Location: Lacoma, Mo.
Owner: Gerald Sims
History: Gerald Sims left a job in chemistry to temporarily help his father run the family business in 1974. He decided to stay on permanently, and has learned nothing takes the place of experience. Gerald’s background includes two years of Army service, and obtaining a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Gerald sells quality used tractors and repairs open cab tractors at Sims Tractor Sales.
“It was started by my dad, Harry Sims, in about 1971. I was in the Army at the time, so I couldn’t tell you what month and what day. Dad ran it from the time he started it until 1994, and then I took over.”
Gerald worked for Xerox for a time, but eventually returned to the family business.
“I came back on vacation, and Dad looked tired. I thought, ‘I’ll come back for a year or two, to help him out,’” he recalled. “I never left.”
While not a tractor mechanic by trade, Gerald was a quick learner, and sought help from those with more knowledge when needed.
“When I started out, there was a company, Barnes Engine Rebuilders, in Rolla, and they had an older guy there. I wanted to do a good job, whenever I had a problem with the motor, I would take it apart, take it in there, and he would give me tips on how to put it together, so it would be right. I learned a lot from him.”
What is the most challenging aspect of tractor sales?
“Whenever I first came back from New York to join with Dad, whenever we went to visit another dealer, while they were talking, there was a copy of The Implement and Tractor Magazine lying there, which is a trade magazine. So I’m reading that and it says, ‘Well, this year has been hard year for the tractor dealer, next year will be better.’ I took that magazine for 20 or 25 years, and every year they would say the same thing.”
Products: “I stay to the smaller open station tractors, up to 60 to 75 horse power, but they don’t have a cab.”
Awards: “In 2003, I won the Volume Bonus Award from Long Tractor Sales.”