New Holland skid steer heads for mission in Uganda
|(Left to right)|
Dave Hersrud, dealership owner
Dennis Page, customer
Gary Wood, North American Director of New Hope Uganda Ministries
Bob Pravecek, Hersrud salesman
George Rigdon, New Holland Sales Manager
Arnie Luptak, Hersrud's Sturgis store manager
The African nation of Uganda has been ravished by war, poverty and disease. Countless children have been left orphans when their parents died of AIDS. As a non-profit international missionary group, New Hope Uganda Ministries works to make a difference in Uganda by building roads, schools and orphanages to help alleviate the suffering and give new hope for a brighter future.
Soon, a skid steer will make that job just a bit easier. A New Holland L175 skid steer is headed for Uganda, purchased by New Hope Uganda Ministries, and made affordable to the group by price concessions provided by Hersruds in Sturgis, South Dakota, and New Holland.
The idea of sending a skid steer to Uganda came from Dennis Page, a Hersrud's customer and a contractor. Page had spent two weeks at the mission in Uganda, and understood the dramatic difference a skid steer would make in the lives of the people there. He told the mission group, "You need one of these."
Making a difference
"Dennis explained that in Uganda, all the work is done by hand," says Bob Pravecek, the Hersrud's salesman who handled the deal. "They'll get a rock as big as a desk and give one man a sledge hammer to pound away until they get the gravel they need for a building or road. With the skid steer we sold them, what would take a week to do, they could do in a couple of hours. It would make a huge difference for these people and would make life so much easier."
Although there is a New Holland dealer in Uganda, they don't sell skid steers (but will be able to get parts), so the missionary group turned to Hersruds, located near New Hope Uganda Ministries' U.S. office in Belle Fourche, South Dakota, to purchase the skid steer.
"Dennis asked what we could do for this missionary group to help them be able to afford to buy a skid steer. All their funding comes from donations. He went to other suppliers, and they just gave him the regular price, but New Holland really stepped up to the plate and did a nice thing for these people.
"Dennis came to me, but the next step was to call our New Holland Sales Manager, George Rigdon, and he got the ball rolling. He was able to go to New Holland and get us a pretty good discount," says Pravecek. "We found a skid steer with no cab, no heat, none of the frills we usually sell. When they pay for the skid steer and the overseas shipping, and pay the tax to get it into Uganda, they will probably have put close to $40,000 in that skid steer."
Local TV coverage
Being a non-profit agency, New Hope Uganda Ministries is always looking for ways to make their name and their mission more visible to the general public. When the deal was signed, Gary Wood, the North American Director of New Hope Uganda Ministries, called the three local TV stations to see if they would be interested in the story. All three replied affirmatively.
Hersruds set up a time for the TV stations to come to the dealership to do interviews in the showroom with the New Holland skid steer as the backdrop. Gary Wood and Dennis Page talked about the work the group is doing in Uganda, and Hersrud's Bob Pravecek talked about the skid steer and Hersrud's involvement in the acquisition.
"The coverage was good," says Pravecek. "They did a short segment that evening, but the next morning and the next day, they aired a piece that lasted
three or four minutes.
"As we go about our business of selling equipment, it was great that everybody got together and cut their margins to sell this skid steer to people who really need it to help them out," says Pravecek. "And we got a lot of good coverage. There on TV, you saw a New Holland skid steer right on the screen. I think it was a win-win situation for everyone."