It started in Texas and is making its way up through the Midwest. It is the RDO Summer Road Trip, a chance to cruise around and see what is happening at RDO Equipment Co. stores across the country.
Our latest pit stop takes us to Minnesota, land of 10,000 lakes and where locals joke that only two seasons exist: winter and road construction.
Want to learn more about the stores that make up RDO’s Minnesota footprint? Curious to know how RDO’s newest store handled opening last year in the middle of a pandemic? Pull over, stretch your legs, and catch up with Kelly Gress, Vice President of the region, John Weber, General Manager of the Dayton and Sauk Rapids stores, and Steve Rosenow, General Manger of RDO’s Vermeer business in the Twin Cities.
RDO’s Minnesota Construction Stores – Plus One
Across the state of Minnesota, RDO’s construction stores include Burnsville, Dayton, Mankato, Marshall, Rochester, and Sauk Rapids.
Noticeably absent from this lineup is one of RDO’s largest stores in the state: Moorhead. That is because the store technically falls under RDO’s Midwest Agriculture region. However, it offers a full variety of equipment that one would expect in the other Minnesota locations including John Deere agriculture and construction, Vermeer, and WIRTGEN GROUP, as well as technology solutions from Topcon and Carlson Machine Control.
Update from Dayton
Located in the Twin Cities’ northwest suburban area, the new RDO store in Dayton is off to a strong start. After a smooth construction process that was topped off by completing the store ahead of schedule, the store faced a major challenge: opening its doors at the height of the pandemic.
Even faced with an obstacle as unpredictable as COVID-19, the store is doing well. It has been well-received by customers and business is up 20 percent so far this fiscal year compared to last.
“The location was intentionally chosen to be a full-service equipment, parts, service, and rental store for companies that do business on the north side of the metro area,” John explained. “It is filling that need well.”
Another intentional aspect of the store relates to its design. It features a unique layout to accommodate three of RDO’s major manufacturing partners: Vermeer, Topcon, and John Deere. Steve explained that the store’s thoughtful, dedicated space for equipment, parts, and service for each is a major advantage to customers in the area.
“These three manufacturing partners complement each other well, so many of our customers operate more than one brand,” he said. “The Dayton store acts as a convenient hub for all three, meeting all our customers’ needs in one location.”
While the Dayton store has enjoyed success amidst opening during the pandemic, a downside was they were unable to have an official grand opening ceremony to welcome customers into the new space. However, the team is eager to host customers in the store soon, with a customer appreciation event planned for September.
“We look forward to hosting an open house with lunch, store tours, product displays, demonstrations, and vendor booths for customers to check out,” John said. “This is our chance to show our appreciation to customers, team members, and the Dayton community for this past year. We are happy to be here.”
More Growth to Come
Kelly agrees that the customer appreciation event is a great opportunity for the team to thank the customers and community that have embraced the Dayton store. He also adds that the event is meant to be an open house, welcoming those who may be interested in joining the RDO team.
“With the Dayton store’s growth and our business continuing to be strong across the state, there are several career opportunities available,” he said. “I would encourage anyone interested to come and meet the team at the Dayton event or go to our website now to see open positions available at our Minnesota stores.”
Outside of its own store events, the RDO teams support local events in every community and Minnesota is no exception. The Twin Cities area is home to a favorite annual event and one that reaches the future generation of construction and equipment industry workers.
“Every year we participate in an event called Day of the Dozers where children can get up-close with construction equipment, even operate a machine with help from our experts,” Kelly said. “It is a great way to get them interested in the construction industry while having fun and supporting Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.”
Finally, it would not be a true summer road trip through Minnesota without one summer staple: road construction. Between product offerings from its mix of manufacturing partners, RDO stores in Minnesota are key partners to companies that build and maintain roads. Kelly offers a reminder that hopefully everyone can take away and think about the next time they see the orange cones and signage.
“People can get very frustrated with delays, slower speed limits, and heavier traffic through construction zones, but it is important work,” Kelly said. “We do our part to help these contractors get the jobs done as quickly as possible so drivers can get on their way more efficiently and safely.”
To help everyone get through it, Kelly says all Minnesota stores have a special offering that is a favorite to have on any road trip: Dot’s Pretzels. If you have not yet tried Dot’s Pretzels, it is worth making a stop to pick up a bag.
Follow along all summer as RDO takes a road trip across nine states to highlight our stores, people, and communities. Join our communities on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
To learn more about new equipment and technology opportunities from RDO Equipment Co., contact your local RDO Equipment Co. store.