For many, 97 years in business translates to shifting away from values and founding principles and focusing on profitability. However, this is not the case for Hardings Inc, the Indiana-based heavy equipment dealer. While much has changed for the third generation family-owned construction, industrial and agricultural equipment company, family ideals and a drive to offer the best customer service in the region remain integral parts of Hardings’ identity.
Clarence continues a family tradition initiated in 1916 by his grandfather, Emil Harding. Emil grew up in a farming family but was diagnosed with a heart condition that prohibited him from doing manual labor, so he got into the farm equipment business. In 1916 he sold his first machine, called a Work All, and by 1923 he built a shop in downtown Lowell, Ind., where he began selling John Deere Equipment.
Eventually Emil added Caterpillar products to Hardings’ lineup. CAT wanted him to build a larger facility to hold more product and they have remained in the same building since that move. Hardings has even made seven or eight additions but remain in the same building for the past 80 years.
Over the following decades Hardings offered a range of service and repairs for used construction equipment. While continuing to offer equipment parts, Hardings became a Hyundai, Yanmar, Wacker and Mustang dealer to offer specialized equipment, mainly skid steers and small to mid-sized excavators and wheel loaders. Today Clarence is proud of how far the company has come, they still sell new equipment from all four manufacturers along with used equipment, trailers, rentals, attachments, parts, and service and equipment transportation.
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