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P&Q Profile: Goodfellow Corporation’s Sy Harrison

By |  October 30, 2020
Goodfellow Corporation COO Sy Harrison is pictured from his office in Lindon, Utah. Photo: P&Q Staff

Goodfellow Corporation COO Sy Harrison is pictured from his office in Lindon, Utah. Photo: P&Q Staff

P&Q paid a visit this fall to Goodfellow Corporation’s office in Lindon, Utah, where COO Sy Harrison discussed the company’s growth in the West, Goodfellow’s 2020 experience and more. Harrison is a 17-year veteran of the family-owned company specializing in crusher sales, rentals and repairs.

How is Goodfellow Corporation’s approach to doing business as a dealer unique?

The biggest thing in our business model is building a brand. It’s owning what the brand represents. That represents a partnership with our customers.

We’re only as successful as our partners are. Our partners are our customers, because, at the end of the day, they put a lot of time, effort and investment into what we do.

The upfront cost of buying a machine is one thing. The back-end cost is downtime, the inability to get parts, or having an off-brand, offshore machine that you can’t get parts for. We build our brand on USA/homemade stuff. That’s who we want to represent.

What else do you look for in a manufacturer partner?

People are always courting us. They see what we do for a living, and they’re OK with table scraps as far as the overall picture. But I’m not in it to sell one or two pieces of equipment. I have to find a piece of equipment that’s trustworthy and [offers] longevity – whether it’s tracks, stationary or portable. I want to have a piece that my customers recognize, as well. If a new company shows up and says: ‘I sell this new widget,’ I have to look at it and say ‘I don’t just dabble.’

One issue Goodfellow Corporation's Sy Harrison continuously toils with is how much equipment the company has on hand. Photo: P&Q Staff

One issue Goodfellow Corporation’s Sy Harrison continuously toils with is how much equipment the company has on hand. Photo: P&Q Staff

How are the core states Goodfellow serves – Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona – faring this year?

Utah has continued with business as usual with COVID-19 implications in place. But turn around and go to Nevada, and Nevada follows California. Nevada’s contractors stayed really busy. They’re paving. Everybody’s making so much more money because there’s nobody on the road. They’re able to haul more truckloads, haul more millings off [and] pave faster.

In Arizona, it’s been a little difficult because that place is largely held by larger corporations. They’re a little more hesitant as they look back on 2007-08. They got hit so hard that I think everybody is laying back a little bit to see what happens. Because we all got smoked during that time.

How’s next year looking?

Very good. People still have to crush rocks. They still got to pave. There will still be road construction and road rebuilding. I think people are optimistic about the election – whichever way they lean.

The people who are going to be excited if [President] Donald Trump is reelected are going to say: ‘Let’s open the floodgates’ (if I’ve been holding back). Then, you have the other people who are like: ‘[former Vice President Joe] Biden got reelected, I held onto this cash, I might lose it now because of tax purposes, [so] I’m going to spend it right now.’

Goodfellow has 35 or 40 track-mounted FT4250 impactors in its fleet. Clearly, that is central to the business. Why is that piece so important to you guys?

Parts are a significant component of Goodfellow Corporation's business. Photo: P&Q Staff

Parts are a significant component of Goodfellow Corporation’s business. Photo: P&Q Staff

You can take that machine off a truck and, within 10 minutes, be making road base [or] 1-in. minus. That’s really good for contractors to have a homebuilding site. [Say] they have 10,000 tons they need to get rid of. It’s not worth bringing in a big crusher.

This year, more than ever [and] because of COVID-19, we’ve seen more longer-term rentals by the bigger players because they look at it and go: ‘I can put one operator on this with a track hoe; I can go to a pit in Utah and make 10,000 tons of whatever I need to make [with] one person. That’s where the partnership comes into it.

What’s next for Goodfellow?

Some of the main things I toil with or lose sleep at night over [are]: How much equipment do we have? And, how do I ensure my customer base is successful by making sure that when, at the time of need, I am available to be their partner?

I always tell people to get out in front of the issue. Recognize the problem before it’s a problem. The problem could be availability from a factory delivery standpoint. The problem could be [that] you know someone is struggling with a piece of equipment or a flow, and you’re trying to get in front of it.

It could be: ‘You guys are beating your head against the wall [and] we can stop this.’ Or: ‘I know this is going to fail, [so] I’m going to put one on the ground next week.’ Or: ‘If it fails in December or in six months, I’m going to make sure it’s sitting [in our yard] because when you guys break down, it’s there ready for you with your name on it.’ Instead of being reactionary with sales, we look at being proactive.

Anything else going on with Goodfellow?  

I hired a consultant from the industry to work for us the last six months. I brought him in for specific reasons. He’s trained me the last six months that my brand, Goodfellow’s brand, is not necessarily the family but it’s the brand. And that brand is getting farther east and farther west.

But that also puts a lot of pressure on us to hire quality people and train them. We believe in training, sending our people to factories. We want to uplift our guys to work in our market and serve the market we sell in.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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