Pacific Steel & Recycling

THE EMPLOYEE-OWNED MONTANA FIRM HAS BECOME ONE OF THE U.S.’ LEADING RECYCLERS

July 24, 2012

Reliable, fuel-efficient Komatsu equipment

Like many companies in the Pacific Northwest, Pacific Steel & Recycling has a colorful history. It dates back to the early 1920s when its predecessor company was formed as a hide-and-fur depot in Great Falls, Mont. After a time, the company got into scrap recycling as well as hides, and eventually added steel products as well. Today, with 42 locations in nine states (Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota, Colorado, Utah and Nevada), it is one of the leading scrap-recycling operations in the western U.S.

Pacific Steel & Recycling is a full-service recycler that offers conveniently located, clean and well-organized yards that are user-friendly, enabling customers to get in and out quickly. The company also operates a large roll-off container service, and does on-site processing out in the field for large items, such as old farm appliances, as well as mobile car baling.

“We try to meet customers’ needs,” said Pacific Steel & Recycling Equipment Manager Kelly Frantzich. “That’s why we’re here. There are other recycling companies in our various markets and everybody in the industry pays comparable prices. Where we try to differentiate ourselves is by offering the best customer service. The Pacific philosophy is to give customers a fair price and the best experience, and by doing that, earn their repeat business. By and large, that’s what happens every day at our facilities.”

That attitude toward top customer service is perhaps aided by the fact that Pacific Steel & Recycling is 100-percent employee-owned.

“Because of employee ownership, everybody who works here has a strong incentive to see the company do well,” said Frantzich. “We all understand the correlation between the company’s success and our own individual success. It’s a very powerful motivator that keeps everybody on the same page and keeps customer satisfaction front and center. It also means employees take a great deal of pride in the company. As a result, we have little turnover, so our staff is highly experienced and very good at their jobs.”

Quality equipment and top dealer support

Frantzich works closely with Pacific Steel & Recycling President Jeff Millhollin and Scrap Operations Vice President Pat Kons on equipment matters. Pacific turns to Modern Machinery for Komatsu hydraulic excavators and wheel loaders, as well as SENNEBOGEN material handlers.

Pacific has about 15 Komatsu excavators (many are PC220s and PC270s), a dozen or so Komatsu wheel loaders (mostly WA250s and WA320s) and 18 SENNEBOGENs.

“We like Komatsu equipment because it’s reliable, fuel-efficient and lasts a long time,” said Frantzich. “We were the first company in this region to get a Komatsu Tier 4 excavator. Some people were concerned about the new emissions-reducing engine, but we’ve had no problems with it. It’s been an excellent machine. And we really like the Komatsu CARE program that comes with the Tier 4 machines. Modern comes out and does all the services for free for three years or 2,000 hours. That’s a significant benefit to us.

“We’ve also been pleased with the SENNEBOGENs,” he added. “They’re reliable and user-friendly. They’re also very fuel-efficient compared to other material handlers we’ve used.”

While Pacific has been pleased with the equipment, they’re equally happy with the support they get from Modern Machinery.

“Modern is a good partner for us,” Frantzich stated. “They’re in many of the same market areas we’re in. They’re easy to work with, and our Territory Manager Terry McConnell goes out of his way to make sure we get the equipment and service we need. But the most important thing is the way Modern responds when we call and the quality of technicians they send out. They get us back up and operating quickly.”

“Pacific is a well-respected company and has an excellent reputation throughout the region,” noted Modern President Brian Sheridan. “All of us at Modern appreciate the opportunity they’ve given us to work with them on their equipment and support needs.”

Benefits of recycling

Pacific Steel & Recycling has grown considerably in recent years, both through new plants and acquisitions. It’s a trend that will likely continue. But beyond business growth, Pacific’s overriding goal is to help conserve resources for present and future generations.

“We want to create quality products and do so in an environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible way,” said Frantzich. “The great thing about recycling is that it conserves natural resources and reduces the amount of material going into landfills, with a side benefit of using less energy. It’s an industry that’s been around forever, but from our point of view, it’s never been more important than it is today.”