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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Dixie Chopper cuts staff

Friday, June 27, 2008

One of Putnam County's largest employers cut over a fifth of its workforce Thursday.

Dixie Chopper let go 30 of its 160 employees -- some of whom worked at the company's Greencastle location and some of whom were from its Fillmore plant, a release issued by the company Friday said.

"Caught in an industry-wide downturn due to soaring gasoline prices and economic woes, Dixie Chopper regrettably has had to announce a workforce reduction," the release said.

Tammy Parker, vice president of administration at Dixie Chopper, said cuts were made in all departments. She said the cuts were a "horrible thing," and noted that all Dixie Chopper's employees are "great people."

Dixie Chopper general manager Jeff Haltom held meetings with employees in both plants Thursday to explain the situation to them. Haltom called the staff reduction "a business decision that we had to make."

"Unfortunately, we had to let a few people go," Haltom said in a written statement. "But we're still building lawn mowers and shipping orders."

The release said Dixie Chopper's "economic landscape" was altered considerably by rising gas prices. Haltom said in his statement that Dixie Chopper will "get back to basics."

"Dixie's sales were actually ahead of projections heading into May," the release said. "But the perfect storm of rising gas prices, economic issues and a late-arriving spring caused May sales to fall off. June sales have seen a similar effect, necessitating the personnel moves made on Thursday afternoon."

Haltom said the continued production of lawn mowers at the current rate "would only compound the problem with existing models still in the warehouse." He predicted that slowing production now would be beneficial for the company's future.

The first Dixie Chopper lawnmower was manufactured in 1980. More than 100,000 Dixie Choppers are in use throughout the United States and Canada, and all have been manufactured and assembled in Putnam County.

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Several were laid off Thursday,June 26th.

-- Posted by what_it's_worth on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 1:25 PM

no kidding....thats what the very first sentence of the article said.

-- Posted by fashionista on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 2:07 PM

30 employees is a little more than a few or several.

-- Posted by Scripted Spontaneity on Fri, Jun 27, 2008, at 3:55 PM

As sad as the news is, it is not surprising. High fuel prices are our "economic terrorism".

-- Posted by Xgamer on Sat, Jun 28, 2008, at 5:35 AM

i find a few things wrong with this article...

i was one of the more then 30 people laid off from dixie chopper...one thing was we had no warning nothing..we found out about being laid off when they came around person to person and brought us into a office and told us our job has been cut and they had to lay us off.then they let us get our belongings and walked us to the main gate at the filmore plant..no saying good by to friends and fellow workers..

we basicly was treated like we was nothing..given no respect... it should have been done much differntly and with respect to the workers and their familys who now have to suffer from this..they should have atlest held a meeting a week or 2 ago giveing us a heads up so we could get things in order, like finding another job, or for those who rent to find a place they could goto.

the meeting they talk about in this article took place after they let us all go. not before hand in no way..they let us work almost the full shift and then let us go.

they knew things was comeing..they could have done things differnt..they could have lowered prices on their well over $3,000 - $10,000 dollar mowers..they could have gotten more into their hydro work to convert a mower to water/gas power or even made them run off of ethanol.

but it seams lineing their pockets with the mighty dollar is better then makeing the units more affordable to the normal working american and keeping them in a job that makes the company all the money.

-- Posted by In_The_Dark on Sat, Jun 28, 2008, at 3:09 PM

I have a comment for "smaller_gov_now" - are you out of your mind "don't take things so personal" ??? Sounds to me like you're a person who works FOR the company you so vehemently stand by.

People lose their jobs and it's supposed to be ok? I think you are the person that needs to perhaps "get real" - maybe if you lost your job you wouldn't be so quick to defend them?

-- Posted by Angelnic on Sat, Jun 28, 2008, at 7:38 PM

graydog, inthedark,

xgamer and smallergovnow have the right outlook on this. It is the start of what a lot of companies are going to have to do. Fuel drives every aspect of our lives. Things are going to change dramatically with fuel being as it is. The economic outlook is just not looking to bright. I can remember when gas prices were not given a second thought. Now it guides our lifes.

