Tractors are now being displayed for sale just a couple of hundred yards from City Hall, but, as Cocheco Equipment co-owner Bob Mulcahy points out, just a few miles outside the city center, in any direction, it is a rural landscape.

Mulcahy, who has operated the business for 10 years at the Signal Street location, said that he was contacted by Branson Tractors in July and asked if he would like to become a dealer.

“We had been looking for a line of 4-wheel drive sub-compact tractors to extend our existing lines. Branson diesel tractors with options for a front loader and backhoe and engines ranging from 24 HP to 78 HP meet our expectations,” said Mulcahy, who owns the business along with his wife, Bonnie.

Neal Coulter, territory manager for Branson Tractors said, “ We selected Cocheco Equipment after a comprehensive search of southeast New Hampshire and southern Maine for a dealer who could delight our customers with sales, parts and service support. The staff at Cocheco Equipment is dedicated to customer service and will represent the Branson line well.”

On the Cocheco Equipment staff is Corey Codling, who is Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certified. He was trained by Husqvarna (another line carried by the company) and will soon attend a school course put on by Branson, at a New England location handy for its other two dealers in the region. Thus he will be certified for warranty work.

Since the bright red Branson tractors arrived on Signal Street, a just few weeks ago, the first sale has been made, and eight potential customers have already made serious enquiries, said Bob Mulcahy. The first people to buy a Branson tractor — the 2800H model, complete with a front end loader and backhoe — from Cocheco Equipment, were well-known local residents Robert and Doris Gates. They own a five-acre parcel of land on Dry Hill Road.

Robert Gates, now turned 70, said he did his research, when deciding to buy a tractor for moving snow, loading up firewood, dealing with his compost pile, garbage barrels and other chores. He talked to representatives from Coyote, Mahindra, New Holland and John Deere, before deciding on the Branson. All the brands were competitive in price, but he wanted to buy locally, both for ease of service and to support local business. His timing could not have been better — Cocheco Equipment had taken delivery of the Bransons only five days earlier.

Bob Mulcahy said that he would love to sell six tractors in the first year, and would be ecstatic if he sold 12. He added that, as far as he knows, all brands of tractors are manufactured outside of the United States, these days. Branson has a South Korean parent company, and imports the parts which are reassembled in Rome, Georgia, and distributed up and down the East Coast. A facility in Texas, handles the West Coast.

“As a business in Rochester we are fortunate to have wonderful support for the business community from the City Council, the Department of Economic Development, the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, the Rochester Economic Development Commission, so many of the Rochester public employees and the Rochester Times,” said Mulcahy.

“We anticipate growth in the Rochester area due to companies such as Albany International and Safran locating high tech manufacturing in the city, and that is supported by the interest in developing the Route 11 corridor for retail activity. Rochester has attracted state wide attention with the state’s first Magnet School showing our dedication quality of life issues such as education.”

The Branson line of diesel 4WD tractors ranges from 24 HP to 78 HP. Most come with front end loaders, with back hoes as a factory option. They all have 3 point hitches to take a variety of implements from many suppliers. In the 45 HP tractor and larger a factory installed cab comes complete with heater, air conditioner and a radio. Pricing starts at less than $13,000 for a 24 HP Diesel 4WD tractor with a front end loader. Financing is available.

Cocheco Equipment is a full line dealer for Branson, Toro, Husqvarna, Ariens, Gravely and Maruyama outdoor power equipment, and specializes in sizing outdoor power equipment for women.

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