08 Mar Fairbank Equipment, Inc. Has Done “Whatever It Takes” for More Than 70 Years
Fairbank Equipment, Inc. is a premier parts and equipment supplier to the agriculture and propane industries. Joe Fairbank founded the company in 1946. In 1970, he sold the business to Florene and Bill Wray, his daughter and son-in-law, who transitioned leadership to their son, Cody Wray, in 1985. After purchasing the business from Joe, The Wrays expanded Fairbank Equipment into the fertilizer application equipment business including ammonia equipment and self-propelled sprayer lines. In fact, Fairbank Equipment was one of the first Willmar Spreader dealers.
Forty-one years after Joe opened the company’s doors, Fairbank Equipment expanded with its first branch in Grand Island, Nebraska. Since 1989, more locations have been added to extend the company’s footprint in Yankton, South Dakota; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Evans, Colorado; Garden City, Kansas; and Brush, Colorado. Today, Fairbank Equipment serves customers from Missouri and Iowa across to Utah and Wyoming and from North Dakota down to South Texas – 1,000 of them in agriculture and another 500 in propane distribution. Additionally Fairbank continues to increase its footprint through internet sales.
Fairbank Equipment’s employees are committed to providing exceptional service to each customer, and their collective product knowledge is unrivaled. Plus, same-day shipping means orders arrive quickly, which keeps customers’ production from slowing down or coming to a halt. This service and dedication are the cornerstones of Fairbank Equipment’s growth and led to the company’s motto, “Whatever It Takes.”
After 66 successful years in business, Cody believed the best was yet to come for Fairbank Equipment’s dedicated employees and loyal customers. He began the search in 2012 for a partner to help transition family ownership and leadership, as well as to provide the company with a platform to continue its growth and Great Range Capital fit the bill. “Our partnership with GRC positions us well for continued growth and success. While it continues to be business as usual at Fairbank Equipment, we now have an even greater ability to deliver the high-quality products and service that our customers have come to expect from us,” explains Wray.
The management team has remained, with Steve Taylor promoted to President and Cody continuing to serve as a company leader in the role of chairman.
It was Wray’s and his team’s exceptional reputations in the industry that caught the attention of Great Range Capital. “We saw significant opportunity for Fairbank and have been very pleased to partner with Cody, his leadership team and all the employees to continue to serve the growing agricultural and energy industries,” says Paul Maxwell, a managing partner at GRC.
Since GRC’s investment, the company has expanded into new geographies and expanded product lines, including weed management and wood chipping equipment. Fairbank Equipment has also completed three complementary acquisitions.
“Despite a pretty rough macro environment for the ag industry in the past few years, Fairbank Equipment has performed very well due to the consumables-focused nature of the business, the dedicated leadership of the team, the moderate debt at the company, and the constant focus on growth,” shares Paul. “The qualities this company has are exactly what our team values.”