Equipment, USA - Fendt dealer
Equipment, USA - Fendt dealer
Established nearly 65 years ago in Brillion, Wisconsin, Vanderloop Equipment has always been one to market cutting-edge equipment and innovative technology. So it wasn’t surprising that they were also one of the first dealers in the U.S. to add the Fendt brand to their product lineup in 2000. Since that time, Fendt has become a major product line for the dealership, often filling a niche market. According to General Manager Robb Vanderloop, the dealership was actually started in the early 1950s by his father and grandfather as a dealer for Sheppard tractors, which, like Fendt, was ahead of its time as one of the first tractor brands to build its own diesel engines. However, Sheppard stopped building tractors in the mid-1950s, causing the family to turn to Massey Harris and, ultimately, Massey Ferguson.
“Throughout that time, the company has been a family owned business,” says Vanderloop. “Three of my dad’s brothers joined the company shortly after it was started. Then, my cousin and I joined the business, which meant that, at one point, there were seven of us involved in the dealership.” However, with retirement and family deaths, management has reverted to the third generation of Robb and his cousin, Carey Vanderloop.
In addition, Robb’s son, Mark, has joined the operation as an investor and service writer, marking a fourth generation. Meanwhile, Vanderloop Equipment has expanded to two additional locations, having opened a store in Marathon, Wisconsin, in 2000, followed by another location in Leon, Wisconsin, just six years ago.
“Fendt has been a good brand for us, but we have to take a little different approach with Fendt and sell it on value and productivity, rather than price,” Vanderloop relates, noting that their largest market is dairy, grain, hay and forage, and livestock customers. “We try to find out how potential customers are using a tractor and look for niche markets. In fact, we’re looking at a bid right now for a tractor that will be used at the airport.”
Similarly, Vanderloop has placed several Fendt tractors with snowmobile clubs and snow grooming companies (see 1st quarter 2015 issue), due to their economy and versatility. However, Vanderloop says nearly 50 percent of the Fendt tractors they sell still go to customers who do mostly custom and contract work, largely because of the efficiency and productivity that Fendt offers.
“We always stress the features Fendt is known for, like reliability, warranty and comfort,” he adds. “We also maintain a strong resale market by refurbishing the tractors and adding our own warranty, which allows us to offer more for their Fendt trade-in.
That also allows us to add another five to 10 percent to the residual value on a lease. As a result, we sell Fendt on the cost of operation, not on purchase price.” Last, but not least, Vanderloop says they take care of their Fendt customers, even after the warrant has expired. “If it means bringing a tractor into the shop without charging for transportation, or replacing a light bulb at no cost after the warranty has expired, it’s just something we do to develop repeat customers,” he says.
Vanderloop says he can even envision a few of those customers moving up to the new 1000 Vario tractors introduced at the National Farm Machinery Show. “I can see the 1000 Vario tractors having a place with our custom operators who can benefit from the versatility that this tractor offers,” he adds. “There’s not another tractor like it on the market, so we have to develop our own market for it, just as we have with all the other Fendt models.”