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The C.H.E. Story

     In 1948, the ten-year-old Curt Howard attended Harold Flax's farm equipment auction in London, Ohio. Small farm equipment auctions such as this one were very common across the Midwest United States in the boom years after the second world war. Every two weeks, small-time farmers, smooth-talking dealers, quick-tongued auctioneers, and curious bystanders converged on the nine-acre lot for the bimonthly farm equipment auction. But this auction lot was different from the others the young Curt Howard had been to, though at the time he didn't know it. For one day, this small lot would be the starting point of an American success story, his story.

     But like all success stories, it starts with little more than hard work and determination. In 1962, Curt took out an FHA loan so that he could begin farming for himself. He moved onto a 280-acre cattle and pig farm near Lily Chapel, Ohio with his wife, Brenda, and his children. He never had much money to start out with, so he would often attend the small equipment auctions that used to be so prevalent in the area to see if he could get a deal on farm equipment. One day after a sale, he was loading a small plow onto his flat bed truck and was about to head on back home when a man approached him and offered to buy the plow from him. The offer was twice what Curt had just paid for it, so it was a deal. It was at this point that Curt realized there was good money to be made in the farm equipment business.

     So when he wasn't farming, Curt would drive his International flatbed truck up to auctions to earn extra money making farm equipment deals and offering to deliver other customers' equipment on his truck for a modest freight fee. As his finances slowly grew, Curt found he had enough money to start buying new equipment to take to sales. He began buying rotary mowers and other small implements from Lady & Sons Manufacturing in Tennessee and selling them at the many farm equipment sales he attended. 

     Curt's knack for buying, selling, trading, and bargaining did not go unnoticed. In late 1969, Harold Flax, the owner of the farm auction and equipment lot in London, Ohio that Curt had attended as a boy so many years ago, came up to Curt with a proposal. He told him he wanted to get out of the business and that he needed a buyer, and that he thought Curt was well-suited for the job. It was arranged that Curt would buy the business and lot for $62,500 on land-contract: $10,000 down and $10,000 a year until paid. Curt risked everything by selling all he had and investing all his time and energy into making the auction business more successful than it had been before. The rest is history. 

     Curt Howard Equipment is a company built on the knowledge, experience, and intuition that comes from years of working with, transporting, and dealing farm equipment. It's that experience that gives us the edge to stay ahead of the competition and to keep our prices low. And the benefits are handed down to you, our customers, because you know with C.H.E. Inc, you are always getting the best price for quality equipment.


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