Like so many guys coming out of high school in the '70s, Bill Bagley wasn't real excited about continuing school. Nevertheless, he began to explore degree programs at a local community college and found one of particular interest: Agricultural Machinery Technology. With his grandparents entering the retirement phase and purchasing acreage along with some farm equipment, Bagley enrolled immediately with aspirations of how he might use his new skills on the ranch. Soon after classes began, Bagley found a part-time job at a local Kubota tractor dealership where he was allowed to exchange work hours for the lab hours required by the college degree program. During his final semester while still working at the dealership, Bagley was approached by a customer (a natural gas pipeline superintendent) who convinced him to schedule an interview for an equipment maintenance position. He was awarded the job during the interview and was asked to report for work the week following graduation. 23 years went by, the experience was invaluable, due particularly to having held numerous asset and employee management positions, but even more so for having learned how to manage a business entity. This lead him to leave the corporate environment and pursue the American dream: business ownership.
Once the new career path was chosen, a search ensued, and Bagley discovered an existing Kubota dealership in need of some fresh energy and a new image. A selling price was agreed upon, and the Bagleys took ownership in December 2000. Shortly thereafter, a search for a better location turned up a rather unattractive, non-obvious vacant building that appeared to have great potential. After further investigation, six months of due diligence and negotiating, four different property owners gathered with the Bagleys and signed all the necessary closing documents. By January 2003, a newly renovated location was ready for occupancy.
Bagley Tractor & Equipment has just celebrated its twelfth year in business. Thanks to a strong economy, a loyal customer base, and successful reinvestment strategies, Bagley Tractor has grown every year and currently plans to add on a 7,200 sq. ft. state-of-the-art service facility. The completion date is estimated to be in late 2013.
Bagley adds, "In recent years, our service business has grown such that during our busy season, we become unable to achieve the turnaround time that our customers deserve. This new facility will enable us to expand our capabilities, hire more technicians, and save our customers time and money. Given the economic downturn and future economic uncertainty, we're confident that the East Texas economy will remain strong, and we intend to better position ourselves to meet our customers' needs well into the future.