As Cashman Equipment Turns 80, CEO Looks Towards Future

Published on August 5, 2011

Friday, August 5, 2011 (Las Vegas, Nevada) When a company achieves eight decades in business, in a town that is perceived as not putting a lot of stock in preserving its history, there’s a tendency to reflect on the past – the successes, the growth, how the leaders of the past formed the business of today. However, while Nevada’s Caterpillar dealership is proud to have been a part of the Hoover Dam project, the casino construction boom of the 1940s, and the growth of the mining industry in Northern Nevada, Cashman Equipment’s CEO and Chairman, MaryKaye Cashman, is focusing on the here and now, with an eye on the future.

“Throughout our 80 year history, we have relied upon the vast diversification in our business across our designated territory,” said Cashman. “Currently, our strong presence in the construction and mining industries, in both the North and the South areas of Nevada, has enabled us to weather the normal cycles of business and emerge with strength.”

With six locations serving 110,500 square miles, Cashman Equipment started with just one office in Las Vegas in 1931… and shared that space with another business. Big Jim Cashman, the company’s founder and a respected Southern Nevada entrepreneur, started multiple businesses which made up Cashman Enterprises. The Caterpillar heavy equipment dealership operated concurrently alongside a car dealership, while Big Jim invested a significant amount of time building up the community of Las Vegas. With less than 10 employees for the first 30 years in business, the Caterpillar portion of Cashman Enterprises sat on the back burner for many years after the sale of six Model 60 tractors to the Hoover Dam project in 1931. However, the casino boom that started with the Flamingo in 1946 was a turning point for the tiny Caterpillar dealership. The demand for construction equipment began rising along with the floors of the casinos, and Cat machines were suddenly in demand. Progress continued steadily until 1961, when Jim Cashman Jr. expanded Cashman Equipment into Northern Nevada, doubling the company’s territory.

MaryKaye Cashman’s late husband, Jim Cashman III, continued that growth by increasing the number of locations and enlarging existing offices. Las Vegas moved into a larger facility, Reno constructed a component specialization center (CRC) and truck center, a full-service location opened in Elko, and the sale of a big fleet of mining equipment fostered the opening of a Round Mountain location. After Jim Cashman III’s unexpected death in 1995, MaryKaye Cashman took over the company, becoming one of the few women in the world to lead a Caterpillar dealership. Immersing herself in the business every single day, she has left her own mark on the company with the construction of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-certified corporate headquarters – the first Cat dealership in the world to achieve that status.

However, while that accomplishment is a very tangible aspect of her 16-year tenure at Cashman Equipment, MaryKaye Cashman has spent a significant amount of time focused on customer service, growing the business in each of the company’s target markets, and investing in what she considers the true strength of the company – the employees.
“We believe our employees are the key to our success and that their superior skills and expertise provide the differentiating value to our customers,” stated MaryKaye Cashman. And that value has been integral in helping Cashman Equipment to ride out the stormy economic climate of recent years.

While nowhere near the levels of the construction boom years like 2005 and 2006, Cashman Equipment has been seeing modest improvements in their overall business climate in 2011. The company’s construction machine deliveries have increased by more than 50% since July 2010, and rentals have reached the highest volumes since the economic downturn in 2007. Conversely, mining operations have been growing at a rate unseen since 2004, creating a need for additional personnel to serve Nevada’s multibillion-dollar mining industry. Growing their work force approximately 10% in the past six months, a good portion of Cashman Equipment’s new employees are in parts and service positions – a division that’s increased more than 20% since July 2010. Cautiously optimistic, the company has been recruiting consistently in 2011 in order to provide appropriately consistent levels of customer service.

Of course the drive to provide customers with the highest levels of service is a constant goal for the company, but Cashman Equipment is also closely examining their current markets to determine which steps to take in the next decade.
“Looking toward the future, we continue reviewing all the sectors of our business to see which ones need additional emphasis,” explained MaryKaye Cashman. “Currently, we are studying expanding our capabilities for the northern half of our territory and at the same time always evaluating our ancillary product lines to more fully serve and provide enhanced value to our customers.” In the past 12 months alone, the company has entered into the vocational truck market and has taken on six new ancillary product lines, which have expanded their business portfolio of technology products and services. Cashman Equipment expects to continue to enlarge their footprint in their territory in the years to come.

Cashman Equipment Company… Founded 80 years ago in 1931 by James “Big Jim” Cashman, Cashman Equipment is one of the highest rated Caterpillar equipment dealers in North America. A full service dealership, Cashman provides new and used equipment for sale and rental, as well as high-quality parts and service to mining, construction, paving, truck engine, pipeline, and power system industries throughout Nevada and parts of California. With LEED Gold certified corporate headquarters in Henderson, Nevada, Cashman is one of the largest privately-owned employers in the state. For more information, visit