The Supply Post: Canada's #1 Heavy Construction Equipment & Commercial Truck Newspaper Since 1971

4 Days In Poland


Oct 28, 2013 - 5 years ago

By Supply Post

Supply Post Sales Manager Jeff Watson's adventures at the Dressta factory in Poland.

By Jeff Watson




Monday August 26th was a day not unlike any other. I came to the office, ready for a day of taking care of business at the Supply Post. I opened my email to find a note from my contact at the Dressta/ Liugong office in the USA asking if I might be available for a press tour at the Dressta factory in the south of Poland. Poland? I have to admit that on my list of places to see in the world, Poland really wasn’t near the top. I didn’t know much about the country, other than its famed perogies, but I quickly accepted the invitation. These opportunities don’t come along every day. As you read on, I hope my words will help you discover what I did about this dedicated group.

Pre-Tour

I departed Monday September 30th from Vancouver, and landed on Tuesday afternoon in Warsaw. Little did I know that the 4 hour sleep I got on the plane would be nearly my longest of the week. I spent the afternoon and Wednesday morning touring the city, including the wonderful section called Old Town. Beautiful fountains, cobblestone streets and fantastic architecture make up this portion of the city. Meeting up back at the airport on Wednesday afternoon was my priority, where I met journalists from England, South Africa and China. A world event was truly underway. We arrived at our hotel in Sandowiecz, roughly 3.5 hours drive south of Warsaw. Upon check-in, we were greeted by Leslaw Holysz, CEO of Dressta and Jordan Huang, President Assistant for Liugong who invited us down to the hotel restaurant for the reception. In addition to my travelling companions from the bus, I was introduced also to writers from Germany, Holland and the Czech Republic – there were about 35 of us in all. It was clear from the outset that the people at Dressta were enthusiastic about their organization and this event. Also present was Tony Dobrzan´ski, Director – Technology & Technical Services. He would make an excellent tour guide the following day.

Tour day

Thursday we were all up early for breakfast, and on to the bus to Stolowa Wola (which took me 2 days to pronounce properly – and is spoken quickly as “Stolovavola”. Go ahead, give it a shot.

Inside the factory
















The facility is set in the back of the industrial district, and was originally built as a weapons and artillery manufacturing facility prior to WWII. In case you weren’t aware, Liugong purchased the Dressta brand in early 2012. Their influence was quickly apparent as we pulled in and saw Dressta and Liugong products side by side in the holding yard. Inside, overhead cranes were at work with technicians on the ground constructing various Dressta Dozers. In addition to their dozer line available in North America, the company also produces two models of pipelayers and wheel loader models for the European markets. There are plenty of machine specs on their website at www.dresstanorth america.com, so I think it’s more important for me to focus on what I saw – the inside view of things, if you will. There is a distinct level of importance put into the details on each machine. This facility is a major employer for the city, and with its long history of building fine products (which for construction machinery, stretches back to the 1960’s), the office staff and shop people take a lot of pride in what they do. After a thorough discussion and walk through the shop it was time to see these machines in action.

Outside demonstration

It was a fairly brisk day, temperatures around 5C. Being a fairly warmblooded person, I found myself, by choice, as the only person there without a jacket. I think over the 60 minutes we were outside I was offered a jacket no less than 7 times by various Dressta staff. Tomasz Dys introduced……….… wait……..….a note about Tomasz. He was to be our MC for the field demonstration. As the Deputy Director of Technology and Technical Services for the company, this made sense. Tomasz is a very interesting fellow. He is Polish, born and raised in Stolowa Wola, but spent 6+ years studying in North America. Detroit to be specific. He confided in me late in the day that his favorite thing about North America was a Tim Horton’s French Vanilla and a box of Timbits. He also described in great detail about a service call he went on to a mine in South America. The journey took him through 4 connections over a 30+ hour period, just to arrive at the jobsite and perform the 1 hour job required by his client. How’s that for dedication?





Anyway, he MC’d the outside performance, and introduced each machine with its size and weight, and gave us a quick list of special features or highlights. He admitted to me later that he did it all by memory, as he had run out of time to study the flash card notes he had made. To me, people like Tomasz are what makes Dressta unique. He knows his stuff, he’s confident, and gets things done, no matter the situation. The demonstration showed the range of loaders and dozers created in the factory and gave us all the opportunity to shoot some nice photos. The outdoor portion concluded with a round of champagne delivered by a Dressta wheel loader bucket, which was a fitting way to end the factory portion of our day. We ventured to a group lunch up the road a few miles, where I met and chatted with David Beatenbough. He’s the Vice President of Liugong, entrusted with task of helping guide Dressta into its next phase. He talked in the post-tour press conference about growing their business into other markets worldwide and increasing their dealer network. They are investing in their engineering, marketing and most importantly, their people. Everyone I met is dedicated to the Dressta product line and to serving their customers.

Post-tour

Many of the international journalists departed later in the day on Thursday. As I had come from so far, I stayed an extra day at the end of the trip to catch some sights. I decided to go and tour the Auschwitz WWII camp, which was about four hours west by car. I felt a certain obligation to pay my respects to those who suffered in that horrific place. In the afternoon, I ventured back through the city of Krakow. This is a place I’ll hopefully return to one day. The main square in the downtown area is magnificent. Shops, restaurants, art galleries all set in a modern stone courtyard, and complimented by St. Mary’s Basilica. Every hour, a trumpeter climbs to the top of the 262’ spire and out of each of the four corners of the top floor - plays the “Hejnal Mariacki”, which is the five note anthem. The final of those four short performances is traditionally cut short in honour of the trumpeter in the 12th Century who was fatally shot in the throat while performing the anthem as a warning of an impending Mongol attack.

The journey home

Friday was a long journey back to Vancouver, and while I was truly exhausted, I knew that this had been the experience of a lifetime. I want to thank all the Dressta people I met that week and say that I appreciate their hospitality. It’s plainly obvious to me that they do not intend to rest on their great history as a construction equipment manufacturer. The company is expanding across the globe, and has a very bright future. I wish you all the best.

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