Adapting & Thriving in the Field

Truck and excavator in field installing pipe
As seen in the Tried & True Spring 2024 issue

In the heart of Mazon, IL, there’s a company that embodies the spirit of hard work and versatility—Precision Farm Drainage, Inc. At the helm of this dynamic outfit are Dan Wilkinson and his right-hand man, Tyler Cockerham. Both work together to keep this multifaceted operation running smoothly.

Precision Farm Drainage, Inc. isn’t your run-of-the-mill contractor. They’re a jack of all trades in the truest sense, handling everything a farm field could need—from laying Fratco pipe, crafting ditches and waterways to less drainage-focused projects like building bridges, laying concrete and even landscaping. When you think of a task, they’ve either done it or are ready to learn it. And learning is a big part of their philosophy. As Dan puts it, “If we can’t do it, we find someone to help us do it right.” That’s not just talk; it’s a promise they work by.

The inception of Precision Farm Drainage, Inc. is a tale of family support and belief in one’s dreams. Something we’re proud to resonate with here at Fratco. When Dan decided to venture out on his own and establish the company, it was his family who stood by him, backing him on his business loan. This foundational support was not merely financial; it was a gesture of faith in Dan’s vision and capabilities. This support system played a pivotal role in the company’s early days, laying the groundwork for what would become a 33-year testament to hard work, versatility and the power of family. It’s a reminder that behind every successful endeavor lies a network of support, often starting with those closest to us.

Precision Farm Drainage, Inc. has a willingness and ability to adapt on the fly, changing plans to tackle new challenges as they arise. It’s this adaptability that makes them invaluable to their clients. They aren’t just contractors; they’re problem-solvers who think on their feet. They’re resourceful laborers who are ready to change plans for the best possible outcome for the client. While many of the contractors we’ve spoken with mention slower seasons, Dan and Tyler joked that they don’t really know what that’s like, as they are doing a lot more than laying drainage pipe for their clients.

Dan recalls his work and interaction with Fratco as being seamless, full of easy people to work with. He jokes that Chad Nicholson, his Fratco salesman, could probably sell him anything, even if Fratco pipe wasn’t top of the line! Chad’s been in the field, understands the nitty-gritty and works seamlessly with Precision Farm Drainage Inc. to sort out any issue. Dan was sure to mention how Chad has always been there for them. When things don’t go as planned, Chad’s ready to go the extra mile. Wilkinson’s respect for Chad is evident,

“He’s not just a normal salesman with a suit and tie on, he’s been in the field.”

Dan’s approach to work is personal. He likes to do things as if he were doing them for his own farm. This attention to detail resonates deeply with us as we know a job shouldn’t be done if it isn’t going to be done right.

In a move that underscores the company’s commitment to its employees and their well-being, Dan Wilkinson took it upon himself to construct an office for Tyler Cockerham while he was on paternity leave. This act of kindness and consideration speaks volumes about the culture at Precision Farm Drainage, Inc. It’s not just about the work; it’s about creating an environment where employees feel valued and supported. Dan’s initiative to build the office during Tyler’s absence was a welcome surprise, ensuring Tyler returned to a workspace that acknowledged his importance to the company and his need for a conducive work environment as a new father.

Precision Farm Drainage, Inc. is more than a contractor; they’re a prime example of what hard work, flexibility and willingness to learn can bring to the table. They embody what we at Fratco celebrate–the relentless pursuit of excellence and the resilience to adapt and overcome. Their story isn’t just about drainage or farm work; it’s about the spirit of the working man.

In this humble contractor, we don’t just see a company doing its job. We see a team, a part of our larger community–setting an example for what it means to be truly committed to quality, learning and adaptability. Precision Farm Drainage, Inc., through their work and ethos, reminds us all that with the right attitude, there’s no challenge too big, no task too complex. They’re not just working the land; they’re cultivating a legacy of excellence and determination that inspires us all.