Ad Astra Radio Family Brands

KMW Announces Substantial Growth, Investing $105M in Sterling


By Brenna Eller


STERLING, Kan. — KMW Ltd, a leading manufacturer of loaders, backhoes, and attachments announced its substantial growth. Plans for building new facilities in Sterling, Kan., are well underway. 

Governor Laura Kelly today also announced the news, sharing that the company is “investing $105 million to construct a new North American headquarters and state-of-the-art production facility in Sterling.”

The new construction will include 430,000+ square feet under roof, located on a new 150-acre site near the new highway interchange in Sterling. This expansion will result in KMW growing to employ approximately 450 people when fully completed.

KMW has two other Kansas plants. One in Great Bend and one in Lyons. The company is owned by Agrostroj Pelhrimov, a Czech Republic based global leader in agricultural machinery and freight transport manufacturing.

KMW selected Sterling in Rice County after a rigorous competition among Midwestern states. In addition to the headquarters, moving to the 151-acre site on the north side of Sterling will allow KMW to continue growing its manufacturing capabilities.

“This is a transformative project for the city of Sterling, Rice County and the State of Kansas,” Sterling City Manager Ian Hutcheson said. “To have a world-class manufacturing facility in the heart of our state is testament to the diligence and dynamism of our community.”

“I’m pleased that this project has materialized. There has been a lot of hard work done to get to this point,” Sterling Mayor Richard Jones Jr. said. “I’m very excited to have KMW be an even more important part of our community.”

In 1965, KMW began as Ark Manufacturing Co., originally producing trailers for hauling swathers and soil packers. Small lawn and garden loaders were added in 1968, an early indication of what their future would become. Over the years, as the company grew, KMW shifted their focus more on its loader and backhoe lines.

“The purchase of KMW by Agrostroj Pelhřimov in July of 2021 was pivotal with their strong support of KMW’s growth and team here in the USA,” KMW stated. “This expansion would not have been possible without their support.”

KMW shared that there has been a strategic acceleration of its growth under the leadership of the current CEO, Wayne Buchberger, who took over KMW during the pandemic in 2020. In this period KMW has been expanding its product lines and customer base. KMW and its team currently produce loader models ranging from 45-380 hp, a solid line of backhoes, and multiple loader attachments across three locations.

For over 50 years KMW has designed, manufactured, and assembled its products in the USA.

“As a company, we appreciate and value our Mid-American roots and the diligence and steadiness of our workforce. KMW is grateful for, and strives to stay true to, our Midwest Kansas ideals and heritage, helping to propel our continued growth. Our products embody the excellence of the KMW team and inspire pride in our customers.” says Buchberger, adding “Those factors made the decision to stay in our hometown a natural fit despite the strong interest in becoming our new headquarters expressed by other locations around the country.”

“There’s no doubt – this investment will grow our economy and create more opportunities for Kansans,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Our efforts to make Kansas one of the most pro-business states in the country is paying off for workers everywhere, including our rural communities.”

According to KMW, the size of the land acquisition ensures room for the growth of not only KMW but the entire Agrostroj Group long into the future. In addition to current KMW products, they will continue to expand manufacturing and sales activities for both our current and new OEM partners, meeting their needs in the North American market.

“With even greater capabilities and using state-of- the-art machinery and automation, we look forward to making the new KMW headquarters a growing show piece for the state of Kansas,” states Agrostroj Group owner, Lubomir Stoklasek.