Albany Tractor Co. is now Flint Ag & Turf
AMERICUS — Shawn Corbett’s excited about the name change at Americus’ now former Albany Tractor Co. dealership. Not because the change is going to affect the top-quality service the branch general manager and his staff have been providing over the seven years he’s served as leader of the Americus team.
“The name change to Flint Ag & Turf is not going to affect us at all, not as far as our staff and our commitment to service are concerned,” Corbett said. “But I think it will bring attention to the efforts we’ve made, particularly over the past three years, to build a stronger relationship with this community and with our customers.
“Our John Deere products are top of the line, and we have a top-notch staff here. I think, through our efforts, we provide the best service in our organization. We’re proud of that fact. And it’s come about because the guys in the back care about what they do, and our entire team is going to do everything we can to maintain and improve the trust we’ve built with our customers.”
With eight full-service dealerships in Southwest Georgia, Flint Equipment Co.’s Ag and Turf division has been, as Albany Tractor Co., the market leader in the region for more than 40 years, its locations offering sales and service of a full line of agricultural equipment, implements and parts, from John Deere lawn mowers to weed eaters to tractors to combines.
Parts Manager Will Faust has been at the Americus dealership for three years and with Flint Ag & Turf for 18, so he knows a thing or two about quality Deere parts and service. In fact, Faust said dealerships’ ability to replenish parts in three days or less – as opposed to the weeklong wait that was typical in the past – has allowed them to operate more efficiently.
“We operate leaner than we used to, and it’s a plus not to have to have such a large inventory on-hand,” the parts manager said. “We cut our overhead, plus, when our sales team alerts us that they’re bringing in new equipment, we have the opportunity to start stocking parts to service the new sales.
“That concept – teamwork – is what’s allowed us to stay on top of supplying the latest equipment and parts.”
The name change to Flint Ag & Turf erases the confusion created by the operation of John Deere Ag and Turf dealerships, Construction and Forestry dealerships and Power Systems dealerships under the Flint umbrella that have long operated under separate names.
“I want to reassure our valued customers that this is just a name change,” Corbett said. “This dealership has operated in Americus since January of 1996, and we feel that we’re a big part of our community and of the agribusiness that is vital to this region and to the state of Georgia. We’ve got the same people, and we’re available to our customers 24 hours a day.”
The Americus Flint Ag & Turf staff includes Parts Manager Will Faust; Shop Foreman John Dees; Office Manager Dawn Bullock; Office Assistant Tristian Wiggins; CSR Laurie Oder; Sales Reps Ryan Cox, Slade Bush and Jesse Scarborough; Parts staff Dana Hughes and Michael Mattingly; Service personnel Stephen Stanley, Hudson Hawkins, Brian Paul, David Cox and Billy Leverette; and technical students Andrew Arnold, Tyler Willis and Dylan Gilmore.
“We’re really excited that the local technical school (South Georgia Technical College) is one of only a couple of places that teaches the John Deere Training Program as part of its curriculum,” Corbett said. “Students in the program go to school for a semester, work at the dealership for a semester, then go back to school the next semester. They’re getting the nuts and bolts in the classroom, but there’s no better method of education than working at an actual dealership, putting that classroom knowledge into action.
“The Deere program just moved to our tech school from Thomasville, but we’re already seeing positive results. We’ve got three students who, when they complete the program, will be ready to work at a John Deere dealership anywhere in the country. Plus, we feel that this relationship gives us an additional tie to our community.”
Shop Foreman Dees is a product of the Deere training program, his time there allowing him the opportunity to advance quickly into his management-level position.
“With the rapid changes in agricultural technology that are taking place now, I was prepared because of the basics I learned in the Deere program when classes were offered in Thomasville,” Dees said. “Once you have a pretty good handle on the equipment, Deere’s going to keep offering classes – online and at locations out of state – that allow us to stay up to date.
“I’ll admit, there were some pretty tough adjustments. I’d worked in pecan orchards with equipment that was not up with the latest technology. But through Deere’s training, you’re put into a position where you can make a quick diagnosis that keeps farmers in the fields.”
The Americus Flint Ag & Turf dealership joins sister Flint dealerships in Albany, Cuthbert, Sylvester, Sycamore, Colquitt, Cordele and Pelham.