The Chappell family has owned and operated the business for 60 years. (L-R) are Corey, Roger, George, Kent and Brad Chappell.
Chappell Tractor will fling open its doors at its Milford location on Sept. 26 for a memorable customer appreciation day. It’s the first such event in several years.
“Customers associate Chappell Tractor as a company they can trust and depend on, and Chappell’s impeccable service team is a major reason why,” said Corey Chappell.
Chappell Tractor’s service team receives continuous training and goes above and beyond to ensure its technicians are up to date on the most current certifications. The company wants its staff to have the finest knowledge on all the latest models of machinery so they are able to provide their customers with the highest quality support, Chappell said.
The company has modern shops at both its Milford and Brentwood, N.H., locations staffed with 22 technicians and seven service officers. It also recently expanded its road service with the purchase of two new service vans to ensure rapid around the clock support for the upcoming winter season.
“We believe that our diversification of sales and services set us apart from the competition. Our ability to find a place within the niche markets, such as auto recycling, snow removal, and the housing industry played a huge role in our success and growth over the years,” said Chappell.
Within the past decade Chappell has expanded from 50 to 70 employees. It is back up to 2006, pre-recession inventory levels and has had 44 percent growth this year alone at one location.
A Long History
Chappell Tractor Sales was founded 60 years ago by Perley Chappell. Perley lived long enough to see the third generation own and operate what has become Chappell Tractor. Now the fourth generation owns and operates the business.
From the first Ford tractor sold out of the? family barn to today, Chappell Tractor continues to treat all customers like pearls. You have to like machines to sell them for more than five decades. And Perley liked machines. Back in the 1930s, he was among the first dairy farmers in Clarksville to own a tractor.
Having a big family was a way to get hard farm work done more easily, so he and wife, Diana, and the first four of his six children moved to Milford in November 1935. Two more daughters were born later.
Milking an Opportunity
After the family moved down to Milford, life on the farm became routine and one day while milking the cows, son George mentioned to his father, Perley, that a Ford tractor dealership was going out of business. Perley replied that he’d “look into it.”
After much negotiating, the paperwork was complete and George was off and running the dealership, while Perley continued on the farm for a time until he too left farming and supported George’s efforts in making the tractor business work.
New Machines, New Moves
With his new machines, George instilled a work ethic geared to customer satisfaction and loyalty. He believed that if he treated people right, they would continue coming back to him. His philosophy worked as the company grew, adding machine lines and moving to increasingly larger facilities.
In 1960, the company moved from the Chappell family farm to a 3,000-sq.-ft. cement block building on Route 13.
The development of Route 101 led to another move in 1970 to a 7,200-sq.-ft. structural steel building up the road. An addition of a lawn and garden showroom soon followed.
In 1985, the company moved across the street to a facility more than twice the size of its previous location. Brothers Kent and Roger Chappell built the unique post and beam building where the company’s headquarters is now. It was a big leap to go from 9,840 sq. ft. to almost 25,000 sq. ft., but they were up for the challenge.
In 1995, Chappell Tractor added the “big house” service area for larger pieces of equipment, and in 2005, the family added on to that facility with another post and beam addition of approximately 15,000 sq. ft.
In September 2005, the company began an expansion project that would add 14,000 sq. ft. to the existing dealership?at 454 Route 13 in Milford. The expansion was completed during summer of 2006, with a grand opening. The new facility is home to both Chappell Tractor and B-B Chain.
This provided the Chappell brand with a new tractor showroom, lawn and garden showroom and added space for the newest department, Outfitters by Chappell, to sell a complete line of clothing, shoes and boots for the company.
Today, Chappell Tractor carries Kubota, New Holland agricultural and construction equipment, Hyundai, Link-Belt excavators, Takeuchi and much more.
Tractor and Chain
In 1994, Chappell Tractor Sales purchased B-B Chain from retiring Bob Bragdon, who founded and had operated B-B Chain since 1965.
Today, the company operates B-B Chain, which is a hardware, hand tool, strap, chain, specialty supply store and tire chain supplier, from Chappell Tractor in Milford, New Hampshire, and Chappell Tractor in Brentwood, New Hampshire.
Serving All the Towns
B-B Chain drivers deliver orders to more than 720 towns in the New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Vermont area. B-B Chain grew out of the original space and has now moved into its new quarters in the lower level of Chappell Tractor in Milford.
In 1998, the company expanded even further by opening a second location on Route 125 in Brentwood, N.H. The new Chappell Tractor East started with an 8,000-sq.-ft. structural steel building. In 2002, the company doubled the shop and showroom space by adding another 9,600 sq. ft., complete with a post and beam front porch and entryway.
Going Above and Beyond
A down home atmosphere and friendly environment make tangible Chappell Tractor’s motto, “You’ll Notice the Difference!”
Its employees go above and beyond the call of duty. Many long-term employees who have put in 20 to 30 or more years include Rachel Bateman, Flip Henry, Steve Markham, Walt Reindeau, and Edgar Fandrich. Longevity at a company not only reveals that the business treats its employees well, but it also indicates a belief in the mission and goals of the company by its members. And customers only benefit from this unfortunate rarity in today’s business world.