4 Rivers executive Shearer says industry is growing, but needs government help

4 Rivers Equipment General Manager for Construction and Forestry John Shearer has been in the heavy equipment business for approximately 30 years, and in that time he's seen a lot of changes.

“New equipment sales was the only profit center in the dealership," Shearer said. "All other departments existed to support the efforts of the sales department. The other major change has been the shift to more services offered by the dealerships. We now offer a multitude of financial options to the customer to include leasing, rentals, power by the hour, as well as the traditional installment loan.”

Shearer began his career as a technician at a John Deere dealership in Pennsylvania. He eventually moved on to another Deere dealership in Virginia as vice president of product support for the agriculture, forestry and construction divisions. During that time, the product support sector of the heavy equipment trade became big business unto itself. Shearer said the support services alone were selling $140 million by 2013.

Moving forward, Shearer sees the heavy equipment industry as strong and diversified, but admits that the industry will need more government support and incentives for new young employees if it's going to continue to thrive.

“We need some long-term planning by our elected officials,” Shearer said. “Bonus depreciation is a good plan if you know it's there. No one can do any purchase and tax planning when they only reinstate the program in the last two weeks of the year. This needs have a long-term solution. Our infrastructure is crumbling and we need to find the funding for improvement as soon as possible. Businesses across the country are being affected by poor roads and bridges needed to transport goods efficiently to the end user. We also need an energy policy that bridges the gap between what we have now and a cleaner, more independent energy supply.”

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Associated Equipment Distributors 650 E Algonquin Rd Schaumburg, IL - 60173

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