After 17 years of selling and servicing farm equipment at 5563 E. Main St. Road, Batavia, Empire Tractor (former Tri-County Tractor at that location) is moving into a much bigger space about a mile down the road.
The move will allow the company to expand its main building from 8,400 sq. ft. to 22,000 sq. ft., according to company president Tim Call.
"The thing is, farm equipment is getting much bigger," said Call, one of six owners of Empire Tractor, which has locations throughout Western New York. "We couldn't even get some of it into our shop."
The new shop will allow for more repairs to be handled simultaneously and for the bigger equipment to be worked on no matter what the weather.
In anticipation of the move, Empire Tractor has hired three more employees and will hire two or three more after the move is completed.
The new location, formerly a Ford dealership owned by Mike Ognibene, is 5.5 acres and includes two additional buildings (matching in size and function to the buildings at Empire Tractor's current location).
The contiguous space will allow Empire Tractor to consolidate its display and parking space on a single lot. At the current location, for example, some new equipment for sale must be parked across a very busy Route 5.
"This is a lot nicer," Call said. "It's all one side of the road, all blacktop, cleaner, neater. This is a lot nicer."
The location is a bit of a homecoming for Call. One of the buildings on the lot is where his father opened Batavia Farm Equipment in 1960.
Call acquired Tri-County Tractor 17 years ago and eventually merged his company with other farm equipment outlets to form Empire Tractor.
He is anticipating a big year for Empire Tractor. With corn going from $3 a bushel to $7 and milk from $12 to $19, Call said he anticipates the market for farm equipment will increase. He said the company anticipates a 20 to 25 percent increase in sales.