By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Lawn & Garden | Issue: April 2016
According to Tulsa New Holland employees, Technician Tony Bates is a mechanical genius. Bates has faithfully served Tulsa New Holland customers for 24 years.
Tulsa New Holland is still located on East Pine in Tulsa and has been serving area customers for 33 years. They’re recognized as the area headquarters for tractors, outdoor power and hay equipment. Tulsa New Holland sells and services well-known brands and provides exemplary service on everything they sell. General Manager Kelly Umphrey says, “Parts and service are the backbone of our dealership. We focus on hiring well-trained, highly experienced technicians with the expectation that they’re going to be here long term. We need to like our employees, and they’ve got to like us, and that creates a win-win situation for Tulsa New Holland and our customers.”
Tulsa New Holland features New Holland, Mahindra, Cub Cadet, Bush Hog and Woods products. Cub Cadet has ranked Tulsa New Holland a Top-100 Dealer since 2000. According to President Mike McCrate, “Tulsa New Holland is truly a rarity because we are family-owned and operated and all business is done out of our location on Pine Street.” McCrate’s management team includes General Manager Kelly Umphrey, Parts Manager John Asmus, and Mike’s son, Service Manager Travis McCrate. Most Tulsa New Holland employees have been at the job for 10 to 20 years.
Diesel Technician Tony Bates has been with the company 24 years. A mechanic for ten years, Tony later became a heavy equipment specialist while working in the Rogers County coal mines. He received foundational diesel training working with the company’s Caterpillar mechanic.
In 1992, Tony responded to a newspaper ad for a diesel mechanic with Tulsa New Holland. “I thought it might be a good place to work for two or three years, and I’m still here!” Travis McCrate added, “Tony has a cult following. His customers always ask for him.”
Kelly Umphrey said, “Tony is a mechanical genius. There’s nothing he can’t fix. His tool collection is probably worth more than my house, and he frequently builds his own specialty tools.” Kelly and Travis agreed that Tony rarely has a bad day. He is dependable, calm and level-headed, but both acknowledged that he does have a darker side – Tony is a prankster. With his great sense of humor, Tony relishes the opportunity to “get” fellow employees and then innocently shrug his shoulders when asked if he “knows anything” about a particular prank.
There are three things Tony is adamant about: Keep a clean work bay. Keep the shop floor dry and free of oil. If you should gain permission to borrow a tool and don’t return it in a timely fashion, beware… you are in trouble.
Tulsa New Holland has an A+ rating with the Tulsa Better Business Bureau. “Without great service support,” says Kelly, “there wouldn’t be any repeat sales.” So, whether you’re mowing your yard, maintaining an acreage or baling hay, Tulsa New Holland wants to be your “Partner For Life.”
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.
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