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"Low-Cost" Skid Steer Sold Factory Direct
A South Dakota manufacturer recently began selling its "Patriot" skid steer loaders factory direct, with no middle man and no agent markup, in an effort to lower the machine's cost to customers.

"As far as I know we're the only skid steer manufacturer that sells factory direct with-out using any distributors or dealers. We now have the lowest priced quality-built skid steer on the market," says Rod Osterloh of Hecla Industries.

The "Patriot" brand name was introduced last December. However, the loader itself has been manufactured for at least 20 years by Lahman Mfg., also of South Dakota. "The company went through a reorganization in the early 1980s and didn't have the money to market the loader through dealers. My brothers and I bought the company last year and decided that selling factory direct would be a way to jump start the marketing process," says Osterloh. "The concept of selling factory direct is relatively new to skid steer loaders, and some people question whether it'll work. However, a few years ago no one thought that selling computers by phone would work, either. So far, we've been getting a good response at farm equipment shows.

"Patriots are built with the same well-known engines and hydraulics that many of the larger and more expensive machines use. As a result, local farm service centers probably often have the parts for repair. If not, we can deliver most service parts to your door overnight."

A wide assortment of attachments are avail-able including dirt, snow, and manure buckets, trenchers, grapple forks, post hole augers, snowblowers, pallet forks, rototillers, back-hoes, and brooms.

The hydrostatic skid-steer is available in five different models with gas or diesel engines from 20 to 65 hp and lift capacities from 600 to 1,800 lbs. Model 400, equipped with a 40 hp diesel engine, sells for $14,795.

Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Hecla Industries, LLP, Box 128, Hecla, S. Dak. 57446 (ph 888 470-2244; fax 218 587-8178).

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1998 - Volume #22, Issue #4