Managers of the Spencer Case-IH and John Deere dealerships that were sold within weeks of each other this winter say their customers benefit from working with the broader network now available to them.
The sale of three Case-IH farm implement dealerships in Spencer, Estherville and West Bend, Iowa, closed in December, when Randy Hinton and his children, who own Bancroft Implement, the Case-IH dealership in Bancroft, Iowa, bought the three locations operated by West Bend International.
The family also operates Case-IH Red Power Team stores in Humboldt, Mason City, Manson, New Hampton, Corwith, and Greene, Iowa, which was the last dealership the Hintons acquired in 2012. The elder Hinton was part of the organization when it was founded in Bancroft 41 years ago by his father, Jim Hinton. The family now has about 160 employees.
Noteboom Implement bought the three Northwest Equipment locations in Spencer, Lake Park, and Sibley, Iowa, in January. Noteboom previously operated three John Deere stores stores in Corsica, Parkston, and Chamberlain, S.D., in addition to a parts and service facility in Platte, S.D.
The purchase nearly doubled the size of the Noteboom family operation, Dan Noteboom said. The stores in South Dakota “are larger, and cover much more geography.” Noteboom now has about 200 employees, he said.
Case IH — Red Power Team
Brad Hyde, who has worked with Case-IH since 1989, was in sales at the Hintons' Manson location for 10 years before becoming the Spencer manager in December.
Hyde explained that many tractors taken in trade in western Iowa are sold at the Red Power Team’s eastern Iowa locations like New Hampton and Greene.
“Most of what we see in Northwest Iowa is cash grain farming. But in northeast Iowa, it’s a different story. There’s a little more outdoor livestock, and smaller farms. So they use some smaller tractors from our inventory.”
“They also get into more haying equipment. So when we get a call on some haying equipment -- which we don’t get very often -- they have used inventory there that we can pick up and bring over here. It works both ways,” Hyde said.
The Internet is also opening some opportunity, Hyde added.
The new manager also said he expects to see a few more mergers of dealerships, mostly from attrition and retirement. “That’s basically what this (sale) was.”
Randy Hinton said he is looking to provide better customer service at all three of the new locations.
At Noteboom Implement in Spencer, where manager Bob Warren has worked for the 25 years that Dave Hultgren and Pete Hegg operated Northwest Equipment, Warren sees benefit to a wider market to the west.
“When we trade something in here, we might be able to market it out there (in South Dakota), and vice versa," he said.
“The South Dakota stores sell a lot of really large tractors -- four-wheel drives -- big tractors with PTOs. We can sell them larger used tractors. When we get a lot of trade-ins coming in, it’s hard to move ’em all. So we help them quite a bit that way. They have a lot of loader tractors, that kinda stuff,” Warren said.
“We generally have more lower-hour tractors to trade to them. They have a lot of acres out there (in South Dakota), where we have smaller farms, and generally very nice equipment.”
In addition to the corn and soybeans planted as the main crops in this area, Warren noted that wheat and sunflowers are big crops in South Dakota.
Warren also noted the Internet is changing the landscape of the implement business. “This is huge for all of us. The market is so huge. We advertise used equipment all over the country and overseas.
Last year, Warren said, Northwest Equipment shipped several planters and field cultivators to the Ukraine -- “and we sent a lot of parts with ’em,” adding that export is still a very small part of the overall business.
“It all depends on having the right equipment with the right hours, and the right price to ship something overseas,” Warren added.