Plainfield Equipment Celebrates 45-Year History
Photographer / Amy Payne
Rex Roseboom II has been in the equipment industry since he was a toddler. As co-owner of Plainfield Equipment with his father, Rex senior, Roseboom’s earliest memories include coming to the shop after school, and on Saturdays when his dad would make him sweep floors, wash equipment, take out the trash, and do other odds and ends for the family business.
“I’ve always worked here,” Roseboom says. “It’s kind of in my blood. I’ve worked here since I was big enough to hold a broom, and it’s always been what I wanted to do.”
Plainfield Equipment offers a wide variety of outdoor power equipment. Customers can find push mowers, handheld equipment, agriculture products and construction machinery. The largest machines available are full-size backhoes and 300-horsepower tractors.
These outdoor power products help customers with simple yard work, the federal government with road projects and farmers with crops, among other tasks. The Plainfield Equipment staff has found itself contributing to multiple industries including landscaping, agriculture and construction.
The family-owned business has been through many changes through the years. Roseboom’s grandfather Russell was a farmer in the Pittsboro, Indiana, area more than forty years ago. He eventually recognized a need for quality farm equipment in his community, and started Roseboom Farm Supply in 1975. He offered farm supplies and equipment for local farmers.
In the early 1980s, Russell sold his business to his son, Rex senior, who had worked there with his three brothers throughout the years. At that point the business name officially became Plainfield Equipment.
The shop branched out into the lawn-and-garden sector, selling lawnmowers, chainsaws and trimmers. Roseboom always had plans to join the business, and brought his innovative and entrepreneurial spirit with him when he did. He studied accounting and finance at IUPUI, and became co-owner with his dad in 2002.
“I’ve always had ideas to grow the business,” Roseboom says. “Some of those ideas allowed us to branch out to other brands and other markets as far as machinery goes, like ag machinery, construction machinery, commercial products, landscaping machinery, and other high-dollar items to fit the contractor, the farmer or the landscape contractor.”
Roseboom and his dad are involved with orders and deal with customers daily, and Roseboom wouldn’t have it any other way. He says it’s what makes their business different than others in the industry.
“We are hands-on and involved as owners,” Roseboom says. “When you come in, you could get us at the parts counter or selling machines. We don’t step out of the scenes – we’re always involved.”
One of the best parts of the job for Roseboom is working with his dad.
“We typically have lunch together, even though we never leave and are always busy,” he says. “I have lots of memories here with him as a kid.”
The company has been through three generations, and Roseboom continues the tradition by exposing his three-year-old son Silas to the fun of the family business. While Silas loves tractors and everything on the Plainfield Equipment lot, Roseboom plans to support his son on whatever career path he chooses.
“He wants to drive everything,” Roseboom says with a laugh. “He loves when grandpa drives him around in anything he desires. He knows the names of all the equipment. He loves getting in the excavators and the skid steers, and he loves the enclosed cabs. We just want him to be happy and follow his dreams. If this business is what he wants as a career, then we will fully support him.”
Roseboom is proud of Plainfield Equipment’s high-quality customer service. He and his dad put the customer’s needs first and try to be as accessible as possible, even beyond closing time.
“We don’t leave until the last person stops coming in,” Roseboom says. “I think that’s the success of this place, us just being here every day. It’s about fulfilling promises. If we tell someone we’ll do it, we’ll do it.”
The coronavirus pandemic, which has disrupted many American businesses, has hardly affected the daily operations at Plainfield Equipment. If anything, business has picked up, bringing new challenges.
“The biggest challenge has been keeping up with business in the past four months,” Roseboom says.
Because of booming business, the Plainfield Equipment staff has never closed the company’s doors, working in the store and offering curbside pickup as well as delivery of equipment as small as chainsaws and handheld items.
“Even a pandemic won’t stop us from supporting our clients and customers,” Roseboom says. “We were deemed essential by the Department of Agriculture for the state of Indiana. We had to help keep these farms going, keep the roads open and keep the infrastructure operational.”
Plainfield Equipment sees a wide variety of clients, from farming to construction to the federal government, and Roseboom partially attributes this to the company’s location. He feels that Plainfield’s proximity to rural communities and large property owners, as well as its accessibility to the city, have contributed to his diverse clientele.
“We can service anyone, no matter what size project you have,” Roseboom says. “We want you to feel comfortable and confident buying from us, and that you’ll have our support down the road.”
While day-to-day life and business are forever changing, Roseboom appreciates many of the familiar faces that he deals with. His staff’s strong work ethic has carried the company through one of its most challenging seasons. He attributes Plainfield Equipment’s success to the hard work and dedication of his staff members, and values the staff’s commitment to the company.
“I’ve been very pleased,” Roseboom says. “We couldn’t do it without them. We told them during the pandemic, ‘If you don’t want to work, don’t work.’ Everybody wanted to work. They adapted but we never closed. We are friendly and easy to do business with. If you ever have a problem, we’ll take care of you.”
Plainfield Equipment is located at 716 West Main Street in Plainfield. For more info, call 317-839-2448 and visit plainfieldequipment.com.