Piedmont Tractor no mow

Its official name was Piedmont Equipment, but to locals, the company on Ivy Road with the John Deere-filled lawn was always known as Piedmont Tractor. The paucity of the familiar green yard and farm equipment lately has caused some west-siders to wonder, ou sont les tracteurs?

They'll be back soon, promises new president and general manager Ann Lawrence Grasty. She and five other owners of Virginia Tractor LLC, including Allied Concrete owner Wick McNeely, purchased some of the assets of Piedmont Equipment and hold the new Central Virginia John Deere dealership franchise, with locations in Albemarle and Orange.

As for missing mowers, "When the old dealer was no longer a John Deere dealer, that equipment was taken to other dealers," says Grasty. She promises that by June 4, John Deere tractors will once again line Ivy Road.

Grasty becomes the first woman to head a John Deere dealership in this area. "I grew up on a thoroughbred horse farm, and I've always been a big John Deere fan," says Grasty, an Orange native and UVA grad who wanted to return home after 14 years in sales with Anheuser-Busch.

Piedmont Equipment had been selling the tractors for more than 50 years, according to its cached website. The company was started by brothers George and Martin Palmer as well as John Rogan, the late developer of the Boar's Head Inn.

The important question, of course, is whether there will be a big ole John Deere covered in white lights on Ivy Road this holiday season. "I guess there will have to be," says Grasty. And at the Orange store as well.


this is news? slow news day!

Obviously these commenters have never ventured beyond the urban core. Out in the county there are still farms and woodlands owned by folks that can't afford to hire grounds maintenance firms. Lots of us still have tractors and need parts and service. Losing Piedmont Equipment forever would have been a big loss. We already lost Gleason's.