Hartill’s Mountain Saw and Tractor

by Amy McGarry

What do you do when you need a chainsaw, but you don’t know which one to choose? If you’re lucky enough to live in or near Chewelah, Washington, you go directly to Hartill’s Mountain Saw and Tractor. At Hartill’s, you will receive an expert recommendation based on your personal needs. That’s not just for power saws or tractors. That goes for mowers, back claws, rototillers and many, many more types of power equipment.

Hartill’s Mountain Saw and Tractor has been providing power equipment to Chewelah residents since 1964 when Paul’s father first opened the store. Hartill’s Mountain Saw and Tractor is owned and operated by Paul and Carmen Harthill. The power equipment business is in Paul Hartill’s blood. He was born and raised with it. From the time he was a toddler Paul was helping his father in the family business. He grew up with a wrench in his hand.

Paul and Carmen Hartill

It was a natural progression for Paul and Carmen to buy the business from Paul’s father in 2007, bringing his family back to their hometown of Chewelah after a long hiatus on the west side of the state. Paul had followed his high school sweetheart Carmen to the west side where she was pursuing a degree and then a career in apparel design in Seattle. After years of living in Olympia and battling traffic and other challenges of urban life, Paul and Carmen were thrilled to have the opportunity to move back to quiet, rural Chewelah and live out their destiny as owners of Hartill’s Mountain Saw and Tractor.

While away, Paul had honed and expanded his skills in the power equipment industry. Meanwhile, Carmen was building up a repertoire of business skills that make her the perfect business partner for Paul. While Paul is the expert on the equipment and all things related to serving their customers, Carmen is mostly behind the scenes managing accounting and financial matters. She says she enjoys numbers and details, so she’s well-suited for this aspect of the business and finds it satisfying. Paul finds it rewarding to work in a business where he can use his extensive knowledge to help customers.

Having grown up in Chewelah, Paul and Carmen feel at home in this small town. They prefer the slower pace and relaxed atmosphere of Chewelah. They love the sense of community that comes from small-town life and like seeing familiar faces around town. “It feels like an extension of family,” Carmen says fondly of the Chewelah community. When people are in need, “the community pulls together and helps each other out.” Of course, the beauty of the region is appealing as well. Rural living also gave Carmen the chance to fulfill her dream of having a “hobby farm.” The farm is currently home to one llama, two sheep, and two goats. Carmen admits she is especially fond of the goats. Perhaps Paul is less enamored with the goats. Apparently, he’s been known to try to pawn them off on customers who are waiting for parts or getting their lawn mower fixed.

At the same time, Chewelah offers plenty of opportunities for community involvement that enriches their lives. For example, Carmen is able to call on her design background volunteering to help with costumes for the awarding winning Chewelah Floats. Carmen also enjoys Chewelah’s art community and looks forward to more volunteer opportunities once their children are grown.

When asked if their teenage daughters help out at the store like Paul did when he was young, Carmen laughs. She says they are happy to do anything involved with computers but have less interest in power equipment.

As for the challenges they experience with their business, the Hartill’s say that it can be hard for a small store to compete with the internet and big box stores. And yet this is exactly what sets Hartill’s apart. When you shop at Hartill’s you will get expert advice to help you meet your personal needs. Any questions you have about your equipment, the folks at Hartill’s are there to answer. Not only will you receive friendly, personalized customer service at Hartill’s, but you won’t be taking home your new equipment in a box. When you shop at Hartill’s, all the assembly is done for you. You’ll also receive detailed instruction on how to use your new equipment. If you need parts or service, you’ll get that too at Hartill’s.

While other businesses were forced to close due to COVID, Hartill’s was fortunate enough to remain open. The pandemic did have unforeseen impacts on their business. Since last October, with demand for their products up and manufacturing down, Harhill’s has been having trouble keeping inventory in the shop.

Despite this challenge, Paul and Carmen love the business and love serving the Chewelah community. Visit www.hartills.com to learn more about the products, parts, and services you can find at Hartill’s Mountain Saw and Tractor.