Tractor dealer understands the industry and the value of local community
Steve Widrick and his family moved to the Waxahachie, Texas, area nine years ago after purchasing the Central Kubota tractor dealership — and the Widricks’ impact on the community was felt immediately.
Widrick, a third-generation tractor dealer, certainly understands the industry. His grandfather opened the family's first tractor business in northern New York in the late 1940s, and over the years it grew to include three separate dealerships.
He also understands how important the local community is, not only for his business, but also for the community itself.
"We believe that because we are blessed with a prosperous business, we have an obligation to give back to the community and nonprofit organizations," Widrick said.
The dealership — with locations in Waxahachie and Corsicana — supports many community events and farm-related groups. It also provides free use of its utility vehicles at many local events. The farming community is important to Widrick, who owned a dairy farm for several years in northern New York with his son Justin.
Central Kubota is a family-run business, and the family-first attitude extends to customers — many of whom are like family. "We have a shared set of values as to how the customer should be treated, and we pride ourselves in not being corporate and consider ourselves still a small business,” he said.
Justin Widrick is the sales manager at the Corsicana location, where the elder Widrick’s brother Jay is the controller. Widrick's niece, Megan, is the receptionist at the Waxahachie location, and his daughter and son-in-law also work for Central Kubota.
“We hope to deliver a different experience than what you get at a mega-dealership,” Widrick said. “It is a different culture that we have tried to create here."
Coming from a third-generation tractor family, Widrick has seen many changes in the business — and his business has changed with them.
"Most people will have done some amount of research online before coming to our dealership," he said. “In some cases the entire transaction happens via our online portal, email and/or texting. The challenge is to see and treat every contact we have with the customer, whether virtual or in person, with the same high standard that we have given to our customers in the past."
Likewise, the tractors themselves have changed over the years. Customers want different levels of service and technology so they can get the full benefit from their machines, Widrick said.
"Our customers are continuing to want more service options: annual service agreements, extended warranties, geofencing, telematics and machinery cost consulting," he said. "Our customers range from homeowners and weekend ranchers to those who rely on our products and services every day in their business."
Because of COVID-19, many people are moving back to the country. That has led to growth at Central Kubota. "The growth we have experienced is sometimes challenging as we don’t want our level of service to decrease," he said. "We are continually working at hiring quality people who share our values. Without good employees we are going nowhere.”
Despite the changes and the growth, Widrick remains committed to providing the very best customer service.
"Being honest and servicing the customer is the most important thing," he said. "Once the sale is done, the transaction is not over. The customer needs to be taken care of after the sale. Customers that have a good experience buying from us will buy from us again and tell other people.”
To learn more about Central Kubota’s commitment to the community, visit centralkubota.com.