-- Posted by gingb2 on Sat, Jun 28, 2008, at 8:31 PM

gingb2..no disrespect but please explain that to my 2 small kids..explain to them why they have to move..explain to them why daddy cant get them that toy they want..or why they have to give so much up. please..maybe you can explain to children why their world is turned upside down becouse some greedy people couldnt give their hard working employees a 2 week notice then waiting at the end of a month when bills are due to kick them to the curb.

-- Posted by In_The_Dark on Sat, Jun 28, 2008, at 11:30 PM

most businesses who care about their employees would have given at least a weeks notice. I am a wife of an ex-employee there, and caring for the employees was the least of their worries. They kept temporary help and all these over paid "supervisors" and got rid of valuable employees. We all understand that there is going to be sacrifices made because of gas but they went about this the wrong way. Now we will all be struggling because they had no chance to start looking for other jobs! My thoughts and prayers are with all of the others who were let go!

-- Posted by dsutherlin5 on Sun, Jun 29, 2008, at 8:25 AM

Interesting! If not a PERMANENT downsize, "valued employees" could be maintained by a mutual, across-the-board, hourly work reduction by ALL employees. The reduction would include salaried employees accepting a salary reduction at a corresponding percentage. Good management decision?????

-- Posted by Falcon on Sun, Jun 29, 2008, at 9:03 AM

Unfortunately, it's going to get far worse.

-- Posted by VonMises on Mon, Jun 30, 2008, at 10:59 AM

My concern with all of this is that DC continues to let Supervisors and Management staff drive these huges vehicles that get terrible gas mileage. I can understand for the people that have to pull trailers but do the ones that just drive to and from work have to have these? And why does the company continue to let them also drive them for personal use.

Mr. Evans needs to get more involved out there and turn his company back around....getting rid of some of the greedy management team might just be the start that they need. That company was based and grew because of the hard working people that got in there and took this company were it is today. Management staff need to quit treating the founder like he's not important. If it weren't for his ideas, where would you be?

I can remember years ago when the family sold their vehicles to keep the company going...that is what you call someone that cares about the employees. Would the people in charge out there today do that????? I'm pretty sure NOT!

-- Posted by concern on Mon, Jun 30, 2008, at 11:06 AM

I heard there were more than 30 laid off. The economy is so bad. Everyday I see many plants are shutting down or moving to Mexico. Our country is in a mess. Many of my friends who have decent homes and thought a good jobs are very scared. Some are even losing their homes and it just breaks my heart because their spouse or breadwinner lost their job and now they can't even make home payments. I know one friend who own's a business they can't even afford their lights rights now. To all the people who are in this position right now. I feel for you! I have been there before, so many people in this country are in the same boat. Indiana is one of the big ones with the most job losses. I pray things will get better for everyone and the war will end soon I hope. God Bless all of you who have lost your job or losing your homes or just having it hard in genral with medical bills etc..

-- Posted by savethekids on Mon, Jun 30, 2008, at 12:48 PM

It's pretty sickening when the profits of a corporate entity are more important than the welfare of it's employees. Magic Circle is not some guy struggling to make rent with the sale of lawn mowers, it's a corporation, a board of directors, stockholders who do not recognize the people who truly built their portfolios.

During the depression and the world wars, business owners contributed their goods, services and wealth to the effort. Employers used to appreciate a quality labor force and would do whatever it took to maintain it through lean times. Now it's the first thing they cut, knowing there's a third world class of slaves in America begging for jobs, illegals and the legal citizens that are being forced to compete with them.

Apologies for venting, but now there are thirty more local families that won't be buying new lawn mowers or anything else manufactured in our community this year...Oh, and don't forget to dial "one" for english when you call the unemployment office to check on your claims.

