2001 - Volume #25, Issue #5, Page #11[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
They Specialize In Rebuilt, Low-Cost, Compact 4-WD Tractors
Raised in the equipment business, Venema and partner, John Glazema, founded Handlers Used Equipment, Ltd., Abbotsford, British Columbia, about 10 years ago to sell used equipment and used parts. On one buying trip, he happened on an export dealer with dozens of compact tractors for sale. "Most of the used compact tractors of this size and age in the U.S. and Canada have very high hours and are in such poor condition you can't find a decent one," he says. "Most of these were only slightly used by comparison, with around 1,500 hours or less.
Venema bought 140 older 4-WD tractors in the 14 to 45 hp range, all with low hours and in fairly good shape. He imported them into Canada to refurbish and sell. Since that beginning, the company has become one of the largest North American importers of used Japanese tractors.
Most of the tractors the company buys are 10 to 20-year-old low hour Yanmars and Mitsubishis.
When a tractor arrives at their business, it's totally refurbished, from front to back and from seals to decals. "We check them out and replace all the fluids, filters, and any seals that could possibly leak. We put in new batteries and cable clamps and install a new seat. Ninety-five percent get new front tires and many get new rear tires, too. If there are dents or dings, those are taken care of by an autobody repair specialist and then the tractors get a fresh coat of paint and new decals," Venema says. "Before it leaves here, it's fitted with a Category I 3-point hitch (if it doesn't have one) and a new Allied front loader. We build our own mounting kits, so we know each loader fits just right. Rear tires are filled with calcium for added traction."
On top of that, each tractor must pass a 30-point mechanical and safety check before it can leave the refurbishing plant. Tractors are delivered with a 30-day warranty that covers most components.
Since the company began refurbishing compact tractors four years ago, they've built a dealer network that spans most of the Western states and now reaches through the Midwest and to the East Coast and Florida as well.
Missouri distributor Jim Pitts has been pleased with the support he's received from the company. "They make sure the tractors are in almost-new condition before they're delivered to dealers and they provide parts support for every tractor they sell," he says.
Venema adds: "I buy tractors with a known history and only if I know there's a readily available parts supply."
Handlers also makes its own 3-point mounted backhoe sized for 20 to 35 hp. Its refurbished Yanmar and Mitsubishi tractors, with new loader installed, retail at about 60 percent of the price of a new tractor with similar horsepower.
Venema says nearly all their refurbished tractors are sold through dealers. To locate a dealer or for information on becoming a dealer, contact the company or check their Website at www.best-used-tractors.com.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Handlers Used Equipment, Ltd., 39451 No. 3 Road, Abbotsford, British Columbia V3G 2G1 Canada (ph 604 850-3601; fax: 604 850-3627) or Von Self, Sedro Woolley, Wash. (ph/fax 360 856-2521).
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