Bingham Equipment Company was established by Norm and Audrey Bingham in 1955 as a Ford tractor dealer in Casa Grande, Arizona. Two years later, a second branch was opened in Mesa, followed by a Yuma location in 1965.
Today, the company’s 180 employees operate 11 branches that serve construction, agricultural and compact equipment customers throughout Arizona. Norm says: ”As founder of Bingham Equipment Company in 1955, I felt then, as I do now, that sensitivity and understanding of customers’ needs have always been paramount in achieving a strong customer relationship.”
For years, the Bingham Companies have been developing the power to help you succeed by delivering quality products and services from a location near you. Please stop by one of our dealerships soon and let us show you how “we are working hard to keep you working.”
Norman Jay Bingham
Growin’ Up Cowboy
Thanks to everyone out there for joining us again in the second issue of the Founders Corner! It was with great pleasure in our first issue that we honored two heavy hitters within our company who recently retired after decades of service. It is stories such as those that embody the level of reliability and longevity that we at Bingham Equipment constantly strive for, values that have been established and upheld by our founder since 1955. As a matter of fact, now is a good time to tell you a little bit about the man.
Norman Jay Bingham, founder of Bingham Equipment Company, was born Oct. 1, 1926, a 2nd generation Arizonan to parents Glen and Lydia Bingham. For his entire life, Bingham has called the Arizona desert his home, with deep roots in the ranching communities of the Tucson and San Pedro River valleys. It was in Tucson where the Bingham family operated their dairy farm on East Fort Lowell Road during Norm’s childhood. The Catalina dairy and the S4 Ranch belonged to Norm’s father who ran a mix of cattle with about 150 cows for dairy and about 350 head raised for beef. Norm was no loaf on the diary and was responsible for his fair share of work, feeding the cattle and seeing to it they were milked twice a day were among his responsibilities. The S4 brand produced and delivered milk daily for the area, which called for the occasional milk truck expedition. This chore was as good as it got to the young dairy boy! He recalls, without doubt, his fondness for the early mornings away from the diary. Of course, this was all the beginning of a typical day; the sun had yet to come up. Norm and some of the neighborhood kids pictured here enjoying what could be early forms of Arizona’s public transportation!
Beyond the dairy, Bingham spent his days chasing two passions that carried on from childhood through his college years: rodeo and football. Tucson High’s football Coach Rollin T. Gridley explains here! Staying the course, Bingham did join the Navy immediately after high school at age 18 and football would have to wait. In the fall of 1945, Norm boarded the U.S.S. Alaska in San Francisco, Calif. The ship's mission was in the South Pacific protecting a fleet of fast carriers, battleships, and destroyers. The Alaska and her crew saw their fair share of enemy action while at sea and are credited for stopping numerous Japanese suicide attacks on the U.S. Naval Fleet. After Japanese surrender, Norman was discharged in August 1946 and headed back to Tucson with some big plans. Fall semester of 1946, he enrolled at the University of Arizona and rekindled his football spirit, wearing number 27 and playing guard for the U of A football team.
In addition to football, Norm took a liking to calf roping at an early age. “When you grow up on a ranch, you don’t really know exactly when you started to ride and rope, but I remember as a child always having a rope in my hand. I would rope the fence posts, anything I could.” At the age of 12, roping brought on Norm’s first business enterprise: chasing calves out of a shoot for the U of A rodeo team for a buck a turn. Making a dollar a calf wasn’t what you call a cash cow, but helped pay for the arena Norm built with his father and brother Lamar. The passion for roping ultimately grew with the man and eventually earned Norm and team roping partner Jack Spilsbury team-roping titles while at the U of A. Norm also went on to win the individual calf roping title. Roping even caught Norm a beautiful wife! As a dating couple, Norm was notorious for politely charming his girlfriend, Audrey, into practicing with him before any big rodeos. Her job was to run! He finally roped her in and they have been married almost 60 years now.
Throughout Norm’s youth, dedication to family and friends and his fighting work ethic set the premise for his future in business, and Arizona’s future in agriculture. Norm has since been inducted into the University of Arizona’s Rodeo Hall of Fame and more recently received a lifetime achievement award from the University of Arizona’s Agribusiness College for his accomplishments and support of Arizona’s agriculture community. Norm has a continual drive for excellence in business and beyond, so award or not, he is far from calling it quits. As Chris LeDoux would say, “He’s the last to quit, the first to buy the refreshments”. Thanks for stopping in, this is just the surface.