This past September, when Jason Schroepfer hired Ben Hoffmann to be the Tire Manager at Schroepfer Inc., he also added a new line of business.

This past September, when Jason Schroepfer hired Ben Hoffmann to be the Tire Manager at Schroepfer Inc., he also added a new line of business.

“We’ve always sold and serviced truck tires,” Schroepfer said. “But with Ben also being so experienced with Ag tires, it was the right time to offer sales and service of Ag tires here.” Schroepfer also bought a tire service truck that allows Hoffmann to work on farmsites.

“If I hadn’t hired Ben as Tire Manager, we wouldn’t have taken on Ag tires,” Schroepfer said. “He’s the best around. We get a lot of compliments from farmers because we added Ag tires. They really appreciate the service.”

Schroepfer said Hoffmann has been a good addition to the Schroepfer Inc. shop, “It’s been a smooth transition, he fits in well.”

Hoffmann agreed. “I’m getting along great with my co-workers and the bosses,” he said. “I’m also working with some customers from the past — I enjoy that, too.”

The past Hoffmann refers to is his 25-plus years working as a tire technician in the area. The past 16 years he worked in Fairfax and is happy to be working in Sleepy Eye now. It’s not only a short trip to work for Hoffmann, but as a member of the Sleepy Eye Fire Department, he is glad to be available for daytime fire calls.

The shop portion of Schroepfer Inc.’s business includes the repair and service of their own fleet of semi-trucks and trailers, as well as for any customers. The same is true for Hoffmann’s work — he handles tire work for the Schroepfer fleet and takes care of tire sales and service for customers’ trucks.

As for the Ag tire business, now is a good time for farmers to get in touch with Hoffmann. “We’re a Firestone associated dealer and through the end of April we have good discounts on purchases of two or more eligible Firestone Ag tires,” he said.

Hoffmann said they also handle the full line of Goodyear tires. “And we keep both the Firestone and Goodyear small implement lines on hand,” he said. “Plus we can get pretty much any brand the customer needs.”

Trailer tires are also part of the tire inventory, or again, Hoffmann can get what the customer needs.

“We carry a full line of tubes, for lawn mower and ATV tires, on up — everything from 4-inch up to 54-inch tubes,” Hoffmann said. He said he’s continuing to learn what the customers need and expects his department’s offerings to grow.

Schroepfer said, “Sleepy Eye has other businesses in town that specialize in auto and pick-up tires, we want to focus on the big rigs, big tires, and ag tires which the shop is equipped for.” Schroepfer and Hoffmann both said focusing on that lane is where they want to be.

Focusing on one lane is also how Schroepfer has developed the trucking side of Schroepfer Inc.

“We haul perishable food products — egg, potato, cheese, and other dairy products — working directly with customers in Colorado and Minnesota,” Schroepfer said. “In the trucking industry we call that our lane. We haul product both ways, from Minnesota to Colorado and back.”

Schroepfer Inc. runs 15 truck (four are owner operated) with 24 refrigerated trailers. As the trucks travel between customer sites, often trailers can be dropped off for the next load, and the driver then takes an already loaded trailer.

“Dealing directly with customers gives us more control of appointments and rates,” Schroepfer said. “There might be some delays that cause waits to pick up loads; the customer might get behind on production, weather always matters, but we do our best to keep the trucks moving.”

Schroepfer said his Minnesota to Colorado route appeals to area drivers. “We are right in the middle of the route. This provides the drivers with more home time as they travel back and forth,” he explained.

Jason and his wife, Amber, owners of Schroepfer Inc., operate the business as a joint effort. They work together on overall business operations, with Amber focusing on accounting, while Jason is the day to day service manager and handles the trucking operation.