Mini-truck business moves, expands

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By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

CANNELTON - They'll schedule a grand opening some time in April, but "we're ready to go" for anyone who cares to visit their new showroom at the corner of Indiana 66 and Old Indiana 237 in Cannelton, said Ryan Knieriem, vice president for Canary Outdoor Power Equipment.

They were still working to get the first of their inventory in and on display Thursday, having moved from a lot on the outskirts of Tell City that turned the heads of passers-by for the mini-trucks they had on display. Their new showroom, formerly the Randy Aubrey Dodge dealership, was already stuffed, however, with lawnmowers and small tractors bearing names like Cub Cadet and Troybilt. Still to come were Landpride hobby-farm and lawn equipment and Husqvarna chain saws and trimmers.

"We hope to have a complete saw shop," Knieriem said, adding that the business will provide service and parts for all of the equipment they sell and other brands.

The business also features the Camoclad system that camouflages some of the mini-trucks it will continue to sell. The trucks are the subject of Indiana House Bill 1043, which advanced to the Senate last month and is intended to legalize their use on all but interstate highways.

Their sales by company President Aaron Knieriem, who operates a lot in Seymour, "are doing good so far," Ryan Knieriem said. He uses one for hauling firewood and hay, and said people have reported getting 40 to 60 miles per gallon of gas with them.

The News reported in two January stories efforts by Aaron Knieriem to secure a $30,000 economic-development loan from city officials to help with the move and expansion from the lot to the former car dealership. City-council members expressed surprise when he didn't follow through on that attempt, but Ryan Knieriem said it was only because he and his brother were trying to do too many things at once, and still intend to pursue the loan.

In addition to Ryan and Aaron Knieriem, other family members involved in the business are Treasurer Sherry Knieriem, Secretary Kendra Knieriem and Jerome Knieriem.