Since signing on full time with MDMA Equipment in 1973, Gene Schlosser has watched an evolution in the agricultural equipment industry. As farm acreages have grown in the past couple of decades, so too have implements, Schlosser said.
Even lawn mowers are bigger.
"A 38-inch mower used to be standard," he said. "Now we carry up to a 72-inch."
That's nothing compared with the increased size and technological advances of tractors, combines and other farm equipment.
The trend toward larger agricultural machinery means the size of buildings that house those implements must grow as well. Count Tractor Central, formerly Arcadia MDMA Equipment, among dealers adding on to accommodate bigger equipment.
Established August 1, 2009, as a result of MDMA Equipment and Kohel Power merging, Tractor Central is northwestern Wisconsin's largest John Deere dealer. The company has headquarters in Eau Claire. Other locations are in Cameron, Chippewa Falls, Durand, Granton, Menomonie, Mondovi and Sheldon.
"We had a lot of good employees doing a lot of work in a very limited and outdated space for a long time," Schlosser said.
Construction on the project, which will triple the size of the building, began this spring and is scheduled to be completed this month.
Jon Wozney, Arcadia location manager, said the expansion will help Tractor Central provide faster and higher-quality service with shorter turnaround time. The expanded space will better allow the company to provide quality service to a strong agricultural area, Wozney said.
"Everything is growing right now, especially precision agriculture," Schlosser said.
The company has added five new employees in the last 16 months to help meet the greater demand.
The new showroom features an open layout. The service and parts departments are in close proximity so they work together for faster service.
Parts counters are situated so customers can work alongside parts staff to diagnose and discuss needed parts.
"It's more like a customer work station," Schlosser said.
The new building also has a loading dock for large trucks and pickups, parking in front and 3 1/2 times more shop space.
Technicians are working in the new portion of the shop as the old part of the building is renovated into additional service space. Business has gone on as usual, Schlosser said.
Endvick writes for The Country Today, a rural life newspaper published by the Eau Claire Press Co. She can be reached at 715-827-0606 or firstname.lastname@example.org.