In 1954, Harry Vane Herrington, Sr. purchased the remaining assets of Hollywood Motors: an IHC & Farmall truck and tractor dealership, which had been established in the mid-1930s. He began operating a general repair shop under the same name using his experience as a master sergeant in the motor pool of the 65th Signal Battalion in WWII and 10 years as a service manager for various car dealerships in Charleston. He had no experience at all with tractors and equipment at that point. When he’d left the farm in Georgia in the 1930s, they were still using horses and mules!
Luckily, Bill Ravenel, who was working for the former owner, stayed on and he had a lot of experience repairing farm equipment.
Between the two of them, they were able to repair whatever came in. They worked on trucks, tractors and cars, as well as lawn mowers and all types of planting and harvesting equipment. Dad taught himself to weld using an old Army training manual and was able to provide metal repairs, build truck bodies, and even make some farm equipment. (We have recently re-acquired a 2-row cultivator frame that he built for Bill Ravenel in 1957!)
In 1959, Dad took on Lombard chainsaws and later McCullough and Poulan. We did good business in chainsaws from the start.
In 1961, Allis Chalmers signed him up as a farm equipment dealer selling tractors only at first and later, everything from disc harrows, plows, and planters to combines, hay balers, and lawn tractors. He would often trade for things. Once he traded in an Appaloosa mare; another time a boat, with a McCullough outboard motor and trailer.
The first tractor I remember him selling was an AC D12 to Dixie Plantation. Mr. Dick traded in a Ford 600 tractor, which Dad sold to a man near Ridgeville who paid for it entirely with coins. We had fun counting all that money - $600 if I remember correctly. The whole family got in on it on a Sunday afternoon. I think Karen (my sister) and I had the most fun - we had never seen “bags” of money before!
In 1966, Dad was able to buy the first new vehicle he had ever owned. It was a 1966 Ford F100, red all over! He had signs painted on the side advertising McCullough and Poulan - and Hollywood Motors on the doors. We used that truck for a long time.
In 1969, we replaced the old 1953 Diamond T truck we had been using to haul tractors with a 1963 IHC which we built a tilt bed dump body on. We’ve used that body on 2 trucks and still have it!
We stayed with Allis Chalmers until 1989. Through the years, we sold other brands such as Deutz, Long, David Brown, and Mitsubishi. We had taken on Massey Ferguson in 1986 and the line was more readily accepted than the Deutz tractors we had been selling. So, we made Massey Ferguson our main line and it is to this day.
In 1972, we purchased Prine Supply Company in Hollywood. At the same time, we incorporated the business as Herrington Equipment, Inc. The intention was to combine the two businesses in one location. Before we could do that, the former Chevrolet dealership building around the corner became available, so we bought it and moved the equipment dealership into it. This worked out pretty well all around. We were able to expand the equipment business considerably since we had more display area and a bigger shop.
Eventually, Dad took over the hardware store and I began to run the equipment dealership on my own. Some years later, we split the business into two components and each continued on its own. We started on a shoestring and have faced some hard times, but all in all, things have worked out really well.
Today, we offer not only tractors and equipment, but trailers, chainsaws and lawn mowers, too. Our brands include Massey Ferguson, Echo, Bush Hog, Hardee and many others.
We are able to offer sales, service and parts on everything we currently sell as well as continuing to provide parts and service for the Allis Chalmers, Deutz, Long, and David Brown tractors we sold years ago.
Although the founders, Harry and Jewel Herrington are no longer with us, this is still a family operation. My wife, Trudy and all three children are involved.
Thank you for your interest in our company history. We look forward to serving your needs today.
– Harry V. Herrington, Jr.