It was the best of times, as two of the most prominent names in the global compaction industry merged their world-renowned branded products under one roof. When this happened in December 1990, Compaction America was born in Kewanee, Ill. In just over a decade, the new company already is a major contender in the North American compaction industry – successfully going head-to-head against other industry giants such as Ingersoll-Rand and Caterpillar.
“What’s unique about our company is that we are both a manufacturer and a distributor of two branded products,” says Steve Wilson, manager of marketing services. “We are also unique in that each product is the competitor to the other.” The distribution source for two distinct branded products, Compaction America offers one common source of aftermarket support.
Compaction America’s principal business segment is focused on supplying asphalt and soil compactors for the construction and road building industries. Other business segments include the rental industry, for which the company supplies light compaction equipment, and the sanitary landfill industry, which utilizes the company’s refuse compactors.
The Best Just Gets Better
The two brands are BOMAG and HYPAC, each with its own distinctive and revered reputation. A German manufacturer of compaction equipment for over 50 years, BOMAG is the technology leader in the development and distribution of compaction products, says Wilson. “Our purpose here is to monitor the needs of our customers and then work with our design group to bring the necessary technology and products to market to serve the requirements of our customers.” BOMAG is the world’s largest manufacturer of compaction equipment. In North America, it ranks about third in the compaction equipment industry.
The Hyster name is well recognized throughout the world as a leading manufacturer of material handling equipment. When Hyster Construction Equipment Division was being divested from the Hyster Company in 1990, United Dominion Industries (a holding company and owner of BOMAG) decided to purchase the Hyster division to complement the BOMAG line of
equipment. The name of the division was changed to HYPAC. In May of 2001, Compaction America became an operating unit of its current parent company, SPX Corporation.
The decision to merge BOMAG and HYPAC created a perfect fit: Today, Compaction America can offer the compaction industry the equipment it needs through its two superior product lines. “BOMAG, for example, did not have any static rollers at the time, whereas HYPAC had a complete range of static rollers with three different models in seven different weight classes,” says Wilson. “On the HYPAC side, we were missing smaller rollers for our asphalt tandem rollers, which BOMAG had. So we can offer our customers a full range of machines for each of our customer bases.”
How do they coordinate all of this activity? Well, they make it look easy, as only the most sure-footed professionals are capable of achieving. Relying on a well-oiled distributor relationship, Compaction America has more than 200 BOMAG distributors and more than 150 HYPAC distributors throughout North America. “Our distributors are very important to us because our customers rely on our distributors, who are local to our end-users, when they need parts or service or any other help in the field,” says Wilson.
“We are one of few manufacturers of this type of product and we focus on the compaction market,” Wilson explains. “Our principal competitors are Ingersoll-Rand and Caterpillar, but they have diverse market segments beyond the compaction market. Compaction America, through BOMAG and HYPAC, focuses only on the compaction and construction market for asphalt and soil compaction.”
Compaction America offers four principal classes of machines under the BOMAG and HYPAC brand names. “Our static rollers are strictly steel-wheel static weight machines for asphalt applications,” Wilson says. Rubber-tired pneumatic machines are also used in asphalt applications. The company’s complete line of tandem rollers (or double-drum rollers), principally used in asphalt projects, also are used for base compaction in soil applications. The product offering is rounded out with a complete line of single-drum vibratory rollers. BOMAG also offers a complete line of light equipment that includes vibratory tampers, single-directional and bi-directional plate compactors, hand-guided rollers, and small ride-on rollers.
With the focus today on the safety and maintenance of the nation’s roads, it is common to see this equipment working just about every day on the roads we travel. Compaction America’s heavy equipment line includes tandem ride-on asphalt compactors with rolling widths ranging from 47 inches up to 84 inches on a machine weighing 26,500 pounds.
As we become more and more focused on conserving our natural resources and eliminating the amount of waste we create as a society, companies like Compaction America are responding to these important issues. BOMAG’s three models of recycler / stabilizers help in this regard. “They dig beneath the existing road surface, pulling up the material and pulverizing it to a particular aggregate size before laying it back down again for re-use so that material is not wasted,” says Wilson. “Recycling offers a strong return on investment, as it eliminates tearing up a pre-existing road and then hauling that material away for disposal, which is a tremendous advantage environmentally.” Wilson says asphalt is the most recycled product and one that, with a small amount of additive, is effectively made into a durable and useful material once again.
Today’s manufacturers of heavy-duty equipment must contend with many more issues than their predecessors — issues such as conserving and preserving natural resources and the environment. In this regard, Compaction America is a major player in the manufacture of refuse compactors used in landfill sites, offering four different models weighing from 71,000 to 120,000 pounds. “These machines compact the material there in order to reclaim as much of the area as possible,” Wilson says.
This area has developed into a science, with technology helping make landfills potential future real estate for social necessities such as parks or commercial and industrial plazas. Each day incoming waste is compacted and at the end of the day a layer of soil is applied.
As time progresses and the landfill fills to its prescribed limit, the landfill supports these strata of layer upon layer of waste and soil. When the landfill reaches its full capacity, it is then ready to be built up.
The company anticipates significant growth potential in its asphalt market, followed closely by the soil compactor segment. “Road construction offers us the strongest promise now because of the legislation supporting repairs of this infrastructure,” says Wilson.
With some of the most innovative products on the market, Compaction America is positioned for significant growth. At the recent CONEXPO-CONAGG show, one of the three largest construction expositions in the world, Compaction America introduced 15 new models, including a new recycler for the North American market, a complete new offering of single-drum rollers, new asphalt rollers, and new models of light equipment.
Employing 155 people in its 222,000-square-foot facility, Compaction America also has a marketing group in the Toronto area for the Canadian market. Its use of cellular manufacturing and JIT manufacturing and delivery make it a lean and efficient company.
Although the company had a slight downturn recently (as did other companies in numerous industries), it is confident of its future growth and success. “We have some of the best-trained territory field people ready to support and serve our customers,” Wilson says. “We are in a strong position to react to changes in the market and we are ready for a rebound as we see indications of increased sales this year. The message we want to convey is that we offer products engineered with the most advanced technology as there exists.”