20 under 40: Andy Jacobs

Andy Jacobs

Branch operations manager at Ziegler CAT in Sheldon


SHELDON — Whatever the job, Andy Jacobs works hard to make sure things function as efficiently and smoothly as possible.

The Primghar man is the branch operations manager at Ziegler CAT’s Sheldon location. He has served in the position since March 1, 2018.

The company sells, rents and repairs new and used construction machinery, agricultural equipment and semitrucks.

“We’re in the machinery business, not only the iconic Caterpillar dirt business, but also the agricultural side with the Ag-Chem application equipment, the Challenger line of tractors, combines, etc.,” Jacobs said.

He oversees about 15 people at Ziegler CAT’s Sheldon location, including field service technicians whom he dispatches all over N’West Iowa and beyond.

“I’ve got guys scheduled at least a week out, if not further, with some of the stuff,” Jacobs said. “Our guys will run out of this location to Emmetsburg, to Storm Lake, to the South Dakota border and a little over.”

Before he became the branch operations manager at Ziegler CAT’s Sheldon location, the Primghar native had worked as a mechanic for most of his career.

He started working in 1996 for Nicholson & Edwards Grain Co. while he was attending South O’Brien High School in Paullina and did mechanic work and general labor for the Primghar business until 2002.

Jacobs worked 2002-08 as a mechanic for Tom’s Repair Inc. near Granville and then 2008-16 in Primghar as the mechanic for the O’Brien County Secondary Roads Department.

“I took care of all the major repairs,” Jacobs said of his county position. “The other employees would do the lighter repairs. I took care of the in-depth repairs.”

He began working at Ziegler CAT’s Sheldon location as its shop supervisor in 2016. He eventually transitioned into its branch operations manager.

“It’s a nice blend between both worlds — a lot of direct contact with customers and still directly involved with the repairs,” Jacobs said.

“I do miss the hands-on work — turning the wrenches — but I do find that the office keeps me busy enough that I don’t have a lot of time to dwell on it,” he said.

He explained what he has enjoyed most about his career.

“Honestly, the relationships with customers and employees,” Jacobs said. “I’ve got everything from past employers to past customers to the present day that I still keep in contact with.

“I’m starting to see the younger generation and getting to teach some of the skills that I guess I’ve acquired over the years,” he said. “I definitely do enjoy that part of it, too.”