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SDman

My last IH rep is retiring

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Got an e-mail about a week ago indicating that one of our longest-tenured reps that started his career with International Harvester is retiring next month. He started with IH in 1983-84 as a service rep. Since then, he's done about every rep job there is with CaseIH; he's been a territory sales manager, product specialist for combines, as well as parts/service support manager. The guy has been a wonderful person to work for and has done a very good job representing the red paint. He will surely be missed!!

This got me to thinking the following; how many current CaseIH or Navistar employees can say they started out working for International Harvester? There can't be too many anymore....and their numbers are dwindling every year. 

Also, another thought comes to mind....going to work for International Harvester at that time would have truly been a leap of faith, to say the least. After IH lost $1.6 billion in 1983 you would wonder why anybody would want a job working for them. 

Both him and my former IH dealer both have told me the story of one of his first problems he got to deal with shortly after he started working for IH. My IH dealer had sold a new 5288 that the customer had complaints about intermittent loss of power in the field. They had tried filters(air and fuel), checked fuel system pressures/operation, pump timing, and several other items along the way. They ended up finding a hose clamp at the turbocharger-to-intake pipe hose that would stretch when it got hot during a hard pull, causing a massive loss of boost pressure, causing the loss of power. Its funny how after 30+ years both guys involved with the problem remember it so clearly.

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Got a parts counter guy at CIH that's been there since mid 70's when it was IH  

You can tell him "I need a relief valve for my 1066"

he will say "oh that's a 176477R91"  or whatever and walk back to shelf and get it.

He will be missed when he decides to retire  

 

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The equipment salesman at the Case IH dealer we deal with started at that particular dealer in 1962. (Yeah,  you read that right) Been the sales manager ever since I can remember. The last of a truly old school equipment salesman. 

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2 minutes ago, Reichow7120 said:

The equipment salesman at the Case IH dealer we deal with started at that particular dealer in 1962. (Yeah,  you read that right) Been the sales manager ever since I can remember. The last of a truly old school equipment salesman. 

WOW. That's neat. Must be a really neat guy to talk to

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He is.  I don't know exactly when his birthday is but I heard him say last March at that time he was 88 yrs old. Dont let his age fool you, his mind is sharp as a knife. He definitely knows the art of the deal.  His office is actually a library of old equipment info. I know ive seen a original poster of when they introduced the Axial Flow combines on display in his office. He went to MSU for a short course and after he got out of school he was a milk inspector and after that sold equipment for a Oliver dealership for a few years before he started working at Wells. 

 

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One of my fellow mechanics at the dealer I work at is 83. He hasn't been into work for a few months as he is battling cancer and winning right now. He does come in to visit. He has a lot of good stories. He started working at this dealer when he was 17 or 18, left for military and did a bit of trucking before returning. He remembers doing 560-460 bearing upgrades in the basement of the dealer so nobody would see them. We have another mechanic who has been working for them continuously since was in high school. Started in parts. He is 62 now. He ordered and brand new scout in the early seventies and took the bus out to Indiana to pick it up at the factory and drove it home.

 

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1 hour ago, Reichow7120 said:

The equipment salesman at the Case IH dealer we deal with started at that particular dealer in 1962. (Yeah,  you read that right) Been the sales manager ever since I can remember. The last of a truly old school equipment salesman.

Saw him at the " Paradise Buffet " in Auburn IN at lunch after church one Sunday last spring. Hadn't seen him for a while & had a short visit, he said he was still selling.

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Corwyn Lepp (Cory) started with IH around 1980 I believe. Had him for service rep in Madison, Mn for a while.  Last time I bumped into him was in Titan store in Watertown, SD. about three years ago . What I remember about him was he liked electrical work better than hydraulics.  Didn't get all oily.  I had a problem with a intermittent oil pressure loss on a I believe 1460 combine. I had checked several things and he got on the phone with a service mgr down the line somewhere as he thought he had run into that problem once upon a time. He suggested that the oil baffle in the oil pan was loose and would get sucked up against the screen of suction tube. I was able to drop the oil pan an inch or so and sure enough, reached in an pulled the baffle out. I had overhauled that engine recently so the oil pan gasket was in good shape so lucked out there. Biggest problem was owner had to shut the engine down hot too many times when he lost oil pressure and it took the turbo charger out so still very unhappy customer. 

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Dad is still turning wrenches for CIH.....has been for 51 years!  Not much he hasn't fixed in that time.....  knows every trick in the book, and then some more!

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10 minutes ago, pete23 said:

Corwyn Lepp (Cory) started with IH around 1980 I believe. Had him for service rep in Madison, Mn for a while.  Last time I bumped into him was in Titan store in Watertown, SD. about three years ago . What I remember about him was he liked electrical work better than hydraulics.  Didn't get all oily.  I had a problem with a intermittent oil pressure loss on a I believe 1460 combine. I had checked several things and he got on the phone with a service mgr down the line somewhere as he thought he had run into that problem once upon a time. He suggested that the oil baffle in the oil pan was loose and would get sucked up against the screen of suction tube. I was able to drop the oil pan an inch or so and sure enough, reached in an pulled the baffle out. I had overhauled that engine recently so the oil pan gasket was in good shape so lucked out there. Biggest problem was owner had to shut the engine down hot too many times when he lost oil pressure and it took the turbo charger out so still very unhappy customer. 

