Quality Equipment, LLC was formed on October 1, 2018 with the merger of two dealership groups: Quality Equipment, LLC and East Coast Equipment, LLC. The new company is currently managed by CEO Bryan Dobson, CFO Stan Bowers, and COO Greg Morgan.
At the time of the merger, Quality Equipment had 14 locations and East Coast Equipment brought 13 additional stores. In February 2021, they opened another location in Pittsboro, NC.
Quality now has 28 stores throughout North Carolina and Virginia, including: Albermarle, NC; Burlington, NC; Carthage, NC; Chesapeake, VA; Clinton, NC; Dunn, NC; Durham, NC; Edenton, NC; Fairfield, NC; Fuquay-Varina, NC; Goldsboro, NC; Henderson, NC; Hertford, NC; Jacksonville, NC; Kinston, NC; Knightdale, NC; New Bern, NC; Pittsboro, NC; Polkton, NC; Rocky Mount, NC; Roxboro, NC; Scotland Neck, NC; Smithfield, NC; Sunbury, NC; Wallace, NC; Washington, NC; Wilson, NC; and Winterville, NC. Its corporate headquarters are in Fuquay-Varina, NC.
While our company has grown, we strive to maintain significant local decision making to provide the highest level of service for our customers.
Below, please enjoy the stories of the former dealerships that now make up Quality Equipment.
Horace Bowers and his brothers had owned a hatchery and feed supply store before Horace branched out and started Bowers Implement in Albemarle in 1939. The ran that John Deere dealership for many decades before they started to consider merging with Quality Equipment, which originally formed in 2008. They considered merging with other dealerships previously, but eventually merged with Quality Equipment in 2012, after Riddle Equipment, based in Carthage, joined in.
With a continued passion for the industry and its customers, much of the family is still very much involved in new Quality Equipment, with Stan Bowers as acting CFO, Dean Bowers as a Regional Sales Manager, and Graham Bowers at the Albemarle Parts Counter.
“I have enjoyed working with the customers along the way,” said Stan, “and to be a part of our community.”
BYRD TRACTOR HOLDINGS
C.G. Byrd’s father and uncles started Byrd tractor in 1951. They had all been raised on a farm in Coats, North Carolina and when the John Deere dealership in Burlington (owned by Johnston Cotton Company) became available, they jumped at the opportunity to buy it.
Through the years, the Byrd family purchased two additional dealership locations – in Durham and Roxboro – as well as other parts stores. Eventually, the uncles left the business and Byrd Tractor was in the hands of C.G. and his father. C.G’s son, Lee, also started with the company and works in the Burlington store today.
“It’s what I’ve done all of my life,” C.G. said, when asked why they stay in the John Deere business. “It’s been three generations.”
D & L EQUIPMENT
Jim Dunnagan got a part time job at a John Deere dealership in 1963, when he was still in high school. At the time and in his program, it was a requirement for graduation.
He worked in the service department, graduated high school, married and moved on, until he was called back to John Deere. The owner of the old dealership asked him to come back but, this time, to work in sales.
Dunnagan became the manager and part owner Byrd Tractor in Durham. Then, after 15 years with the company, he saw an opportunity to open his own dealership.
Dunnagan opened D & L Equipment in the spring of 1984 in Roxboro, with partner David Ladd. His wife Dolly managed the Parts Counter and his best friend Pat Neese became the Service Manager. Eventually, Dunnagan bought out Ladd and was sole owner, until the merger with Quality Equipment in 2007.
“My major work, other than farming and growing up on a farm, was at a John Deere dealership," Dunnagan said. “And we love it. My wife loved it. … And we love John Deere today.”
DBD HOLDINGS LLC
DBD Holdings, owned by current Quality Equipment CEO Bryan Dobson and his wife Andria, started in September 2008, just prior to the merger of old Quality Equipment and East Coast Equipment.
Dobson grew up around the family John Deere business from the late 70’s through the 80’s. He graduated from East Carolina University in 1991 and spent six years working in the furniture industry and moving around the south. He returned to eastern North Carolina and to Farmland Tractor Co. in 1997, saying he felt the desire to make an impact with customers in his home town and to support employees and family with positive contributions to the business.
“I felt I could make more of a difference,” he said. “We represent some of the finest products and we get to support wonderful communities throughout North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. And the relationships with our employees and customers for me is irreplaceable.”
E&E FARM EQUIPMENT
Jimmy T. Ellington worked in the Parts Department for a John Deere dealership in Henderson. He decided he wanted to be in business for himself, so he purchased the dealership in 1966 and named it E & E Farm Equipment Co.
Ellington had a high school education, came from an impoverished family and had no money.
Starting his own business was a step of faith, and he persevered by giving the best service in the industry in Henderson.
At that time, there were three other major farm equipment dealers in Henderson. Today, Ellington’s dealership is the only agricultural dealership left.
