proximity to Adirondack Park. The six-million-acre park is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States larger than Yellowstone National Park, the Everglades, Glacier National Park, and the Grand Canyon combined.
The region does not have a lot of truck dealers, so the company markets its products directly.
We do a lot of plow trucks for towns and counties, Ehlert says. We are booked out to the end of the year trying to take care of our ice control business in addition to our regular truck equipment work.
By contrast, the Albany location is much more highly populated, and truck dealers play a key role in getting truck equipment from Arrowhead to the end user.
Arrowhead considers itself a specialist in snow and ice control equipment. The company delivers the ordinary as well as the unusual.
Some of the more novel projects come from the military. Arrowhead has been selling to the military for about a decade. Snowplow trucks that Arrowhead has produced see service in Army installations in the United States as well as internationally including keeping roads clear in Afghanistan.
Arrowhead is a sole-source supplier of a special snowplow that is installed on the military's LMTV and HMMWV (Humvee) light- and medium-duty trucks.
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