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Kulm Service in new building

Ben Pesek, general manager of Kulm Service Inc., stands in front of the new building on Aug. 16. The company is now operating out of the new facility. John M. Steiner / The Sun

Kulm Service Inc., the implement repair shop formed after the closing of Kulm Titan Machinery, is now working out of a building.

The building is owned by Lowell and Neal Berntson, two Kulm area farmers who started Kulm Service Inc. just days after Titan Machinery closed in late March. Four former Titan employees and a manager started working in another building owned by the Berntson brothers as construction started on the new 80-foot by 120-foot facility just north of Kulm at junction of N.D. Highways 56 and 13.

“We’re operational and have always been operational,” said Ben Pesek, general manager of Kulm Service Inc. “But we are pretty much out of the other building.”

There is still work to be done to complete the offices, he said. But the mechanics worked in the new building as equipment was moved in from the old shop.

“About three weeks ago we decided on a Thursday that it we were going to be a little slow on Friday and said ‘so let’s move,’” Pesek said.

The independent company works on all brands of tractors, combines, farm equipment, semi trucks and trailers, he said. The semi truck repair service was added recently and includes repairs and North Dakota Department of Transportation inspection service, he said.

The company has three service trucks and is able to haul machinery, he said. The service radius is fairly broad given the distance to other repair shops but competitive pricing has brought clients from more than 90 miles north and south, he said.

“It’s a long ways anywhere to get things repaired here,” Pesek said. “The community wanted to have this service here and to have people employed in Kulm.”

The equipment is important but the investment where there is the greatest benefit is in the employees, he said. Jeff Gunderson, Rodney Kinzler, Steve Herman and Evan Dittus have the right skills and experience for this area and without Kulm Service the four might have moved elsewhere after Titan closed, he said.

“We didn’t want to look back five years and say that these are services that went away,” Pesek said. “These jobs would have went somewhere else.”

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