Pete, that's the guy who is retiring. In his e-mail he says he has been with the company(IH and CaseIH)  33-34 years, so that would put him in the 1983-84 time frame. I'm sure he could be missing a few years. Lol.

I realize there are a lot of dealer personnel who have worked for many years at the dealership level, but the "corporate" people usually get offered an early retirement package at some point in time. Its not very often to see a current CNH employee that started with International Harvester before all the mergers. The only other former IH employee I can think of that still may work for CaseIH is a guy that worked for the combines at East Moline until they closed that plant up, then moved to Grand Island for the combines, and then moved back to the Quad Cities a few years ago when they opened up their new header plant in Burlington. I haven't talked to him in awhile so I don't know if he still works for CNH or not.

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Cory had a saying, BC,  before Cory.  That was when we referred to something before his time with IH.   We had a young fellow for a little while back farther than that. Was when first robot heads were introduced on the IH combines.  Jim Minnehan was his name and he went on to teach hydrostatic drive at Hickory Hills in the late 60's. Had him for instructor there in 69.  From there he went on to combine development work I believe. He was just out of Vo Tech when he started with iH and went places.  We had another one that came out of Watertown I believe. His name was Bill    I think and he was well versed in IH . He spent a time down south and his stories aboiut the cotton pickers were very interesting.  Had several good guys but a couple of you know what also. Desk jockeys I called them. 

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11 hours ago, SDman said:

Pete, that's the guy who is retiring. In his e-mail he says he has been with the company(IH and CaseIH)  33-34 years, so that would put him in the 1983-84 time frame. I'm sure he could be missing a few years. Lol.

I realize there are a lot of dealer personnel who have worked for many years at the dealership level, but the "corporate" people usually get offered an early retirement package at some point in time. Its not very often to see a current CNH employee that started with International Harvester before all the mergers. The only other former IH employee I can think of that still may work for CaseIH is a guy that worked for the combines at East Moline until they closed that plant up, then moved to Grand Island for the combines, and then moved back to the Quad Cities a few years ago when they opened up their new header plant in Burlington. I haven't talked to him in awhile so I don't know if he still works for CNH or not.

I miss understood what you were asking however one must stop and think that most of us never deal with corporate. The dealer personel is where our contact with the parent company goes through. They talk with corporate and act as the middle man.

I can honestly say I have not the slightest clue who our district man is. I could walk past him in the parking lot and wouldn't know him from the next person. I do kinda know our Kinze and Unverferth reps but non of the others.

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there was a guy who used to travel about doing combine clinics- retired two-three years now. I believe he had been with Harvester since the release of the  Axial Flow combines.  I wish I could remember his name because he put on a couple of the best farm meetings I've ever attended- informative yet fun and a really down-to-earth guy to chat with afterward

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Could be Gerry Salzman?  Childhood friend and he did do a great job with the axial flow seminars.

 

 

 

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Cam Beertz maybe? Best man in my parents wedding worked for IH then CIH for a long time, Ralph Binnie. 

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3 hours ago, Reichow7120 said:

I miss understood what you were asking however one must stop and think that most of us never deal with corporate. The dealer personel is where our contact with the parent company goes through. They talk with corporate and act as the middle man.

I can honestly say I have not the slightest clue who our district man is. I could walk past him in the parking lot and wouldn't know him from the next person. I do kinda know our Kinze and Unverferth reps but non of the others.

No need to apologize. The people mentioned on here who have worked for their local dealerships for a lifetime are just as important to their local customers as any big company rep is-if not more. They are the local "face" of the company-without them, a big company like CaseIH, Deere, Cat, or any other big company is just some big, fat pig that hides in the background while taking your $$$(just like the government-lol). 

I also understand your point that most farmers/customers do not deal directly with company reps on a routine basis. That's the way it should be. I wish more emphasis was on dealer personnel doing their job sometimes by the big companies. Too many times I see on the machinery talk blogs that customers perceive their local dealer as a bumbling idiot that can't fix a simple problem. Too many times I have seen a communication breakdown between the dealer and company that just makes everybody mad-customer, dealer, and company. A lot of this could be fixed with just a little more effort on all parties involved. 

After the ag economy took the big downturn in 2014-15, a lot of longtime company reps were offered early retirement or they just outright separated from the company. Some at their own choosing, some not. Many longtime CaseIH and New Holland reps were gone as a result of downsizing within the company.

In defense of the company reps, it would get old living out of a suitcase 5 days a week and different hotel room every night just to get your arse chewed by customers and dealers over something you have little control over. After many years of it, I would take early retirement as well. Years ago I thought that would be a good job to have; nowadays, you couldn't pay me enough to do it.

