December 4, 2020

He’s There When You Need Him: Dave Petty Named Solutions Provider of the Year

20150504_maxyield_052 (681x1024)As we continue to celebrate our 100 year anniversary, we look back at some of the folks that make our company great…including our most recent Solutions Provider of the Year award winner, Dave Petty.

Writer Robert Hughes noted that, “A determined soul will do more with a rusty monkey wrench than a loafer will accomplish with all the tools in a machine shop.” He could have been talking about Dave Petty, MaxYield’s 2014 Solutions Provider of the Year.

“I work for our clients,” said Dave, who runs the shop and handles outside operations at the Dickens location. “Many of them are more like family and friends to me than clients.”

Dave became acquainted with MaxYield’s clients in 2003 when he was completing his ag business degree at Iowa Lakes Community College. The Washta native’s on-the-job training at MaxYield turned into full-time employment after he graduated in 2005. Today, he’s the go-to guy at the Dickens location.

“I do a little bit of everything,” said Dave, who also manages the dry fertilizer facility, has a service truck to handle all kinds of repairs in the field, and attends to equipment maintenance of all types, from repairing a hydrostat in a skid loader to fixing trucks. He credits his father, Reginald, for helping him develop his mechanical skills.

“Dad is kind of a jack-of-all-trades, and I’ve learned a lot from him,” Dave said. “He’d tell me, ’Tear it apart, and you’ll figure it out.’”

Growing up country
It helps that Dave grew up around agriculture and farm equipment. His grandparents farmed, and his father also farmed for quite a few years. “When I was a little kid, I always wanted to farm, too,” Dave said. “I liked the big machines. I never had a bicycle because I went from toy tractors to a pedal tractor to a real tractor.”

Dave will never forget the day he went to a salvage yard near Quimby with his dad. When a 1937 Allis-Chalmers WC caught his eye, 10-year-old Dave made a deal with owner Dennis Rupp, who agreed not to sell the tractor until the end of the summer. This allowed Dave enough time to work odd jobs and redeem pop cans to raise almost all of the $200 required to buy the tractor, which had attracted several other offers in the meantime.

Although Dave was still $20 short when it was time to settle up, his father loaned him the money for the tractor, which reminded Dave of his grandfather’s Allis-Chalmers equipment. “By the time I was 14, Dad and I had that tractor running again,” said Dave, who noted that his father is a walking encyclopedia of vintage tractor knowledge.

“Today, that tractor is the pride of my fleet,” said Dave, who has owned the tractor for nearly 21 years.

During high school Dave worked part-time at a local salvage yard and began to add to his farm equipment fleet. His collection, which now boasts about 24 tractors, along with combines and other equipment, includes his favorite Allis-Chalmers and Farmall machines.

Dave’s practical, hands-on knowledge of equipment has paid off handsomely at MaxYield, where he can handle any fix-it job. “It’s great to have Dave in the West Region,” said Jeff Bonnstetter, shop supervisor in West Bend. “With his skills and his service truck, he can respond to things fast, which benefits our clients. He also has a positive attitude and is an all-around great team member.”

People count on me
While Dave is always willing to go the extra mile, he really goes the distance in the hectic spring and fall seasons. It’s not unusual for him to start his workdays at 5 a.m., and he sometimes works seven days a week.

“If my farmers need fertilizer on Sunday to beat the weather, I’m not going to make them wait until Monday,” Dave said. “I’ll do what I can to take care of them and make sure everything is done in a timely manner.”

He is quick to credit his MaxYield team members, including Tracy Enderson, client care leader at Dickens, for helping him get the job done. “They make sure I have the tools I need and are always there for me,” said Dave, who enjoys mentoring younger team members.

It’s an honor to be named Solutions Provider of the Year, added Dave, who was surprised to hear his name called during the awards ceremony. “People sometimes ask why I don’t transfer to a MaxYield location closer to Cylinder, where I live,” Dave said. “Well, my farmers are here. People count on me, and I want to be there for
them when they need me.”

Editor’s note: Dave has two dogs: a Boston Terrier named Bella and a Boxer/Labrador Retriever mix named Oreo, who has been with Dave since his college days. In his free time, Dave enjoys spending time with his family and restoring vintage farm equipment. He’s also looking forward to a trip to Hawaii this winter.

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