New facility to help Modern
better meet the needs of loggers and contractors in northwest Montana
November, Modern Machinery acquired Townsend Repair, a heavy equipment
repair and fabrication firm in Kalispell, Mont., and turned it into
the company’s 11th branch location. The purpose, according to
Modern president Brian Sheridan, is to provide better service to customers
in the fast-growing region north of Flathead Lake.
"We cover a huge territory and this was an area
where, frankly, we were a little light in terms of our ability to quickly
and efficiently meet the needs of our customers. With this new branch,
we’re starting with a staff of eight people, most of them field
service technicians. We’re also currently redesigning the building
to better accommodate parts storage as well as shop work."
Ed Townsend, who started, owned and ran Townsend Repair
for 20 years before selling the business, says Modern’s entry
in the market is welcomed by loggers. "In this region, there’s
a big population of Timbco feller bunchers, which I’ve always
considered the industry standard. For those Timbco customers as well
as Komatsu users, I’d definitely say this is a big plus. It’s
going to mean faster response and less downtime, which is crucial to
The Modern branch is located at 3155 Highway 93 South,
the main north-south route through Kalispell. Townsend, who agreed to
stay on with Modern for two years as service manager, says Kalispell
personnel will likely cover a territory north to Canada, west to Idaho,
south about halfway to Missoula and east, as far as necessary.
While Modern products will be emphasized, the Kalispell branch will
do "all-makes" repairs. "We’ll work on virtually any machine
from any manufacturer, from manlifts to bulldozers and everything in
between," said Townsend. "We also do custom fabrication. We build
specialized brush rakes, all kinds of guarding packages, and mount any
type of forestry attachment. There’s not much that we can’t
or won’t do for a customer in need."
Townsend says most of the mechanics on staff have been
with him 15 years or more. "They’re good, talented guys who’ve
learned by experience. Most, if not all, have some factory training.
I’m sure they’ll get more now that they’re Modern
Machinery employees and that will certainly further improve their troubleshooting,
diagnostic and repair skills."
"We’re very pleased to now have a full-time presence
in the Kalispell area," said Sheridan. "Ed did a great job and
had an excellent reputation in the logging community. We hope to build
upon, and even enhance that. While our immediate goal is to just do
a better job of supplying parts and service, eventually, we intend for
the Kalispell facility to be a full-service Modern Machinery branch
with an equipment salesman and a PSSR, as well as parts and service."