Hello to all, and Merry Christmas
I don't know why I've waited to post this information, guess it is just one of those things I kept meaning to do, but totally forgot.
The name GITractorman came to me actually from one of my co-workers, who was joking with me in reference to the 8 tractors I had at my house in Grand Island, NY. The name just stuck. As most of you know, my real name is Bill.
I grew up in southwestern Ohio, where my father, grandfather, and great uncle ran our family business. My dad's great-grandfather started the business as a machine shop, even made some gun barrells during one of the wars. Then he became a McCormick / International appliance dealer, which led to International Harvester Truck Dealer, which led to International Harvester Tractor Dealer, which led to Cub Cadet Dealer. That is where my father still is, running one of the top 25 Cub Cadet dealerships in the US, and one of the only dealerships in the top 25 that runs as a single location, no multiple branches feeding one company.
Some of my fondest memories growing up were working with my dad on Saturdays, washing the tractors and re-arranging the showroom. Now that I look back, hanging out with my dad at the dealership taught me a tremendous amount of respect for others, and customer service, as I was taught not to interrupt my father when he was with a customer. He taught me to always say Hello, Good Morning, Good Afternoon, Can I Help You, Welcome, and Thank You. I wish that the kids working at our local retail chains now had spent some time with my dad, and had learned some respect.
Although my father worked for and eventually ran our family business, we never did have much money. One of the ways that my father helped make ends meet was to take junk tractors, or trade-in tractors and Scouts that the company had little or no money in, and restore and sell them. Later I found out that this is how he paid for my and my sister's college, summer vacations, Christmas, just about everything. One of my earliest memories is helping my dad restore an old 1965 Scout. Another is the first tractor that we restored, a 1961 Cub Cadet Original. I'll never forget the day that we drug it out of a trucking depot repair shop, and it was totally black, covered with grease. We ended up stripping that tractor down and building a brand new one out of it. I was 7 years old. Over the years my dad and I must have restored 20 or 30 Cub Cadets, Farmall Cubs, lo-boys, IH Scouts, old cars, old pickups, whatever came by.
Now, why am I not running the company business? Well, my dad always worked for my grandfather and his brother, who always argued, and who spent everything that they made, and finally in 1984, when they turned the dealership over to my father, they were $300,000 in the hole. My dad insisted that I go to college, and that he wanted me to have a better life than him. So, that is where I am now, 35, married with two amazing little boys, and living in New York. The funny thing is, now I really want to help my dad, and try my hardest to help anytime I can, and he really appreciates the help.
So, growing up in such proximity to International Harvester and Cub Cadet products just stuck with me. I love them. I have owned many, and have hung on to a couple that I really just had to have. Dad doesn't much like fooling with the old equipment now, so I take most of his really old stuff and either work on it, sell it, part it out, or restore it, but most of it gets sold now. It's funny, that is how I make ends meet now. The little extra cash lets me keep the couple of tractors that I want, go to tractor shows and Cubfests, and make many trips down to Ohio to see my family. I guess it is how I worked out the separation from my family, and my wife really wanting to stay in New York where she grew up. Tractor Therapy... definitely!
That's about it. I have had the pleasure of meeting many of you, and talk with you most evenings, and I can't possibly explain how much I appreciate your help and genuine care for all of us. I'll try to help out anyone as much as I can, look forward to seeing all of you at our get-togethers in the future,