By Jay Koblun
By Jay Koblun
Falcon Equipment has come a long way from its beginnings as a one-brand, three-person shop in 1988 to the nation-wide equipment house it is now.
“We’re a one-stop shop now,” said Dan Kielan, Falcon Equipment president. “We sell equipment, representing a number of key product brands; manufacture some of our own equipment in house, sell, rent, lease, finance, and offer after-market full service and parts.”
Kielan’s father Rick started the company in 1988 with his wife Judie and business partner Howard Hartin. Kielan says it’s Rick’s upbringing as a hard-working farm boy in Saskatchewan that helped shape the work ethic, values and culture of what Falcon is today.
Falcon’s leadership team is made up of three key individuals who run the British Columbia-based equipment company—Kielan, president; Blair Norberg, vice president; and Eric Poersch, CFO. Falcon staffs 118 employees across western Canada with branches in Nanaimo, B.C., Winnipeg, Regina, Edmonton, and a main office in Surrey, B.C.
“Falcon started with one brand of crane. Over the years the biggest change at Falcon is the diversity in its range of brands and products,” said Kielan. “Our product lines still include cranes—articulating cranes are Falcon’s core competency—but during the past 30 years Falcon has grown into a full-service provider of innovative equipment solutions, including; lifting equipment, rail equipment, snow and ice equipment, municipal equipment, road building equipment, landscaping equipment, service bodies, deck trucks, and utility trucks.”
Kielan was 10 years old when Falcon was founded so he said he’s always seen the company through a different set of eyes. He grew up understanding that relationship is a key part of business.
“Good relationships are in the fabric and DNA of a successful business,” he said. “Staff, customers, suppliers, it’s important to establish and maintain those relationships.”
Kielan started with the company in 2004 on the sales and support team to learn Falcon’s extensive product line. Now as president, Kielan still enjoys interacting with customers and sales, meeting new people and is always looking for more ways to grow and expand what Falcon is currently doing. “I’ve always enjoyed the big picture and looking for growth opportunities.”
Falcon has continued to grow and proved it again at the end of 2019 by adding Palfinger to its product line. Palfinger is a truck equipment manufacturer offering cranes, hooklifts, cable hoists, forklifts, liftgates, service bodies and platforms.
“One of our most recent successes and largest would be adding the Palfinger product line to Falcon. For 31 years we sold one brand of crane and we made the decision last year to move from Hiab to Palfinger. Falcon still has a strong relationship with Hiab and is offering service to customers with Hiab, just now we’ve also moved on to Palfinger.”
When it comes to challenges, Falcon is no exception to the many ways the novel COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the heavy lifting, construction and road building industry, but Kielan said for the most part it’s been business as usual.
“COVID-19 has definitely affected us and had an impact on our day-to-day operations,” he said. “We’ve had to social distance and work from home. When everything began changing in March, Falcon’s leadership team met daily to manage the changes and communicate information to the staff.”
Kielan said overall business has remained quite strong but he isn’t sure of what to expect coming down the pipeline. “The bigger challenges are the ones we aren’t sure of yet. For example, the supply of our equipment lines may be delayed but we are actively seeking ways around this and are ready for any evolving challenges.”