-- Posted by westforty on Mon, Jun 30, 2008, at 6:03 PM

Muck, I will start off telling you what those administrators were doing, they were building lawnmowers. Would you like to know why...because they have been there. Most everyone of the so called administrators (who drive those company vehichles) started on the ground floor of that company. Including the GM. It wasn't handed to them on a silver platter it was earned. Also, if you know anything about being a good business owner then you know there is something called a budget. The ad in the fair book, and the sponsorhip of the truckpull were already in the budget way before "YOUR GOVERNMENT" let fuel prices sky rocket. Cuts were made clear across the board, even in administration. There was careful consideration taken when the cuts were made. The comments about the supervisors are just sadly mistaken. Would you like to match W-2's with them at the end of the year, because believe me I would bet the hourly employees would have their foot in their mouth. Most of them work way more than 40-60 hours a week and they spend countless nights away from their families to contribute their part so that all 200 people can keep their jobs. All in all it's a very sad situation, so let's all just be thankful it was only 30 and not 200!!

-- Posted by GrassChopper on Tue, Jul 1, 2008, at 9:52 AM

As I sit here and read the comments posted on this blog, I'm very saddened by the disloyal people in Greencastle and Putnam County.

It's so easy to sit and criticize others for business decisions that were not made lightly. The fact of the matter is that most of you have NO idea what it takes to run a business. Let alone, a successful business that has employed Putnam County residents for the last 25+ years.

It seems like the only answer that most of you have is to let the business bleed itself dry so that ALL 160 people are out of a job. Yeah, that would be the "Smartest" thing to do. No wonder You people are spending your time writing on this blog instead of running your own company!

Secondly, you want to complain that DC sponsored the Truck Pull. Well, ask yourself this: How many sports teams or community events has DC sponsored in the past years??? I personally think that it's great that DC gives back to the community and takes money out of their advertising budget to sponsor local events and sports teams. I didn't hear anyone complaining when DC donated a mower for the Drew Christy fund. Why don't you take the time to ask the Christy family how much money DC helped them raise? No one ever thinks about that, do they?? So the next time, your kid needs a sponsor for their t-ball team, don't ask DC!

Also, if you are so concerned with DC's employment rate, why don't you try supporting your local community? What are you mowing your yard with? So many people in this county don't support their local businesses. Businesses that employ them or members of their family. It sickens me to see people spend their money outside of Greencastle. I understand that some things must be purchased in Indy, Plainfield, etc. However, the big ticket items (ex. car, appliances, etc) can be found right here in Greencastle. Yet, the same people complaining that they lost their job are the same ones buying things out of town. Wake Up, Putnam County!

Finally, Other factories in this community are laying off people all of the time. Unfortunately, this has become the landscape of factory jobs throughout the United States. GM has had to shut down many of their plants because of high gas prices and a poor economy. Why don't you take a survey of factories and see How many of them give their employees 2 weeks notice that they are going to let them go? (I can already tell you the Answer: ZERO) Why don't you start a blog about them?

-- Posted by know the truth on Tue, Jul 1, 2008, at 10:01 AM

What do the administrators do, except fly all over the country trying to sell lawnmowers. I've never heard before of a VP of administration flying all over and working in a booth. And you're telling me that everyone, EVERYONE in administration worked on the floor? In every company there is always a job that is handed to someone! If I was related to the owner, I wouldn't start on the floor. I would expect the top job. There's always a job handed to you know matter what company it is. So do you agree with me, we need to bring back the LADY? I feel sorry for those that have given for so many years. I'm sure most of them have children, the school year will be beginning soon, many of them might have SICK family members that they need to take care of and they get let go! To clarify, letting go as the paper stated, means no more job.

-- Posted by cty-govt-a-muck on Tue, Jul 1, 2008, at 10:13 AM

As far as a budget is concerned, I do understand them. I understand that your budget had already been made with those expenditures in mind. So with that said, your budget for next year should really be low. We shouldn't expect all of the ads and sponsorships. We'll be watching. If you understand a budget, then you know a budget is not set in concrete either. How much is being spent for jet fuel?

