SHELDON—A Kansas-based agricultural manufacturer shuttered a small facility it operated on the west side of Sheldon in July.
Tim Roelofsen, manager of Abilene Machine’s Sheldon operation, confirmed the news with The Mail-Sun. Roelofsen said the site had four employees — not including him — who built after-market tractor and combine parts.
Abilene Machine is a private, family-owned firm based out of its namesake city in Kansas and has locations in Sioux Falls, SD, and Bishopville, SC, as well.
According to the company, it is one of the larger retailers of recycled, remanufactured and new replacement parts for tractors and combines.
The Sheldon location at 1130 Western Ave. previously was known as Teck-Netics Manufacturing and was sold to Abilene in 2014 by Roelofsen, who owned and operated the company for more than 20 years before the sale.
Roelofsen said Abilene Machine closed the Sheldon location as part of a consolidation.
“Just moving everything to Kansas,” he said. “That’s where everything goes anyway.”
Roelofsen also noted the company does not conduct many sales in Sheldon, so he understands the decision.
He plans to train Abilene Machine associates in Kansas for a few months before moving on.
“I’ll retire in six to eight months from now,” Roelofsen said.
Once all operations are ceased in Sheldon and all the equipment is moved off-site, Roelofsen expects Abilene Machine will sell the three-and-a-half-acre lot where the light manufacturing facility is located.
An unintended consequence of Abilene Machine ceasing operations at its Sheldon location was it also prompted the shuttering of Corner Can Redemption Center in town.
Former redemption center owner Toni Ginger said her husband, Dan, worked at Abilene Machine and his new job does not have the same kind of flexibility that allowed him to help her run the now-shutdown recycling facility.