Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Dave Beiler from Equipter. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast.
Intro/Outro: Welcome to Roofing Road Trips with Heidi. Explore the roofing industry through the eyes of a long-term professional within the trade. Listen for insights, interviews, and exciting news in the roofing industry today.
Heidi Ellsworth: Hello and welcome to another Roofing Road Trips from Roofers Coffee Shop. This is Heidi Ellsworth and one of our favorite things to talk about on the coffee shop is equipment. We love tools and equipment, and so we invited our friend, Dave Beiler from Equipter to come talk to us about Equipter, but even more so how you can test drive through rentals and find out how great this equipment is for whatever you may need on the job site. So Dave, welcome to the show.
Dave Beiler: Thank you, Heidi. It is great to be here. Thanks for putting this on and for the invitation.
Heidi Ellsworth: We love it. We love having you on Roofers Coffee Shop and who doesn't love equipment? I mean, everybody loves it.
Dave Beiler: Oh, I know, right.
Heidi Ellsworth: It's easy. Everybody wants to run it and you have some of the coolest equipment out there.
Dave Beiler: Well, thank you.
Heidi Ellsworth: Why don't you start with introduction and tell us a little bit about the company of Equipter?
Dave Beiler: Yeah, well thank you again. My name is Dave and I'm the Vice President here of Sales and Marketing at Equipter. We are a family run business. My dad, Aaron actually started the company almost 20 years ago, so who-
Heidi Ellsworth: Love him.
Dave Beiler: I know.
Heidi Ellsworth: We've put him on here before.
Dave Beiler: So it's been a wonderful journey. Yeah, so we've been selling the Equipters since 2004 and they're nationwide, Canada and yeah, it's been a great journey.
Heidi Ellsworth: Well, tell us a little bit about the Equipter just for those few people out there who haven't seen it. Give us just like the elevator speech.
Dave Beiler: Exactly. Yeah, so the Equipter, I'll put it this way, our flagship model, the 4,000 model is the one that again, my dad designed 20 years ago for his roofing business, and so that's the self-propelled towable, liftable unit that primarily makes catching the debris management a lot more efficient and safer. And so that's, like I said, dad had a roofing business and he designed the 4,000 model specifically for that purpose in roofing construction and debris management. Then we have some other models like the 2000, the 2,500 that are similar in nature where they drive, lift up, just different capabilities that we have. Yeah.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, I mean the thing about Equipter too is what it does for the surrounding environment too. I mean when you can lift up and get all the tear off into the Equipter and then dispose of it, you don't have anything for the most, part hitting the ground or wrecking the vegetation or being of a safety issue.
Dave Beiler: Yeah, exactly. That's the whole point of why we designed what we did was something compact, lightweight that can drive around. It's got wide tires to help distribute the weight if you're driving it on the lawns and the idea is to get your container to the work area that your guys are working and contain that debris, get it right into the container instead of on a tarp or on the ground to where you're having to have multiple guys clean up the debris. When you're looking at an average size, let's say roofing, a house roof has anywhere from seven to 10,000 pounds of debris. Well, if you could have one piece of equipment and one guy with controls of his hands taking that debris, you're saving yourself a lot of time. And also right with that is then, instead of having a mess in the lawn and on the property, as neighbors are driving by, they see a clean job site, they see good equipment, they see innovation that your company is serious about the process.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. It makes some sense. And then now this may be a naive question, but I'm pretty sure that contractors are also using the Equipter to stage once they start re-roofing to get materials up to the roof.
Dave Beiler: Absolutely. With it being able to hold 4,000 pounds on the job site, obviously taking debris down is a benefit, but also taking material up is an added benefit. So yes, you can throw your materials in there and lift it up to the roof edge and yeah, deliver materials like that.
Heidi Ellsworth: It just seems when you think about how many times people are going up and down ladders, the safety, the health-
Dave Beiler: Yeah, absolutely.
Heidi Ellsworth: Carrying heavy materials, it makes sense. You can use it throughout the whole job to keep everything looking great and everyone safe on the job. Now you mentioned the 2000 and the 2,500. Are there other pieces, equipment that you want to talk about?
Dave Beiler: So we have 2000, 2,500, those are smaller models, more economic. You're not able to tow them like a trailer. Then we have the 3,300 model, which is simply just a dump trailer that's self-propelled so it doesn't lift up. So that's using other industries where the lifting and the rollback is not as needed. We have graveyard management companies that buy that landscapers. And then along with that we also have the 5,400, which is a crane model, so a mobile self-propelled crane that you can tow behind your truck.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, wow. You guys have expanded, think about that, since 2004.
