I remember when he sold out and I did meet one of the new owners. I thought he had a pretty good business aptitude and attitude but times have been tough for everything during the years they've owned it. They still have lots of small equipment in their yard in Monroe but I don't see anything much for ag... not tractor wise anyway... almost looks like they're trying to switch over to the contractors market vs. the ag market.
We go through Berkey quite often and I always try to drive through the yard at Ott's to see the latest and the biggest!!!
LMAO! I do exactly the same thing every time I go there for parts! I drool over... er, I mean look at the sprayers... the header carts... the tractors... you know, the things I'm in the market for. Then I park my truck and go inside to get what I need.
At J&R, Bill's son Dave still worked in the parts department, I believe. Been a year or more since I've been there, so I don't know if he's still there or not. I was hoping he would take over the business from his dad, Bill, but that didn't happen. Could be a variety of reasons why, I suppose. I always liked Bill. Helluva nice guy, and he always treated you fair. I'll never forget him, or the smell of his ever-present pipe. He was a big part of my life back in the late 70's and early 80's, when I started farming.
Many ag dealers these days have branched out into the small tractor market, both for contractors and homeowners. The market is HUGE. It has saved many dealers from financial disaster. Carleton Farm Supply almost went out of business in the 90's, when they started selling Kubota tractors. That is their primary market now, while farming has taken a back seat to it. The ag market is still pretty big, but considering the millions of dollars it takes to maintain inventory, only the biggest will survive. Even most of these big ag dealers have not ignored the small tractor market. Baders, Archbold Equipment (formerly Dan's Equipment in Adrian), Diuble Equipment in Ann Arbor, have all created a huge "lawn and garden" department, where you can buy everything from a small garden tractor, up to a 100 HP utility tractor. I think it's kind of cool. Fred Ott's is the one place that really doesn't push the small tractor market very much. Maybe since they have a bigger ag market, and they are in the middle of no where. Whatever the reason, they seem to be doing well. I know I give them a lot of business! lol