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RDO Equipment Co. News - June, 2016

Learn about our stores, equipment, employees and service to the community.

Lakeside Continues Partnership with ECSA

Lakeside Continues Partnership with ECSA

For several years, the Lakeside store has been involved with the El Capitan Stadium Association (ECSA) and the largest event they organize each year is the Lakeside Rodeo.

ECSA is a non-profit organization, staffed entirely by volunteers to benefit the youth of Lakeside. ECSA funds academic programs, athletic activities and site improvements for both the Lakeside Unified School Districts and El Capitan High School. ECSA also partners with the El Capitan Family Health Center providing a financial partnership that offers no cost medications to Lakeside children in need.  The majority of their funding is raised by hosting the annual Lakeside Rodeo, which is fully sanctioned by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and is held each year in April.

The Lakeside team was involved as a sponsor and also had several volunteers staff one of the snack bars. In addition, they had a booth onsite to promote RDO Equipment Co.; they donated the shirts that the rodeo bullfighters wore; and supplied a piece of equipment used throughout the week.

“Our involvement with the ECSA spans many years, and we’re happy to continue our store’s tradition of supporting and getting involved with this organization’s annual event. It’s a fun event to work together as a team, while also giving us an opportunity to interact with many of our customers,” commented Mike Fenton, General Manager.

Fontana Hosts College Students

Fontana Hosts College Students

Students and instructors from Mt. San Antonio College (located in Walnut, California), recently visited the Fontana store. The store has developed a strong relationship with the college throughout the years and hosts a visit each year.

The store had several demonstrations of equipment available. Fontana team members Rick Shepherd, CSA; Rigo Leon III, Service Technician; Alex Santiago, Service Advisor; Breanne Chastain, Office Administrator; and Colby Gergovich, Regional Aftermarket Manager, were onsite to help with the event and discuss how diagnosing equipment has progressed over the years, as well as what tools and training are required for Service Technicians to be successful.

“The students are always a great crowd and they had a great time this year. Giving students experiences like this is a great way to gain positive momentum and exposure for RDO Equipment Co.,” said Colby Gergovich, Aftermarket Manager.

RDO Equipment Co. - Riverside Construction Update - June

RDO Equipment Co. - Riverside Construction Update - June

The construction team at RDO Equipment Co. in Riverside is working to stay on track and hit a significant goal: complete Phase 1 construction by the middle of August. The final step in the process is the demo of the existing showroom and parts warehouse, a step that will mark the start of Phase 2 construction.

“The construction timeline was established to make the most out of the summer months, and ensure minimal disruption to our current operations,” Duane Bonini, General Manager said. “Our primary concern is providing top-notch service to customers while we work towards the new facility.”

Don’t worry if you missed last month’s update on construction progress at RDO Equipment Co. – Riverside. You can read the recap now.

Flagstaff Participates in Local Forestry Event

Flagstaff Participates in Local Forestry Event

The Harvesting Methods & Wildfire Preparedness Open House was a recent event held in Flagstaff that the RDO Equipment Co. store took part in. The event served as an opportunity for the community to learn about the various harvesting methods and measures taken by professionals to reduce the risk of severe wildfires.

Five Flagstaff team members and their families attended the event and answered questions about the specialized Deere forestry equipment they had on display which included an 843L Feller Buncher and a 648L Skidder.

“This was a great community event focused around the forestry industry. We had lots of interaction with community members and were happy to be a part of making the community more comfortable with forest restoration efforts,” commented Adam Spade, Store Manager.

FAA Part 107 Rules for Flying Drones was Just Finalized. What’s next?

FAA Part 107 Rules for Flying Drones was Just Finalized. What’s next?

On June 21, the FAA announced that Part 107 Rules for UAS (Drone) Operations in the National Airspace have been finalized.

The name of the operator's certificate required is "Remote Pilot's Certificate" and clients will need one to fly with Part 107 or their Exemption.

However, the new rules will not be implemented for 60 days, presumably in late August. Until then, you may consider the current operating rules unchanged, and use this window as a time to prepare.

Overall, this announcement has great benefits for the use of UAVs in agriculture, civil engineering, aggregate, and mining industries. Becoming compliant to fly commercial UAVs will be more accessible for many companies.

Here are the highlights from today's announcements:

Getting the Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification for non-FAA Pilots

  • You may begin the Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification training online.
  • You may take the Knowledge Exam at an FAA testing Center once the Rule is implemented.

