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Farm equipment dealer purchased

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Premier Equipment of Rocky Mount Service Technician Dennis Marlowe removes an O-ring from a valve while repairing a New Holland 8970 tractor on Wednesday at the business.

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BY WILLIAM F. WEST
Staff Writer

Saturday, May 4, 2019

A lo­cal New Holland deal­er­ship is un­der new own­er­ship.

Premier Equip­ment Co. of Rocky Mount pur­chased the prop­erty at what had been Hines Equip­ment at 1751 S. Wes­leyan Blvd.

Premier Equip­ment is vis­i­ble from the high­way as a New Hol­land agri­cul­tural and con­struc­tion equip­ment dealer, but the busi­ness also sells Mahin­dra trac­tors, Grasshop­per and Ex­mark com­mer­cial mow­ers and Echo and Stihl hand­held prod­ucts. Therefore, Premier Equip­ment can serve farm­ers, con­struc­tion com­pa­nies, home­own­ers, landown­ers and land­scap­ers.

Premier Equip­ment Chair­man Andy Blan­ton said the com­pany, which is new, par­tic­u­larly sees a need to serve cus­tomers in Nash, Edge­combe, Wil­son and Hal­i­fax coun­ties, as well as in Franklin and John­ston coun­ties.

“There’s a lot of agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion still in this area,” Blan­ton said. “We think it’s vi­tal to have a lo­cal provider ser­vic­ing those cus­tomers.”

Blan­ton said Rocky Mount is a cen­tral lo­ca­tion to ad­dress the needs of sev­eral of the sur­round­ing coun­ties.

Blan­ton said Premier Equip­ment ac­quired the prop­erty at the end of Fe­bru­ary and at the same time ac­quired the prop­erty at a sim­i­lar busi­ness, En­field Trac­tor and Equip­ment, at 148 Whi­taker St. just off U.S. 301 in En­field.

Blan­ton de­clined to dis­close how much Premier Equip­ment paid for the two lo­ca­tions.

He said he had worked ap­prox­i­mately 30 years in the food dis­tri­bu­tion busi­ness be­fore step­ping aside at the end of 2017.

“After a year of re­tire­ment, I was look­ing for some­thing dif­fer­ent and some­thing to get back in­volved with — and the op­por­tu­nity came along with some folks that were just ter­rific lo­cal busi­ness peo­ple,” he said. “And it re­ally piqued my in­ter­est.”

He said the list of Premier Equip­ment own­ers in­cludes Joel Bose­man, who is an agri-busi­ness­man, and Steve Wordsworth, who is a wealthy busi­ness­man.

Another own­er is Spencer Bel­lamy, who is pres­i­dent of Premier Equip­ment and who has long worked in the farm equip­ment busi­ness.

The list of own­ers also in­cludes John Rich, who is a coun­try mu­sic artist and who is shown on Premier’s Face­book page.

As for the source of the Premier Equip­ment iden­tity, Blan­ton said, “We grav­i­tated to the name be­cause it re­flects, re­ally, kind of our com­pany mantra — and that is we want to pro­vide pre­mier ser­vice to our cus­tomers.”

Blan­ton said at the South Wes­leyan lo­ca­tion, the ex­te­rior and in­te­rior of the build­ing have been up­graded.

The lo­ca­tion has 15 em­ploy­ees, with a mix of new­com­ers and em­ploy­ees who worked for Hines Equip­ment.

“We were able to pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity and con­tinue on with a num­ber of the em­ploy­ees that have had many years of ex­pe­ri­ence in this busi­ness, as well as adding some new folks to the team,” Blan­ton said. “So we’ve been for­tu­nate enough to kind of have a whole bunch of ex­pe­ri­enced folks and then be able to grow our team as well.”

The Premier Equip­ment lo­ca­tion off South Wes­leyan is set to have an of­fi­cial open­ing at 11:30 a.m. on Thurs­day led by the Rocky Mount Area Cham­ber of Com­merce.

The lo­ca­tion is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mon­days through Fri­days and from 8 a.m. to noon on Satur­days. The lo­ca­tion can be reached at 252-446-0333 and has a page on Face­book.

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