E & E Farm Equipment became a family business. His son, Tommy worked there, and Tommy’s wife, Cheryl, and son, Brian still work at Quality Equipment as Support Specialist for the Accounting Department and Sales Director, respectively.
“This all that we have ever done,” Cheryl said. “It is way of life. We enjoy our customers and have a true love for the business. Even through challenging times, this is all that we have ever wanted to do. As individuals, we are not defined by the business. We define the business with our personalities, our work ethic and our integrity. Those traits are what have made us successful for over 50 years.”
FARMLAND TRACTOR CO, INC.
Farmland Tractor Company officially began in Scotland Neck, N.C., on Oct. 1, 1975.
Owner Tom Green says his uncle and a partner owned a hardware store called Farmer’s Hardware on Main Street in 1929. And as a fixture of a small, southern town of the time, it was the place where everyone hung around. While everything was pulled by animals (mostly mules), a customer read a magazine article about a John Deere tractor and inquired how to buy one. Green’s uncle got on the phone and called John Deere, who sent a representative down on a train with a catalog. The customer ordered what he wanted, and that is how the family became a John Deere business. In 1958 Scotland Neck Tractor was formed and began running as a separate business from the hardware store.
While his cousin Herbert Johnson ran the store, Tom began working there in the mid-1970s. After Herbert Johnson’s untimely death in 1974, Tom Green and partner Leonard Bunting bought the business together and formed Farmland Tractor Company. They were partners until Bunton left the company in 1978. They merged with East Coast Equipment in 2005, which merged with Quality Equipment in 2018.
HOBBS IMPLEMENT COMPANY
In 1952, Hobbs Implement Company – established under Guy Hobbs – moved from downtown Edenton, N.C. to a new location on Church Street.
Wesley Chesson, who had been working with Hobbs Implement since the late 1940s, managed the new store and then purchased it from Hobbs in the 1970s, with a mission to continue providing eastern North Carolinians with the highest caliber of quality, service, and John Deere products.
Growing from one location to four by the mid-1990s, and then to five dealership locations by the 2000s, Hobbs Implement merged into East Coast Equipment in August 2005. Thirteen years later, East Coast Equipment merged with Quality Equipment.
Many members of Edenton’s current staff have been with the dealership since the days of Hobbs Implement. The Chesson family, including Wesley’s son Jim, has also remained a part of the company, saying they continue to find joy from being able to serve their community and build relationships with their customers, decade after decade.
L. HARVEY & SON COMPANY
L. Harvey & Son Company was founded in 1871, providing eastern North Carolina with numerous products and services. The company was founded and is still in operation under the Harvey family to the present day.
L. Harvey & Son Company originally operated selling mules, horses, plows, and farm equipment, as well as trading cotton. Later, the company expanded to fertilizer, seeds, LP gas, groceries, hardware, clothing, appliances, insurance, and grain. The family was also in the farming business.
In 1947, Harvey’s began selling John Deere tractors and farm equipment in Kinston, North Carolina. Later, they added dealerships in New Bern and Winterville. The dealerships remained operating under the L. Harvey & Son name until the merge with East Coast Equipment in 2005, and then to Quality Equipment in 2018. Today, the Harvey family still owns and operates Harvey’s, providing the same services and more to eastern North Carolina, saying it’s in their blood to operate this business; it’s what they’ve done their whole lives.
Greg Morgan began his career working for John Deere Company and became a territory manager in southeastern North Carolina in May 2002. In November 2004, he left John Deere Company and purchased minority ownership in Quality Farm Equipment which included dealership locations in Clinton, NC and Goldsboro, NC. Morgan Investments was founded in March 2008 as a holding company for additional ownership interests purchased in Quality Equipment, LLC.
Morgan was raised on a corn and soybean farm in LeRoy, IL where his family continues to maintain a large row-crop farming operation and trucking business in Central Illinois. Morgan currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Quality Equipment and has chosen to work in the equipment business for 20+ years because of his deep connection to agriculture and passion for the industry. In addition, he identifies with customers and understands many of the goals which our agricultural & commercial clients are trying to accomplish. Morgan enjoys the products which Quality Equipment provides and relationships which have been developed over time.
PAMCO IMPLEMENT CO, INC.
In February of 1969, Pamco Implement, Inc. planted its roots in Engelhard, North Carolina. That’s after Henry and J.B. [Hodges?] asked their nephews Troy and J.W. if they’d like to be a part of a store John Deere had just set up in the area. Troy and J.W. had just left military service and, with nothing to their name and nothing to lose, they joined their uncles and have been a part of the company ever since.
Pamco Implement, Inc. had a single location in Fairfield, NC when it merged into East Coast Equipment in August 2005. When asked why they choose to remain in the John Deere business, Troy Hodges highlighted how much he loves what he does, and how the business partners he’s come to work with have all shared the same passion he has to provide excellent service to customers. Because of this, he’s never felt any reason to want to do anything else.
