runs 10 to 15 percent more for the initial cost over gas, but those dollars can be made up over time with the elimination of gas and oil costs. “This is a lot less headaches,” Buechel said, adding that the battery equipment seems to be durable and comes with warranties ranging from three to five years.
Also new to Tri-City Small Engine this year is the Masport line of lawn mowers and sidewalk edgers. Buechel said he has received a number of requests for a good sidewalk edger in recent years, and neither Snapper nor Simplicity produce one.
Masport might not be a well-known name in the Midwest, but it has been popular on the East Coast and has been in operation since 1910. Its edgers sell for around $300 and feature a Briggs & Stratton motor. In addition, Masport’s lawn mowers feature cast aluminum decks which will not rust like steel decks will. Masport lawn mowers are comparably priced to Snapper and Simplicity models which are still carried at Tri-City.
As the equipment on the floor evolves, so do the people selling and servicing it at Tri-City Small Engine. Scott’s son Josh is now employed full time at the shop, having completed his small engine repair schooling at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton. His experiences at FVTC included qualifying for national competition in marine equipment repair, and he finished 10th in the nation in that contest.
The addition of Josh to the business is
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quickly expanding the type of equipment Tri-City Small Engine can service. In addition to servicing boat motors—generally 20 hp andsmaller—Josh is also servicing an increasing number of mopeds and all-terrain vehicles. More recent models of some of that equipment are including more computer-programmed operations, and Scott and Josh said at some point they might need to upgrade their equipment to accommodate that. But for now, Josh said, “The old ones I love working on.”
His younger brother, Matt—a freshman at New Holstein High School—feels much the same way as he already has a collection of 30 to 40 old garden tractors. He has taken some of the tractors, got them running again and equipped them to compete in the unusual but fun sport of garden tractor demolition derby. Josh, meanwhile, has competed in vehicle demo derby and said he enjoys that as well.
Matt helps out around the shop after school in any way he can. With great conditions for ice fishing this past season, Matt helped the rest of the Tri-City crew sell a lot of ice drills and saws. Snowblower sales also were very good, especially early in the season. Two sizes of M-B Companies’ power brooms also are available for sale at Tri-City.
Now is also the time to bring in riding and push mowers for pre-season tuneups before the grass starts growing and the shop gets even busier. Call Tri-City at 898-5252 if pickup of equipment is needed.