Kubota is coming to the Brainerd lakes area.
Construction is under way on the home of a new Kubota equipment dealer-Quality Equipment Sales and Service, which is building its dealership on North Highway 371 between Tracker Boating Center and The Old Waterfall.
The 12,000-square-foot building will house a showroom, offices, a parts department, six service bays and a wash bay. Five display pads will be outside, General Manager Mike Drazenovich said.
The dealership will sell the full line of Kubota equipment, from agriculture equipment and compact tractors, to lawn mowers, skid steers, excavators, utility vehicles and more, all sporting the distinctive orange Kubota color.
In addition to selling, renting and servicing Kubota equipment, Quality Equipment will also sell and service a variety of other brands, including UniCarriers Forklift, Xtreme telehandlers (all-terrain fork lifts), Snorkel scissor lifts and boom lifts, and Nobles (Tennant) floor maintenance equipment. The company's product lines will be for both commercial and residential uses.
"We'll service anything," Drazenovich said. "If it's broke, we'll fix it. If you can't get it to our shop, we'll come to you with one of our field service road technicians. We offer a multi-solution focus for all material handling needs, with the ability to service all makes and models of forklifts. And everything we sell, we also rent.
"(Owner) Todd Doege has built Quality's reputation on the back of its service department, and that will continue to be the driving force of our business - service."
Drazenovich expects the dealership to be open for business as soon as Aug. 1. A field service technician is now available in the Brainerd lakes area to assist with maintenance needs. Initially, the company will employ eight to 10 people, including mechanics, salespeople, parts and service staff, and general office personnel.
The new Quality Equipment dealership in Brainerd is the third location for Quality's parent company, Quality Forklift Sales and Service. Headquartered in Shakopee with a second location in Ramsey, the company was established in 1981.
Quality Forklift spent two years studying areas in which to expand, and had been working with the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation to locate potential sites in the area, Drazenovich said. Doege was familiar with the Brainerd area after having spent time here through the years. He commissioned a study to identify and grade potential expansion sites, which gave high marks overall to this area.
"We were really impressed with Quality Forklifts' level of professionalism," said Sheila Haverkamp, BLAEDC executive director, in a news release. "They continue to grow and expand because they run a first-rate operation. This will be a great addition to this Brainerd lakes area."
Haverkamp's team not only helped Quality identify building sites, it also found the company a general manager in Drazenovich.
Quality Forklifts joined BLAEDC's Key Recruitment Program, which helps companies find candidates to fill professional-level positions. BLAEDC Workforce Director Mike Bjerkness had been in contact with Drazenovich after the rental equipment company he worked for closed many of its locations. Drazenovich has 12 years of industry experience in the equipment business, as well as a work history in the mining and paper industries.
"We feel very fortunate to have played a role in helping Quality expand in the Brainerd lakes area," Haverkamp said. "It showcases the expanded services we now offer, which makes us more of a one-stop shop for businesses looking at this area for expansion."
Editor's note: This story was changed to remove a Mike Drazenovich comment that could have been misconstrued to indicate Kubota equipment was available from the Shakopee location. It isn't available there, but is at the location in the Brainerd lakes.