Jerry Farmer Remembers DMCs Early Years
The fun part was getting there.
DMC’s first office space was 46 feet south of the railroad tracks in Mount Juliet on Tennessee State Highway 45. A two-story climb up the outside stairway led to one big room with absolutely no wall or ceiling insulation and only two electrical outlets. With monthly rental payments of $175, and office furniture purchased for $455 at an IRS auction, things were looking good.
Our way of doing business was simple and direct. We packed our belongings into the Mercedes, which already had 250,000 miles on the odometer, on Sunday afternoon or early Monday, and drove.
We usually drove until 9 p.m. or so, then looked for the least expensive motel. We always shared a room, and even brought our own coffee pot for the morning. Our very favorite after-hours competition was trying to negotiate the deepest discount at a motel.
We made sales calls all day, every day, slept in different beds at least five nights, and sometimes six nights, a week. We would manage to get back to Mount Juliet on Friday night or Saturday, after about a 3000-driving-mile week. One trip was from Mount Juliet to Omaha; Omaha to Boston; Boston to Charleston, South Carolina, then back to Mount Juliet–in a week. We did this week after week, and for months on end.
AGGREGATE PROCESSING EQUIPMENT
Early on, we called on the management folks at All Purpose Sand in Saint Charles, Missouri. We learned that while they were not in the market for a dredge, they did have some sand processing equipment for sale. We made a list of their 12 surplus items, typed up the list, had it copied at Kinko’s, hand addressed them and mailed them to everyone we could think of.
The response to our initial mailing was phenomenal. Soon our handmade lists of Dredged and Sand Processing Equipment for Sale grew to four pages, then to six pages. We re-named it the Dredge & Pit Trader, and began a monthly mailing, adding names to our mailing list as they came in. The Trader evolved into a booklet of often 28 pages, which as included as a center insert in the dredging industry’s leading trade journal–International Dredging Review.
When printing and mailing costs became prohibitive, and when the Internet became the vogue, DMC relied on virtual distribution, but continued to maintain a mailing list of more than 8000 prior subscribers to the Trader.