Ag Equipment Intelligence recently checked with Heartland Ag Systems President Arnie Sinclair on the integration of the distributor/manufacturer which was acquired by Titan Machinery in the summer of 2022. The acquisition brought together Case IH’s largest application equipment distributor with the major’s largest equipment dealer.
Heartland, which also has one of the largest sprayer parts and accessories offerings to co-ops and farm service providers, also has a thriving manufacturing business (spreaders, tenders and applicators), which it grew from $7 million in 2014 to $18 million in 2022.
Sinclair has a long background in ag retail and agronomy, including Ag-Chem Equipment Co.. He oversaw a long career in selling and serving the commercial side of the application equipment buyer, including Helena, CHS, Wilbur-Ellis, Nutrien and others.
Last August, Heartland Ag Systems was acquired by Titan Machinery for $94.4 million and gave both companies greater access to the full line of equipment (Case IH maintains separate dealer contracts) and each other’s customer base. While Heartland had been focused to the commercial contracts and Titan to the farm-level purchase, the combined entity now has access to the full line of Case IH application equipment.
Among the benefits of the combined business units are:
- Titan customers, meanwhile, have greater access to the Case IH’s full line of self-propelled sprayers and commercial application equipment as well as the greater parts inventories carried by the Heartland locations. According to Sinclair, Titan began offering a high-clearance spreader in recent weeks that will allow certain Heartland-manufactured innovations to be offered to Titan’s farm customers.
- Heartland’s network spans 17 states as a result of four acquisitions in the last 9 years and includes more than 100 remote service techs in 12 locations. In addition to the physical locations, Sinclair notes there are 11 additional stocking reps in the U.S. and Canada, providing dealer and end-use relationships for Heartland-manufactured products in other regions.
- Heartland gains access to large farmers interested in application technologies. Heartland’s manufacturing expertise will allow it to tailor solutions to farm producers as needed.
- Titan’s vast service shops will provide a benefit to Heartland customers beyond what the 100 remote service technicians could previously offer. “Titan’s huge service facilities were built to handle the largest tractors and combines,” Sinclair says, providing built-in efficiencies for servicing the large application machines. In addition to best-in-class service facilities, customers benefit from substantially improved response times by leveraging the Titan network for service.
- Prior to the arrangement, Heartland was unable to practically take care of customers seeking wheel loaders and tractor purchases. Now, Heartland staff can streamline commercial application purchases via packages that include tractors, tillage, and construction equipment directly out of the same ERP. “We couldn’t sell tractor or wheel loaders before,” says Sinclair. “Now we can take care of them and execute their purchase through Titan. The co-ops and ag retailers have a significant need for tractors and loaders for their commercial applications.”
- With the inherent synergies with Titan, Sinclair says that Heartland can manage the used inventory on the used application equipment side better than before. “We’ve been talking to farmers about their needs and those that are new to dry fertilizer application machinery can more easily find the used unit that has been traded for and can more easily and cost effectively find a home with growers.”
Titan CEO David Meyer notes that there are hundreds of commercial application providers in Titan’s core markets, and the distribution synergy has been estimated at $60 million of run-rate sales.
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