Equipment Depot Acquires Southline Equipment

Jan. 1, 2006
WACO, Texas Equipment Depot last month announced it acquired all three locations of Southline Equipment Co., a privately held forklift dealership, from

WACO, Texas — Equipment Depot last month announced it acquired all three locations of Southline Equipment Co., a privately held forklift dealership, from the Houston-based Biehl Co.

With the acquisition of Southline's Houston, Beaumont and Freeport, Texas, locations, Waco, Texas-based Equipment Depot now has 560 employees, including 270 service technicians, in 12 full-service facilities and four limited-service depots strategically located along the Interstate 35 corridor, the Rio Grande Valley and the Gulf Coast. With sales and service coverage in 156 counties and annual revenues topping $150 million, Equipment Depot is now one of the largest materials handling companies in Texas.

Equipment Depot is also a major rental player, ranked No. 44 on the RER 100 based on 2004 rental revenues of about $28 million. Don Moes, Equipment Depot's founder and president, said Equipment Depot already does rental business with regional construction companies based in Houston and that adding more equipment at the Southline locations will help weather fluctuations in the local material handling market as well as allow Equipment Depot to deploy equipment closer to its customers in Houston and the Gulf Coast.

“This acquisition extends our reach into the Houston market, one of the top forklift markets in the United States,” said Moes. “With these three new full-service sales and rental locations, we now have the regional reach we need to service and support our large customers that have operations throughout Texas.”

Southline has operated as a Clark lift truck dealer in Houston since 1962, and has been a dealer for Linde, Daewoo and Princeton forklifts for more than 10 years. In 2002, the company became one of the first Combilift dealers in the United States. It serves 25 counties along the Gulf Coast of Texas and two parishes in southwestern Louisiana.

“Equipment Depot will now have more than 12,000 forklifts under routine service contracts and more than 1,100 forklifts in our short-term rental fleets,” added Moes. “Adding three additional facilities in the Houston area allows us to expand our construction equipment rental operations into that fast-growing market as well.”

The Southline purchase is Equipment Depot's fourth major acquisition since 2002. It previously acquired Clarklift of Fort Worth, Powr-Lift of Dallas and Sherman, Texas, and three southern Texas branches from Houston-based Mustang Equipment. Moes said the company expects to announce additional acquisitions in the coming months.

Equipment Depot currently operates in Texas, southwestern Louisiana and southern Oklahoma, and provides forklift services in northeastern Mexico along its border with Texas.

In addition to being a dealer in selected markets for Barret, Caterpillar, Clark, Combi-Lift, Daewoo, Drexel, Linde, Mitsubishi, Nissan and Princeton forklifts, Equipment Depot sells, services and rents SkyTrak, Genie, Terex and JLG aerial lifts. It handles several other lines of construction equipment as well.