Arizona Machinery, founded in 1947 by Fred Elder and Jim Deaderick, began as the John Deere and Caterpillar dealer for most of the state of Arizona. In 1959, after being diagnosed with cancer, Deaderick began selling off the business. Elder retained the John Deere franchise for agricultural equipment and John Deere's new emerging line of construction equipment in Maricopa County. Elder's company, which kept the Arizona Machinery name, continued the growth it had begun in the 1940's, and built a reputation for unbeatable parts and service to match the quality of its John Deere products. In 1967, the construction equipment business was split off, and Arizona Machinery focused its efforts solely on the agricultural market of Maricopa County.
In 1975, shortly after Fred Elder passed away, his son-in-law Ferenc Rosztoczy took over management of the company. A Hungarian immigrant who is a physical chemist by education, Rosztoczy came into the business with no working knowledge of the farm implement business. His firm hand and intelligent direction guided the company for over 30 years through both the booms and the busts of the local agricultural industry.
Rosztoczy recognized the need to diversify the company's interests so the company could continue to grow as the area's cotton farms gradually gave way to residential subdivisions. In 1979, the company picked up John Deere's "consumer products" line of equipment, which included machines from residential lawn mowers to compact tractors and commercial mowers to maintain large areas of turf. In 1986, John Deere rewarded Arizona Machinery's quality performance with one of the nation's first golf and turf distributorships. Throughout his tenure, Arizona Machinery Co. operated out of three stores located in Avondale, Buckeye and Chandler.
In the late 1990's, the transition began to the next generation. Tom Rosztoczy, Ferenc's oldest son, has been the president and general manager for Arizona Machinery since 1998. Ferenc's two other sons also work for the family business. Rob serves as vice president and corporate sales manager, and Teddy is the Golf Sales Manager for our operations in the southwestern U.S.
Seeing that opportunities for further growth within the company's Arizona territory would be limited, Tom has overseen the company's acquisition of additional John Deere dealerships outside of Arizona. The company's first venture outside of Arizona occurred in 1997 with the acquisition of EZ Equipment, a small John Deere dealership located in the San Diego area. In 2002, Arizona Machinery acquired ownership of AA Equipment, a larger dealership operating out of eastern Los Angeles County. In recent years, the two southern California stores established two additional stores, one in Indio specializing in golf & turf, and the other in El Cajon, a location which sells John Deere products and a full line of trailer parts. Subsequently, AA Equipment added a location in Las Vegas, Nevada. Together, these five stores were consolidated into the AA Equipment organization, which sells primarily the lawn & garden, commercial and golf & turf lines of John Deere.