TORONTO, April 6, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – By 1945, Bill Willis undoubtedly recognized the immense business potential heavy equipment dealers would have for a booming post-war Canadian economy. Bill worked for one of the earliest and largest heavy machinery dealers in Ontario. With this insight and business vision in mind, Bill parted ways with this company and on April 6, 1946, Equipment Sales & Service was born.

With his humble beginnings in an auto repair shop on E. Queen Street, Toronto, Mr. Willis began his legacy of selling Lima shovels. The mantra was simple: hire the best, most experienced people in the industry to sell and support the highest quality products. Bill Deuel was hired in 1951 and was instrumental in the company’s early growth and subsequent success. Eventually he rose to be president of the company. In the same year, 1951, ESS was named the exclusive distributor for Link Belt Cranes and Buckets in Ontario. The late Dan Wood was brought on board in 1960 and also became one of the industry’s best-known industry experts. He contributed immensely to the company’s success for 60 years! In 1962, ESS bought its first large property from the Reichmann brothers and moved into 1030 Martin Grove Rd., Toronto. This location is still the company’s headquarters today.

The growth strategy proved solid by building an early niche business for ESS and building it for future generations. The company offered its customers a unique one-stop-shop for spare parts and service solutions for all brands and all equipment models, as well as representing their OEM machine lines.

75 years later, now in its third generation, ESS is proud to operate from 12 offices across Canada, representing several world-class OEM lines serving the construction, mining, forestry, foundation and drilling industries . ESS is a platinum member of Canada’s prestigious Best Managed Companies Awards program, which has maintained that designation for 10 years in a row.

After Bill Willis’ death in 1973, sons Michael and Peter diligently followed in their father’s footsteps and developed close relationships with equipment manufacturers in North America and abroad. They drove the company’s growth by entering into OEM distribution agreements from manufacturers and acquiring distribution rights through timely acquisitions of established heavy machinery / parts distributors across Canada. The company’s geographic presence expanded to Western Canada in the late 1970s. In 1978, rugged lines like Esco consumables were acquired through the acquisition of WE Bolt, then Esco dealer in Alberta and southeastern British Columbia. ESS then opened offices in Edmonton and Calgary. In 1980 WJ Knox, the Esco consumables dealer in Southern Ontario, was purchased.

Mike Smith was hired in 1984 to head the Western Division and became Vice President of ESS when he cemented ESS ‘status as a bonafide distributor of Link Belt and Esco consumables for the booming energy, construction and mining markets of western Canada. The distribution of the Berco chassis was added later.

In 1993 the aftermarket parts expert George Parps was hired and with him the important appointment of the company to sell the world-famous Berco chassis.

At the turn of the century, after Komatsu Ltd. Having struggled with 5 different equipment distributors in Ontario in as many years, she desperately sought stability for distributors and asked ESS to become an OEM distributor. In 2001 she was officially appointed.

Morgan Cronin was hired as President in 2012 and brought his wealth of knowledge and advice to the ESS table with over 30 years of industry experience.

Recent expansion projects include the acquisition of Selix Equipment Inc. in 2018, the addition of Soilmec Foundation, Sandvik & Geax drilling equipment lines to ESS’s diverse OEM arsenal, and the purchase of Belcher Machinery Parts, which further strengthen the presence of spare parts in Quebec .

The third generation successors, consisting of Michael’s daughter Meghan, her husband Drew Paton and Peter’s two sons Peter & Jodie, are ready to continue the legacy of the Willis family. They are beaming with pride and are truly grateful to the company’s team of exceptional personalities that have made ESS the industry leader and continue to do so.

ESS thanks all loyal customers, suppliers and employees for their trust and unwavering commitment to ESS over the past three quarters of centuries. We look forward to entering into many more successful partnerships over the next 75 years!

“Our employees are our success. Customer service is our passion. “


ESS is the world’s longest-running distributor of link belt devices.

ESS is one of the largest aftermarket component suppliers in Canada.

ESS is the largest Esco consumable parts dealer in North America.

ESS is the largest Berco dealer in Canada.

2021 marks the 20th anniversary of ESS becoming the exclusive Komatsu dealer for construction machinery in southern Ontario. At the same time, Komatsu is celebrating its 100th anniversary as a world-class equipment manufacturer.

Contact information:

Equipment Sales & Service Limited

Morgan Cronin

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at