Bob and Jim Lucas, the current owners of Empire Tractor, continue the successful business practices begun in Cazenovia by their ancestor, W.F. Lucas, in 1891.
Cazenovia The Lucas name is well known in the Cazenovia area. That’s because the Lucas family has been selling farm equipment since approximately 1891. That certainly says a lot about a business if it’s been successful for more than a century.
J.C. Lucas was not only a farm equipment dealer, but also a dairy farmer until the mid 1970s. J.C. Lucas and Sons started out as a McCormick-Deering dealership, eventually becoming International Harvester. In the mid 1950s, Ron and William Lucas took the reins of the business and it grew so much that in 1980 they moved into their current location on Route 20.
Now, a full size Case IH farm equipment dealership with 17,000 feet of showroom, service and parts, the store is run by Jim and Bob Lucas, sons of Ron and Doris Lucas.
In 1984, J.C. Lucas and Sons opened their second location in Cortland. They expanded into the lawn and garden equipment and grounds maintenance business. By 1990, they increased their tractor business by 200 percent and were sixth in the nation for Cub Cadet sales.
Why the tremendous growth? Excellent employee and customer loyalty and outstanding service to their customers.
The Lucas family has a knack for business, watching their grandfather and father build the business and their mother handling the office work. Rightfully so, they are proud of their heritage and their commitment to the Cazenovia community.
In January 2000, another group of mergers brought about the birth of Empire Tractor. In 2001, the Lucas family decided to merge their two locations with Empire Tractor to create what is today one of the most successful dealerships in the state of New York.
Empire Tractor is locally owned with all shareholders working in the business. The company carries a diversified line of equipment. They feature Case IH at the Cazenovia location, and offer brands such as New Holland, Kubota, Dixie Chopper, Oxbo, Great Plains and Woods Equipment, just to name a few, at the other five locations.