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Ziegler CAT opens showcase facility in Willmar

The century-old power equipment dealer Ziegler CAT has opened a new showroom and shop in Willmar. The nearly 60,000-square-foot facility is located on U.S. Highway 71 on the southern end of Willmar.

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The new Ziegler CAT facility located on Highway 71 South in Willmar is up and running. The dealership is still putting the final touches on the site. Erica Dischino / West Central Tribune

WILLMAR — They say third time's the charm and the new Ziegler CAT facility in Willmar definitely looks like a success.

"It is the biggest showroom Ziegler has," said Dave Ose, branch manager. Willmar is one of 27 Ziegler locations across Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri.

The nearly 60,000-square-foot showroom and shop, located at 4600 Highway 71 S., is actually the power equipment dealer's third store to be in Willmar. Ziegler first arrived in town in 2015 and set up shop near the intersection of U.S. Highway 12 and Kandiyohi County Road 5. A few years later it moved to a larger space, again on Highway 12 but this time on the east side in what was the old Willmar Farm Center.

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The second move was always going to be temporary, as Ziegler CAT had grand plans for Willmar's permanent facility.

"The plan was to do this, to build this," Ose said.

There is now plenty of room to show off Ziegler CAT's newest equipment along with selling used machinery, a massive shop to be able to service even the largest or heaviest of equipment and plenty of conference space for meetings and training.

"It will be utilized for a lot of different things," Ose said.

The building was designed by CNH Architects and constructed by Kraus-Anderson. Work began last summer and took about a year to complete.

The two-story showroom has space for machinery of all sizes, from smaller construction rigs to massive agriculture combines. An oversized garage door will make it easy to showcase some of the best Ziegler CAT has to offer. Ziegler CAT, which was founded in 1914 in Minneapolis, sells several brands of power equipment for agriculture, construction, forestry, paving and mining.

Outside the facility there is plenty of room for both new and used equipment as well as space for test drives and training. There is also a 7,800-square-foot cold storage building.

The back half of the new facility is taken up by the massive shop. The double-story space allows the mechanics at Ziegler CAT to work on and repair equipment of various sizes. Another wing of the shop has a reinforced floor for the extra heavy jobs. There is also a steam bath connected to the shop, so equipment can get a cleaning before heading back out to the fields and construction sites.

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The shop is full of systems to help the mechanics with their jobs, including lines that pipe the oil directly to the equipment. There are two large cranes installed in the ceiling to help move heavy jobs.

The parts department, with its towering shelves, hopes to have any piece or part needed. Employees from other Ziegler branches assisted in putting the parts department together, where each gear and belt has a very specific place.

"It's been a major undertaking the last week or two," Ose said.

The building design and interiors also keep the employees in mind. Over the years the company has been in Willmar, it continues to grow. Currently, there are 19 employees working at the Willmar facility, with the plan to hire more.

"The employees we have are second to none," Ose said. "I have a great team."

There are locker rooms for both the men and women staff members and a shower for their use. And in the shop a system of beams keep staff safely tethered while working high atop large pieces of equipment.

"We don't want anyone getting hurt," Ose said.

While most of the construction at the site has been completed, there are still projects here and there being finished up. Ose said the hope is to have everything done in the next few weeks.

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"We are excited to get it up and running 100 percent," he said.

With all of the space, tools, parts and the employees, Willmar Ziegler CAT will be able to better achieve the exceptional customer service the company aims to provide.

"We are here for you, for them, whatever you need," Ose said. "We are really known for our service."

Shelby Lindrud is a reporter with the West Central Tribune of Willmar. Her focus areas are arts and entertainment, agriculture, features writing and the Kandiyohi County Board.

She can be reached via email slindrud@wctrib.com or direct 320-214-4373.


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