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Application Story

Gerry Mallory – General Manager Rototilt Inc

In Northern Europe, you are unlikely to see an excavator without a tilt and rotating coupler known as a Tiltrotator. Since its invention back in 1986, Tiltrotators have become almost standard equipment on most excavators sold in Northern Europe.

In the late 1990’s, the first of the tiltrotators were introduced to the North American market in Southern Ontrio thanks in large part, to Gerry Mallory the General Manager of Rototilt Inc, the wholly owned North American subsidiary of Rototilt Group AB headquartered in Vindeln, Sweden.

Prior to CONEXPO/CON-AGG 2017, we at FocusOn had not covered any tiltrotators in our publications and, until then had zero knowledge about this unique device.

To learn more about the business of tiltrotators, we took a trip to the Rototilt Inc facility in Brantford Ontario Canada. Brantford is just 70 miles west of Toronto and 85 miles from the Canada – USA border. This area is a hotbed for manufactures and distributers as it provides quick access to their US customers.

We met with Gerry Mallory to gain insights into this growing segment of the heavy equipment attachment market.

First we asked Gerry; when did you first lean about the Rototilt system?

I am an attachment guy, always have been. I designed attachments and was the Manager of the Attachment Division at Koehring which later became Timberjack and then the FMG Forest Machine Group in Scandinavia.
On travels to Scandinavia the early 90’s, I got to know 2 Swedish companies. One was Hultdins who manufactures grapples and saw units for forest machines. The other was Indexator who is the world’s largest producer of rotators for heavy equipment attachments and also had a product called a Rototilt Tiltrotator. Indexator was later split in to 2 companies – Indexator retaining the name for Rotators, and a new company called Rototilt – just like the product. I was already familiar with grapples, saw units, and rotator products but this was my first introduction to a tiltrotator and I was fascinated.I was so impressed with Hultidns products, and Indexator Rotator and Rototilt products that soon after my return from the trip I contacted both companies to see if they were interested in having some one represent their products in Canada and possibly the U.S. market as well. Both companies were interested but Indexator was not ready to offer the Rototilt product outside of Scandinavia. The demand for Tiltrotators in Northern Europe was growing so fast that the demand was maximizing their manufacturing capacity at that time, so no go until the late 90’s.

Are you saying it was already big business in Europe before the product was even introduced to the North American market?

Yes. The first Rototilt® tiltrotators was introduced in 1986 by an inventor, Rune Norgren. In the early 90’s Indexator acquired the patent and manufacturing rights from Norgren. Until this point Indexator’s focus was on rotators only. They were first to market with a tiltrotator in Europe and we were first to market in North America. Today, Rototilt is the number one tiltrotator choice in North America.
In Northern Europe most excavators are equipped with tiltrotators as contractors of all types understand that tiltrotators really transforms their excavators into machines that are far more versatile and a lot more productive. A tiltrotator equipped excavator becomes an efficient tool carrier that can accommodate a wide range of attachments such as grapples, buckets, compactors, and other special attachments.

The history of Rototilt in North America:

Mallory started with Huldtins products and Indexator rotators in 1993 but had to wait to start marketing the Rototilt product until the late 90’s.
When we were finally allowed to sell the Rototilt tiltrotators in North America we decided to go proceed cautiously. We had decided from the beginning to take it slow, to develop the markets in the general proximity of Brantford so we too could learn about the product and if it was going to have any issue in our market condition. We soon realized that the product was very durable and there was no concerns to start expanding to the rest of Ontario and beyond. How ever, most of the marketing materials from Sweden was not very useful to us because they were long past the point of explaining what a tiltrotator could do and more into competitive technical comparisons.We developed our own marketing materials and selling arguments and the units began to sell. As more and more units were being purchased, we held our first 2-day Rototilt User -Contractor Meeting. We asked a lot of questions which confirmed much of what we already knew but also taught us a whole lot of things we didn’t know.

Another benefit from the meeting was the sharing of information of the unique uses of the Rototilt. Each contractor talked about an application the others had not thought of. It was a great learning experience for all of us.

In 2008, it was decided to set up independent North American companies for Hultdins and Rototilt in Brantford. Both companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Swedish companies, and managed by Mallory’s company Mallory Gordon Management. The Gordon part comes from Mallory’s business partner Rick Gordon.

It also decided at this time to start to develop the U.S. market and managed by Rototilt Inc. out of Brantford, Onatrio.

