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  • Last modified 18 days ago (Nov. 29, 2017)

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Big Red customer still seeing red

Staff writer

Ever since Straub International closed its Marion store a year ago last August, its website has boasted the slogan: “We’re just a drop box away.”

Area customers have to travel to Hutchinson, Salina, Wichita, or Great Bend to access a Straub’s dealership. In an attempt to help farmers, Straub has provided drop boxes at Cooperative Grain and Supply in Marion and Mid-Kansas Coop in Goessel to deliver parts ordered by phone.

Eugene Just of Marion is still miffed at what he views as Straub’s abandonment of its Marion area customers.

“Almost all of my equipment was International,” he said. “And so was my Dad’s. As far as I’m concerned, they just left us set.”

He never uses the drop box because it carries a $5 charge. He has switched his supplier to a Herington dealer. When he needs a part right away, he drives to Herington. Otherwise, parts are delivered to a drop box the dealer has at Marion Hardware Store.

“I can drive 30 miles compared to 60 miles,” Just said. “I’ve had good luck so far. If they don’t have it, they can get it out of another store.”

Just has a friend who works in Herington and sometimes brings parts directly to him. He sometimes gets parts from Durham, as well.

Just said Marion County is still considered to be in Straub’s territory, so no other company can start a Case IH store in Marion.

Coop manager Mike Thomas said Straub’s makes weekly parts deliveries to Marion, coming almost every day during busy harvest seasons.

James and Terry Olsen of Marion have not used the drop box, but a mechanic has come out from Hutchinson to work on their machinery.

Shane Svitak of Lincolnville said he and his father occasionally use Straub’s Marion drop box to get parts.

“We usually have had to order parts in the past anyway, but it was more convenient to have a store there in Marion to pick up little parts,” he said.

If a part is ordered by a designated time, Straub’s usually has it there in the morning, Svitak said.

“It works OK,” he said. “We don’t really have a choice, do we?”

Last modified Nov. 29, 2017

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