03/13/2020 Growing stronger– Sullivan Eastern Inc., expanding fleet with range of Liebherr earthmoving equipment
For nearly 14 years, Sullivan Eastern has built its fleet and numerous projects with Liebherr earthmoving equipment. The company has 64 pieces of equipment from Liebherr’s range of dozers, hydraulic excavators and wheel loaders.
Based in Morrisville, North Carolina in the Raleigh/Durham area, Sullivan has been a Liebherr customer since 2006. The company has built a versatile range of Liebherr machines including seven models of bulldozers, five models of wheel loaders and 18 different models of excavators. Since purchasing their first machines in 2006, all of the machines are in service and continue to operate on various site development projects as front line machines. The earlier models are now reaching the 15,000 hour mark. They have been through scheduled maintenance and repair programs. This keeps the fleet up and running at highest efficiency, including fuel consumption. It’s a testament to Liebherr’s customer-oriented support and product reliability.
Sullivan demonstrated their first Liebherr products, a PR 734 Litronic dozer, R914B excavator and L538 wheel loader, in 2006, and they’ve been an enthusiastic customer ever since. Back then, “Liebherr didn’t have a big footprint as far as much market share, which led us to believe that we should be well taken of as far as if we need technical support,” said company President Tom Sullivan. At that time and ever since, the Liebherr salesman and support team have been very proactive in making sure that our machines stay up and running.
At Conexpo, Sullivan also chose to add an R 938 crawler excavator to its fleet. This machine celebrates Liebherr’s 50th anniversary in business in the US with a special red, white and blue paint job that features iconic American imagery.
Within the last six months, the company has expanded its fleet with an additional 12 machines including an R936 Compact, R926 Compact, R926LC excavator, R 956HD excavator, PR 746 dozer, two PR726 dozers, two PR716 dozers, two L546 wheel loaders, and an L550 X-Power wheel loader.
This brings their Liebherr fleet to 64 machines since 2006. More additions from Liebherr are expected. “We’re still going to be upgrading our fleet and we plan to stick with Liebherr for large dozers, large excavators and wheel loaders.”
Overall the company has more than 200 pieces of equipment “but Liebherr makes up the largest share of our dozers and all our loaders,” Sullivan said. “And with the excavators, we stick pretty heavily with Liebherr.”
Sullivan said Liebherr’s mid-sized wheel loaders are perfect for one type of job in particular.
“We’ve got L 538s – about six of them – and they’re with our pipe crews. They are very fuel efficient, run on very little fuel every day and they’ve given us excellent service.” The large fleet of Liebherr equipment has also proven itself reliable.
“We’ve taken a couple wheel loaders down for maintenance and checked to see if they need rebuilding. We rebuilt one because it had 13,000 hours but it probably could have gone another 2,000 hours,” said Sullivan, who makes a point to be proactive with maintenance by exceeding manufacturer recommendations.
Sullivan also spoke highly of the support provided by Chris Calton, branch manager of Liebherr Equipment Source in Raleigh, North Carolina. “Chris has been done an absolute terrific job,” and thanks in part to his excellent service, “we’ve just kept buying machines.”
Sullivan Eastern’s focus is on site work, heavy highway and utility construction. The company works in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors, primarily as a turn-key contractor, but also handles specific aspects of construction projects such as grading or utilities. Projects range from shopping centers and office complexes to apartment complexes, warehouses, schools, colleges, military bases, and roads.
“One reason our business has grown is we have repeat customers. The reason is we get in, we do a job, we do it right at a fair price and we take care of whoever we’re working for. We’ve got extremely good people and we’ve got people who have been with us 20 years,” Sullivan said. Established in 1933, about 240 people work for the company and the family’s fourth generation is part of the business.