During the Great Depression, Sam Wieland, one of 22 children born to a German immigrant farm family in Kawkawlin, Michigan, started buying and selling used farm equipment as a way to feed his growing family of four. Family history holds that Grampa Sam got his start as one of the last horse traders.
Sam's stock-in-trade was to buy equipment in Indiana, Illinois and Iowa, where higher crop prices and fertile farm ground made farming more profitable than it was in Michigan. He would then haul the equipment back on a single-axle flatbed truck. There, he would refurbish it and sell it to farmers in the Bay City area.
He eventually grew the business into a freestanding building on Euclid Avenue, in the location that today houses the Millar's tire store. It was at this location that Sam became first an Allis-Chalmers and then an International Harvester farm equipment dealer.
Three of Sam's four children joined the business during the 1950's and 60's. His oldest son, Merle, took over the operation when Sam retired and, along with his sister Florence, ran the business until the 1990's.
When Sam retired, he began a great tradition in Wieland family lore called "dropping the keys." When it was time to go, he simply walked in, dropped the keys to the building on Merle's desk and never looked back.
In 1972, the dealership moved from the location on Euclid Avenue to a newly constructed facility at 430 Midland Road in Auburn. Around that same time, Wieland Sales became a dealer for International Harvester trucks, selling and servicing heavy, medium and, back in the day, light duty trucks.
In 1985 When the International Harvester agricultural product line was acquired by Tenneco Case, Wieland Sales exited the farm equipment business to concentrate fully on trucks.
During this era, Merle, Florence and the Wieland team expanded to Saginaw, acquiring a former International company store on Bay Road.
In the early 1990's, Merle continued the family tradition when he "dropped the keys" on the desk of his oldest son, Kirk. Under Kirk's leadership Team Wieland grew into a dynamic, multi-store operation serving the mid-Michigan area with trucks, parts and service under the Navistar and International Truck and Engine banners.
In 2010, it was time for Kirk to "drop the keys," and he did so on the desk of Rob Cleary, who leads the company today as president and dealer principal.