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Dean Machinery Sells Cat D6T XW to Kansas Contractor

Wed December 23, 2009 - Midwest Edition
Peter Suanlarm

The original bill of sale for the 1956 Cat D7
The original bill of sale for the 1956 Cat D7
The original bill of sale for the 1956 Cat D7 Donald Ernzen (R) original owner of 1956 Cat D7, of Ernzen Bros. in Easton, Kan., holds the original bill of sale for the 1956 Cat D7. Ernzen poses with Phil Servaes, owner of Phil Servaes Dirt Construction in Atchison, Kan., in front of the tractor that Phil Servaes (L) shakes hands with Travis Gentry, sales representative of Dean Machinery Co., after taking delivery of his new cat D6T XW. Phil Servaes Dirt Construction’s line up of Cat dozers, which includes a D6R XL, a D6T XW, a D7G, D6C and a 1956 D7.

Phil Servaes Dirt Construction of Atchison, Kan., has had a very long relationship with Dean Machinery in Kansas City.

In fact, Phil Servaes, owner of Phil Servaes Dirt Construction, said he has been familiar with the Dean Machinery name for more than five decades.

“I had four other brothers that were in the business,” Servaes said. “They started in the 1950s and were with Dean Machinery the whole time. So I’ve grown up with them and have been around Dean Machinery for 50 something years.”

At first, Servaes worked for his brothers. They had several tractors and scrapers in their fleet in the 1960s, all purchased from Dean Machinery.

However, in 1972, Servaes started his own company, Phil Servaes Dirt Construction. The company specializes in oil field work, leveling, building pads, land clearing, digging pits and soil conservation work including terraces and waterways.

Recently, the contractor continued the tradition of purchasing from Dean Machinery with the acquisition of a new Cat D6T XW.

Servaes contacted Travis Gentry, sales representative of Dean Machinery, to finalize the deal.

“We’ve been real satisfied with Dean Machinery and have purchased a lot of stuff over the years,” Servaes said. “I bought everything but one tractor from Dean Machinery.”

For all these years, Phil Servaes Dirt Construction primarily has worked with Dean Machinery’s St. Joseph, Mo., location.

Servaes said the new D6T took the place of a D7G tractor and was put to use immediately.

“I’ve put 56 hours on the tractor since I’ve had it and, so far, I’ve had real luck with it,” Servaes commented. “I really like this tractor.”

Servaes has worked on and worn out plenty of tractors since the company’s inception.

For instance, Servaes still has the original bill of sale of for a 1956 Cat D7 he bought from Don Ernzen.

“When we started the business, I purchased from Don Ernzen,” Servaes said. “I still use the old D7 once in awhile if we need it.”

The dependability of the D7 led to more purchases for Phil Servaes Dirt Construction.

“I purchased Cat D6, which had 20,000 hours before we sold it in 1999,” Servaes said.

Other Cat tractors in Servaes’s fleet included the D7G and a D6R.

“I bought the D6R from Dean Machinery in 1999,” Servaes said. “It has around 8,000 hours on it and has been a good tractor.”

Cat Iron, Wildcatting

Phil Servaes Dirt Construction started out by doing all the dozer work for oil companies by building and filling the pits and pulling trucks.

In 1972, oil companies came through Northwest Kansas, edge of Missouri and Nebraska and were wildcatting or looking for oil.

“That was year-round work and a lot of work in the winter so that really helped us get going,” Dolores Servaes, Phil’s wife, said.

Over a five-year period, Phil Servaes Dirt Construction would pull its Cat tractors more than 100 mi. to follow the work.

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