While the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl presented several challenges for many Americans, both during and after the fact, one of the rare success stories involved the Lemon family. Once Haskell and Irene Lemon graduated from the University of Oklahoma in the mid-1930s, they knew they wanted to stay in the area. They initially worked as equipment operators, spreading gravel on country roads across the state.
“They always wanted to work in Oklahoma City where the state department of transportation is located, but it was dominated by large contractors,” says their grandson Jay Lemon, current co-owner of Haskell Lemon Construction Co., along with his partner and cousin, Ken Wert. “Then, in the late 1940s, they had the opportunity to begin their own paving company.”
By 1948, the couple was ready to form Haskell Lemon Construction, and the demand was there following World War II. The company quickly expanded from a small asphalt business to a highway contractor, and the rest was history. However, much of the hard work couldn’t have been done without the company’s relationship with its local John Deere dealership, CL Boyd Equipment, located in Oklahoma City.
Establishing a Lasting Relationship
Frank and Earl Crews joined CL Boyd during the 1930s, and Haskell Lemon’s great-aunt was a member of the Crews family, establishing a lasting bond.
“Haskell and Irene worked often with the Crews family, who provided them with credit and backing when their company was young,” said Jay Lemon. “I’ve always had a fondness, respect, and admiration for the Crews family, and of course for CL Boyd and John Deere.”
Today, Haskell Lemon Construction is one of CL Boyd’s largest companies, running a fleet consisting of 32 pieces of John Deere equipment. Recently, the organization purchased several John Deere 460E ADTs, along with some 824K and 844K Loaders.
It isn’t just the machinery that gets the job done – it’s the technology behind the scenes that plays a role, as well.
“Using JDLink™, CL Boyd helps us track machine location, hours, idle time, health, and maintenance,” explains Lemon. “We get reminders that allow us to schedule regular and periodic maintenance at times that are convenient to us and won’t disturb operations. Alerts also warn us if something is going on with a machine, helping us to avoid critical breakdowns.”
If you have any questions about how John Deere machinery can help your company go above and beyond the job at hand, you can contact your local John Deere dealer.