Weller Tractor Salvage had a great time hosting the Used Parts Network Convention in 2002. It was a pleasure to welcome everyone to Wichita, Kansas! You can read about the Wichita convention AND visit convention photo links below.



UPN 2010 - Fort Lauderdale FL- PHOTOS HERE!

UPN 2011 - Midland/Odessa TX!



The networks (Allied, Fast Track, Netcom) bring us together every day to do business and they brought us together in Wichita in 2002 to meet each other, strengthen our businesses, and have a grand time! 2002 was the sixteenth year for the Used Parts Network Convention and it was LOTS OF FUN and GREAT FOR BUSINESS!

This convention happens every year because generous sponsors step forward and make sure there's good food, lots of opportunities to network, an outstanding golf tournament, door prizes, and a business and education meeting to make it all come together. Here are the
VERY generous sponsors of this year's convention. Be sure to say thanks.

Everybody got their very own River Festival Button courtesy of the
Convention Sponsors. And there was a lot going on! Rita and Jeff Bower (OEM Replacement Parts) discovered that the Antique Bathtub Races were held in conjunction with a BBQ Blast where competitors tried to create the best BBQ in Wichita (and fed Jeff & Rita while they were at it.)

Great views, eh? From the party in the Presidential Suite (complete with grand piano) on Wednesday night (thanks to Jim Coltharp - Diesel Cast Welding and Ron Cline - Positech) to the cocktail parties {sponsored by Premier Casting, Coastal Casting and Fast Track/Machinery Trader) in the White Rock Cafe - the used parts industry pretty much took over the Hyatt for four days. Some of us stayed at the Broadview and enjoyed that grand old ambiance and HUGE rooms.

We drove, we flew, some of us floated - - - Melanie (Chartrand) and Rodney (Schaefer) Snider spent part of their trip to Wichita trout fishing in Missouri! Ray Walker (Ray's Used Parts) and his wife Mary flew in their own plane directly from Ray's Hamburger Hill reunion.

Premier Casting & Machine, Coastal Casting (Thursday) and Fast Track/Machinery Trader (Friday) provided food, drinks and a great atmosphere to meet old customers, new customers and business partners. This is serious business that looks like fun! These sponsors make a big commitment when they sponsor these events and we are grateful for the opportunity they allow all of us to get to know each other and build our businesses.

Shoppers found the Farm & Art Market in Old Town, Towne West, Towne East, and Wichita's newest and coolest shopping center - Bradley Fair.

On Thursday and Friday night, Noble Equipment provided a free trolley from the hotel to Old Town. On Thursday night, Old Town was pretty quiet and the used parts folks made up most of the crowd in the bars and restaurants!

What can we say? About 90 people piled in to busses and cars for a trip to McPherson where they visited Premier Casting and Coastal Casting and drove by Diesel Cast Welding. Then on to Great Bend where they had lunch at Weller Tractor Salvage (were those really pork chops?) and then toured Kansas Tractor Parts before heading back to Wichita. "It was a long day but we enjoyed it." Hoss Equipment & Kansas Tractor Parts sponsored this field trip. There was fun and adventure and thrills and LOTS of nice flat land. Ask someone who went if you need the full story!

This group saw everything. Mike & Sally Stephens (Stephens Equipment) made two trips to the Museum of Ancient History and made their gift shop very happy. Bob and Bonnie Porter (Equipment Salvage) visited everything within walking distance (and some things they just thought were within walking distance). Exploration Place lured quite a few visitors (they have massage chairs overlooking the river). Big Dog Motorcycles had an open house and we all "listened" to Hootie and the Blowfish from the hotel balcony. Then there were those who visited customers and made business calls --- very dedicated.

Twenty-seven warriors loaded up on Friday afternoon and had the time of their life! They shot each other, ganged up on each other and generally blew off steam. Monica Gardner (H&R Construction Parts) turns out to be a born laser tagger. She was the high scorer in every game and her team came out on top in the team game. Go Monica! (Laser tag participants believe they were discriminated against and should have had PRIZES just like those golfers).

Tom Ruble (Weller Tractor Salvage) put together a nice little golf tournament at Auburn Hills Golf Course. There were no losers in this tournament - everyone won something! The day started out cold and misty but the weather gods smiled and the sun shone on the course, the golfers and the beverage cart (we understand that all the sodas and water on the beverage cart were traded for "other" beverages). Big thanks to Tom & Mary Lou Ruble and the beverage cart driver, James E. Blaylock (Blaylock Diesel Service).

OnTrac and Brandt Tractor sponsored a great breakfast on Saturday morning followed by convention business and educational sessions. 2003's convention host was introduced -- OnTrac. Kevin Ritchie from OnTrac invited everyone to Montreal in 2003.

The pre-show entertainment at breakfast was provided by one of the presenters - Bill Cordes - who couldn't seem to stump the crowd with his audio trivia! We discovered that some of us are very old and remember music and tv theme songs which should have left our memory long ago. We also learned that Matt Washic (Cleveland Brothers) MAY have too much time on his hands - he was amazing!

Our education started with the magic of Gary Roberts (have you figured out how he did the photo or the ESP yet, or that gumball machine trick he did with Lynn Warmka's ring?} Gary also escaped from a straight jacket which is a trick we should all learn! 

Then it was clap clap clap clap clap giddie up with Bill Cordes and Paul Hedlund. Paul and Bill always make you think and clap and play Simon Says and if they shook up your thinking just a little then the education was a success.

The Saturday night banquet was held at The Wichita Boathouse. We made our way through a HUGE crowd staking out their turf for the fireworks to the lovely boathouse where we dined and relaxed in luxury while those below clung to their tarps and lawn furniture. Did you notice the group under the bridge with their bbq grill and sofas? 

Banquet sponsors Ray Loegel (Netcom), Art Wilkinson (Art's Used Parts), and Eric & Roland Shaul (Allied) told us they wanted good food representative of the Midwest and the Hyatt's chef went out of his way to provide the perfect Midwestern menu. The champagne provided by Summit Heavy Equipment (Ken Messerli & Krissy Raysik) was the ingredient in a lot of toasts to business and friendship.

After dinner we settled in to chairs on the balcony, enjoyed a nice cool breeze, watched the crowd and ended our evening with a spectacular fireworks show (which Dave will be happy to take credit for).


Weller Tractor Salvage | 2002 Convention Wichita


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