Camille Dionne started his rental equipment business in Quebec 46 years ago with one machine. Years later, the president of Transport Camille Dionne is still renting equipment – and he's added contracting and transportation services to the mix.
And for almost four decades, Camille has been buying and selling equipment at unreserved Ritchie Bros. auctions.
I've bought lots of equipment, I've sold lots of equipment, and Ritchie Bros. is the best in the world.
It was 1962 in Quebec, and Camille Dionne had one machine to rent. Even back in those days, one machine wouldn't get you very far, so he realized he had to expand to survive in the equipment industry. As luck would have it, he was able to make the right connections.
"I was able to get lots of contracts with Mr. Drapeau, who was the mayor of Montreal, he brought me to the World's Exposition in Montreal in 1967 and that's where it all started," says Camille. These connections led him to numerous contract signings with other companies and the subsequent development of his business into two fields, transportation and construction.
Wanting to make sure that his company was always up-todate with the best that the equipment industry had to offer, Camille proceeded to buy and sell as much as possible. "Whenever I had contracts, I bought new equipment, which would always leave me with a surplus of equipment once the job was done," he explains.
While business was still young, he thoughtfully considered his buying and selling options, and decided that Ritchie Bros. was a way to sell his surplus equipment and pick up late model equipment when he needed it. "It was Dave Ritchie himself who came with me to the construction site at 7:00 a.m. one winter, looked at my equipment that first time, let me know what he thought it was worth, and we settled it right away," he says.
Camille felt that Ritchie Bros. knew their equipment prices and was excited to be selling by auction. "Dave knew the equipment market, he knew where the pricing was going and he knew what to do."
Having worked together for decades, Camille feels this was a wise decision: "I've always been satisfied. There are never any complaints; we always work everything out. The staff there is very understanding. And Dave Ritchie, well, he meets people and remembers them – he knows how to talk to people."
Camille's success in the industry is a result of a strong foundation on the principles of good, honest service and hard work. He likes to work with other companies with values that reflect his own.
As a result, Camille Dionne recommends Ritchie Bros. to this day. "I've bought lots of equipment, I've sold lots of equipment, and Ritchie Bros. is the best in the world," he reasons. "If you want your company to do well, you go to Ritchie Bros."
With discipline and determination, he does not buy equipment without making sure that he is satisfied with the product. "I prefer to examine the machine myself, rather than depend on someone else or buy online. Before going into business, I used to be a mechanic and a machine operator, which helps," he says.
"It's been 46 years and I'm still in business. I'm not going to retire, and I'm not going to quit going to auctions," he says. His need to buy and sell equipment is one reason he keeps attending auctions, but what he seems to like the most is the people. "I love the auctions," says Camille. "You always run into a lot of people you know, and I just love that."
Written and published: 2008