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Established in 1973 by KEN & GAYLE BROWNLEE this Ma & Pa Business was formed with their return after 7 years working in Moosonee on the James Bay Coast. Ken had worked as a mechanic teacher to Natives at the Moosonee Education Center and Gayle had run the local Moosonee Lodge for tourists.
They moved back to the Charlton Hwy. in Englehart upon Gayle's pregnancy with their first born son, Brian. Ken started a garage doing general repairs as a licensed mechanic and sold Belarus tractors as a sub-dealer through Morris Harrison, a John Deere industrial dealer in Timmins with whom he had developed a relationship through the school in Moosonee.
KEN'S SALES & SERVICE WAS FORMED. Although only lasting a couple of months, as Belarus Equipment of Canada, a Russian built tractor company, gave Ken & Gayle their own dealership.
In 1980, one of the sales rep's left Belarus to join the growing Cheslovakian tractor distributor, Zetor. This brand was added to Ken's line as it was a smoother tractor to operate and appealed to a wider range of customers.
In 1985, Gehl Co., approached Ken to represent their farm implement line and Ken's Sales & Service became a full line farm equipment dealer. By this time, Ken & Gayle had two more sons, Steven, and Glen. Throughout the years, all three boys would lend a helping hand at the dealership. The boys developed a contracting division that would work at different farms throughout the summer cutting & baling hay.
In 1996, KEN BROWNLEE & SONS EQUIPMENT CORP. was formed as an Ontario Corporation to obtain proper liability and planning through the growing organization. In 1998, Brian graduated Nippising University in North Bay and moved home to devote himself full-time to the dealership.
Two divisions existed, KEN SALES & SERVICE & BROWNLEE CONTRACTING. In 1999, both subsidiaries were combined to form BROWNLEE EQUIPMENT. With Gehl's expansion into the construction business through the 90's, Brownlee Equipment had the opportunity to move into the rental market of skid loaders & mini excavators.
In 2000, the Valtra tractor line was added, giving Brownlee Equipment the leading edge in tractor technology in the agriculture sector.
Kioti Tractor also approached Brownlee Equipment in 2000 to be their distributor across Northern Ontario. As the Baby Boomers had begun retiring and moving out of the city, there was an increasing number of hobby farmers that needed a small tractor and attachments for their new homes.
In 2002, Valtra was bought out by Agco Corp., a world leading company in agricultural equipment. With their vast array of products, like Massey Ferguson, Fentd, Hesston, Sunflower, Cat Challenger and many others, Brownlee Equipment had their chance to be a leader in their field.
In 2005, Gehl halted production of their agricultural products as a growing trend was being seen across the US that the small family farm had come to an end and farming was now becoming big business. Claas approached Brownlee Equipment that same year and worked to fill the void in the agricultural implement business that Gehl had left. Claas also gave Brownlee Equipment access to the equipment the big time farmers were demanding - the Jaquar Forage Harvesters and Cat Lexion Combines.
With the increasing use of fossil fuels, our world will only be able to sustain itself with new developments in the agricultural sector. With new record prices in just about all the commodity fields, farming, will once again be the foot stone to civilization. People have to eat and want to sustain the lifestyles they have become accustom to. Only those positioned to supply all the different aspects of the equipment market are going to be here in the future. Brownlee Equipment has made the commitment to the farmers and construction workers across Northern Ontario.
In 2007, they built a state of the art facility at their Hwy 11 location in Earlton. This new store handles all their sales, rentals, service and contracting divisions out of one location. They have since then acquired Wacker Neuson Construction Equipment line and made strategic alliances across the North setting up sub dealers to supply the wide array of products they represent.
In 2013 Brownlee Equipment was ranked #407 in the
25th annual PROFIT 500, the definitive ranking of Canada's Fastest-Growing
Companies. Published in the 2013 Summer issue of PROFIT Magazine and online at
PROFITguide.com, the PROFIT 500 ranks Canadian businesses by their revenue
growth over five years. Brownlee Equipment, providing Sales, Service and
Rentals of Agricultural and Industrial Equipment, made the PROFIT 500 list
with five-year revenue growth of 102%.
Brownlee Equipment acquires the JCB Equipment line near the end of 2013. JCB's full line of Innovative Agricultural and Industrial equipment is a major addition to Brownlee Equipment, and a great way to kick off Brownlee Equipment's 40th year of buisness in 2014!
In 2014 during the 40th year of business Brownlee Equipment opened it's new branch with it's second location (Brownlee Equipment Muskoka) in Huntsville Ontario.
In 2016 Brownlee Equipment opened a second local satallite location in New Liskeard, Ontario. These two new locations help us to provide convienence to our customers, looking for the great service and expertise that Brownlee Equipment is known for with a shorter drive!
In 2020 the whole world was hit with the COVID 19 Pandemic, all business' had no choice but to adjust and adapt to a new lifestyle and a new way of doing business. Fortunately, Brownlee Equipment being deemed an essential business by the government of Ontario was able to remain open with strict new procedures, etc. in place to avoid customers or staff contracting the virus.
In 2021, despite the ongoing difficulties amid the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, Brownlee Equipment added Karcher brand cleaning equipment and supplies to their catalog of products.
Today and in the future, Brownlee Equipment will be
dedicated to the people of the north, and strive to be their first choice
when it comes to quality products and service excellence. Stop in today or give
them a call!
Copyright © 2020 Ken Brownlee and Sons Equipment Corp. All Rights Reserved.