man standing in front of yukon machine
Specializing by Generalizing
By Rindi White
In the crowded field of equipment suppliers, how does one stand out? For Yukon Equipment, flexibility is the company’s specialty. Whether leasing a loader in Kotzebue or servicing a broken backhoe in Bethel, for seventy-five years, the company has been evolving to meet the needs of its Alaska clients.

“We’re not the biggest equipment dealer in the state, but we are the most flexible,” says Charlie Klever, president of Yukon Equipment. The company, owned by Calista Corporation since 2010, operates three locations: its headquarters in Anchorage and branches in Wasilla and Fairbanks.

“As such we can change our business plan and adjust to the market much more quickly and, we think, more efficiently,” he says.

“The last few years we have really put an emphasis on our village and remote sales, partially because one of our mission statements is to supply support and benefit to the region—the Calista region, the Bethel area,” he says. “We sell equipment to villages and remote sites all over the state. We’ve gotten quite efficient at that.”

Klever says the company will rent the equipment and later sell it. A new machine circulates through the rental fleet for three years before being sold, which presents an affordable option for villages. ”They can buy several pieces of equipment instead of just one for half a million dollars,” Klever explains.

The company also does a brisk business in renting or leasing to homeowners and small contractors, he says, and that market is trending toward ownership lately.

Klever says, “When the opportunity arose, we were able to expand that opportunity. We had the customers, we had the demand, we could get the equipment, and it was wise for us to expand; we weren’t taking a leap of faith.”