Creating Trust & Transparency in Equipment Resale
Co-Founder & COO, Boom & Bucket
Aaron is an experienced operational leader who’s passionate about new product introduction, pioneering new markets, and building high-performance teams. His focus is on industries such as construction and agriculture with low technology penetration, particularly in connected assets and the data-driven business insights they unlock. He leans on his award-winning leadership experience from a decade-long career as a Naval officer to find, attract, and motivate great people for his teams.
In this episode of the Dirty Boots Show podcast, Chris Nixon sits down with Boom & Bucket Co-Founder Aaron Kline, a navy pilot with a background in building companies with products that make it easier to find quality secondhand equipment with a lot less hassle.
From Fighter Pilot to Entrepreneur
Aaron Kline flew fighter jets and F-18s for 11 years before switching gears to grow early-stage tech ventures. It wasn’t an accident that he built businesses that solved common problems around running and renting heavy equipment, either. Aaron wasn’t only a pilot for the Navy, but a division officer who ran the maintenance department. As a result, he spent a lot of time running preventative and unplanned maintenance.
With his unique background, Aaron understood the difficulties experienced in buying and selling equipment and the hesitancy to buy secondhand.
In many ways, the Navy also prepped him to be an innovator in an industry that’s often the last to benefit from technology that solves real problems like these.
“I would not be where I am today without that experience. It’s not just the leadership principles that you learn in the service. Some of those are not transportable, but many are,” Aaron explains.
“The experience fills you with confidence and challenges personally what you believe is possible.”
In 2013, he helped launch Yard Club, a peer-to-peer rental marketplace for contractors to get more uptime and money from idle fleets. Over time, they built a suite of functions to help people manage rental equipment, and in 2017, Caterpillar bought it.
When Price Reflects Distrust
Although Aaron would eventually leave Yard Club, he would continue to mull over the problems related to buying and selling used equipment. Hundreds of interviews with people from the construction industry brought to light the issue of trust in secondhand marketplaces.
“Many people’s natural inclination if they’re selling a machine private party is to try to conceal any flaws with the machine,” Aaron says, “The truth of the matter is that distrust and lack of transparency is priced in the market.”
These interviews and insights led to the creation of Boom & Bucket, a fully managed end-to-end private sale marketplace founded on the belief that if you can increase access to the information in the market, the outcomes are better for everyone.
In the past, all buyers had was a phone number. They would have to travel to see the equipment, spend 15–20 minutes inspecting it, and have no idea about maintenance or ownership history before haggling the price.
None of this happens when buyers go through Boom & Bucket, where their mechanics inspect every piece of equipment on a robust application they created.
It’s one way they are making the market more efficient.
Data as an Asset
Before Boom & Bucket, Aaron helped create a mobile application for equipment management based on machine telematics data, which would eventually become the CAT App.
To Aaron, the trend toward data in the buying and selling of equipment is going nowhere soon because the data behind the machines is creating more trust and transparency in the marketplace.
“Data objective information helps resolve disputes, right? It helps with transparency. The data doesn’t lie,” says Aaron.
Looking ahead, Aaron believes data will become increasingly ingrained in a machine’s history and not just telematics but also maintenance, ownership, and usage history.
The information within the data is an asset for a piece of equipment, and just as much a part of its value as anything else.
Vice President, Assignar
Chris is Co-Host of the Dirty Boots Show. While he's not hosting the show, he's the VP of Marketing for Assignar where he is no stranger to reaching and engaging customers and igniting revenue growth.