Employee Spotlight: Harold Phipps

Meet Harold Phipps with our team in Des Moines, Iowa!  Harold has been with Vander Haag’s for just over 5 ½ years, and has worked as a Fabricator in the Service department during his entire tenure with us.  Harold originally was introduced to Vander Haag’s as a customer.  While working with the Iowa DOT, Harold sent a truck in to get an axle skein replaced.  During that replacement, he also got a tour of the shop.  He was so impressed, he joined the team shortly thereafter!

Harold says the thing he enjoys most about his job is that a “typical day isn’t so typical.”  Harold’s work varies between doing accessory installs, tarp replacements, installing power tarp kids, welding jobs, and even helping with estimating some jobs.  He especially enjoys projects that are a challenge.  For example, he assisted with the engine dyno install in Des Moines.  “There was a lot to figure out and a lot of different systems to get to work together… and the way we did it had not been done before.” 

Harold says that if he can give one piece of advice to someone beginning their career with Vander Haag’s, it would be this: “Stay out of the tool trucks!  The tool guys will come to you… guaranteed!  Tell them what you want and they will bring it in to you.  Whenever I get in a tool truck, my palms start sweating, my respiration increases, and I buy way more than I should… And there’s not support group for tool collectors anonymous… so stay off the tool trucks!”

Well, Harold, we’re glad to have you (and all your tools) as part of our team here at Vander Haag’s!

Employee Spotlight: Travis Dairy

Travis Dairy has officially been employed with Vander Haag’s since 2011, but he’s been around the organization for much longer than that.  Travis’ grandpa, Lynn Feddersen, was (and still is) working for Vander Haag’s at our Spencer location.  In fact, for Travis, work at Vander Haag’s is always a “family affair.”  Travis’ brother, Taran, also works at our Sioux Falls location. He is a yard technician!

Even as a kid, he was always amazed at the size of the engines in the Spencer show room.  This amazement continues today.  Travis sent a photo he took of the massive 12V149s that came through the Sioux Falls location a few years back.

Travis’ career with Vander Haag’s originally started in Spencer.  His first summer, he did a lot of different tasks from setting up racking, spraying wees, and loading tires.  “It will certainly be a summer never to be forgotten,” he says.  The following summer, Travis started at our Sioux Falls location where he is still working today.

Travis says that he is most proud of the opportunity he was given to help with the yard expansion at the Sioux Falls location.  With the yard more than doubling in size, Travis played a major role in determining the layout and making the yard into what it is today.

“This is the greatest opportunity Vander Haag's has given me. I'm not just talking about the yard expansion; every day is something different and gives you new opportunities to challenge yourself. When you walk through the door in the morning, you never know how much you're going to better yourself that day. There are always going to be people who are there just to collect a paycheck; don't be one of those people. Step outside of your comfort zone and push yourself, you will be amazed at the person you can become.”

Top 7 Things to Add to Your Trucks Cold Weather Preperations List

It's that time of year again! Daylight savings time for 2019 is November 3rd. Shorter days and colder weather are fast approaching. Are you prepared? Make sure to perform a routine maintenance check on your truck to ensure it is performing at its best this winter.

Here are a few things to check:

  1. Lighting - make sure your headlamps are not cloudy and the bulbs do not need to be replaced. This will ensure clearer visibility during questionable weather or dark hours on the road or field. 
  2. Wiper blades - if the wipers are flapping all over the place, it's probably time for a fresh new set.
  3. Antifreeze & coolant - don't get caught on the road with low levels of anti-freeze or coolant.
  4. Washer Solvent - keep your windshield free of salt and debris this winter by ensuring you have enough windshield washer fluid.
  5. Batteries & Battery Cables - make sure your battery is holding a good charge by getting it tested. Also check that your cables are safely secured. 
  6. Air dryers & cartridges - check the condition of your air dryers and cartridges. 
  7. Fuel additive - this is a treatment that you can add to your fuel tank which prevents carbon buildup. It will also work to clean various parts of your fuel system components, such as your fuel injectors.

Vander Haag's offers routine service checks at six of our locations. We also offer fluids and parts to help ensure your safety on the road or in the fields. Give us a call at 888-940-5030 or shop online at vanderhaags.com.

October Employee Spotlight


At Vander Haag's, we know to be able to provide our customers with the best quality products and services, we need to have a team of talented individuals dedicated to similar goals. Each month, we will be featuring one of our employees on our website and social media. We challenge you to get to know our team, not just the products we sell. The knoweledge, experience, and hardwork these individuals bring to Vander Haag's does not go unnoticed. 

Meet Rod

Rod Sheldon has recently celebrated his 40th anniversary with Vander Haag’s, Inc.!  Rod began his career with VHI on September 28, 1979, in the Body Shop department.  Today, Rod serves as the Whole Unit Sales Leader for our location in Spencer, IA. 

Over the years, Rod has seen a lot of changes to the business and enjoys the variety of different jobs that he’s held over the years.  In the early years of his career, Rod took pride in fixing wrecked trucks and delivering the fixed unit to the customer.  Some of the most memorable trucks were units that had to be towed in… Rod got busy taking them apart, ordering parts, and then putting everything back together.  There was always a variety of work to be done – from frame straightening and body repair to painting.  Rod’s even painted a few combines in the past.

Today, Rod works in the Sales department and enjoys working with a wide range of employees, customers, and vendors in the Whole Units Sales department.  “I have never come to work and had to worry about finding something to do.  There’s always been work to be done and we can do it all!” 

In his spare time, Rod enjoys walleye fishing, pheasant hunting, deer hunting, and just being outdoors.  He’s even driven the bus a time or two during the annual VHI pheasant hunt in South Dakota. 

Congratulations to Rod on his 40 years with us!  We’re blessed to have you as a part of our team!

How Much Do You Save Buying Used Truck Parts Vs. New Truck Parts?

Did you know that purchasing quality recycled truck parts instead of new truck parts can save the average truck owner approximately 50% each year? Vander Haag's fully inspects each recycled part twice over before it hits our warehouse shelves. We understand the importance of getting your truck back on the road in a timely and efficient manner. We want to save our customers money and give them peace of mind that there truck will perform at its' best with each item we sell. We even offer excellent warranties. What better way to have assurance than by getting to know our inspection process! 

Below is an outline that walks you through our parts inspection process. 

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Vander Haag's Inc has multiple midwest locations with Service Shops, Part Sales, and is a licensed Truck & Trailer Dealer. Click on a location for more information. Locations include: