Family-owned and operated in the truest sense, Hays Tractor has provided farming equipment in Mansfield since 1951. The company is third generation-owned, with exceptional service provided for its customers.
Hays Tractor was originally known as Benton Brothers, which had been a Mansfield staple since 1939. Lee Hays, an employee at Benton Brothers, bought the business in 1951 and renamed it Hays Truck and Tractor. In 1973, Hays wanted to retire, which allowed his son Lamar to take over the business. Under Lamar Hays, the company became and remains Hays Tractor and Equipment Inc.
Lamar B. Hays was the former chief of the Mansfield Volunteer Fire Department and served many years as a city councilman of Mansfield. After Hays passed in 2008, Sen. John Douglas and Rep. Doug Holt led efforts to name a portion of Georgia Highway 11 the Lamar B. Hays Memorial Highway in his honor. It runs through Mansfield past Hays Tractor.
Lamar’s daughter Sheila Massey took over the business with her husband, Brian. Sheila will become the owner of the company in December, making her the third generation owner of Hays Tractor.
Hays Tractor specializes in Kubota tractors. They also provide closings on loans and insurance when one is purchased.
"This way, the customer will only have to deal with one person, instead of four or five people," Sheila Massey said.
The company boasts a service department with a lead mechanic who has a zero rate of return. The service department is required to attend a 40-hour training course at Kubota every year. All the employees at Hays are cross-trained in every department.
They offer free delivery in Newton County, but delivery charges apply outside Newton. Additionally, Hays Tractor manufactures hydraulic hoses tailored specifically for any type of farm equipment.
Massey hopes Hays will become a multi-purpose company that will suit the needs for those who enjoy working outside or farm for a living.
"I want to be able to service the people who have hundreds of acres and the ones who only have two or three acres," she said.
Hays serves Newton, Jasper, Walton, Morgan, Butts and Henry counties, though it is not limited to those counties.
"If I sell it, I can service it and guarantee you parts for it," said Sheila.
All the Hays family members have participated in working with the company. Sheila’s sisters used to work for the business before she took it over. Parts Manager "Boley" Harrison’s grandfather (who used to own Stubb’s Wrecker) were friends with Lee Hays. Clerk and bookkeeper Joan Milford worked with Sheila for 20 years; Sheila’s children refer to Milford as "Grannie Joan," even though there is no relation. Sheila’s son Andrew, 10, even sold his first Kubota tractor this summer, making him the fourth generation of Hays.
"We’re all family here," Sheila said. "I hope I can live up to my daddy’s expectations."