Power Equipment Systems (PES) was founded in 1979 by William H. “Bill” Burrell, II, as a division of the E.H. Burrell Company. Bill purchased the division from his uncle Jim for $1.00. PES began as a service distributor for Tecumseh, Briggs & Stratton and Kohler. Original equipment service parts and engines were the base for this division. PES has been growing ever since.
Power Equipment Systems downtown Salem location was displaced in 1985 to make room for a new shopping mall and parking structure—a benefit in disguise! PES had just acquired distributorship rights to the Tecumseh product line, and a new location/larger building for the expanding companies was sorely needed.
In September 1995, the company’s founder, Bill Burrell, passed away. With the guiding hand of the management team in place, Bill’s daughter and son-in-law, Kelly and Pete Yunker, became involved in the business. They nurtured Bill’s mantra of taking care of the customer and successfully ventured into commercial and consumer equipment markets.
After acquiring two new territories and five new product lines, PES finished an expansion of its existing building, doubling the size to 35,000 square feet. The project allowed for more efficient distribution and space for expected future growth.
Over the next two decades, PES worked on expanding the company. With a vision in mind, more brands and new territory were brought to the table, expanding its footprint into 13 western states.
These brands drove the expansion:
Looking to the future, the PES leadership team determined the company needed room to grow in order to achieve their goals. After spending a year vetting the perfect location, the team landed on an existing property in Salem, Oregon. In September 2015, PES moved into its current distribution facility, encompassing 120,000 square feet of warehouse and office space.
The PES leadership team continues to look for opportunities to grow and diversify. In 2017, an opportunity with OEM customers was realized, and the PES Industrial Division was born, offering Kohler Gas and Diesel engines. In 2019, PES celebrated 40 years in business, yet still had the dream of having all brands in all states. So, the PES leadership team made two big moves in the industry by acquiring additional distribution rights for Kohler.
Through all this growth and expansion, one thing has remained unchanged: PES employee passion for serving the customer.