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Stratton business adds line of tractors

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Stratton-based Tank’s Welding and Repair has brought big business with a big name to the area.

Having sold 10 used tractors last year, Dwight and Donna Tank decided to become a Landini dealer and took delivery of their first tractor Nov. 19.

“We wanted to sell a good useable tractor at a reasonable price. That led us to Landini,” he said.

Having worked on farm equipment for many years, Tank felt the Landini—with a Perkins engine—was the way to go. “Landini has been around since 1884,” he noted.

The brand name is Italian, and that is where the equipment is manufactured. They vary from 40 to 180 h.p. in size.

The couple felt with the sales of used tractors last year, a line of brand new ones would be a good addition to their business, which is located on Highway 11 in Stratton where the former Vandenbrand Equipment sat.

Tank’s father blazed the trail to Rainy River District. Roland Tank came here in 1984 and through visits to the area, Dwight and his family was exposed to it.

In 1998, he set up a shop in Pinewood.

The move to Stratton took place last February and both Tanks say the location has been a real boost to their business.

Prior to coming to the area in 1995, Dwight Tank had worked for a number of companies and then owned his own shop for 11 years in a small Saskatchewan town.

However, a fire destroyed the local hotel and two other businesses, leaving Dwight and another small retail store as the only businesses left in town.

When the grain elevator was closed, that was it. Business dried up and he was forced to shut down.

Now, Tank is putting his welding and mechanical background to work doing repairs on everything from small cars to big farm and logging equipment. “The logging side of things was new to me when I came here, but [they’re] not all that different than the farm repairs.”

Taking on some consignment sales of used tractors last year, Tank was happy to see there was demand for them. Ten tractors later, he and his wife were ready to take the next step.

The Landini sitting on their lot now is a 90 h.p. model which retails for about $54,000 without the loader. Add another $12,000 for that accessory. But even at $66,000, “it is cheaper than competitors’ models,” Tank said.

While Tank admitted he probably got into the dealership at the wrong time of the year, there’s been considerable interest in the Landini on their lot and, crossing his fingers, said, “We might have her sold this week!”

While some people might not recognize the Landini name, they likely would Massey Ferguson, which Landini built at one time. “There is one [tractor] near Rainy that says Landini-Massey 8630 on it and that owner has nothing but praise for it,” Tank remarked.

In addition to selling tractors, Tank offers full service on them and plans to stock parts for the Landinis. On the low end, they sell for about $20,000 and at the high end around $110,000.

Tank also said they are compatible with all makes of other equipment. “You can put anything on them,” he noted.

The 40 h.p. is small, but “it can really haul stuff,” he enthused.

As a rule, the welding and repair business is seasonal. But since moving to the Stratton location, Tank said it has not slowed down.

“It is never boring because you never know what you are going to do,” he remarked while working on the electrical system of a half-ton truck.

Tank’s Welding and Repair is open Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., although they often work later. He recommends people call for an appointment as they are very busy.

While the sale of Landini tractors can be a distraction from the other side of the business, “It is a nice change of pace,” Tank said.

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