First published March, 2015
The Success in Shortline Machinery series highlights the best practice strategies employed by top farm equipment dealers to promote and sell shortline equipment. It is brought to you courtesy of Väderstad.
Väderstad, is a family-owned full-line manufacturer of high-speed planters, seed drills and tillage equipment. Together with farmers in 40 countries all over the world, we have spent the last 55 years creating machines that make any farmland find its full potential. Väderstad is seeking independent-minded dealers capable of selling and servicing high quality equipment to professional farmers. If you are looking for the possibility to expand your customer base, contact Larry Wieler at email@example.com or (289) 527-4697.
“Normally, we do cater to the hay and livestock customer. We have increased our inventory slightly on hay tools and utility tractors. We have been slowly increasing our numbers on compacts and compact implements also. With this said, I really don’t look for our sales to suffer much this coming year. Tillage is dead. There’s not much interest at all in any tillage equipment.
“Utility tractor sales have done well so far this early in the year. Traditionally, the compact sales won’t start until we have that week of 50 degree weather, but we are ready for that also.”
— Jeff Suchomski, Suchomski Equipment Inc., Pinckneyville, Ill.
“We are focusing on specialty lines to provide additional resources to strong sectors. We have boosted our orders on items like feed boxes, mixer grinders and livestock-based implements. It is important for us to target our marketing on strong sectors that allow us to sell our main line while emphasizing opportunities in specialty equipment.”
— Clint Schnoor, Agri-Service, Twin Falls, Idaho
“Not really. We just have to work smarter, control expenses and make sure we have the opportunity to be in on all equipment purchases and work harder to close them and get the deal.”
— Rick Mallo, Titan Machinery, Pierre, S.D.
“Our organization also caters to the consumer and governmental markets. Deere makes a good line of mowers and compact tractors and has made strategic partnerships with Sthil and Honda power products, and we feel this will help us balance some of the downturn in the ag economy that may potentially occur.”
— Rick Hirai, Washington Tractor, Quincy, Wash.
“Actually, we are not going to do anything extra to promote shortlines. We are having salespeople focus on our major line, John Deere, to maximize our John Deere sales for this year.”
— Rod Paul, Green Line Implement, Miller, S.D.
“The vast majority of our ‘specialty equipment’ buyers are also our large equipment buyers, so no, we aren’t doing anything special.”
— Donald Lund, Lund Implement Co., Madison, Minn.
“Our focus this year will be to continue working on lowering our used inventory levels. We feel it would not be prudent to work on creating more sales through specialty lines as we feel strongly that they are a distraction to our core business and thus could cause us to lose opportunities to sell current used pieces to our local customer base. Specialty equipment sales usually result in loading up our yard with odd trades that do not sell quickly.”
— Darren Nickel, Greenvalley Equipment, Morden, Manitoba
“Our focus is on integrated solutions — using the data that we have been creating to create solutions and additional profitability. We are not looking for additional product lines unless they support our current initiatives, such as drones.”
— Don Van Houweling, Van Wall Equipment, Perry, Iowa
“We have discontinued many of the specialty equipment lines. We will be promoting more parts and service to fill the void for less ag wholegoods sales. There will be a shift to more consumer and construction customers until ag recovers.”
— James Sommer, Service Motor Co., Dale, Wis.
“With the long green line of equipment from John Deere, we are focusing a lot more on the smaller ag customer who is not effected by the downturn in cash grain. We’re hosting more Drive Green events this year at all of our stores, targeting the sundown farmer. We’re also promoting more of the UTV market with aggressive sales of Gator UTVs and targeting the residential mowing customer. The commercial mowing business is subject to growth this year, if the spring turns up wetter than normal, the grass grows more.
“My store is positioned in the beef cattle market and we plan on making up some lost revenue from cash grain with hay equipment, round and square balers, tedders, rakes and bale wrapping equipment to meet a growing customer demand.”
— Walter Green, Deer Country Equipment, Corydon, Ind.
“We expect the over 150 horsepower tractor sales to be down because of corn and bean prices. Specialty crops look good for 50-100 horsepower tractors sales. Combine sales will suffer. We are doing more rentals and have taken on JCB lines as the large farmers are using more industrial equipment in feedlots and orchards, etc.”
— Drew Williamson, Doughty & Williamson Ltd., Jarvis, Ontario
“Being in the spray equipment business, we have seen a trend to speed up fill time and make operations more efficient with nurse equipment from small 1,000 gallon trailers to drop-deck trailers with 5,000-plus gallon capacity. Mixing and filling with an all-closed system is growing. Pumps, tanks, meters and trailers have paid off for us to promote. Adding precision equipment to existing machines is also a niche that has increased with machines in use longer. Less expensive items to make life easier are not a hard sell.”
— Greg Simpson, Simpson Farm Enterprises, Ransom, Kan.
“Garton Tractor started focusing more on our digital advertising and having it managed (we use Agricise Marketing). We have a great Facebook page that has a good following. The goal of our Facebook page is to share relevant brand information and engage with our community. Fortunately for us in California, we have a lot of variety and specialty equipment. We are very excited this year to be able to sell the New Holland Braud vineyard harvester. The harvester features Opti-Grape sorting that really improves the quality of grapes going to the winery.”
— Ben Garton, Garton Tractor, Newman, Calif.
“We are not lucky enough to have any specialty equipment. We are going to try and make up lost equipment sales with extra parts sales, which is going to be tough.”
— Steve Stemle, Mid South Ag, Owensboro, Ky.
“So far we do not see our large equipment sales down, due to us under performing in the past. That being said, we have a new facility with a 20,000 square foot showroom to promote our power equipment. We are also taking on Kubota’s wheeled skid steers at mid-year.”
— Christopher Carnevale, McFarlanes, Sauk City, Wis.
“We will spend more money for the small ag market and push more aftermarket/attachment sales.”
— Lee Ann Sydenstricker, Sydenstricker Implement, Mexico, Mo.