It’s been four weeks since Vetter Equipment of Nevada opened for business in its new location along Highway 30 west of Nevada; and according to local manager Gary Anderson, the 27 employees of the local farm equipment dealer couldn’t be happier with the greatly expanded space and other amenities that the new facility provides.
“We’re not stacked on top of each other,” Anderson said, in reference to the business’s old store along Lincoln Highway near Airport Road. The business moved from a 25,000 square foot building to a 63,000 square foot building, Anderson said, and the shop alone more than doubled in size from 10,000 square feet to 22,000 square feet.
Vetter Equipment of Nevada is one of nine farm equipment businesses in Iowa owned by Glen Vetter of Denison. Vetter Equipment sells Case IH products, from low-force powered tractors all the way to combines, including four-wheel drive tractors, and high-horse powered row crop tractors. The goal for Nevada’s Vetter Equipment, Anderson said, has always been to provide the best parts, service and sales support that it can.
Of the nine Vetter Equipment businesses in Iowa, all located primarily in the west half of the state, both south and north, Nevada was the last to be opened in 2002. Anderson, who came here to manage the store a year-and-a-half ago, after retiring from a 31-year field representative position with the company, said Vetter’s youngest store has done well.
“We are now the second-highest volume store in the nine,” he said, noting that the Nevada location’s growth is definitely aided by proximity (a centralized location) and the good Iowa farm ground in this area of the state.
“With business growth and the size of machinery, we were so strapped in the old facility that we … had to do something to grow our business … we were just choked down completely (along Lincoln Highway),” Anderson said.
The company saw great advantage to building a new, expanded facility along Highway 30, right across from the Case IH corporate training center, called the Ag Information Center. “We have a large conference room (in the new facility), so if they can’t accommodate everyone (for training), we can now help out. Plus, it gives us a real advantage, because about 6,000 people go through the Ag Information Center each year for training. We see other dealers and dealers’ sales people, and now they will see our dealership – one of the nicest Case IH dealerships in the Midwest,” Anderson said.
Other advantages of the Highway 30 location were road frontage along one of the state’s busiest highways and easier access to the dealership by being along a more traveled highway.
While they will have to put up with the frustrations during a paving project this summer along Highway 30, Anderson said the company is also keeping a close eye on discussions by the Iowa Department of Transportation to possibly make Highway 30 between Ames and Nevada into an “interstate” with no roads connecting to it from the north or south.
“I along with all the other businesses, customers and farmers in the area are extremely concerned with what the DOT is doing with Highway 30 and how much of an impact it’s going to have on our business,” Anderson said. “We’ll monitor (the plans) closely.”
Anderson said the new building is 98 percent complete, with just a little trim work and cabinetry to finish - nothing that prevents them from doing business.
Along with all the additional space they now have, employees have loved the advancements in technology that they’ve been able to bring to the table, like the GPS, which gives them the ability to monitor tractors in the field, their yield and everything in regard to “auto-guidance systems.”
In the shop, Anderson said there are now overhead cranes that allow workers to be more efficient at doing the repair work needed.
“I really think Vetter Equipment has given us a great opportunity to grow and expand and better serve our customers,” Anderson said. And as people see the new facility, he said it can be a shock-and-awe reaction. “Generally speaking, most people feel we’ve earned the space we’ve been able to move to … and they’re very pleased to have us in this facility.”