A mainstay in the Southern Tier since they first opened in Horseheads in 1947, VanDusen Machinery is still going strong under new ownership in Sayre, Pa., with an eye on increasing their Internet footprint beyond their geographical limitations. Not so much new owners as they are the new generation, husband and wife team Douglas and Sheryl Walters took over from Douglas’s parents in 2021 and take the legacy of the business very seriously.
“Keeping the VanDusen name lends to a long history of solid work ethics and knowing your machinery will be repaired correctly and for the lowest cost in the area,” said Sheryl, adding, “Richard and Martha were as close to Ben VanDusen as family can get without being actual blood relatives.”
For a business with as much local history as VanDusen taking over doesn’t just mean taking over a business, but also a reputation.
“The ‘Good Will’ behind the name has been carried on from the times when small farms were booming in the area, and up through current times where you have more small hobby farmers; and those long standing vigilant farms, who still hold strong in the area in these times where farming has so many challenges to stay in the market through the current trying times,” Sheryl added.
The history of the family working or owning VanDusen is almost as long as that of the business itself. Richard Walters began working for Ben VanDusen in 1966 during the summer, and while he attended college. In 1972 Richard started his full-time career in earnest, working in parts, sales, and service.
After more than 20 years working for the business, and in 1983 and 1984, Richard and Martha Walters purchased the business and surrounding farm located in Sayre.
“VanDusen machinery is known by many as the place their fathers and grandfathers came to get parts and have their machines repaired,” Sheryl exclaimed.
She continued, “VanDusen is a place to be trusted and get the best, most honest opinion and value of work in the area. The community of farmers and equipment owners in the area know the VanDusen name and what it means to call and have your equipment brought here. It means a great deal to us to continue to help our local farmers push through and keep their machines and equipment running top notch.”
Richard’s son Douglas began working full time as the mechanic in 1993.
2011 marked the end of whole good sales through the business, and in October of 2021 Douglas and Sheryl reconfigured the business to operate solely as a service and repair business, VanDusen Machinery, LLC.
Part of the ethos of the company stems from the experience of serving in the U.S. armed forces. Sheryl served in the Navy for over 20 years and the couple’s eldest son currently serves in the U.S. Army.
“We stand true as a now ‘Veteran Owned’ business and support all of our hometown heroes and veterans,” Sheryl said.
Going forward, Sheryl said the goal is to increase the company’s footprint online.
They have been working on getting all of our inventory online and available for anyone to search for, as they have quite a few obsolete parts,” according to Sheryl.
They will be posting their new website on their Facebook page in the upcoming months, and revamping their sign to reflect the current Service and Repair business.
“Our number one priority always is to ensure we live up to the business that Ben VanDusen started 75 Years ago,” concluded Sheryl.
VanDusen Machinery is located at 88 Wilawana Rd. in Sayre, Pa. You can also call them at (607) 529-3294 or email to Vandusenmachinery@gmail.com.