As modern agricultural equipment continues to get larger and more sophisticated, the buildings that sell and service those massive earthmovers must do the same.
That’s why High Plains Equipment, an independent Case IH dealership in Devils Lake, N.D., decided to replace its existing cramped quarters with a spacious, state-of-the-art metal building.
“We needed to do this for our customers. It’s as simple as that,” says John Swenseth, the company’s owner/operator.
The new space—a 38,117-sf facility with a 7,950-sf second-level mezzanine—is three times the size of the former building, improving the dealership’s ability to serve its growing customer base.
Situated on a 22-acre site along U.S. Highway 2, the new building replaces the dealership’s existing 12,000-sf building located on a much less visible site.
“Now we get people stopping in here who didn’t even realize there was a Case IH dealer in town,” Swenseth says.
The project’s three buildings include a symmetrically gabled structure and two lean-to buildings, each braced by the gabled structure.
The facility’s large clear span enabled the installation of a dozen 25-foot service bays, twice as many and twice as large as in the previous facility.
The main structure also houses two 5-ton bridge cranes, each extending 175 feet and spanning 35 feet.
“The overhead cranes are making life easier and less strenuous for our technicians,” Swenseth says. “With more shop space, we’re able to hire more technicians and they can work inside instead of outside in the mud.”
Because technicians now have the space to work on more than one job at a time, productivity has been boosted. And the facility’s three overhead doors and dedicated wash bay contribute to improved operational efficiency.
“This is a very nice technical shop,” says Mike Dunn, business development manager of Construction Engineers Ltd., the Star builder in Grand Fork, N.D. “It includes floor heat and an air-conditioning system to keep the technicians comfortable year-round.”
The new facility also includes an expanded merchandise and display area as well as an indoor expo room and kitchen for hosting customer training clinics and community events.
“It’s a good experience for customers when they come in,” Swenseth says. “It’s big and open and clean and modern. They appreciate that.”
A fast-track, design-build construction schedule enabled the building team to complete the project in about eight months.
“We assembled a lot of the frames and the roof structure on the ground, and brought a crane onsite to lift larger portions of it into place to save time and increase safety on the project,” Dunn says. “We were able to take advantage of the short building season and meet the owner’s timeline to complete the building in time for the spring selling and service season.”