QUALITY FARM EQUIPMENT
Quality Farm Equipment was established in 1989 by John Howard and Butch Howard. John entered the John Deere business because he saw an opportunity and asked Butch to be his partner in the dealership. The partners began with a single dealership located in Clinton, North Carolina providing John Deere equipment along with many other short lines.
Greg Morgan and Rick Thigpen joined the company in November 2004 at the same time P&L Tractor in Goldsboro merged into Quality Farm Equipment. In March 2006, the company opened a new store in Wallace, NC to expand Quality Farm Equipment to 3 dealership locations. In November 2007, Quality Farm Equipment merged with E&E Farm Equipment, Revels Turf and Tractor Co., D&L Equipment, and Harnett Tractor Co. to create the original Quality Equipment, LLC dealership organization.
John Howard says he continues to work in this field because it’s a way of life. John also added the dealership business is a good extension which compliments row-crop farming over time. Butch Howard says he couldn’t imagine living any other way and is proud to help other farmers within North Carolina become successful.
REVEL'S TURF AND TRACTOR
In 1961, Stone and Revels Repair Service was founded by Charles Revels and Wayne Stone. The store provided chainsaws, lawnmowers, David Brown tractors, and later took on J.I. Case tractors and equipment. The company operated under the names Revels Repair Service in 1964 and then Revels Tractor Co, Inc. in 1967. After the merger of Quality Equipment, LLC and East Coast Equipment in October 2018, the company took on its current name of Revels Turf and Tractor, LLC.
In 1967, Billy Hipp, a nephew, and Bobby Revels, a brother, became partners. In 1969, the store moved to the present location and began selling John Deere equipment. In 1974, Charles Turner Revels Jr. came to work for the company.
Revels Turf and Tractor continues to sell John Deere golf equipment in Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina. Many family members are still involved, including Chris Revels, Jeff Revels, Turner Revels, and Anthony Revels. Charles Turner Revels, Jr., says he grew up around agriculture and feels that it’s part of their heritage. He enjoys dealing with people that take care of the land and adds that it’s hard to get away from something that is dear to your heart.
Riddle Equipment was in business in Carthage, North Carolina for 51 years after Victoria Riddle’s grandfather Sam was asked to open a John Deere dealership.
Starting in 1961, the business started by selling and serving only agricultural equipment. Over time, as the local market and landscape has changed, the Carthage location has become one of Quality Equipment’s major residential equipment stores.
Other than one move to the building across the street in the 1970s, residents in Moore and surrounding counties have been able to visit their John Deere store in the same location. Much of the Riddle family has worked there, including Victoria’s father Sam Carson Riddle, III, and Victoria herself until 2015. She grew up watching her family operate a dealership and says business was done based on ethics and values, when a handshake was your word. After 51 years as a family business, Riddle Equipment merged their dealership in Carthage, NC into Quality Equipment in January 2011.
“We continue to maintain ownership in Quality Equipment … it is for our kids,” Victoria said. “Everything we have was founded on the hard work of my grandfather and my father. … We want them to understand where it came from. It came from John Deere and all of those years of hard work.”
SMITHFIELD FARM EQUIPMENT
Smithfield Farm Equipment was established in June of 1967 by Romey Langston, and previously operated under the name, Johnston Cotton Company. In 1950, Johnston Cotton Company sold fertilizer, seed, equipment, furniture, and other in-kind items. Romey Langston was the equipment manager for the John Deere side of for Johnston Cotton Company. In 1967, Mr. Langston purchased the company and established Smithfield Farm Equipment, selling only John Deere equipment.
The company remained Smithfield Farm Equipment until its merge with East Coast Equipment in August 2005, and subsequent merger into Quality Equipment in October 2018. Romey’s son, Danny Langston, remains as an owner and member of the Smithfield store’s sales team. He sticks to it, he says, because he grew up into the business while riding around with his father, and he has always enjoyed it.
WHITE’S TRACTOR & TRUCK
In 1922, L.J. Herring Implement Company was founded by Dr. L.J. Herring as an International Harvester dealership. William Carter Herring became the next CEO and owner of Herring Tractor and Truck Company until 1987.
Herring Tractor and Truck Company became a Bobcat Dealer in 1969. At the time, the only dealership locations were in Wilson. However, a new branch was opened in Goldsboro in 1984, providing parts, service, and sales for International Trucks in that area.
Herring Tractor & Truck acquired the John Deere Agricultural and Lawn & Garden dealership agreements in 1986 as a way to broaden its services in eastern North Carolina. D.S. White purchased Herring Tractor & Truck Company from the William Carter Herring family in 1987. In August 2001, White’s International Trucks purchased Colonial International and Carolina Truck Leasing, Inc., with locations in Greensboro, High Point, and Mount Airy. The John Deere dealership division of White’s International Trucks merged into East Coast Equipment in August 2005 to better serve the agriculture industry.