New Bobcat business to open in Alexandria
"Swanston Equipment, which is Bobcat of Alexandria is coming to town, which will reestablish the Bobcat brand in Alexandria," said Adam Becker, owner of Becker Service who recently sold the service and rental company to Swanston.
ALEXANDRIA — Becker Service of Alexandria will re-open as Bobcat of Alexandria powered by Swanston Equipment , near the end of July. A soft opening is expected on July 15.
The story of Becker Service began in the early 1990s. Gary Becker of Alexandria was running his auto repair shop, Becker Auto, when a customer bartered for repair service with a broken down Bobcat.
Becker agreed to the exchange and fixed both the vehicle and the Bobcat. Sometime later, he was approached by someone in need of a Bobcat, which prompted Becker to rent it to them. And that sparked a new idea and eventually, a new business.
Becker purchased more Bobcats among other pieces of equipment for rental use. First from Alex Power Equipment — when they were still an authorized dealer — and then through Swanston Equipment, and thus, Becker Service was born.
Now, nearly 30 years later, the story has come full circle as Swanston Equipment — a fourth-generation family-run authorized Bobcat dealer based out of Fargo with three locations in parts of Minnesota and North Dakota — has purchased Becker Service. Bobcat of Alexandria will be the company's fourth location.
"It's ironic that we bought from them for over 25 years and now it's changing hands and they bought everything back from us," said Gary's son, Adam Becker.
Adam and his mother, Heidi Becker, took ownership of Becker Service and Becker Auto seven years ago after Gary Becker passed away on June 23, 2015. They sold Becker Auto to Todd Blankenship but held onto Becker Service.
"We always wanted it to go to the right person," said Adam Becker. "It was growing to the point where it was so big, that it couldn't be run by someone who was also doing an auto repair shop, Becker Auto. It's big enough now where it needs to be on its own."
Earlier this year, Chris Shea, president of Swanston, reached out to Adam and his mom with interest in purchasing Becker Service. Adam has known Shea since he was about 8 years old, ever since his father started conducting business with Swanston. Adam Becker says he trusts Shea, which is why he agreed to sell to Swanston last May.
In turn, Adam Becker has accepted an offer to run the Alexandria branch, prompting him to leave his position as a business banker with Viking Bank. He says he is excited to work with some of the businesses he met through his banking position but this time, through a different lens.
"It's a brand that I've been attached to my whole life," said Adam Becker. "I've run Bobcat since the day I could walk, essentially. And for me to be able to bring the brand back to Alexandria. It's very important to me.
Bobcat of Alexandria will offer services, and repairs, parts, rentals and sales, along with Bobcat and other brand products like skid loaders, excavators, attachments, track machines, lawn mowers, tractors and more.
While no official date is set, it is expected to be fully operational by the end of July with a soft opening on July 15. Bobcat of Alexandria will be located at 3818 Nevada St. SW, Alexandria. Applications are being accepted to fill needed positions and can be filled out through swanston.com or Indeed.