Providing Premium Heavy Equipment to the Heavy Construction Industry

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ConTrac Equipment Ltd. has the supply and the service

By Deb Draper

The word best used to describe ConTrac Equipment Ltd., a leading provider of equipment in Western Canada, applies to every aspect of the company - premium. Premium heavy construction and premium service that keeps them all in top operating condition. Exceptional quality is at the core of the business, and exceptional employees make it happen. That commitment to excellence, to delivering nothing but the best, has its roots in Alberta's agriculture industry.

"I started out with nothing. I was just a farm kid," said Michael Karczmarczyk, president and owner of ConTrac Equipment. "I spent my early business life in an agricultural dealership and learned the value of superior service and equipment brought to the industry. During that time with AgriTrac, we started a construction division, having realized that our experience in the demanding agricultural equipment business would help us excel in the construction industry."

In 2000, Karczmarczyk sold off AgriTrac. He and his wife founded ConTrac Equipment Ltd. to focus on construction equipment rentals and sales that would deliver nothing short of the best performance for every customer and project, large or small. Operating out of Spruce Grove, Alta., with easy access to Highways 16 and 2, ConTrac Equipment provides sales primarily across Western Canada but also throughout North America from all the mainline manufacturers: Caterpillar, John Deere, Hitachi and Volvo.

Equipment rentals

Today: the company's rental inventory of more than 250 units includes a wide range of dozers, excavators, articulated trucks, wheel loaders and motor graders. ConTrac provides a full line of all sizes of equipment in these categories, including the models and sizes that Alberta heavy equipment contractors most often request. ConTrac also supplies a variety of attachments and parts for their excavators, such as rippers, bush rakes, tampers and twist buckets.

When it comes to construction projects, both small and large scale, ConTrac has extensive experience providing the necessary heavy and specialty pieces, available for rent and rent-to-own or purchase. Involved right from the planning stages, the company is committed to seeing every job through to completion with exceptional customer service.

That commitment to service makes up the firm foundation of ConTrac, a commitment that Karczmarczyk will not compromise on. All rental equipment is meticulously maintained to the highest standards by the company's expert team of service professionals before and after each rental.

Equipment sales

"We have recently started a heavy truck division that supplies the same premium quality of equipment that our customers are used to seeing in our construction equipment," said Karczmarczyk. "For the past two years, we've been buying up quality used equipment from all over North America, from single units to full fleet dispersals, and when a piece of our equipment comes up for sale, it is an absolutely premium reconditioned unit."

Blair Gogowich, regional sales manager for Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers (Canada), says that Ritchie has been doing business with Karczmarczyk even before he established ConTrac Equipment more than 20 years ago.

"Michael is all about building a legacy and stands behind his equipment 100 per cent," said Gogowich. "No one else in our business goes out of their way to make sure things are cleaned up properly, going through and changing components, upgrading the undercarriage, whatever is needed to give each piece of equipment a new life. Ritchie Bros. expects that when a piece of ConTrac equipment comes to an auction, it's ready to go to work tomorrow. This adds tremendous value for someone buying used equipment."

Gogowich adds that ConTrac Equipment was primarily involved in heavy construction equipment but now has added the truck side of the business, geared more towards the transportation industry. "They started this in the midst of [COVID-19] when no one else was in that market and are doing a good job of developing this niche while still putting on the Contrac finishing touches," he said.

Service at its Best

Phone lines are open 24/7, and if a customer experiences any equipment problems, an operator will dispatch a certified mechanic to the location along with the appropriate tools needed to deal with the situation. It is extremely unlikely, but should a major breakdown happen while a piece of equipment is on rent, the solution is a swift machine swap, resulting in little to no downtime for the client.

Although supply chain issues in recent years have made it difficult - and sometimes impossible - to get necessary parts for equipment repairs. ConTrac Equipment hasn’t experienced many problems.

“Our vendors and suppliers have been very supportive,” said Karczmarcyk. “And we inventory a lot of items ourselves in an effort to insulate ourselves from market shortages.”

Financing options are another service that ConTrac Equipment offers its clients, working with finance partners who can customize a loan or lease options to fit every need.

“We’ll do rent, rent-to-own and purchase financing,” said Karczmarcyk. “To set ourselves apart as a leading independent supplier. ConTrac will partner with our customers on large projects. We work with them on providing the necessary equipment, purchasing packages of up to 60 or 70 pieces of equipment to fulfill their contract needs.”

“We maintain a strict adherence to quality and customer satisfaction,” said Karczmarcyk. “That is why we’ve grown to where we are today. We have three long-term, key members of the team who run the day-to-day operations of the whole company: our CFO, sales manager and service manager. They all have a background in business and have become our family. Overall, we have low employee turnover because we look after them, empower them and make sure they’re the highest paid in the industry.”

“We inventory a lot of items ourselves in an effort to insulate ourselves from marketing shortages.” – Michael Karczmarczyk, ConTrac Equipment Ltd.

As part of its responsibility to its employees and the industry, Karczmarcyk says that ConTrac has been a member of the ARHCA for many years and recognizes the importance of such associations for growth and networking opportunities.

It all began with a handful of heavy construction equipment and the determination and drive to do business with integrity and excellent service. That’s what has earned ConTrac Equipment its reputation for delivering the best equipment rental and sales experience in the industry. And that’s what will continue to take the company into further success as a top provider of equipment to the heavy construction industry.