Van Wall Equipment and Phelps Implement, John Deere dealers with a similar 40 year history of family ownership, have agreed to join together as one company. The combined dealership organization will include the current Phelps Implement locations of Green, Grundy Center, Hampton, and Hubbard, Iowa. Those locations will officially begin operating as Van Wall Equipment on November 13, 2017. At that time the Van Wall Equipment operation will include 25 Midwest locations. The agreement is subject to John Deere approval.
Don Van Houweling, CEO of Van Wall Equipment, said “We are very fortunate to have this opportunity to join with the outstanding location teams at Phelps Implement. The Phelps organization has been a great partner and the clear dealer of choice in their region. Their history of commitment and success is a perfect fit with Van Wall’s philosophy to be “The Clear First Choice” for the products and services that we provide by making available the highest level of value and enjoyment for our customer.”
To ensure the same level of engagement in the local Phelps area, Randy Runge, the current General Manager of Phelps will be joining the Van Wall leadership team. Along with his wife Lori, Randy will also be an investor in Van Wall Equipment. Randy started in 1980 when Phelps implement was a single store location in Grundy Center. He started as a part time-employee, and within a year he became full time as a consumer products mechanic. He then continued to work his way through the business as an agricultural mechanic, salesman, sales manager, and, since 2010, general manager. Randy has been driven and ambitious in the growth of the company, and was a strong influence in the purchase of the three other store locations. He prides himself on earning high levels of satisfaction and loyalty from his customers and his employees. Randy commented, “We are looking forward to further growth and new opportunities as we join the Van Wall team.”
“We are very pleased to be able to expand our resources in central and north central Iowa, said Van Houweling. Our combined team will be dedicated to increasing the profitability of our producers while at the same time reducing their risk, making it easier for them to manage their operations, and also giving them a competitive edge. It is so important to understand the value of these expansions to our producer partners. This additional scale allows us to add expanded on-time service and parts support along with a significantly larger available parts inventory. We are able to leverage our parts and aftermarket support resources via our same-day intra-store parts transfer system and evolving service dispatch capabilities.”
About Phelps Implement
Forty years ago Larry Phelps purchased the former Rewerts Implement in Grundy Center and began his family-owned implement business. Today the business has expanded to include four communities and represents a John Deere dealership that is one of the largest in the state of Iowa.
A repair shop in Greene was purchased and turned it into a John Deere dealership in 1996. In 2003, the existing John Deere dealership in Hampton was purchased by the Phelps family. In 2010, the Hubbard location was added to the Phelps Implement roster.
Phelps Implement slogan is “Service Makes the Difference.” The company firmly believes that being able to follow-up after the sale is what makes a strong dealership.
About Van Wall Group
The Van Wall Group has a proud history as a John Deere dealer dating back to 1944. At that time, the first dealership, known as Wall Implement, was opened on Main Street in Woodward, Iowa. The first location branded Van Wall Equipment opened in Perry in 1977.
Since that time Van Wall Equipment has grown into one of the most significant John Deere dealership groups in the country spanning five states in the Midwest. Van Wall is proud to sell and service a wide range of John Deere equipment including products specialized for agriculture, golf and turf, light construction, commercial, and lawn and garden applications. The company is also the exclusive John Deere golf & turf dealer covering a region that includes five states in the Midwest.
As a family owned business, Van Wall Equipment supports the core values of honesty, integrity, courtesy, respect, and safety while at the same time striving to exceed its customer’s expectations while also supporting the communities it serves. One example of the company’s commitment to local students and communities, it offers a John Deere Ag Tech scholarship program for several recipients each year. The program has created dozens of “full ride” $14,000+ scholarships for future John Deere technicians attending Northeast Iowa Community College in Calmar, Iowa or Southeast Community College in Milford, Nebraska.