(L-R) are Steve Benck, Diane Benck, Lauren Coffaro, Jen Snow, Brian Benck and Tom Benck.
The Benck family, owners of West Side Tractor Sales and RCE Equipment Solutions, announced the opening of their new headquarters. After almost 60 years, the Naperville location (1400 W. Ogden Ave) has been relocated to 3300 Ogden Avenue, Lisle, Ill., 60532. This is a homecoming for the local family business as West Side Tractor founders, Rich and Mary Benck, started the dealership in Lisle in 1962. The original 1,000-sq.-ft. West Side Tractor branch was located 3 mi. down the road from where the new headquarters stands.
The Lisle headquarters project was in the works for almost five years from start to finish. Finding land in the Chicago area that would work for a construction dealership in an ideal location is a difficult task. The Benck family finally decided on an 11-acre property that had sat vacant since 2008 when a car dealership closed. The dealership facility was in fairly good condition with a layout that could work, so the Benck family, along with Barnes Architects of Elmhurst, chose to do a full renovation of the property and add on a shop.
"We took everything that we had learned from designing heavy equipment facilities and applied that to creating the Lisle headquarters," said Steve Benck, president of West Side Tractor. "We focused on the needs of our customers and employees to create a space that not only functions with maximum efficiency, but also is comfortable and inviting and showcases the construction industry."
The concept for the front of the building was a glass toy box with floor-to-ceiling glass windows. On the showroom floor, there are 10 antique tractors on display. Each machine has a story that is significant to West Side Tractor, John Deere or represents a pivotal moment in the past 100 years of heavy equipment innovation.
The Benck family, specifically Rich, Tom and Steve Benck, are passionate about restoring antique tractors and are excited to share their personal collection with the community. The showroom will be used for events and open to fellow tractor enthusiasts and to inspire the next generation to join the construction industry. Visitors can enjoy the stories of the equipment, including:
- A 100-year-old 1920 Waterloo Boy, one of just a handful left in existence. The Waterloo marked John Deere's entrance into the tractor market.
- A 1959 Model 440 loader backhoe, one of the first machines that West Side Tractor founder Rich Benck ever sold in this territory with a decal from the original Lisle facility. This tractor was found sitting in a farmer's barn in Joliet in 2019.
The Lisle facility was designed with customer needs on the forefront. With an easily accessible parts counter and curbside parts pickup, customers can get what they need on the go.
The new 16-bay shop has six 5-ton and two 10-ton cranes, which allow West Side Tractor technicians to perform services and repairs in a timely and efficient manner. Fluids are plumbed throughout the whole shop with reels in each bay. Each bay includes a new tool bench and paperless work station complete with laptops so technicians can easily run diagnostics, search John Deere portals, access records and update work order details as the work is being done. There also are four separate wash racks for cleaning.
The Lisle headquarters also will be West Side Tractor's first John Deere certified rebuild facility. This includes a designated clean room with craning capabilities to rebuild engines and components for production class equipment.
Upstairs, there is a state-of-the-art training area that will be offered to customers to utilize. The West Side Tractor team can tailor customized presentations — from machine walk-arounds to safety or technology training sessions — all onsite, any time of the year.
Home Away From Home
"We wanted to create a space that is representative of the talent and capabilities of our team," said Diane Benck, vice president of operations. "Our employees spend the majority of their time each day with us so it was important to our family to provide an environment that not only sparks teamwork and creativity, but that employees have all the tools and resources they need to be as successful as possible in their role."
Collaboration was a key part of the design. Corporate functions that are currently scattered between West Side Tractor branch locations will be transitioned in-house, including the positioning division, fleet services, rental and used equipment. Collaboration is integral in creating customer solutions and brainstorm sessions. Employees have several areas throughout the building to meet and converse with customers and co-workers.
Nod to Past, Ready for Future
The Lisle facility also was designed with the future in mind. For example, with the influx of online parts ordering, the facility has areas to adapt to a fulfillment warehouse concept. The Benck family also is continuing its commitment to diversifying the workforce. The Lisle facility has a female technician locker room and a nursing room for new mothers transitioning back into the workforce.
There also is much more technology implemented throughout the headquarters, including large touchscreens in the service manager office that tracks and schedules all the jobs open in the shop by employee and a live map showing all field service vehicles on the road. There also is an interactive kiosk on the showroom floor that customers can utilize to search used equipment, send new product brochures to their emails, order parts and explore historical West Side and John Deere content.
"Our previous Naperville store was special because every office, every service bay had a story or memory from our 58-year history. Our employees at the Naperville branch have been an extension of our family for a long time," said Lauren Coffaro, third generation ownership. "But this new Lisle facility, this is for the future. This is a place where we can innovate and grow, add new products and expand our teams. It is representative of our commitment to our customers and partners to be the best heavy equipment customer service provider in the Midwest. This is an exciting chapter in the West Side Tractor legacy."