Pictured Above: Daniel Unruh and his wife, Patty, own properties outside of Spokane, Wash., and Priest River, Idaho, and keep equipment at both places for maintenance and improvements. Unruh recently purchased a Kioti DK40SE and Kioti Mechron 2240 UTV for their river recreational property.
Daniel Unruh and his wife, Patty, live the rural lifestyle, both at their home property outside of Spokane, Wash., and a recreational property in nearby Priest River, Idaho. The retired couple needs equipment to help with maintenance, improvement projects and reduce manual labor. Unruh has worked with several dealers over the years, but Jordan Sales & Service of Post Falls, Idaho, has won him over.
“If I have a problem, I call Terry, Brian or Ed and they take care of me right away. Even though I’m a retiree, my time is worth as much as everybody else,” Unruh says. Terry Jordan owns the dealership and his son, Brian, is general manager. Ed Hartel is the service manager. (See “Catching Up with Jordan Sales & Service”.)
Jordan Sales & Service is celebrating its 10th anniversary and was named Rural Lifestyle Dealer’s Dealership of the Year in 2009.
Unruh worked for the railroad for over 20 years, and he retired in 2001 due to work-related injuries. The couple had been living in the Everett, Wash., area, but were ready to move back to the country. In 2004, they bought 14 acres, 10 of which were in alfalfa, and the rest was undeveloped.
Unruh decided to keep the 10 acres in alfalfa, renting it out to a neighboring farmer. For the property around the home, he needed mowing equipment as well as equipment to maintain his long driveway and remove snow.
In 2005, he purchased a 33 horsepower Kubota compact tractor with a loader and pallet forks from an area dealer. He also purchased a Land Pride rear blade and rotary cutter. “I had garden tractors and operated machinery for the railroad, but this was my first tractor. I needed a ‘helping hand.’ I really was unfamiliar with tractors at that point,” he says.
Meet Daniel Unruh
Occupation: Retired after working for the railroad for more than 20 years
Equipment: Kioti RX6010 with loader; Land Pride rear blade and rotary cutter; Bobcat pallet forks; Kubota 1100 RTV utility vehicle; Kioti DK40SE with loader, backhoe and pallet forks attachments; Kioti Mechron 2240; Husqvarna lawn tractor
Priorities: Quality, price and dealer support
Unruh says the tractor had a smaller frame and wasn’t able to lift heavier objects. He traded it in at another dealership for a Kubota Grand L 3240. Although the horsepower was slightly less, the model has a heavier frame.
“I had no real ties to the dealership. I shopped online, and then I would go to the dealership and sit on the tractor. The dealership I bought it from had the model I was interested in at a decent price,” he says. Unruh was able to keep and use the attachments he had already purchased. He also purchased a Kubota 1100 RTV utility vehicle for traveling around his property.
Finding His Dealer
Unruh moved lots of snow with his tractor and loader over the next few years, but it was tough being in the open station tractor in the cold weather. His neighbor had recently purchased a Kioti tractor with a cab from Jordan Sales & Service and recommended he check out the dealership.
“At the time, I was looking for a 35-40 horsepower tractor with a cab. They showed me what they had in my price range, and I was seriously considering a 40 horsepower model, but then Terry showed me a used 60 horsepower model (RX6010) with a loader.
“I must have made two dozen trips to the dealership, driving the 40 horsepower and then driving the 60 horsepower. Terry and Brian said, ‘Come as often as you want. We want you to be happy,’” he says.
“I have to feel like it’s a quality piece of equipment…”
— Daniel Unruh
Unruh says Terry spent time with him, comparing the specifications from the two brands. “Eventually, he won me over. I like the Kioti every bit as much as the Kubota for a lot less money. And, the attachments I had for the Kubota worked on the Kioti,” Unruh says.
Adding Recreational Property, Equipment
About 5 years ago, the Unruhs decided to buy another country property, about 8 acres along the Priest River in Idaho. “It was totally undeveloped, nothing but brush, and now it looks like a park. It took 80 truckloads of gravel to do the driveway,” Unruh says.
He needed equipment to begin the clearing and building process, but says the tractor at his home was too big to haul back and forth. He asked Terry to watch for a used tractor that was smaller than the 60 horsepower tractor he used at home. They found what he was looking for — a Kioti DK40SE. “This was the same model of tractor I was looking at before I bought the RX6010. I told Terry that I didn’t think I could afford it, but he gave me a fantastic deal and I now have it at the river,” he says.
- Understand the physical limitations of certain customers to match them with the equipment that is comfortable and helps them get work done.
- Ask your customers about possible future property purchases to uncover the best options for them now and to help with transitioning to other equipment.
- Watch for trends in your area regarding retirees and other demographic groups. According to the 2012 U.S. Census, the older population segment is experiencing significant growth. In 2050, the population aged 65 and over is projected to be 83.7 million, almost double its estimated population of 43.1 million in 2012.
This model has both a loader and a backhoe attachment. “I use the backhoe for digging trenches for power lines or for digging out tree stumps. Some job is always coming up. There’s always a need for a backhoe.”
He also added pallet forks that he uses for removing rocks and logs. For fun, he purchased a new Kioti Mechron 2240 UTV last spring.
That first referral to check out Jordan’s has led to a solid relationship between dealer and customer. Unruh shared one situation in which the dealership helped him out. “I sit on the tractor funny because of my back injury. My driveway has a hill that leads to my house and when I’m coming down the hill and turn to look at something, my right knee bumps the key and turns off the tractor. Jordan’s spent half a day making a special key for me. They’ll bend over backward to help you,” he says.
Unruh says quality, price and service are his top three priorities for his rural equipment and his dealer. “First of all, I have to feel like it’s a quality piece of equipment. Price comes next, but it doesn’t matter how much it costs if I don’t like it. The third thing I look for is whether the dealer is going to take care of me,” Unruh says.