Houston County Equipment (HCE) was established in the summer of 1986 by Jack and David Beaver as the second Beaver family-owned store. At that time, Jack and David were partners in a cattle ranching operation in nearby Percilla, just East of Grapeland. They had discussed the idea of opening a new dealership in Crockett for quite some time, but the lack of available major equipment lines kept them from it. When they discovered that the Case IH franchise might be coming available soon, they decided to go ahead and break ground on a new location. The 20-odd acre property was purchased from Mr. R.H. Craycraft and construction on the new facility began. S.C. Maxwell company initially built the main showroom and repair shop of about 5000 square feet. Later, another 2500 square foot addition was added as the dealership grew.
HCE started as a Massey-Ferguson tractor and Rhino mower dealer, along with a few other shortlines. As expected, within a relatively short time, the Case IH franchise became available and it was picked up as well. This allowed a good relationship between the Alvin and Crockett locations, as each store shared Case IH as a major tractor line. Alvin also carried Kubota, but at that time Wallace Tractor Sales had the Kubota franchise, so it was unavailable.
In the late 1990’s, the Kubota franchise became available and HCE was awarded the contract to carry the full line of Kubota equipment. This allowed even further cooperation between the Alvin and Crockett locations, as they now both carried Kubota and Case IH. The addition of Kubota to HCE also brought a complete product line to the dealership, something that had been missing with Case IH. Kubota offered a complete line of equipment, from lawn tractors to 100-horsepower range farm tractors, while Case IH’s offerings were primarily limited to utility tractors.
Also in the late 1990’s, Kubota Tractor Corporation began to focus more carefully on what our East Texas ranchers needed for them to be a major player in the 50-100 horsepower market. At that time, Case IH and John Deere were thought of as the primary contenders in that market. As Kubota started to release new models of their “M-series” tractors, it quickly became apparent that they had a winner on their hands. After careful research and development, they had discovered the sweet spot between quality, features, and value in this segment. To sweeten the pot, they released a new series of large cab tractors at this time that took East Texas by storm. These new cab tractors showed the marketplace that Kubota was serious about increasing their market share in the ranching and cattle industries.
Throughout the 2000’s, Kubota continued to refine their product line and have proven to be one of the few major manufacturers to truly listen to their customers, and work to provide what customers want, all at a great value. There has been increased competition in the last decade, with competitors of other major colors outsourcing production to third-world countries in order to reduce cost. Kubota has held strong and continue to produce tractors in only Japan and the United States, with more production moving to the US over time. This has been done while at the same time maintaining Kubota’s policy of “kaizen” meaning “continuous improvement” of their product quality.
As many multi-generational businesses now struggle to survive, Houston County Equipment is owned and operated by the third generation of the Beaver family. They continue to work hard to provide the best quality products and the best customer service to their valued customers and friends.