RDO celebrates its new location

October 20 – MOSES LAKE – RDO Equipment may have moved into its new location on N. Frontage Road at the end of May, but store manager Jacob Garza says the company wants to wait a bit before moving officially celebrate its grand opening.

“We just waited to better understand how to fill people and be better prepared, and have the parts on hand and everything to support customers, really,” Garza said.

The facility, which replaces the company’s cramped building on S. Pioneer Drive in Moses Lake, is huge – 31,000 square feet with more than 6,000 square feet dedicated to spare parts storage and 10 repair bays in the steering wheel, including one with a giant, 50-foot gate that will let even the biggest combine heads in for repairs.

“It’s really important to us,” said Tim Curoe, CEO of RDO, based in Fargo, North Dakota. “We have a great customer base, a very loyal customer base. And we really needed to invest in the community to take care of our customers and to make sure that we provide a great place to work for our technicians and employees.”

RDO Equipment was founded in 1968 by Minnesota potato farmer Ron Offutt and has since grown from the first John Deere dealership in Casselton, North Dakota, to more than 75 stores across the United States and a number number of international sites as far away as Australia, Ukraine and Russia. The company is an authorized distributor and repair station for John Deere and Vermeer equipment and sells a wide variety of Deere agricultural equipment, forestry machinery, and even lawn and garden equipment.

RDO expanded into the Columbia Basin when it purchased Othello-based Evergreen Implements from that company’s founder and longtime owner Roger Thieme in 2018.

Curoe said it was important to build the facility in Moses Lake at 12378 N. Frontage Rd. E from scratch because the demand from farmers in the Columbia Basin — from the Tri-Cities to the north — is so important to RDO.

“We’re pretty proud of that,” he said.

Garza said the move to the new facility gave the company the opportunity to expand its repair operations, including hiring 15 new technicians to staff the huge repair bays. Additionally, the facility has heated floors, an indoor wash bay, and four giant overhead cranes to help lift heavy objects like engines and harvesting heads.

“It has just been the talk of all our technicians, the envy of all the workshops at the moment, to have these cranes in place,” he said.

A skilled technician and mechanic, Garza said he started with Evergreen in Othello 12 years ago working on John Deere equipment, traveled to California to work for a few farm implement dealers there, before to return to the Columbia Basin and begin with RDO in Moses Lake in January 2020.

“It’s a homecoming for me and it’s a very good homecoming,” he said. “I’ve been welcomed with open arms here and love the culture at RDO. I’ve always wanted to work for them.”

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at [email protected]

Comments are closed.