About Gillespie Outdoor Power Equipment
Parker residents Justin and Missy Gillespie own and operate Gillespie Outdoor Power Equipment in Hartford. Justin, a 5th-generation Turner County resident, always had an interest in fixing and tinkering with motors. His parents, Tom and Linda, operated Parker Feed & Seed (now known as Jim’s Farm Supply) for more than 20 years, where he and his brother, Wyatt, grew up helping with daily operations. The brothers were also often hired by farmers to walk beans, pick rock and haul square bales. Justin milked cows for six years through middle school and high school and was involved in 4-H and FFA. Those experiences ingrained a strong work ethic, encouraged his mechanical skills and inspired an entrepreneurial spirit. He explains, “When I was a kid, we always had a lot of equipment around with small engines, and they always seemed to need tune-ups and repairs. It seemed we only had one option: to figure out a way to fix what we had on hand and make it work, or else.”
After graduating from high school, Justin went to Wahpeton, N.D. to study small engine repair and powersports engines. For several years, Justin spent his summers working as a farmhand on his uncle’s hog and cow/calf operation north of Hartford and winters in Steamboat Springs, Colorado as a snowmobile technician at a snowmobile rental company. At the same time, he started dating Missy, a Colton native, and soon wanted to spend more time in South Dakota.
Eventually, word got around to area farmers that Justin was repairing small engines on lawn mowers, ice augers, chainsaws and other machines. The word-of-mouth referrals helped him build a strong business. He says, “It got to the point where I was becoming tired of having people stop by the house at 10:00 PM to have their engine fixed.” In 2009, he opened his first commercial business near the antique shops off the Hartford exit. Within 6 months, they quickly outgrew that space and moved to the north side of the interstate, closer to town. Missy joined the company full-time in 2012. Justin says her nursing background is a pivotal asset to the business. “Maintaining communication within the business and with customers, documentation and attention to detail are very similar tasks needed to care for people.” She also handles the day-to-day financial and service operations of the business.
In 2016, Justin and Missy built their current facility, located at 1080 Ruud Trail, just north of the I-90 exit. Their location is now large enough for their current inventory and has room for growth. “The area farmers, businesses and local banking community have really supported us, and we appreciate that. That’s the reason for our growth,” states Justin. When they started their business, they serviced all makes and models of power equipment but felt they could not provide the prompt turnaround customers needed. They then made the decision to service only the brands they sell. Justin shares, “People spend their hard-earned money with us, and in turn, we provide prompt high-quality service.”
Although the Gillespies’ business started as a “service-centric” operation, over time they’ve developed a wide array of retail products from Hustler, Husqvarna and Ferris. Missy says the Hustler brand has been a great product for them. Hustler is the #1 manufacturer of zero-turnmowers in the world. “Hustler is great to work with. They are a company based in Kansas, so their Midwest family mindset fits well for us, and they really support their dealers in many ways.” Gillespie Outdoor Power Equipment has grown to be the largest Hustler Turf Equipment dealership in the upper Midwest. Their long-term goal is to continue to provide the best product and service for all area farmers. Missy shares, “Our business’s success is foundedon faith, family and farming. Our business operates every day on two simple values: Treat people the way you would want to be treated and do the right thing.”
Gillespie Outdoor Power Equipment1080 Ruud Trail, Suite 1,
Hartford, SD 57033 (605) 528-3345
“I can’t express how humbled I am to have grown to where we are today. We truly could not have done this without our customers and family. We have had many changes over the past few years. We have added a total of 5 employees to multiple equipment lines (Husqvarna, Honda, Toro, Dolmar, and Ryan, among others), and adjusted our service department to only service the brands we sell.”
Who was involved in Gillespie’s opening?
Justin and his wife, Missy Gillespie, were involved in the opening. Missy became full time in 2011. It’s been a family business since the beginning.
What makes you passionate about the products you service/sell?
We are passionate about the companies that we sell for and represent. They make great machines, and customers request them by name.
Which brands do you sell?
We sell Hustler, Honda, Husqvarna, Toro, Dolmar/Makita, Kawasaki, Kohler, Briggs & Stratton, Ryan, Turf Teq, Oregon, Mantis, Stens, Rotory, Jungle Jim’s, Carlton, NGK, Tuff Top, Mo Jack, Opti, Brown Bed Edger, and Accelerator to name a few.
What services do you provide?
Gillespie Outdoor Power Equipment provides several services. We sharpen mower blades, chainsaws, and also service ice augers. We provide parts for almost all makes and models of equipment, and we provide warranty and parts for all brands of ice augers (Jiffy, Strike Master, Eskimo). We also have pickup and delivery services on top of that.
Besides outdoor power equipment, what else is Gillespie involved in?
Gillespie is active in giving back to the community. We contribute to companies and organizations such as McCrossens Boys Ranch, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Junior Achievement of South Dakota, FFA, 4-H clubs, Hartford Area Chamber of Commerce, Hartford Area Development Corporation, Equipment Retailers Association, Humboldt Threshing Show, West Central School District, Tri-Valley School District, and Montrose School District.