Bill’s Tractor going strong for a quarter of a century
WCN File Photo
Bill Bailes of Bill’s Tractor visits with a Mahindra representative prior to the Mahindra USA’s Texas Tractor Drive held last June.
The above statement, found on the Bill’s Tractor website, is the motto that Bill and Betsy Bailes believed in in 1984, as they set up in business as Bill’s Tractor, and still believe in today.
Bill and Betsy were raised in Seymour, Texas. In 1968, the Baileses moved to San Antonio, where Bill taught mechanics. After a 20-year stint in the auto business, Betsy said they sold out and decided to do “something different.” Since Bill grew up on a farm and was always around tractors, they started a new venture repairing and selling 8N and 9N Ford tractors, considered antiques today, and set up shop at their first location.
The Baileses started the business on their 50-acre farm where they still live today. At that time, the business consisted of a mobile home, a log cabin, a chicken coop, and a windmill, and has changed considerably since its humble beginnings.
This family business became Bill’s Tractor & Equipment Ltd. in 1985. With no employees, the Baileses worked hard to serve their customers. In 1999, Bill’s Tractor moved to its present location on U.S. 87, just inside of Loop 1604 on the east side of San Antonio. Sitting on four acres, the business had room to expand, and expand it did, with a wide assortment of tractors and farm equipment.
Bill and Betsy raised their children, Rick and Becky, in the San Antonio-Adkins area. Becky is married and lives in Corpus Christi. Their son, Rick, also married, lives in Stockdale. He joined the family business about 15 years ago, and continues to manage it.
Rick grew up with the automotive business and worked at a body shop before joining the family’s retail-agriculture business. As the business grew, “We needed help,” Betsy said, and Rick joined them at Bill’s Tractor. The management team is complemented by Greg Moczygemba, who serves as general manager.
Today, the business employs 25, and continues to provide quality service and warranty on all the tractors and equipment sold.
A Mahindra Tractor dealer, Bill’s Tractor received national attention in 2001, when the company sold 460 tractors -- the most by one dealer in a year. In 2007, Bill’s Tractor sold 814!
Although known for their Mahindra line, “We sell more than one brand of tractors,” Rick said. Other brands include Branson, Bobcat, and Zetor.
A “strong commitment to customer service” is what makes Bill’s Tractor different from its competitors, Rick said.
While the name may imply that Bill’s Tractor is limited to just tractors, the company also carries a wide assortment of lawn equipment -- Bobcat UTVs (utility vehicles), KYMCO UTVs, Hustler Zero Turn Mowers, and Stihl outdoor power equipment. They also carry Texas Bragg trailers. In 2007, Bill’s Tractor was the largest Hustler Mower dealer in Texas.
“We have a complete parts department to service all brands we carry,” Rick said.
The Bill’s Tractor service shop includes five bays to service tractors, mowers, and other equipment.
Mario Arriaga serves as the shop foreman, assisted by Mike Hopper, the service manager; outside field technician Donnie Roberts; and several other valued mechanics.
“Our new state-of-the-art service truck now offers house calls to your location,” Rick said. Now, “we service all brands of tractors and if you are unable to bring your tractor to us, we can now provide service wherever it is needed.”
See “Mobile repair service” for more on this service.
The business continues to grow. In 2003, the company not only opened a branch dealership, Diamond B Tractor in Corpus Christi, to better serve South Texas, but also joined the high-tech era, adding a secure “online store” to sell Mahindra parts. Other products include Branson, Century, Ford, Zetor, and many other brands of tractor parts.
In 2004, the family opened a second Bill’s Tractor, this time in Liberty Hill just northwest of Austin. At the San Antonio location last year, Bill’s Tractor became the only dealer in the area to sell and service the Bobcat compact tractor and UTVs.
Today, the Baileses are proud to say they are “the only tractor dealer in San Antonio with the same name and owner for 26 years!”
Bill’s Tractor & Equipment Ltd. is located at 10865 U.S. 87 S. in Adkins. New June store hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon.
For more information, call 210-649-1715, 1-866-403-6013, or visit www.BillsTractor.com or the parts store at www.billstractor.net .
Mobile repair service
Bill’s Tractor has added a mobile repair service to its line, to provide even more services to customers.
According to Mike Hopper, service manager, this will allow Bill’s Tractor “to bring expert service to our customer’s location.
“We decided to offer this service to make owning a tractor purchased from us as trouble-free as possible for our customers or anyone else in need of mobile service,” Hopper said.
This saves time and fuel costs. According to Greg Moczygemba, general manager, the customer pays by the hour, with no mileage limit. This service is available for several tractor brands, during regular business hours.
“Our service truck is fully equipped to perform most needed repair or maintenance on everything we sell, from oil changes on mowers to major mechanical repair on tractors,” Hopper said.
“Donnie Roberts, our outside technician, is highly trained and experienced on all systems used in modern agricultural equipment,” he added. “We even have the capability of doing welding and air conditioning in the field.”
For an appointment, call 210-649-1715 or 1-866-403-6013.