Dave Beiler: Yeah. No, it is been good. One of our core values is innovation and so we love to continue to innovate and I'll say that's dad all the way. He's always thinking of better things to come up with and it's at the core of who we are is to continue to innovate.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, I mean, and what you're doing helps the trades, whether it's landscaping, cemeteries. I was like, wow, that's a great use on the construction sites overall. It's really helping people, workers be safer and need less labor, which labor is such a huge issue right now. Technology innovation and equipment like this is going to make a big difference.
Dave Beiler: Absolutely. The feedback we've been getting over the years is guys are saying that it does the work of about two guys, and so the idea of having those two ground laborers now be able to assist in installing the roof and the details of why you came is to give this person a new roof instead of picking debris up off of the ground. So yeah, I would say we've seen that's one of the huge points that contractors are coming back with us is they can have less guys on a crew or they can have more crews with the guys that they have and get that much more work done every week. And I've heard this often over the years, is that at the end of the week, the guys that they do have aren't as wore out. Like you mentioned, they're not going up and down the ladder near as much and they're saving their backs. And so there's multiple things that you can find with having the right equipment and it's for any industry really, having the right equipment is just smart investment wise and it makes business sense.
Heidi Ellsworth: It does. It makes total sense. And you already started sharing some of the feedback you're getting from roofing contractors. I would love to hear a little bit more just on across the board, what's the feedback that you get, not just from anybody, but of course this is Roofing Road Trips, so we'd love to hear a little bit about what the roofers are saying out there. What are they saying about Equipter and how it's helped their business?
Dave Beiler: Yeah, absolutely. And the reality, just like any innovations, sometimes there's some hesitancy and well, we are doing fine with our old way of doing stuff, but we have seen that once contractors use it, once they implement it into their system, everyone says, hey, they're never going to go back to the old way of doing it. It really changes the game on the job site. When I say on the job site, a couple of things that we hear is that for one, it's more efficient and we've already talked about that. Again, you're able to get your container to different points of the roof of the job site so that you guys aren't having to carry it, wheelbarrow it, tarp it, all of those things. And so it's way more efficient. We've heard too that it's a lot safer. Again, especially when you can have a container closer to the roof edge, it is just a lot safer for your guys, also for the homeowner where you're containing the debris into the container rather than having it all on the ground again.
Again, the other thing that, and I've heard this time and time again, with it being a cleaner job site, you're able to get more referrals and the homeowner loves the process more 'cause they see you're innovative, they see you're clean, you're efficient. That always will turn into referrals if they have a great experience with your company from beginning to end. And I think what we have seen is that over the years, there's too many contractors focus on two things. One is selling the job and then collecting the money, but what about the in between of the process of getting that roof done? And I really think that's where equipment shines is in the actual work part of this is, and the reality is that in your selling, you can sell a better process. "Hey, we have the right equipment to protect your landscape, to protect your tulips."
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, exactly.
Dave Beiler: When you do all of that, well, it makes collecting the money that much easier
Heidi Ellsworth: And getting the referrals.
Dave Beiler: And getting the referral. Exactly. [inaudible 00:10:57]-
Heidi Ellsworth: Which is word of mouth is one of the biggest ways. Referrals is what keeps contractors going. I mean, I know we have lots of ways of generating leads, but that is such an important part of it.
Dave Beiler: Yeah, absolutely. And those are the easier leads to sell or [inaudible 00:11:14] to. We all know that. The other thing that we've heard too is in the industry where there's a lot more subcontract crews and that idea, and we've heard guys where the GCs, they've found innovative ways of getting into the hands of their crews because of the importance of seeing this job site, this customer have a great experience from A to Z, from the beginning to the end of the roofing process. So we've had some innovative ideas where guys are providing it to their subcontractors and maybe at a small fee or just different ways to help get it into the hands of your crew that again, at the end of the day will help them get more done so that crew can finish more jobs in a week plus it will elevate your image to the community.
Heidi Ellsworth: Exactly. And it's really interesting you say crews too, because I was just thinking about that, that the dynamic in the industry is changing, but to woo, woo is maybe not the right word, but to build that relationship with crews who want to work with your company, having the right equipment for them, differentiating yourself from other contractors so those crews really want to be there with respect and safety and equipment, Equipter can be a great incentive for them.
Dave Beiler: Yes, absolutely, Heidi. Those are all things that we've heard over the years of it can attract the right crews, it can attract the good crews, and that they stay with you longer, they're more loyal. It's definitely, yeah, we've heard all that.
Heidi Ellsworth: That's awesome. That's awesome. Okay, so like you said earlier, and I love how you said it, once contractors try it, they are really like, "This is awesome. This is so cool." So with that in mind, I know you started a rental program, which I just think is brilliant. Can you tell us about that?
