History

73 Years of Taylor-Forbes Equipment Company, Inc.

Taylor-Forbes Equipment Company was created in 1944 when James H. Forbes became a partner with Mrs. Roxie Taylor in a new business venture in Farmville, Virginia. The new business began with a contract from International Harvester Company to sell their agricultural equipment line in the Farmville area. Prior to this time, International Harvester had been represented by Taylor Company in nearby Prospect, Virginia, since the late 1800s. The original Taylor Company actually held a contract from the McCormick Deering Reaper Company to sell that equipment. Mr. Forbes was a dealer for Dodge automobiles and trucks in Farmville. With the business union of the Taylor and Forbes names, a new era began. Soon after the creation of Taylor-Forbes, Mrs. Taylor decided to sell her share of the company, thus ending the long relationship of the Taylor family with the McCormick and International Harvester lines of equipment. Mr. Forbes' new business partner was C.J. Cox, the local Chrysler-Plymouth dealer, long time friend and previous employer. These two men decided to continue to use the Taylor name because of the long association of that name with farm equipment in the area. During this World War II era, James Forbes and C.J. Cox were each busy in their own business operations trying to obtain and sell automobiles in Farmville. As a result, a manager was hired to operate Taylor-Forbes Equipment Company. Of course the challenges were similar for the farm equipment business and the automotive business as most production capacity was dedicated to the War effort. Tractors, equipment, automobiles and trucks were difficult to obtain for any purpose.

After the War it became somewhat easier to get cars and equipment and the market was clamoring for "steel goods." Upon his return from service in England, France, and Germany, Earl H. Carter accepted a job working for James Forbes in the automobile business. When the previous manager of Taylor-Forbes elected to leave to pursue other interests, Carter was asked to take over the day to day operation of Taylor-Forbes Equipment Company. By the late 40s Carter was a shareholder and manager with five employees.

By 1954, Taylor-Forbes Equipment Company held contracts to sell and service the complete line of International Harvester farm equipment, refrigeration equipment,and trucks, with construction equipment and air-conditioning equipment to follow in the 60s. In the 1960s and 70s many lines of agricultural equipment were added to strengthen the sales portfolio as the company grew in scope. In 1970, Earl Carter, Jr. was hired to help in the business after his graduation from Virginia Tech. In 1977 George Carter, Jr. (nephew of Earl Carter) was brought into the business. By the late 1970s with the prior deaths of shareholders Forbes and Cox, the ownership of the business was passed to Earl Carter, Earl Carter, Jr., and George Carter, Jr. In 1981, Earl Carter, Sr. passed away leaving the operations and ownership with the younger generation of Carters.

The years since 1981 brought changes and challenges as new lines were added and new directions were taken. With the importance of the agricultural customer always paramount, the young Carters added emphasis on the government bid market and the growing consumer products market. This enabled Taylor-Forbes to maintain consistent growth while continuing to serve their base agricultural market.

The year 2017 marks the 73rd anniversary for Taylor-Forbes Equipment Company, Inc. and both Earl and George Carter are enthusiastic about the continued growth of their business. As with most surviving agricultural dealerships, Taylor-Forbes has expanded its area of service and improved its product offerings. With many dedicated employees, they are serving the agricultural, governmental, and consumer equipment markets throughout Southside Virginia. Taylor-Forbes Equipment Company, Inc. is prepared for the challenges awaiting in the next decade and plans to continue serving their existing and new customers in the years ahead. With support from quality manufacturers and suppliers and a skilled work team in place, there should be nothing to slow the next 73 years!