Wayne Tuck’s dealership, Mid-State Equipment, specializes in Kubota machinery like this excavator, the largest item in their inventory. Photo by Diccon Hyatt.

If you see a bright orange tractor or backhoe made by Kubota, chances are it came from a dealership two miles up River Road called Mid-State Equipment where Wayne Tuck has been selling equipment made by Kubota, Gehl, Woods Implements and Hustler Mowers for the past 17 years.

Among his customers are the township of Ewing, Homasote, Ronson Aviation, Buxton Boxes and other prominent Ewing businesses.

Tuck said service is what separates his business from his competitors. There are 15 employees on the two-and-a-half acre campus, including a garage where four or five tractors are under repair at any given time.

“We have a better response to the customer’s needs. We’re better at setting priorities and we’re able to respond quicker to emergencies than most of our competitors. When equipment breaks down, it’s vital to our customers to have that equipment operating to keep their business running.”

Within the next two-years, Mid-State plans to expand its $7 million a year business onto a larger campus in Titusville.

The business sells and rents everything from lawnmowers to eight-ton excavators. most of their business is in compact construction equipment, including small four-wheel-drive diesel tractors, a category which has traditionally been dominated by Japanese companies. Tuck said there are is a long list of businesses that use his equipment, including several customers in Bermuda, acquired through word-of-mouth. About 20 percent of Mid-State’s business comes from the island.

Tuck said there have been many changes in the business in the past several years. Kubota now has plants in the United States, so he has gained several customers who once refused to buy anything not made in America.

“There were a few of those, but most people have accepted the Japanese products have superior quality. Japanese stuff was once looked at as Chinese stuff is today,” he said.

The vehicles have become more advanced over the years too, he said, with more efficient, less polluting engines that can run on biofuel. The machines also incorporate more electronics. Every year, technicians from Mid State go to manufacturer’s courses to keep up on the latest technology.

There have been new products too, such as Kubota’s subcompact tractor for home use (the first of its kind) and a four-wheel-drive utility vehicle with an air-conditioned cab and the same amenities as an economy car. (Heat, air conditioning, radio.)

Tuck, a Vietnam Veteran, got his start in the equipment business after working at a forklift company for several years. He started Mid-State with two silent partners in 1990, and has been running it ever since.

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Diccon Hyatt is business editor of U.S. 1. He has worked for Community News since 2006 and was previously community editor of the Ewing Observer, the Hopewell Express, the Lawrence Gazette, and the Trenton Downtowner. From 2003 to 2006, he was a general assignment reporter for the Middletown Transcript in Middletown, Delaware. In 2002, he graduated from the University of Delaware, where he was features editor of the student newspaper, The Review. He has won numerous awards from the Maryland-Delaware D.C. Press Association and the Association of Free Community Newspapers for features, news, and opinion writing. He is married and lives in Marlton, NJ.