Greg Wilson, General Manager at Heart Mountain Equipment, sits down with Powell Economic Partnership/ Powell Chamber to discuss company culture, their team and the future.
Heart Mountain Equipment products have evolved over time; but their dedication to servicing equipment and being able to source the right parts is a point of pride for Greg Wilson.
Specialty farm equipment, construction equipment and lawn mowers are sold and serviced at Heart Mountain Equipment in Powell, Wyoming. Greg is proud to be a part of an area where the people are independent. At the core, Greg is a problem-solver. He wants to be able to help his customers solve problems so they continue to be independent.
Like the customers they serve, Heart Mountain Equipment, formally Heart Mountain Farm Supply, has a rich family history in the Big Horn Basin. They have three generations currently working at the family business.
Terry Swenson moved to Powell when his father, George, bought the International Harvester Dealership. Terry and wife Val are very much a part of Heart Mountain Equipment since they opened in 1982. This year marks twenty years that Greg Wilson followed his father-in-law’s life advise and moved back to Powell to work for the family operation.
What books are you reading or have most helped you?
“John Maxwell leadership books are what comes to mind” says Greg.
What does twenty years of experience tell you?
“We are really about helping people to find solutions. We aren’t about sales quotas. We have turned people away because we didn’t want to sell them something they didn’t need. We don’t have pressure tactics, we help them.” Greg confirms, these business practices do lend to repeat customers.
What areas do you serve?
“We serve Farmers in the Shoshone Irrigation lands from the Buffalo Bill Dam, farmers along the Shoshone River in Lovell and Worland, and Shell. We have construction clients all over the Big Horn Basin. Also, in southern Montana in Belfry, Bridger and small acreages are everywhere. When you have 2 to 50 acres you need equipment to care for your place. Those are a lot of the people we serve. Of course, there is also the commercial turf market from landscapers to schools and municipalities, we have Kubota mowers running all over.”
What equipment manufacturers do you carry?
Heart Mountain Equipment sells a premier product. Kubota is a Japanese company that builds about 50 % of their products in the United States. They have manufacturing plants in Georgia, Kansas and Missouri. Kubota is the number one seller of tractors under 100 horsepower. The types of farms that use these tractors are growing hay, have cattle, are hobby farmers, have orchards, vineyards, or grow specialty crops. Kubota is also the number one manufacturer of off-road diesel engines under 100hp. Think, generators, refrigerator trucks, welders, tractors and side-by-sides.
The amount of orange on display at Hearty Mountain Equipment is a clear signifier that Kubota is their leading manufacturer. However, they also carry Trimble GPS and precision farming systems, Vermeer hay equipment, Land Pride tractor attachments, and Hesston small balers.
What does talent look like to Heart Mountain Equipment?
“We have a good rapport with our employees. It’s a good atmosphere. We look for people who can develop…The attributes we are looking for are integrity, hard work, solutions oriented, and people that interact positively with others. It is a fun place to work.”
Greg is particularly proud of their service department. They can fix anything, and do, “unless it just isn’t worth the customers money to fix it” Wilson says. He adds, “the parts department takes care of unique issues as well”.
In the Big Horn Basin, equipment lasts a long time, thirty to forty years. The Basin just doesn’t get the moisture that is so hard on equipment in other agricultural regions. Greg shares, “the parts department is really good at tracking parts down and finding the right replacement parts. In fact, we service customers from as far away as North and South Dakota”. With a smile, Greg explains, “a farmer in the Dakotas contacted Heart Mountain Equipment. The parts department was able to help him get what he needed. That same farmer told all of his buddies, and now Heart Mountain Equipment is widely known as a resource in North and South Dakota.”
What does technology in Farming look like?
“We use a satellite-based construction that doesn’t need a strong cell connection. You can also store the information and transfer it to a USB or complete a wireless transfer with the cell signal is stronger.”
How does Heart Mountain invest in the future?
“By making an investment in our employees.”
What will specialty farm equipment look like in ten or twenty-years?
Precision farming is going to be standard in ten to twenty-years, and it will be completely normal to have GPS guided/autonomous equipment do everything from planting to fertilizing to feeding cattle to clearing snow off the sidewalks” Greg predicts. “Heart Mountain Equipment will continue to differentiate with quality products and quality service; that is something that will not change.”
He projects that parts departments will change when they are able to 3-D print in metal on a mass scale. It will become cheaper to make a product than to ship one in.
When people free themselves from the mindset of this is what grandpa did, advancements will be more mainstream. Now, and in the future, Heart Mountain Equipment is dedicated to helping people solve problems and getting them what they need; specialty farm equipment, construction equipment and lawn mowers new or repaired in Powell, Wyoming.