Any business that has been around for 85 years clearly has the ability to stand the test of time. Hey Machinery Company, Inc., also known as Hey Wheel, has spanned four generations of family owners so far. Hey Wheel sells re-purposed aircraft tires for off-highway, agricultural use. They also manufacture rims and centers. Their products can be found on tractors, grain carts, feed wagons, and other agricultural implements all over the country.
Will Hey started the business in 1929. Mr. Hey was a dealer for International Harvester, who also did custom threshing, house moving, lumber sawing, and anything else he needed to do to make the business go in the early days. In 1938, Will Hey mounted an aircraft tire to a rim to be used off-highway, which proved to be a key development.
The business has been located on its current Baldwin City site since 1962. Right around that time, Hey Wheel manufactured their first bolt-together wheel, which expanded the potential uses of aircraft tires. Rather than disposing of tires that don’t pass rigorous pre-flight inspection, Hey Wheel makes it possible for farmers and OEMs to use these tires, cost-effectively, in ways that make sense.
Long-standing family businesses face a number of unique challenges. Hey Wheel approached the Kansas Small Business Development Center at the University of Kansas (Kansas SBDC at KU) for assistance with valuation and family succession/transition issues.
“Our KSBDC Consultant was easy to work with and completed a difficult assignment for us in a timely fashion,“ according to Bob Hey. With careful planning, hard work, and the right assistance, Hey Wheel plans to be around to celebrate even more birthdays.
SECRET TO SUCCESS
In our business, customer relationships are everything. Whether it’s farmers or OEMs, we pride ourselves on meeting customers’ needs in the areas of price, quality, and delivery time. –John Hey
About Hey Machinery Company, Inc.
Owners: Bob Hey, John Hey, Bryan Hey
Nature of Business: Wheels, rims, aircraft tires for agricultural use
City, County: Baldwin City, Douglas
Phone: (785) 594-3441
Website: Hey Wheel
About our consultant Will Katz | Kansas SBDC regional director and consultant
Will has undergraduate majors in Philosophy and Russian to go along with an MBA and CVA (certified valuation analyst). Will has expertise in valuation, financial analysis, and non-traditional sources of capital. He loves working with small businesses because each one is a unique snowflake and a novel learning opportunity. Will loves playing guitar, riding motorcycles, and spending time with his family.
Will can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 785-843-8844.