Forty-five years ago, the industry looked a lot different. Ron Dogotch was at the right place at the right time and encountered some unique opportunities and experiences that led him to introduce an unknown product to the North American crane market. As Ron’s time at Tadano America comes to a close and prepares for retirement, we wanted to ask him just a few questions.
TAC: Tell me how you first got involved in the crane industry?
RD: I got involved in the crane industry as an engineering graduate from Iowa State. After graduation I got offered a job at Bantam, a division Koehring, which in 1973 was the world’s largest excavator manufacturer. It was a special training opportunity for three years, where I gleaned experience from every department in the company. It was intense training and the goal after those three years was to become a Regional Business Manager.
In 1976, I was hired by P&H Harnischfeger – one of the leading crane manufacturers of lattice cranes at the time. The company was a late arrival in hydraulic telescopic crane manufacturing, and held a small market share with a less than competitive product line. At P&H and other dynamic companies, I had the privilege to meet and work with many great entrepreneurs, where I was able to learn and achieve many challenging and lofty goals.
TAC: When did you first become involved with Tadano?
RD: I take particular pride in being instrumental in the introduction of the Tadano brand of hydraulic telescopic cranes to the North America. At first as a consultant in 1983 for Mitsubishi’s subsidiary, Machinery Distribution Inc. (MDI), we were successful in being appointed the Tadano Distributor for North America. The distributor agreement was signed in early 1984 and due to extended delivery schedules, the first Tadano rough terrain crane arrived in NA in 1986.
How did Tadano America Corporation come to North America?
RD: I joined MDI full-time in 1989 and proceeded to recruit significant business partners (dealers and major accounts) who greatly enhanced our ability to penetrate regional markets throughout NA. At the same time, we put together a strong but small team of 5 dedicated personnel at MDI to support our marketing and customer support strategies. In 1993, Mitsubishi and Tadano Ltd. formed a joint venture company, Tadano America Corporation, to intensify the focus on the Tadano brand and increase penetration of the North American crane market.
What impressed you about Tadano Cranes?
RD: In 1983 I was impressed with their full powered booms; Tadano cranes had longer booms which were all full power. The load charts were superior and the fit, finish and quality were excellent.
During the 25 years of Tadano America Corporation’s existence, the company has grown significantly from an unknown product to the market leader in rough terrain cranes and a significant contender in all terrain cranes.. Sales volume, market share, and profitability and have all exponentially increased during that time frame.
TAC: What do you wish other people knew about Tadano?
RD: Our growth is attributed to our strong business partners, who pioneered the product line. Our product quality and dependability are key to our success. I always say, “The Tadano line up of cranes has never let me down.” It has been a great experience working with our business partners and the great team of individuals here at TAC.
TAC: What do you plan on doing with your time in your retirement?
RD: I have thoroughly enjoyed the ride during my entire career but it is now time for me to move on to the next chapter in my life – RETIREMENT. My wife and I have an extensive “bucket list” of global travel plans and a dedicated emphasis on spoiling our grandchildren. Family time, travel, kicking back and concentrating on hunting and fishing… but not golf. Several friends have recommended that I should consider giving up my golf game!