October 14, 2009 Rock Valley Bee article by Karma Vander Velde
In June 2008 B&C Salvage got a new owner, a new name and began to include a new direction. Mike Post and his wife Ruth bought the business located on 20 acres south of town, the former Vande Weerd Combine location. They changed the name to B&C Metals and added a new business to the site, Post Equipment Corporation.
Post said he never envisioned owning a business with this many facets. It all started for him about 15 years ago when he bought his first feeder wagon, a Roorda High Lift, and spent half the winter rebuilding it during “after supper” free time. “I always like to fix things,” he admitted. He grew up on a dairy farm and started his own dairy herd at the age of 15. Farmers have to learn to be resourceful and Post is no exception.
He sold his first feeder wagon and soon was rebuilding and selling more of them. He was working out of his home shop, all the while running his dairy, and then began having Doon Welding step in to help with some of the work. He began spending more of his time buying used feeder wagons, getting them rebuilt and selling them. About eight years ago he began rebuilding Knight mixer wagons and then three years ago vertical mixers. He discovered there was a large demand.
Post bought feeder wagons from all over the country and had them shipped to Rock Valley. He needed a pay loader and a loading dock in order to unload the wagons and this is where B&C Salvage entered the picture. They would unload his wagons and set them aside until he could come into town from the farm and pick them up. In conversation one day, he casually said he should have a shop right there, so he wouldn’t have to do so much traveling. And before he knew it that’s exactly what happened. B&C was interested in selling. So the negotiations began.
Post said after much consideration they sold their dairy cows, changed the farm to feeding cattle and bought the business. “It’s been a huge learning experience.” He takes it step by step with the help of six full-time employees and four part time. “We’ve had really good people. They just showed up; I think they knew I needed help,” he stated.
“We simply wanted to find a home base for our growing mixer wagon business. I was looking for just a shop.” But he has ended up with three buildings and an expanding business that includes many avenues. And actually, this is the manner in which Post Equipment has grown. “I didn’t grow this business,” Post explained. Opportunities have presented themselves that have seemed natural to pursue.
This past January he expanded to include selling new mixer wagons and vertical mixers, including Farm Aid Mixers and Penta Vertical Mixers. He has also just begun to carry Easy Rake silage pile facers.
Along with the feeding equipment there is a full inventory of mixer wagon parts, bearings, chains, PTO parts, augers, flighting and liners, to name several. The shop offers full service repair for all mixer/feeder wagons.
Post Equipment Corp. will be manufacturing Valley Bunk Feeders in the near future and this line of feeders has an interesting history, which began in Rock Valley, Post explained. The original feeder was the Roorda High Lift Feeder Wagon manufactured in Rock Valley. When Roorda was sold it was moved to Hull and became known as Roda. The feeder wagon line eventually was sold off to New Tec also located in Hull. Now the line has been purchased by Post Equipment and has come full circle, returning home to its original roots and renamed Valley Bunk Feeder.
Post buys and sells all over the US and beyond. He has shipped wagons to such destinations as Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Japan, and Pakistan. “We have a good product,” he commented. “It sells itself.”
Another recent spin-off of their business is Perkins Park ‘n Sell. To expand advertising with highway frontage, Post Equipment acquired the southwest corner of the junction at Highway 75 and 18 (Perkins Corner). This “east lot” will have a representation of the mixer wagons available. This is where the “Park ‘n Sell” idea came from; space can also be rented for people to park any type of vehicle or equipment and advertise it for sale. More information can be found on the website www.perkisncorner.com.
Although B&C Metals was not a part of Post’s original plan, they enjoy and support the concept of recycling; the office and shop are heated with corn and recycled oil. The scrap iron portion of the business has been renovated to make it more efficient. B&C Metals is open from 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday. There is a certified scale and magent or grapple to unload the scrap. Also available are roll-off boxes that can be left at a site to be later picked up when full.
A good portion of the scrap iron is sorted for thickness and then put in a crusher and made into 13-ton “packages.” Most of this iron is then trucked out, shredded and melted into new steel. An interesting fact is that much of this same recycled metal ends up back in town being used to make parts at several of the local businesses.
For more infomation and to access their blog entitled, “Sharing our Farming Knowledge” go to www.postequip.com. “Post Equipment looks forward to meeting and exceeding the feeding equipment needs of the area dairy and beef producers,” Post commented. “We are committed to serving our customers and our community in the same way that we, as area farmers, enjoy being served.”