Vermeer Dealer Ready for Move to Tipton Business Park
By Dave DeWitte
TIPTON - The exclusive dealer for Pella-made Vermeer products in Iowa plans to open its new sales and distribution center in Tipton within the next few weeks.
Vermeer of Iowa announced plans in late 2008 to open its first Eastern Iowa location in Tipton. It's been operating out of a former Massey Ferguson dealership at 212 W. South St. while it developed a new dealership on a five-acre lot in the Tipton Business Park.
The new dealership will give the operation newer facilities and the space to grow, according to Woody Fisher, general manager of Vermeer of Eastern Iowa, the company's Eastern Iowa business unit.
"We've got a lot of existing customers over here," Fisher said. "This makes it so we can take care of them in a little timelier fashion."
Fisher said Vermeer's directional drills have been in strong demand, partly due to federal programs that are stimulating expansion of fiber optic broadband services into rural areas. Demand for Vermeer trenchers is strong for the same reason.
Pella-based Vermeer is well known for its stump shredding and wood chipping equipment, which are used in the tree care industry.
The new Tipton facility includes a 5,000-square-foot building that includes a 80-foot by 130-foot showroom, and a 10,400 square foot building that includes its service operations.
Vermeer of Iowa plans to eventually employ about a dozen providing service, sales, and support for Vermeer products. It currently has three employees.
"We're still in a transitional phase," Fisher said. "We're used to having everything done out of Pella."
Weather slowed the opening of the new facility, which was expected to be complete in late winter.
Vermeer of Iowa is owned by Rick Boat and the Boat family. Fisher said the company has sold Vermeer equipment out of its location in Pella for 50 years, and also has a branch in Marcus.
Tipton Economic Development Corp. and the City of Tipton have been working with the company for about two years, after a city purchase of a Vermeer product gave Tipton's city manager an opening to find out about Vermeer of Iowa's plans for Eastern Iowa.
"The City of Tipton has been fantastic to work with," Fisher said. The new facility is located on the north side of Tipton immediately off Highway 38.