-- Posted by cty-govt-a-muck on Tue, Jul 1, 2008, at 10:28 AM

As far as buying in town, tell me it's economical when you only have one car dealer in town. Sorry, but you HAVE to know that the better deals are out of town. How many people would spend an extra 5,000-10,000.00 on a vehicle just because it's in your own community?

-- Posted by cty-govt-a-muck on Tue, Jul 1, 2008, at 10:31 AM

Dear cty-govt,

Instead of posting negative comments, and Since you have the solution to Everyone's problems, Why don't you run for Congress. I think you would fit in quite nicely. Those that can, DO. Those that can't, run for congress or complain.

As for getting "the best deal", if we all felt that way then America would be in far worse shape. Don't you think that it's far cheaper to manufacture in a foreign country! Wake up! I'm sure you're the first person to complain about foreign trade, and lost jobs in your community, But you are buying things outside of your community and probably country. You are truly blind!

I feel sorry for your loss of vision! I'm just grateful that it is not shared by many.

-- Posted by know the truth on Tue, Jul 1, 2008, at 11:42 AM

Don't feel sorry for my loss of vision, it's called "REALITY". You're telling me you would spend an extra 5,000.00 on a car because it's here in Putnam County? Congress, I tried it, didn't like it.

-- Posted by cty-govt-a-muck on Tue, Jul 1, 2008, at 1:00 PM

Yeah, your "REALITY",is actually called IRNORANCE. Like the saying goes, Ignorance is Bliss. You must be a very happy person.

-- Posted by know the truth on Tue, Jul 1, 2008, at 1:03 PM

Sorry for the typo, it should be IGNORANCE

-- Posted by know the truth on Tue, Jul 1, 2008, at 5:15 PM

Maybe you should leave family business out of it that is kinda personal to put out there for everybody to see. That is the problem with this website it dosen't solve anything it just causes problems and they drag things up that is in the past if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all.

-- Posted by Sorry to all on Tue, Jul 1, 2008, at 9:09 PM

GOVERNMENT LET fuel prices rise??? How 'bout 'wasteful people kept racing their singe-piloted 5000 lb SUVs from stoplight to stoplight until no one could afford fuel anymore.' How do ya like the Hummer now, fella?

Does it seem really necessary to have one?

-- Posted by chazm_vet on Tue, Jul 1, 2008, at 10:36 PM

Help is on the way! I just seen a My Man Mitch ad and everything is good and getting better, no new taxes, most jobs created, schools funding increase four years running. We don't even have to pay property taxes til after the election.

-- Posted by dirtboy7419 on Wed, Jul 2, 2008, at 9:33 PM

Despite their innovative bent, all dixie choppers run on petrolium distillates, as do all the production processes (ultimately) that manufacture them. More money for less fuel = more production costs and higher operating costs = more expensive Dixie Choppers. On the demand side, more expensive fuel = less disposable income, = less demand for Dixie Choppers = layoffs. The comment was made in the thread that "OUR GOVERNMENT" 'let' fuel prices skyrocket. It is a free market economy, we have control of fuel prices, yet so far have refused to exercise it. If you want the Government to control fuel prices, then perhaps you'd be better off in a communist regime where that is the norm.

My own solution was, in 2000, to buy a car that gets 51 mpg. That is my contribution. My neighbor's contribution is to run his '71 Camaro up and down the country road in an attempt to beat his last record at leaving the longest black mark possible. While we might call this behavior "stupid," it is really extremely irresponsible in that it affects us all to some degree in the form of higher demand for fuel, which = higher fuel prices which = layoffs at Dixie Chopper. Unfortunately, since there are no laws against being irresponsible, and there are laws against just shooting him, the only solution is to let the free market economy work until he realizes he can no longer afford to race up and down the road. So relax, work in the garden, ride the bicycle, and have faith in the free market.

