Our History

History in the Making... 

 

It all started in 1939 with what is currently "Hays Tractor" was named Hays Truck and Tractor, Inc. The Benton Brothers and 1st generation Lee Hays went into a partnership together, selling Farmall tractors in Mansfield, Ga, and the Benton Brothers selling International Trucks in what is the present-day Benton Welding Supply building on the side of Highway 278 in Covington, Ga. There started what was unknown "legacy" of the Hays Family. Pictured above standing behind the counter is 1st generation Lee Hays gathering parts for a customer.

 

It didn't come until 1951, that the dynamic duo split, and Hays Tractor & Equipment, Inc. was officially born. Lee continued to sell Farmall tractors in Mansfield. Relationships still present day with some of our customers at the tore, that fondly remember lee hays and continue to do business with us because the legacy has continued. Ending a chapter and starting a new one, Lamar Hays (2nd Generation) steps in and takes over the family business in 1973. Pictured above is Lamar and his youngest daughter, Sheila, who is the third generation of the Hays Family. Lamar was a well know individual in the Mansfield community, as he served on city council, the fire department, and the tractor store for many years. Lamar had gotten so invested in his business, he would know where every part, how much it costed, and even the part number off the top of a hat. Many customers that walk in the store today remember fondly what he did, he just walked back to a random bin, pulled out a part, traded some currency, and bid day to whomever was there.

 

"Just go to Hays and hang a right."

 The brick building pictured above became a landmark for many people all over the state of Georgia. Being in the dead center of town, you couldn't miss it. It was one of the tallest buildings in the town, and all around it was a sea of orange. Lamar signed the dealer contract in 1993 to be a Kubota dealer. This was another "I don't mind telling ya" moment. This was something to write home about. Since then, it was getting harder and harder to sell a case tractor against a Kubota. Kubota was a force to be reckoned with, and still is to this day. Case and Hays Tractor parted ways in the late 2000's. Coffee and donuts were more important in their book.

 

April 3rd, 2017- Spring Break at the time for Newton County Schools. Beach trips and camping trips had been planned. Little did we know that everything would come to a screeching halt. 

1:36:30- Tornado struck. It was a sound that one would never think would sound like a tornado. 100 trains moving at 100mph is what it sounded like to many. Everyone was inside, fearing if we'd see that afternoon. Shirts began to lift off people's shoulders as the tin roof was peeled back. 

Not one person had a scratch; neither did a tractor. It was truly God's protection wrapped around us while the devil did his dirty work. After that began the time of a new era. Everything happens for a reason; it was a blessing disguised. 

 

A New Era is Born!

January 19th, 2019- Hays Tractor had officially opened its doors to its first day of business in the second location. 3 years of construction, blood, sweat and tears was poured into this place. Little did Sheila know what she was getting into when she had said, "well, we can't stop now." Operating in the new facility still feels a little awkward, after operating out of the brick building for so long. 

We couldn't just up and leave the old place- too many memories were made there. Sheila decided to bring the heritage with her to the new location, as many of the aesthetics and decorations of the new facility are part of the old brick building that stood in Mansfield. After opening, we quickly found out what the phrase "busy and blessed" truly meant. Goals had been placed and they were exceeded exponentially.

Sheila took over unofficially in 2009, when 2nd generation Lamar Hays passed. The Legacy had to continue, and Sheila took the family business as her inheritance from her father, Lamar. Sheila is the current owner and the first female of the family to own the business. Wrapped around her in the picture above is her outstanding husband that wedded in 1993, and her two boys. Alex (far right) and Andrew (far left) have plans to continue the legacy once again and take the business to new heights. Fourth Generation Andrew and Alex work in the business now and learn daily. Alex likes to play in grease in the shop area while Andrew likes to push pencils. 

I don't mind telling ya, that's a heck of a legacy.

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