In April of 2012 in the middle of raising kids, juggling a career and helping with the family farm and ranch, Chasity and Larry Broadbrooks took the plunge and opened MH Equipment and Truck Repair.
“Life is too short! Do what you enjoy! Plus, we were blessed with a great opportunity so we took the plunge” Chasity replied when asked, why did you decide to take on this endeavor. Their perspective came after her father-in-law passed away two years prior. MH Equipment and Tractor Repair located in the heights of Billings, Montana.
MH Equipment is participating for the third year in the MATE Show, February 14-16.
Business partners and spouses, the couple started in April of 2012 with two employees—themselves. All they had was a service truck. Chasity had a full-time job elsewhere. Located in The Heights of Billings, they built the shop that spring doing all the repairs in the field.
MH Equipment and Truck Repair is a full-service diesel mechanic shop, providing personable service and quality work. MH Equipment and Tractor Repair are also dealers for Wacker Neuson compact equipment, Harsh feeders and manure spreaders, as well as Luck Now vertical mixers, making their business well diversified. The range of equipment that they can fix spans from small backhoes to large semi-trucks, including the trailer.
“We’re working on the new stuff, as well as the old 1970’s tractors,” commented Chasity. Sometimes a customer can only afford so much at the time, so they find the best solution to get the equipment back up and running at a reasonable rate. At MH Equipment and Repair, the Broadbooks and their staff take the time to get to know their customers and their situations.
“One of the challenging things about starting your own business is there’s no handbook for it,” commented Chasity. Larry worked at several other businesses including the Knife River Equipment Division for over ten years, gathering a wide array of skills before deciding to go out on his own. “You can know the equipment, know the industry like the back of your hand but it’s a totally different ball game when you start a new business from scratch.”
Not only can MH Equipment repair boom trucks, fork lifts, concrete mixer trucks, or anything in between, they also sell equipment. Proud to be considered a one-stop-shop, MH Equipment is a dealer for three different companies; Wacker Neuson, Harsh, and Luck Now.
Wacker Neuson is a global company that produces equipment primarily for construction. Products range from generators to excavators. Broadbrooks decided to become a dealer because of Wacker’s skid steer; they believe it is one of the best skid steers out there right now.
Harsh sought out Larry and Chasity to become dealers, two years ago. Harsh International is the oldest mixer company in the U.S., established in 1949 and home of the original four auger mixer. Based in Eaton, Colorado Harsh International makes feed and dairy mixers, truck hoists, and grinders and flakers, but they are especially known for is their feed trucks. Larry and Chasity are impressed with their better mix quality, especially with high roughage rations and Harsh’s longer-lasting components. “We have customers from North Dakota that buy Harsh parts and feeders from us. Not only do we sell the mixers and all their parts but we can also work on them, such as re-flighting augers and relining boxes.” It’s well-known that Billings is a hub for regional business across several industries and this is just another example.
Last year, the weekend of the MATE was a snowy one, but turned out to be a lucky one for MH Equipment. Luck Now, a company that sells feed mixers became acquainted with the Broadbooks and asked them to become dealers. Luck Now specializes in vertical mixers, recognized as one of the most dependable and strongest built vertical mixers in the field.
“We like being dealers for both of these reputable companies because we can offer something for the big feedlots as well as the smaller cow-calf operations,” commented Chasity.
Larry and Chasity enjoy all the different people with whom they get to build relationships. Both grew up involved in agriculture on family ranches, and they wanted to retain that connection. Larry is a from the Hi-Line community of Malta and Chasity grew up in Rapelje.
“It’s great to be our own boss, but it’s hard to shut it off,” said Chasity. “We often find ourselves sitting at one of the boys activities discussing business instead of truly concentrating on their event.” The Broadbrooks have two sons, Eli and Westin, who are involved in sports and 4-H activities. They also enjoy helping out at Chasity’s family’s ranch as much as they can.
The company’s logo is a M stacked on top of a sideways H, which happens to be a family brand. The M lazy H brand dates back to 1889. Keeping close to family, and agriculture roots was important for the Broadbrooks. Chasity shared her hopes that she and her husband build a business that their two sons will eventually grow into and continue.
MH Equipment and Truck Repair will be in booth #510 at the MATE February, in the Expo Center building at Metra Park. Tickets are free and can be found at First Interstate Bank in Billings and Hardin. Tickets can also be picked up from vendors, and the NILE office, or printed off the MATE website. Without a ticket, entrance is $7.