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Clanton Tractor named May business of month

By J.R. TIDWELL / Editor

Clanton Tractor & Equipment has been recognized as the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce’s business of the month for May.

Representatives from the Chamber honored Clanton Tractor during a small ceremony on May 7.

“It’s rewarding,” said owner Mickey Bates. “We are always available to help anything in the community whenever we are asked. I don’t know that we have done anything different from anyone else in the community, it’s just always been my philosophy that you help people when you can and do what’s asked of you when you can. They saw fit to recognize us in this way, and we are honored that they did so.”

Bates started the company in 1988.

“I wanted to be here in Clanton where I was born and raised,” he said. “I had been in the farming equipment business a few years prior to that. I took on the Kubota line when they were a much smaller, lesser-known company. I have been with them ever since as there principal representative here in Chilton County and central Alabama.”

Bates said he has stuck with Kubota because of the quality of the products offered by the company.

“(Kubota) is very innovative,” he said. “They have engineers that are always designing for the future. The main thing is there small tractors fit our market very well — weekend farmers, hobby farmers and hunters. The Kubota line was primarily designed for produce farmers, cattle farmers and row crop farmers. It is recognized as the leader in the field for that size operation.”

As far as staying in business all this time, Bates said he has good customers, and he and his employees “make sure to take care of them.”

“We have been here 31 years,” he said. “I have seen a lot of dealerships come and go in those 31 years. We are here because we do the right thing for the right reasons. When we tell you we are going to do something, we do it.”

Clanton Tractor & Equipment offers a broad range of products, all the way from turf equipment to large commercial tractors. The business also features a service department.

“There are 18 employees here, and half of them are involved with the service department,” Bates said. “We have two full-time parts people and eight service people. We are recognized by Kubota as a premier dealer because of our attention to detail for the customers, the quality of the service and non-repeat service repairs we do. By doing that, customers are always satisfied.”