Reaching 20-Year Milestone, Kensar Equipment Sees Recession as Springboard for Most Rapid Growth

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While material handling dealerships were stagnant during the recession, Kensar Equipment was experiencing remarkable growth in their Midwest used equipment business.

Used industrial equipment

Kensar Equipment Company

Used forklift buyers want quick action, both in getting product information and in getting their equipment delivered.

Before the recession, Kensar Equipment Company had been increasingly buying the most sought-after lines of used forklifts, scissor lifts and more. They had a small group of experienced personnel in place. Kensar was ready to seize new opportunities, and the “great recession” proved to be the launch pad for this used equipment company.

Owners, Ken Sarbaugh and Mitch Wallace, began Kensar Equipment in the Indianapolis, Indiana area in the late 1990’s. The company sold used forklifts, aerial lifts and personnel carriers. Over the years, the company continued to purchase more and more good used inventory. In 2002, Kensar moved to their current 45,000 sq. ft. facility off I-465 in Indianapolis. They filled the 6-acre site with hundreds of used lift trucks, scissor lifts, boom lifts, telehandlers, utility vehicles and more.

In 2008 when the recession hit, the company’s offering of used equipment, maintenance services and rentals put Kensar in the proverbial "right place at the right time."

Owner, Ken Sarbaugh, explains: “For about half the cost of new, companies can often get a used lift truck with 80% of the usable life remaining. Well-maintained forklifts can last up to 20 years, so customers get a lot of value for their money,” Sarbaugh says. “This kind of value is a deciding factor for many companies on a budget,” he adds.

Today, Kensar Equipment has sold well over $65 million in used forklifts alone. Sales have expanded throughout North America and they continue to add personnel. Kensar also developed a wholesale side to the business. They now have more than 100 used equipment dealers around the country buying their inventory. Remarkably, their growth shows no signs of slowing.

Over the years Kensar has seen many changes in the material handling industry. More recently, response speed has become vital in used equipment sales. “Buyers want quick action, both in getting product information and in getting equipment delivered,” notes Sarbaugh. “When people call after they see something on the website, they are sent detailed specs immediately—and equipment can often be delivered locally the same day.”

Kensar Equipment has also been at the forefront with their website. “When Kensar was started, people in the industry believed the internet was only for consumer goods. After inventory was up on the website, it quickly became the main sales platform,” says Sarbaugh. Kensar Equipment recently updated their website to add Spanish and French translations for customers in Latin America and Canada. They are also adding “Video Demos.” These videos are on the Kensar Used Equipment YouTube channel.

Kensar Equipment provides a complete range of services for used material handling and aerial lift equipment. This includes equipment sales, rentals, leasing and maintenance. The company is located at 2415 West Thompson Rd, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46217, 888-272-0601.

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Ken Sarbaugh

Melissa Rathsman
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