Marion dealership expands with larger repair shop

Staff reporter

New farm equipment keeps getting larger, which means the space to work on them needs to get larger.

That was the dilemma facing the John Deere dealership, PrairieLand Partners, 902 N. Cedar, Marion.

"We simply were running out of space," Chad Gormley, general manager, said.

A 7,200 square foot building now is being constructed north of the current dealership building, not quite as large as the current shop building.

In addition to an expanded shop area for larger equipment, an indoor wash bay will be included in the new addition. Shop personnel wash equipment before and after it is serviced. Right now, they're doing that outside — regardless of the weather.

Management had anticipated the expansion project, which began in March, and had hired an additional technician and a parts person to accommodate the increase in business.

Currently there are 23 employees at the Marion location, Gormley said, in sales, parts, and service departments.

Deer Trail Implement, Inc., Conrady Western, and Pankratz Implement merged in January to form PrairieLand Partners, including the Marion dealership Feb. 1. The combined entity also has stores in McPherson, Emporia, Anthony, Winfield, two in Wichita, and its headquarters in Hutchinson.

"There are a lot of benefits to having more access to parts, and most notably, being able to provide better service to our customers," Gormley said.

And there are a lot of agricultural customers. Field technicians travel 45 to 50 miles per day, servicing those customers.

The new building should be completed by the end of July. Flaming Metal Systems Inc. of Peabody is the contractor.