Do you have any input into new product development or enhancements to existing products?

Yes, the companies do a very good job at listening. Every year they host a summit of their subsidiaries and distributors to discuss the market and the products. Each company makes a presentation in front of a large group that includes most of the key employees. Years ago, my partner and I made our presentation while wearing Team Canada hockey jerseys. Sweden is just as hockey crazy as Canada. We were fortunate enough to have the jerseys signed by Walter Gretzky, Wayne Gretzky’s father who lives not too far from our Brantford offices.
To make it even better, Hockey Hall of Famer Peter Forsberg is a friend of the owner of Rototilt, Anders Jonsson. He heard that two hockey nuts were in the building. He chatted with us for a long time and at the end we asked him if he too would sign our jerseys which he gladly did.
When we completed our presentations, we told everyone about the autographs including Peter’s who is to the Swedes like Gretzky is to us. They were impressed but then we told them that we were about to make a draw and two of them would win the jerseys. It was a big hit and something we have continued year after year.

But these meeting are very important because it’s an opportunity to discuss the differences in the markets and the different requirements. These meeting have resulted in a number of North American only product variations such as Pin Grabbers for the largest Rototilt models to use standard North American OEM buckets. Our best seller is our R6 model which fits machines ranging from 15 to 24 ton. 20-ton excavators are by far the largest selling excavator in North America.

2018 is your 25th anniversary since starting to represent these various world leading Swedish companies and products.

With Rototilt , it has been a very interesting journey. Although very challenging to introduce a new product concept, it is starting to become accepted through out North America, and the rate of growth is speeding up. Word is getting out there and we hear of new applications all the time. But, like it was for you, these are new products that many have never heard of or seen before. It takes time to explain everything the potential customer needs to know before the sale is made. We are selling a concept. But our slogan “Rototilt transforms your excavator” is getting known and more importantly, understood.
We did start small but every year we expand into new markets. We want to do it right to make sure everything is in place and that we can support the growth when we move into new markets. Right now, we sell products to all states including Hawaii and Alaska and all provinces in Canada.The Rototilt is not a plug and play attachment. Excavators in North America are not tiltrotator ready. It takes one of our an excavator dealer 2-3 days to ready to install a Rototilt but we are there to assist and train them.

Since CONEXPO-CON/AGG we have learned about at least six other brands of tiltrotators being sold in North America. What sets Rototilt apart from the others?

We do have some good competitors, but we truly believe that our products are the highest quality on the market and we are told our support is second to none.

What makes your service stand out?

First of all, we sell only through full service excavator dealers and not directly to end users. This equipment needs specialists available and we make sure that the dealers are well trained to provide the local support to the end user.
The technical support is very important. As I said, our technicians are travelling all the time, visiting dealers and end users with every possible technical matter. For installations for example, all cost relating to our technicians assisting and training the dealers on installations is at no charge to the end user and no charge to the dealer.Our parts support can’t be beat. If an order is in by 3:00 it will be shipped the same day. We can have parts to the dealer any where in North America usually within a day.

Another advantage we offer to our customers is our rebuild program. Used Rototilts are years of service are arriving all of the time to take us up on our full rebuild service. The unit is completely disassembled and evaluated for the customer. All wear parts are replaced and when the rebuilt unit is completed, it looks almost new. In the parts of the continent where construction comes to a standstill in winter, our rebuild facility gets very busy as the machines are not in use so what better time for servicing.

We have one local contractor whose oldest Rototilt is on their 4th excavator and they trade their machines in at 8000 hour. It is the same Rototilt that been through our rebuild facility a few times.

What makes you excited about the future?

With the knowledge of these remarkable machines just getting started. As more and more contractors understand the concept, the sales will just keep growing.

We are moving forward on some exciting expansions here as well. We are now putting the final plans together to become a full Rototilt assembly facility here to even better service the North American market. Right now, we do some light, finishing assembly but soon, full assembly. It is our goal to ship a finished product ready for install within 10 days of receipt of the order.There are always new developments coming from Sweden such as the many advanced features of the ICS Innovative Control System.

Thanks very much for your time, Gerry, now let’s see all what you have been talking about.

Our discussion was followed by a tour of the administrative wing, the spare parts warehouse, the whole goods and attachment warehouse and the rebuilt centre. It is a clean smooth-running operation and, in speaking with some of the employees, it’s also a great place to work.





Tel: (519) 754-2195