New dealership opens in Alden

Published 9:28 am Monday, June 20, 2011

General Manager Brad Wermedal stands in front of the newly built Arnold’s of Alden. Arnold’s is a Case International Harvestor dealership located at 110 North Star Road in Alden. -- Garrett Wampler/Albert Lea Tribune

ALDEN — Area farmers can’t afford to drive two hours when they need their tractors serviced. Arnold’s, a Case International Harvester dealership, recognized the void and offers a new solution.

Without a grand opening or dealership signs, they opened a location in Alden on Monday, June 6.

Two of the Claas self-propelled choppers at Arnold’s of Alden. Arnold’s is the only dealership in Minnesota that sells and services these machines. -- Garrett Wampler/Albert Lea Tribune

The new dealership is a complete sales, parts and service center located at 110 North Star Road next to Freeborn County Co-op Oil.

Email newsletter signup

“If you lived south of Alden and you had to go to Mankato it was an hour drive to get there and an hour drive to get back,” Brad Wermedal, general manager of the new location, said. “We’re going to save you two hours by being here.”

Selecting Alden as a location follows the company’s past tendencies. Each store in their operation is 50 miles from the others.

The store features a sales and service office with an attached service garage. Arnold’s has three overhead cranes in the garage and other modern tools. The parts area is complete with a second floor area full of extra supplies. Wermedal said he thinks one of the reasons people will enjoy working there are the modern tools and how clean the shop is.

Next to the service garage is a separate wash bay. One of the design features allows for the wash bay to be closed off from the rest of the building so the moisture doesn’t spread through the structure during the winter.

Arnold's of Alden overlooks I-90 as shown here by General Manager Brad Wermedal. Arnold's is a Case International Harvestor dealership. -- Garrett Wampler/Albert Lea Tribune

Building the store in Alden has economic ramifications.

Of the people that Arnold’s of Alden has hired, seven or eight people are from the surrounding area. They also relocated a few employees from Mankato. Wermedal hopes to add more positions in the future.

“I’m looking for people as we speak, in any of the areas at this moment,” Wermedal said. “We feel down the road if everything stays together we should double what we have here right now.”

In Minnesota, Arnold’s is the only specialized dealer to sell and service Claas self-propelled choppers. Their Claas business extends throughout Minnesota, western Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota. They run off of Mercedes-Benz engines.

Arnold’s of Alden is participating in the 2011 Red Power Roundup at the Freeborn County Fairgrounds.

Wermedal said a new Fargo-built quad-tractor will be on display along with other models. They will also have a few booths promoting tools.

Alden marks the sixth location under the Arnold’s name, which was founded in 1945. There are other locations in Kimball, Willmar, Glencoe, St. Martin and Mankato.

“We needed to take a step toward helping the customers we did have and to try and grow the business,” Wermedal added. “To grow the business at all we need to have a presence here.”

A grand opening celebration will be held sometime in August or September and the signs will be arriving over the next few weeks.