Dave Beiler: Yeah, so how that works, we have rental companies across the US that provide the option of renting, and we've just seen a couple of things. One is that initial investment the guys want to get their hands on it, use it, try it. The other thing is the contractor that might not use it on every single job, or he may have a job once or twice a month, that it would come in handy. And so we found that the rentals is actually a very fitting way to be able to access it. So we have a network of rental companies all over the US that can offer that service.
Heidi Ellsworth: That's awesome. So when contractors are looking at this and they're thinking about renting it, first of all, you said it's all over the US, so where do they find how to get those rentals? And then what are some of the advantages of doing a rental first?
Dave Beiler: Yeah, so where to find that is you go on our website, equipter.com and there's a find a rental page right there-
Heidi Ellsworth: Perfect.
Dave Beiler: And you have access to punch in your zip code and find the nearest or give us a call. We are constantly referring our leads, our customers to rental companies all over the US. And so there's multiple ways of finding the one that's closest to you. And yeah, I guess what we're finding is obviously for one, there's less initial upfront cost. If you're looking at a week's rent, you're anywhere from seven, $800 a week. So you obviously have a lot less initial upfront costs when you're looking at renting.
Other benefits is you don't have to store it. There's no storage if you can pick it up from the rental yard and take it directly to your job site. So I feel it gives contractors the ability to try it out for several weeks, see what it does. And that's one thing that I've seen if maybe a contractor's been talking to his crew about it, and we've seen that a crew, it takes 2, 3, 4 weeks for them to get used to implementing it in their system. And so I guess I always say just give them some time to understand the real benefits of it more than just one day that, well, it didn't work for us that day, but actually give them some time to implement it. Just like any innovation, it takes time to change, adapt to understand how this actually is going to benefit us. And we found that, again, like I said, guys that use it and implement it, well try it out for a number of weeks, they're always like, "Well, we never want to go back to the old way."
Heidi Ellsworth: Right. Well, and I would think too, I mean if contractors who do not have an Equipter and just aren't sure about it, I think that makes so much sense, especially if you have some really tough jobs coming up, some steep slopes, try it out with your crew because then like you said, it takes a while for them to adopt it, but they're probably going to adopt it a lot faster on a really hard roof too.
Dave Beiler: Absolutely. And I've seen this time and time again, contractors, "Oh, I am waiting for the right job." Where actually implementing it, trying it out on different job sites is actually very useful because it's amazing how you find ways to use innovation if you're open to think outside the box. And we've seen that. We've seen even contractors that aren't primarily in roofing, but in the remodeling world that they say, "Well, there's so many ways to use it", in remodeling a second story bathroom, all of these things [inaudible 00:17:44]-
Heidi Ellsworth: Right, yeah.
Dave Beiler: So much time. So yeah, we have found that if you're willing to think outside the box of how to use the equipment, there's so many ways that it can benefit you.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, yeah, it makes total sense. So we talked a little bit about the referrals in the neighborhood, but let's talk about how contractors can actually market this innovation to homeowners so upfront and you, Equipter, you guys are just the best when it comes to marketing and the brand and all of that. Talk a little bit about how contractors should be using this technology to differentiate their company just even in the sales process.
Dave Beiler: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, when you look at primarily roofing, it is messy in a way. I mean, there's a lot of debris. It's messy. I'm not sure that every homeowner realizes that until their roof is being done and they're like, "Oh my goodness, I didn't know that was going to happen." And I think it's good for us as contractors to be ahead of the game and say, "Hey, homeowner, there's about 10,000 pounds of debris on your roof that we'll have to take off. Chuck-in-the-truck may have not told you about this, but I want to make you aware there's a lot of debris that needs to come off before we install your new roof and make it look great. Well, we have the right equipment to do that safely, efficiently, and protect your landscape."
And so, again, you're adding a value to this homeowner that they may have not gotten somewhere else again from Chuck-in-the-truck and they're all of a sudden realizing, "Oh, I didn't think about that." And again, tarp in the yard in a sense I think that a lot of people are used to that, but I think we can do better and elevate the game to where, "Hey, this debris doesn't have to land in the front lawn." And we can-
Heidi Ellsworth: Right. Yeah. It's dusty, dirty, and messy.
Dave Beiler: Yeah, exactly. And when a homeowner sees that and they're given that information upfront, I think you're adding value to your bid for that homeowner. And then they see the effect of that. And again, it's a shiny piece of equipment and customers are saying that homeowners are out taking pictures and [inaudible 00:20:25] driving by, it turns heads. And so it's one of those things to really set you apart from the beginning to the end.
Heidi Ellsworth: When you really look at it too, I mean, I've seen your videos, you have great videos, for in-home sales presentations, just showing a video of how the Equipter works, I think in itself is very influential to that homeowner, but also putting that in your marketing ahead of time, having it on your website, talking about it, those kinds of things we talk about every day that technology from a software standpoint is such a differentiator for contractors, equipment is the same thing.
