The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
T&J's Baler Machine Shop
by Misty Huston, The Quill
Tom Galbraith, (left) of rural Gladstone, and Jim Brownell, (right) rural Biggsville, have joined together to form a partnership and new business in Henderson County.
Tom and Jim are opening T&J's Baler Machine Shop located at Route 1 Box 92, Biggsville. This is at the corner of 1400 East and Highway 34, formerly the The Feed Store restaurant at the Weir Fruit Farm turn-off.
The property consists of 1.8 acres and offers plenty of room for semi's and tractors to easily access the business. They plan to always maintain a U-Turn type driveway to make it more convenient for their customers.
They have invested themselves and their families in what they believe is a major need in the area.
In April of 2009, Tom was laid off from his job at Case in Burlington, Iowa due to the moving of that part of the business to other locations out of the area. He continued to support his family by working several jobs helping local farmers and doing carpentry/construction work.
In November of 2009, Jim was also laid off from his job at Dresser Rand in Burlington, Iowa due to a reduction in force. He then joined Tom in the carpentry/construction business and in 2010 they started a custom small square baling business.
As they ran their business and needed repairs done on equipment, they discovered that there wasn't anywhere close in the area offering these services and were forced to do the work themselves.
Through these experiences they began to realize the dire need for these services in the immediate area.
After visiting with other local farmers and business people, their feelings were reaffirmed of this need by many people.
Tom and Jim each have several years of experience in the mechanic and machinist service industry. Tom served as a mechanic for twenty-four years in the Army. He worked on everything from flame throwers to forklifts to trucks to the big tanks.
Jim started doing machinist work in 1978 and is very well versed in all aspects of machine shop operations, production work and one of a kind item fabrication.
In addition, they have worked together before and know that they work well as a team. They both have a determined attitude to succeed and are excited to offer services to the surrounding area that can help keep local businesses running smoothly without the inconvenience of having to travel far to obtain these services.
The whole process of starting a new business has been time consuming and has required a lot of hard work, but Tom and Jim have enjoyed doing it and believe that it will all be worth their efforts.
The first major step was hunting for a suitable building, this took a total of four to five months. They were both determined to find something in Henderson County and there wasn't an abundance of available properties offered.
Next they had to get the property rezoned due to the fact that there was not enough property to be considered light industrial without a variance. Jim says, "This process was just awesome, the way everyone worked with us to get this passed."
One local neighbor even went to the board meeting to show his support by voicing his opinion of the definite need for this type of business in the area.
Next came major remodeling to get the building prepared to open.
In addition, they have traveled all over the countryside to purchase the needed equipment to run a successful machine shop. They went everywhere from Kirkwood to Stevens Point, Wisconsin to Marshalltown, Iowa to Denmark, Iowa to Northern Arkansas.
They intend to specialize in bushings, pins, shafts, splines, keys, key ways, drive trains and axle repairs. They are insured for critical part manufacturing for Ag products.
Ag will be their main priority, but they are looking forward to serving everyone from race car drivers to marine repairs and local industries.
Tom and Jim already have plans for expansion in the works. This summer they plan to build on a Fabrication/Welding shop and next spring they plan to double the size of the original existing shop.
Tom and Jim are planning a T&J's Baler Machine Shop Open House on Saturday, April 2, 2011. Why not stop in and have a look at the shop and meet the guys that you might need to call on for help sometime.
They are looking forward to meeting everyone and having the opportunity to serve the local people of the county and the surrounding area.