Integrity, hard work SC: CEG 4M iron equipment dealer

Wed, November 24, 2021 – South East Edition # 24

Ross McMillan (L) and Mike Finley of 4M Iron. The company is both a regional and global buyer and seller of used heavy equipment, including earthmoving and agricultural machinery, as well as road trucks and trailers.

When two men working in different sectors of the construction equipment industry in South Carolina decided to open their own dealership in 2013, the goal was obviously to make it a profitable business. But just as important to them was to operate it with integrity, honesty and an ever-vigilant eye to provide their customers with the best in sales and support.

Eight years later, that’s exactly what Mike Finley and Ross McMillian have accomplished with 4M iron, both a regional and global buyer and seller of used heavy equipment, including earthmoving and agricultural machinery, as well as road trucks and trailers.

The company is headquartered in Charleston with a much larger primary equipment fleet approximately an hour’s drive northwest of St. George, SC. What makes this latter site so important to 4M Iron is that it faces Interstate 95.

With the equipment available for sale or lease from 4M Iron positioned in its five-acre yard, I-95 drivers can’t help but see its inventory displayed as they pass by, even for a brief moment. period, making the location an advertising gem.

“We moved to the site at the end of 2014,” Finley said. “Ross and I had an entrepreneur friend here in St. George who introduced us to the property earlier. We fell in love with it because it is located along one of the busiest highways in the country. From the marketing research we did, we learned that 23 million people would pass through our yard each year. There are about 1,200 linear feet of frontage, which is great when you’re trying to display a lot of your gear. . “

Used construction equipment is its main inventory

4M Iron specializes in the sale, purchase and rental of all types of used and off-the-shelf equipment, Finley said, including excavators, dump trucks, bulldozers, trucks. articulated, compactors, backhoes, skid steer loaders, wheel loaders, trailers and attachments.

“They are kind of our bread and butter,” he said. “We try to list a bit of everything if we can. At 4M Iron we usually stick with many main line products – John Deere, Caterpillar, Volvo, Komatsu – but we stock machines from other manufacturers like Kobelco and Hyundai. , among others. This is used equipment, but on top of that, we provide excellent service on a quality piece of machinery. “

4M Iron recently turned away from its usual practice of only selling used parts by becoming a reseller of brand new Talbert trailers.

Designed to haul heavy equipment and other bulky loads, Talbert Manufacturing offers five types of trailers, based on customer needs and can be customized for a range of industries including construction, agriculture, utilities , military, rail, interior installations and material handling. transportation – industries all active in South Carolina.

A meeting of like minds

Finley and McMillian first met 18 years ago when their paths crossed purchasing sets of equipment from mutual customers. They found they shared similar ideas on how to run a business if given the opportunity.

“I was drawn to the equipment industry because I had worked in American companies, and I wanted to get away from that and move into something more entrepreneurial where I could really start a business,” said Finley, originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, and a graduate of Xavier University. “I was also intrigued by the South Carolina market because of [its] growth industries, such as manufacturing and the Port of Charleston, and what to do with so many people moving to the area. “

In McMillian’s case, he had grown up around the farm equipment business, with his father first owning a John Deere dealership and then a Massey-Ferguson dealership. After graduating from the University of South Carolina, he gained experience working for several companies in the equipment industry. They included Van Lott Inc., the John Deere dealership from West Columbia, for whom he worked in the upstate for seven years. He later worked with a leading equipment auction company for 10 years before meeting Finley.

“We made deals together and we had a good working relationship,” McMillian said. “Over the course of a few months he and I decided that we had to go out and do this job on our own. We had a lot of clients and the same vision on how to treat staff and clients. It has really been a success. good luck for both of us. “

Integrity is 4M Iron’s key asset

Finley and McMillian decided early on to build their business on a foundation of integrity and surrounded themselves with other like-minded people who believe in the fair and honest treatment of customers. These are the attributes that they believe attract and keep customers coming back to 4M Iron for high end used equipment.

“Ross and I have always taken pride in the way we treat people,” said Finley. “We are going to shoot directly with them and we are going to tackle all the problems head on.”

To that, McMillian added, “We usually try to sell someone equipment, maintain it properly and treat it fairly, so when they go to sell this tractor, 4M Iron is the first business they think they’ll call. “

The growth of the business has happened, Finley said, due to “a lot of the hustle and bustle, just going out and working tirelessly to try and engage with as many entrepreneurs and clients as possible. Second, we realized that 4M Iron needed a brick and mortar operation where we could have a repair shop, and our sales staff could have a central point where all of our inventory would sit – whether for resale, leasing or leasing different industry trends over time.

He also said he was “very blessed” to have someone like McMillian to share ideas with at 4M Iron.

“I think it’s invaluable to have a qualified partner that you can consult to analyze and grow the business,” Finley said. “Our skills complement each other, and while we don’t always agree on everything, we respect each other’s ideas on how to move the business forward.”

He is always amazed at how small 4M Iron was when they founded the company compared to what they are today with such a great location in St. George coupled with character and experience. of their 11 employees.

The equipment distributor’s staff include two full-time shop technicians and an assistant, as well as a fleet manager in St. George.

McMillian oversees the sales team, which consists of one person in Atlanta and Charlotte, and another for the Savannah, Ga./Beaufort/Columbia, SC market. Additionally, there is a sales representative who manages the Myrtle Beach area of ​​Florence, as well as Southeastern North Carolina. In the Northwest, 4M Iron has a representative serving the upstate South Carolina and Western North Carolina region.

4M Iron extends to Princeton, West Virginia.

4M Iron’s founding partners believe their company is in an emerging market off the coast of South Carolina.

“When Ross and I originally bought this store, people thought we were too far from a city, but now that expansion and development is happening that way,” Finley said. “In fact, much of that growth is now closer to [the St. George] location than our Charleston operations. Wal-Mart is preparing to complete a massive distribution center near Ridgeville, and much of the Port of Charleston expansion is starting to move in our direction, whether it’s refrigerated storage or storage for many larger goods. who use the port. These facilities are under construction along the I-95 / I-26 corridor. “

Recently, 4M Iron expanded its operations by opening a second site in Princeton, VA, and is in the process of hiring full-time sales staff. Finley and McMillian believe this is an area of ​​the country that has been underserved in the used equipment market.

Dealership creates military memorial along I-95

To illustrate the strong values ​​of 4M Iron, the company and its staff recently came together to erect a commemorative exhibit in honor of the 13 American soldiers killed on August 26 in a bomb attack at Kabul airport in Afghanistan. The display consists of the names of service members on large panels, each accompanied by American flags, making them visible enough to be seen from I-95, even at night.

“We had spoken with our employees and decided to put forward a philanthropic initiative honoring the military,” said Finley. “Larry Toto, who works with us, is a former Marine, and I also come from a military family. It was personal to our staff, and we just wanted to honor the military in our country and all the sacrifices they made. do every day, many of which are forgotten.

“We had a number of veterans who left the freeway and entered our facility to tell us how affected they were by the posting.”

For more information, call 843 / 901-2470 or visit CEG

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