Does it have a small engine? Bring it in!
By Mark Sherry
Mark Sherry photo
Matt, Scott, and Josh Buechel (left to right) are part of the Buechel family team operating Tri-City Small Engines in New Holstein.

For some retailers who sell power lawn and garden equipment, the story ends right there—they sell implements, but they cannot, will not, or do not want to service them if or when something goes wrong.

Tri-City Small Engine Repair & Sales in New Holstein has made a name for itself over the years for being the exact opposite of that. By their words and their track record, the Buechel family says, “Bring it in, we can fix it.”

Located at 2204 Calumet Dr. (STH 32/57) in New Holstein, Tri-City Small Engine does sell plenty of new equipment. It carries Snapper and Simplicity lines of snowblowers, lawn mowers, and garden tractors, as well as a wide variety of other equipment from top manufacturers.

But whether or not a person originally purchased the implement at Tri-City Small Engine, the business can likely service and/or repair whatever is brought in with a small engine on it.

Scott Buechel—who owns the business along with wife Lori—worked at Tecumseh Products Company and has many years of small engine service and maintenance experience. Son Josh completed the Small Engine Repair program at Fox Valley Technical College and is equally gifted in the repair of all types of equipment.

Josh has brought the repair of mopeds, four-wheel all-terrain vehicles, and older model snowmobiles to Tri-City Small Engine, and those jobs picked up significantly in the past year. Scott and Josh said what sometimes happens is a person will bring in a snowblower or lawn mower for repair and then see Josh working on a moped or snowmobile and decide to bring that equipment to Tri-City Small Engine as well.

Sometimes the jobs get even more unusual. Not long ago a person was working in the Manitowoc area on behalf of the State of Wisconsin testing scales. The scale tester has a small motor on it, and something went wrong with it. Unable to find anyone in the lakeshore area able to fix it, the man learned of Tri-City Small Engine and drove the truck-mounted equipment to New Holstein. Josh took a look at it, and the man asked if Tri-City Small Engine could fix it. His only other option was to go back to Madison and be shut down for a week and a half. Josh said to the man, “Well, it’s got a Kohler engine on it, so I don’t see why not.”

Word-of-mouth advertising continues to work well for Tri-City Small Engine. People hear from family, friends, and neighbors that Tri-City Small Engine can tackle just about any job and complete it with success, so customers continue to come to New Holstein from as far away as Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Green Bay, Appleton, and Oshkosh.

In a perfect world, of course, equipment would not break down. When it comes to new equipment, Tri-City Small Engine sells only quality brand names which they know will last and perform well. The Buechels said Snapper and Simplicity have moved production of their equipment back to the Milwaukee area from elsewhere to get the type of quality for which Wisconsin workers are known. Asked if snowblowers, mowers, tractors, and other equipment are built better today than they used to be, Scott said, “In our lines, yeah, they’re always making improvements.”

Despite the relatively short winter season this year, Scott said Tri-City Small Engine still had a good snowblower sales season and just about sold out of its stock.

Now it is time to make room for the summer season’s new mowers and tractors, and among the more interesting new offerings are zero-turn mowers with buckets on the back and shock absorbers all the way around. Those mowers have heavy fabricated decks as well as available attachments for those buckets to hold tools in place such as rakes and shovels. Scott said sales have already started for lawn and garden equipment, and early warm weather this March is only helping to get people excited about the coming lawn and garden season.

Along those same lines, Tri-City Small Engine also sells and services chain saws and weed trimmers, including battery-powered trimmers and saws with the latest long lasting, powerful battery power available. The Oregon line of electric yard equipment also remains available at Tri-City.

A new addition in the past year in the store are portable Kohler generators. Scott said Tri-City’s prices compare well with their competitors and that the generators are extremely quiet, making them great for campers.

For those people looking to plan ahead for next winter, Tri-City Small Engine also carries StrikeMaster ice drills.