Dave Beiler: Absolutely.
Heidi Ellsworth: It shows professionalism that they can do this.
Dave Beiler: Exactly. That's how I see it. It's putting the right technology in the hands of your crews to do their job safely, efficiently, and in a way that that homeowners love. And one of the questions we get asked is, "Well, will homeowners, will they want you to actually drive that on their lawn?" So that's a valid question and how I always answer that is actually from the design of the Equipter 4000 especially is lightweight, empty it's just under 4,000 pounds. You compare that to a telehandler or any other type of equipment, telehandler could be anywhere 20, 25,000 pounds. So as far as the weight comparison is actually very minimal impact with the wide tires. There's a lot of those features that we implemented from the beginning for that purpose of good flotation-
Heidi Ellsworth: To save the lawn.
Dave Beiler: Yeah, save the lawn. Good flotation. It's just right at six foot wide. And so most times if there's a double gate, you can get into privacy fence if it's double gated. So just access, minimal imprint that again, that homeowners appreciate if you're able to inform them of the process.
Heidi Ellsworth: And this isn't just for homeowners, this is also for building owners, right? Commercial, you're seeing contractors, I mean, apartment buildings, all of those different things. This is perfect.
Dave Beiler: And you're talking even bigger jobs like that, it's less invasive really. Let's say you're doing an apartment complex, if you can keep that dumpster out on the street, out of the way and your Equipter drives in, maybe you're in front of the garage for an hour to tear that debris off, but you're able to move it right out, dump it into your dumpster. And so it's a lot less invasive in these projects because of mobility.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, that's great. That's great. Okay, so here's the thing. So contractors are renting them and they're finding out that they love them and they're already seeing the effects for their crews and their business and everything. When is the right time for them to then take that step to purchase, to really look at purchasing an equipped?
Dave Beiler: Right. That's a great question. And it really comes down to the numbers. If you look at, again, a weekly rate, again, anywhere, seven, $800 on a weekly rate for rental, you could compare that then to a finance number where you're anywhere from $750 a month. And so it's about the numbers and how many times they'll use it. And I guess that's how I look at it like, okay, instead of investing $1,500 into rentals this past month, that could have gone towards a finance payment for two months. So there's ways to consider that. And obviously when you own it, you have full axes to it 24/7. And I've had guys say that when they're not per se using it on a day or so, they'll set it up at their offices just as a billboard, or I've had guys say in the afternoon when the guys are finishing up or installing the new roof, they'll set up in the front lawn for those that are driving by just again, just from that billboard mentality. And so by owning it, obviously there's more benefits that you can get from it like that.
Heidi Ellsworth: From the whole thing. I love it. And we already went over, but I just want to revisit it one more time. They just go to equipter.com?
Dave Beiler: Yeah. Equipter.com, and then you can find a rental. There's information there. Of course, you can contact us. We'd love to have a conversation of what that looks like. If renting makes sense for someone or just an outright purchase or financing makes sense, we'd love to have a conversation.
Heidi Ellsworth: Love the consultation. That is always so important. Figure out what's best for your business with the experts.
Dave Beiler: Absolutely.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. Well, you can also find all this information on Roofers Coffee Shop on the Equipter directory, so you can find out where the rentals are, how to get to the website to find the rentals, promotions. You guys have nice promotions that come and go. In fact, I think there's, well, there's been some. Just keep looking for them because it's different months, different promotions, right?
Dave Beiler: Absolutely. Yep.
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. So thank you so much, Dave. I so appreciate having you here today. Love... Long-term, Roofers Coffee Shop and Equipter have worked together, I think a very, very long time, starting with Aaron and Vicky-
Dave Beiler: That was way back, doesn't it?
Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, way back. So we love you guys. Say hi to Aaron for us and thank you so much for being here today.
Dave Beiler: Well, thank you, Heidi. We love what you guys are doing as well, and that's really what we want to be about, is just advancing the industry, making it better, making it better for others. And I think that happens in community. I think that happens in innovation and when we do everything that we do is with excellence. And so, yeah, I love it. Love what you guys do and yeah, the long-term relationship we've had. So thank you so much.
Heidi Ellsworth: Thank you. I love it. And thank all of you for listening. Check out those rentals. What a great way to find out if it's a good fit for your business or call in, email, get ahold of Equipter, and talk to them about that consultation on what really can help grow your business. Be sure to check out all of our podcasts under the RLW navigation, under Roofing Road Trips, and on your favorite podcast channel. Be sure to subscribe and get those notifications so you don't miss a single episode. And we'll be seeing you next time on Roofing Road Trips.
Intro/Outro: Make sure to subscribe to our channel and leave a review. Thanks for listening. This has been Roofing Road Trips with Heidi from the rooferscoffeeshop.com.
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