It's a Local Family Affair At Erb Equipment Co.

Nearly 70 years of family business and Erb Equipment Co. builds a solid foundation.

Thank goodness I learned to type in high school typing class.  Friend Mary remembers my ManFriend, even now the class clown, lifting up his Smith Corona manual typewriter to his shoulder and playing it like an accordion.  Truth told, he still types that way, but with two fingers and sometimes in all caps. 

Just like a bad dream,  I remember one day arriving at high school and suddenly learning that term papers were due that day.  I had forgotten!  Best friend Chris and I scurried home, and because she was (and still is) a faster typist than I am, pulled out the portable manual typewriter and finished the essay and made it back to school by the deadline.

Speedy typing comes in handy, particularly today when it is called ‘keyboarding’.

I actually learned to type without looking while working my first job in the summer of 1970.  As a clerk at Erb Equipment Company I was fortunate to work at the same place as my dad.

It was a great place to work for one summer.

When Alvin Erb founded his company in the 1943, all of the machinery manufacturing  in this country was directed to the war effort, so he bought , and sold equipment  that he refurbished.

After my dad returned home from the army, with training in large equipment , he was hired by Alvin Erb in the 1950’s.

Under the tutelage of Doris, then Erb’s office manager, I worked as a typist back in the day of white-out and carbon paper.  I was in charge of typing three carbon copies of invoices for the parts and service departments.

By the end of that summer I had all the customers names and addresses memorized. Invoicing was a serious deadline and accuracy was mandatory.  Perfection counted.

Erb Equipment was then located at 11714 Gravois Road at the intersection of Lindbergh Blvd., where Sunset Auto is today. 

In the late 1960’s and ‘70’s Erb occupied the entire block with John Deere tractors, combines, road graders and back hoes.  They moved there in 1959 from their original location at Gravois at Weber Road.

Then in 1988 Erb Equipment moved to its third location, to is present home on a bluff at Gravois Road in Fenton on 200 Erb Industrial Drive. They have added nine more locations in its almost 70 years.

It was a family affair back when I worked there:  Alvin, his brother Willard, Alvin’s sons Ken and Bob, and son-in-law Tom Assinger. Oh, and my dad John, his brother and my uncle, Jim Arnone, and me for one summer. 

Bob Erb says “it’s heartwarming” to work with family members.  

Accounting Manager Kimberly Paul admits, “It’s a great place to work.”

Today it is still a family affair: effective in May, Bob Erb became the Chairman of the Board, his daughter Carrie Roider is CEO and his son, Greg Erb is the President and Director of Sales. Erb Equipment now has ten locations, and is scattered into four states with plans for future expansion.

I have always saluted John Deere dealers across the country. It is to John Deere that I owe my college education, not to mention my ability to type.

Today the Erb motto is: “Excellence…our future depends on it!”  Good words by which to live. Heartwarming.


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