-- Posted by chazm_vet on Wed, Jul 2, 2008, at 10:05 PM

Has a dealer for DC in South Fl this industry has went thru the worst 2yrs on record and with no favorable outlook in the near future. DC has done what a good management team should be doing adjusting expense's and staffing to fit the current level and expected changes in the market, which at this point are all negative. We have went thru the same thing, we have went from 39 employees to 22 at the current level and in excess of 20% pay cuts to all management. And with the current state of affairs we will probaly have to go deeper. It is not something we do lightly or enjoy but it is what a good management team does. John Deere, ExMark, Bobcat, Bunton, and Husquvarna just to name a few have all laid off in the last couple of months.

-- Posted by Big_E on Thu, Jul 3, 2008, at 8:18 AM


You're awful worried about DC for some reason. Just wanted to tell you to read the whole post, you missed the word MOST, which made you unable to comprehend the sentence the way it was written. I have a great book you need to read, it's called The 7 habits of highly effective people. Have you ever known anyone who can't grasp what you are telling them because they can't shut their mouth or slow their mind down long enough to LISTEN?????

-- Posted by GrassChopper on Mon, Jul 7, 2008, at 12:28 PM

Chopper....Not really worried about "dc." They aren't even on my top 2 companies to watch in "Greencastle". It's not like a fortune 500 company or anything. Now if you've got a book for how to be rich or beautiful, I might read it especially if it has pictures. You must be one of the dedicated, loyal and high paid employees. My opinions are mine and mine alone. If you don't like them, then that's your choice. You must still have YOUR JOB!

-- Posted by cty-govt-a-muck on Tue, Jul 8, 2008, at 7:11 AM

I was looking to buy a DC and saw the posts. The most interesting part of the posts is that fuel cost seems to be listed and commented on most. What I drive or what you drive, and the reasons, is none of anyone else's business. DC, and all the communities across our country are affected by the money policies of our state and federal governments. When times get tough government never cuts back. Even during the great depression government grew. DC is reacting to problems created by government, or more accurately too much goverment.

The cost of oil is reflective of monetary policies that devalue the dollar. When the dollar is devalued oil, like all commodities, go up in price. Inflation is not the cause of our problems it is the result of government gone bad.

Someone wrote about using ethanol. If there was ever a government policy that epitomized the irresponsibility of government this would be it. Ethanol is more costly, but government has artificially influenced price by subsidizing it through corporate welfare. The "so-called" big oil lobby that is allegedly so damaging to our country was replaced by big farm, corn, ethanol lobbys that are taking large amounts of money from the government(read that as you and me). They also contribute large amounts of money to all of our congressional rulers.

In the process of the so-called ethanol miracle we watch as all food prices begin to skyrocket over the next couple of years. If you like the increases you have seen so far you will love what will happen next year when the full affect of diverting food stuffs to the boondoggle of ethanol come due for payment by each and everyone of us.

If you want better job opportunity, prices, salaries, etc lower the cost of government. All of the money they spend is money taken from our pockets and the pockets of our grand- and great grandchildren. They are the ones who will pay the bills being created now.

If you want things to be better for this country and your family vote out the rascals who keep doing this to us and create empires for themselves. If you think the Democrats or Republicans are the answer you haven't read enough. They are flip sides of the same coin. They have created these empires for their own benefit.

DC isn't the problem. They, like all of us, have to deal with the problems created by government.

Remember what is happening here when you think it would be nice if government paid for your healthcare or some other free thing you would like.

Make sure you thank your grandchildren for the things "government is giving to you" since they ar the ones who will be paying for it.

Keep arguing about the price of oil. The politicians love it. When they divert your attention from the real problems you won't ask them the tough questions.

-- Posted by markco on Thu, Jul 24, 2008, at 10:34 AM

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