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Serving: West

New shop keeps farm, trucking business rolling

Slideshow: The Tolzins’ 66-by-120-foot shop helps keep their operation productive.

The shop that Daniel and Jason Tolzin built on their farm isn’t just a good-looking building. The shop has made them more productive and saved them some money.

Daniel and his son, Jason, operate a diversified grain and livestock farm and a trucking business. The 66-by-120-foot shop has made it possible for each of them to haul another load of grain each day. Two double semitrailers can be parked inside the shop.

In the winter, the Tolzins — who farm near Lake Preston, S.D. — truck grain for their local cooperative. Because their farm headquarters is located just a couple miles from the elevator, they load up their two double semitrailers for the last time each day just before the elevator closes. Then they park the semis inside their heated shop overnight.

By morning, the snow and ice will have melted off the rigs and the engines will still be warm. They start easily and don’t have to be idled very long before they are ready to go. As a result, the Tolzins can get on the road to nearby corn ethanol and soybean processing plants earlier and can pick up an extra load of grain each day.

“It’s money in our pockets,” Jason says.

The Tolzins also have done better maintenance on their semis and their farm equipment since they built the shop. The used to have to work on equipment outside. Now they can get their planters, combines and other equipment inside. The shop has 40- and 30-foot-wide power pivot doors on opposite ends of the shop and a 20-foot-wide roll up door on the side. They can get a 42-foot bean head through the 40-foot-wide door by entering at an angle. The sidewalls are 20 feet tall. A person can stand on the combine hopper platform and not bump their head on the ceiling.

“We have saved some money on maintenance and reduced the wear and tear on equipment,” Jason says.

The shop has improved the quality of life on the farm, too. It was a perfect reception venue when Jason and his wife, Jennifer, got married. On cold winter days, when the shop isn’t being used, it is a good place to take the kids to let them ride their tricycles, Jennifer says.

“We’re really happy with the shop,” Jason says. It’s well made, and the price was good.”

Castlerock Construction-Concrete Inc., De Smet, S.D., a Lester Buildings dealer, designed and built the facility.

While the Tolzins are overall very satisfied with the shop, looking back there are some things they would have done differently.

“We wish we could have made it bigger,” Jason says. “100 by 200 feet maybe. It wouldn’t have been too big.”

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