Interview with Alex and Joanne Santiago Co-Founders of USED R US

used us r

Dear Alex, you’re at the head of the family business, Used R Us. Please tell us a bit more. What’s the story behind your company?

From a very young age, I started in the construction industry in Puerto Rico following my father’s footsteps. At age 20 I bought my first machine, a used Caterpillar D8H bulldozer. Due to the demand for bulldozers at the time I was able to rent it out continuously until the point that I was able to buy more machines. As a result, I started offering earthmoving services as a contractor but my attention was captured by the parts division when I dismantled a machine for parts for the very first time, a Cat D9H bulldozer. Since then I have been involved in the parts division. In the early 90’s I was able to orchestrate the purchase of a surplus of parts from a company that was shutting down its operations in Canada, Fortress. Their inventory consisted of a large sum of new Caterpillar Original and aftermarket parts and acquiring this led me to be one of the largest distributors of Caterpillar surplus parts in Puerto Rico. Later on, I partnered with one of the largest construction contractors in the island and became an exclusive distributor of new heavy machinery & parts in Puerto Rico. We started as the dealer of Samsung (later Volvo), Fermec, Terex, Ammann, Liebherr, Tadano, Potain, etc. In the mid-90’s we opened a second location as the dealer of Daewoo (later Doosan), Vibromax, Carmix, Cushion cut and by the late 90’s also represented Komatsu, Grove, amongst others. In the early 2000’s I decided to sell my shares of the companies but have never been able to completely retire from the machinery business. During all these years my customers and suppliers have always stayed in contact asking me for assistance in different areas of the construction field or simply catching up with old pals. Fast Forward a few years, I was invited to the Netherlands by a very good customer and friend of mine to design some custom-made heavy machinery for their company. What was intended to be a short visit to the Netherlands led to the establishment of Used R Us in the year 2012 together with my youngest son where we focus on the supply of spare parts of all major brands as well as independent heavy equipment inspections.

used equipment


You are dealing with spare parts with Used R Us. What is your company’s specialty?

Used R Us offers a range of services within the heavy equipment industry. We specialize in the purchase of whole lots of heavy equipment parts from dealers that are downsizing or closing their businesses all over the world. Since our stock inventory was purchased in lots, this allows us to forward the savings to our customers. We offer original & aftermarket parts for all major brands such as Caterpillar, Liebherr, Volvo, Komatsu, Doosan, Cummins, etc.

Joanne, you just renewed your website with parts’ search via reference number and customers can now buy parts from your website with e-shop. How does it work exactly?

Our new website allows our customers to purchase In-Stock parts online.

We have made it very easy:

  • Search
  • Add to cart
  • Checkout
  • Place your order – As payment methods, we accept:
    • Bank Transfer
    • Visa, Mastercard, American Express
    • Paypal
  • Shipping – International shipping available. Depends on the part and shipping address
    • AIR
    • GROUND
    • SEA

Also if a client needs personal assistance locating a part, no problem. We can help! Just answering a few questions, we can help even if it’s not on our site.


We can see on www.usedareus.com you offer additional services such as heavy equipment inspection. Moreover, we can read that your team has been trained under the U.S. Standards. Could you please tell us more about it? Do you have any additional services? 

We offer independent inspection services to determine the current condition of a machine. Our Team has the experience and knowledge to provide a technical report of the visual and operational condition. Having been trained under the U.S. Standards allow us to determine if a machine has received proper maintenance throughout its service life. We have a vast experience working in the construction equipment field in the United States.

used equipment


Do you have any additional services?

In addition, we can customize or modify heavy equipment using 3D CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) engineering. This allows us to help explore with our customers new ideas and simulate how a design will work in the real world, always keeping safety in mind first.

With your Headquarters in The Netherlands, you cover all of Europe, North America, and South America. What are your focus countries?

Alex – Due to the advancements in technology and communication we have customers from all over the world but due to our history, a large part of our customer base is from the Americas and the Caribbean. Our offices are located in the Netherlands, but we also have distribution points in the continental U.S.A. as well as Puerto Rico to better serve our customers.

Alex, you just started working with MachineryScanner’s review system. Please tell us what importance do you give to trust and long-term relationships with customers?

Alex – The most important lesson I learned during my career is that no matter who, customer or supplier, you have to gain their trust and work hard to maintain healthy long-term business relationships. Keep in mind, I have experience in both sides, being a customer and being a supplier, therefore I understand both positions very well. One thing I always say to my children “Meet people who know people”. That is the secret!

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