Daniel Levesque, center, and Louisa Berube, left, of Quebec, Canada, take a tour through one of the tractor part warehouses at the FP Smith Parts & Equipment headquarter on Ramsey Road in Fairfield Tuesday afternoon. (Mike Greener/Daily Republic)
FAIRFIELD — Daniela Bucciolini met, and conquered, her match Tuesday.
Bucciolini was one of more than 135 guests at Fairfield’s FP Smith Parts & Equipment. Her company near Florence, Italy, produces spare parts for the Komatsu PC220LC excavator she tested out at Smith Parts.
Her employee, Filippo Becattini, videotaped as his boss scooped up piles of dirt into a bucket, then dropped them back down.
“She wants to do these kinds of dangerous things,” Becattini said. “She’s very competitive.”
“I was like a child with joystick,” Bucciolini said after her test drive. “It was fantastic. It was easy and incredible.”
And, yes, she wouldn’t mind owning one.
“She doesn’t have enough room in her garage,” Becattini joked.
More than 18 countries were represented at the event, an early introduction to the Independent Distributor’s Association convention that opens Wednesday in San Francisco.
Marcello Marchetto accompanied her boyfriend, Walter Antonella, to the event. His company, outside Milan, Italy, sells the undercarriage parts for the excavator.
Marchetto also tried out the excavator.
“I’m very satisfied,” she said after stepping down from the cab of the excavator. She followed it with a few words from the Rolling Stones tune “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.”
“I know this is work for a man,” she said, with translation help from Bucciolini. “But even a woman can do this. It’s very soft.”
“It’s a woman’s machine,” Bucciolini proclaimed.
Guests of Smith Parts were treated to a variety of activities including a tour of his warehouse.
“I really want to see his variety of parts,” said Enzo Masciotra, from Montreal.
Many of them purchase parts from the Fairfield company.
Robert and Kimberly Castle traveled from Brisbane, Australia. He was attracted to the vintage car show Smith Parts had arranged for his guests.
A 1967 Armijo High School graduate, Pete Smith will be installed as vice president of the Independent Distributors Association, which represents more than 450 companies worldwide. It’s a trade association for companies that manufacture, sell or distribute parts for heavy equipment.
More than 26 countries will be represented at the convention.
The last time the convention took place in San Francisco was 1989.
“It ended on a Sunday and the (Loma Prieta) quake was on a Monday,” said Nancy Estes, executive director of the Independent Distributors Association.
While there have been other pre-convention events in the past, Estes said Smith took it to the max with clay shooting, live entertainment and food.
“This is phenomenal,” she said.
“When you live in Cordelia, you make things happen,” Smith said. “Either you go to the world or you bring the world to you.”
Smith welcomed guests from as far as China. Kevin Hu feasted on oysters and pizza at the event. The company he works for, outside Shanghai, manufactures spare parts for heavy equipment.
FP Smith Parts & Equipment has been in business for more than 60 years and has 21 full-time employees.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org.