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15 hours ago, pete23 said:

Cory had a saying, BC,  before Cory.  That was when we referred to something before his time with IH.   We had a young fellow for a little while back farther than that. Was when first robot heads were introduced on the IH combines.  Jim Minnehan was his name and he went on to teach hydrostatic drive at Hickory Hills in the late 60's. Had him for instructor there in 69.  From there he went on to combine development work I believe. He was just out of Vo Tech when he started with iH and went places.  We had another one that came out of Watertown I believe. His name was Bill    I think and he was well versed in IH . He spent a time down south and his stories aboiut the cotton pickers were very interesting.  Had several good guys but a couple of you know what also. Desk jockeys I called them. 

Jim Minnehan worked for years with the combine group, dealt with him several times through the years. Last I can remember him was when the 2388s first came out, which will be 20 years ago this fall. I would imagine he is retired by now.

Pete, did you ever work with a guy by the name of Floyd Jensen? Seems like everybody that worked for IH in the 1960-1980s in South Dakota knew Floyd, and had great respect for him. He worked for CaseIH a few years after the merger as well before he retired. He maybe didn't call on any Minnesota dealers as he was based out of Sioux Falls. I'm guessing you worked with Dave Christofferson and Ken Ohnell through the years.

 

As far as Gerry Salzman, I believe he retired from CaseIH a year or 2 ago. I think that's what was said when he was a Red Power Roundup last month.

Cam Beert used to work with the custom cutter support(ProHarvest) for many years after he retired from CaseIH. I haven't seen him since 2010-2011 or so.

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I knew Floyd Jensen but not real well.  He did call on us a few times and was involved with service training sessions a few times. Dave Christofferson was our service rep after the merger. He was from the Case side, RIGHT.  Julian Yerbich was rep for a few years.  Earl Cramer worked out of St. Paul as head of service for the  area. New him quite well. Ben Daniels, Hector Sharbino.  Lots of guys.  Lot of water under the bridge since then.  Had a little go around with one of them, can't remember his name. He got put in his place right in front of a group at a training session when he misled them about a warranty claim that IH   denied after he said we would not be left holding the bag. . Said he talked to the mechanic at our dealership and I corrected him and told him, I was the mechanic, only one. 

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2 hours ago, pete23 said:

I knew Floyd Jensen but not real well.  He did call on us a few times and was involved with service training sessions a few times. Dave Christofferson was our service rep after the merger. He was from the Case side, RIGHT.  Julian Yerbich was rep for a few years.  Earl Cramer worked out of St. Paul as head of service for the  area. New him quite well. Ben Daniels, Hector Sharbino.  Lots of guys.  Lot of water under the bridge since then.  Had a little go around with one of them, can't remember his name. He got put in his place right in front of a group at a training session when he misled them about a warranty claim that IH   denied after he said we would not be left holding the bag. . Said he talked to the mechanic at our dealership and I corrected him and told him, I was the mechanic, only one. 

Floyd Jensen was our rep for Schmidt's in Willow Lake, SD. He knew his stuff and would get his blue coveralls on and get right in there with us.

He was great to talk with as he heard of all the weird stuff happening and the cures.

Those were the days.

 

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Dad started off as an IH mechanic.  He worked for two dealers before IH sold to Tenneco.  He went to the third (and final) dealer where he worked on Case IH until about 2012.  The dealer sold, changed names, and he transferred to the lawn and turf equipment line of the company and now works on Kubotas and Cub Cadets.  (which is just fine for me; he is in his early 60s and doesn't need to break his back to earn a living anymore.  He comes home from work and goes 'today was a rough day.  I put a mower deck belt back on.' ) He still remembers how to work on the big stuff (obviously) and occasionally gets called by farmers in the county asking if he'll work on something for them outright.  

 

Often times going to an agricultural event in the county when he'd spot an old IH something he'd sometimes go 'I probably worked on that.' :D

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Earl Cramer,Ben Daniels, Julian Yerbich, Dennis Hejmonick ? on spelling, all common names from my past. I believe it was Daniels I met when the ta did not work on the very first 706 we got in and we had to split that HUGE tractor ona wood floor in a shop designed for Ms

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Gary Utech is the only one I remember. That would have been in the late 70s in SE MN.

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On 7/25/2017 at 10:11 PM, Reichow7120 said:

He is.  I don't know exactly when his birthday is but I heard him say last March at that time he was 88 yrs old. Dont let his age fool you, his mind is sharp as a knife. He definitely knows the art of the deal.  His office is actually a library of old equipment info. I know ive seen a original poster of when they introduced the Axial Flow combines on display in his office. He went to MSU for a short course and after he got out of school he was a milk inspector and after that sold equipment for a Oliver dealership for a few years before he started working at Wells. 

 

Hey, I know of that fella!  

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On July 26, 2017 at 1:53 PM, jass1660 said:

Cam Beertz maybe? Best man in my parents wedding worked for IH then CIH for a long time, Ralph Binnie. 

  I met Ralph many times.  He farmed somewhere.  Was that up near you?

bill

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1 hour ago, billonthefarm said:

  I met Ralph many times.  He farmed somewhere.  Was that up near you?

bill

He grew up here with my dad but he farmed and lived near Goose Lake Iowa I believe. 

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