Getting Part 107 Remote Pilot Certification for current FAA Pilots

  • You may begin the Part 61 additional Remote Pilot Certification training online.
  • You do not need to take a Knowledge Test at a testing center, but must complete the online training course .

Current 333 Exemption Holders

  • Your FAA Pilot must complete the online Remote Pilot Certification training online before the implementation of Part 107.
  • Your 333 Exemption is still valid per the time period stated on it.

Pending 333 Exemptions

  • You will be notified by the FAA that you are in one of three tiers and be given options to continue or transfer to Part 107

TSA Approval

  • You will be required to be approved and vetted by the TSA in order to fly with a Remote Pilot Certification.

What are the final rules?

  • The FAA has posted a summary and a complete overview of the final rules, which will be implemented later this summer.

Want to Learn More?
Our experts at RDO Integrated Control offer an FAA Compliance Package as part of our Fleet Shield Services. This consulting service provides best practices, advice, and training on all topics covering compliance with the FAA, TSA, and local governments as they pertain to commercial drone flights. Contact us to learn more.

Helpful Links
Fact Sheet
Final Rules Summary
Final Part 107 Rules

10 Tips to Keeping Your Equipment Running Smoothly this Summer

10 Tips to Keeping Your Equipment Running Smoothly this Summer

1.     Perform routine maintenance checks
2.     Check antifreeze/coolant regularly
3.     Check that the A/C is working properly
4.     Clear away any dust and debris
5.     Check the battery and connections
6.     Clean the radiator
7.     Check the belt tension
8.     Review the Machine's health with it's Monitoring System like John Deere WorkSight and JD LinkTM
9.     Let the engine cool down and don't overwork it
10.   When not used, put your equipment away to protection against the sun and other seasonal elements

Something not working quite right?
Schedule Service Today!

June 21, 2016  |  Category:
Team Volunteers at Fargo Ronald McDonald House

Team Volunteers at Fargo Ronald McDonald House

The Central Parts Ordering team, based at the FSO-Moorhead, took an afternoon to utilize Community Time and volunteer at the Fargo Ronald McDonald House. The time was used for outdoor spring cleanup and various cleaning tasks inside as well. The team raked the lawn, picked up sticks, debris, and leaves, and cleaned the grill outside. The inside tasks included dusting, vacuuming, washing windows, cleaning bathrooms, cleaning the kitchen, and taking out garbage. The team split up to get all of the tasks completed.

Glen Haekenkamp, Central Parts Manager, stated, “This was a great opportunity to work as a team for the same goal. The Ronald McDonald House does wonderful things for the community and this is one way that we can assist the families in need.”

Fontana Teams Up for Arbor Day Event at San Diego Botanic Garden

Fontana Teams Up for Arbor Day Event at San Diego Botanic Garden

Fontana team members Gabe Jarvis, Account Manager, and Eric Tusler, Sales Manager, brought a Vermeer HG6000 grinder to an Arbor Day event hosted at the San Diego Botanic Garden.

Seven different San Diego county tree companies were also in attendance and between all involved, nearly an acre’s worth of old green waste, dead trees, and plants that had accumulated the past several years was cleared from the garden.

The Fontana store was invited by the Professional Tree Care Association – San Diego Chapter, which Gabe serves as the Executive Membership Chairman.

“This was a fantastic opportunity for us to partner with many of our customers and give back,” commented Eric. “As team members, we had a great time being involved in this project and working the equipment. It was an added bonus knowing how beneficial our work was to this organization.”

RDO Equipment Co. - Chandler Construction Update - June

RDO Equipment Co. - Chandler Construction Update - June

Employees and customers will soon have a better vision of what it will look like each time they drive in and walk up to the new RDO Equipment Co. store in Chandler. Work has been done on concrete curbing in various areas of the building, with the employee parking and front entry area now completed. Soil grade is complete on the west side of the building, and the entire site is being prepped for concrete pavement.

“We’re pleased with construction progress, and it’s especially rewarding to see our entire team getting excited as the area transforms into their future home,” Dennis Howard, Vice President of the company’s southwest region said.

Catch up now on the most recent construction update at RDO Equipment Co. – Chandler.

New Chandler Location
1400 S. Maricopa Road
Chandler, Arizona 85226

June 15, 2016  |  Category:
Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 18 Now Available

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 18 Now Available

In this episode we continue our conversation with Stephen Hegarty, precision farming manager at Vanderfield, about agriculture and precision agriculture in Australia. In this episode we focus on cotton, small grains, and sugar cane and the technologies that growers are using to be more efficient and protect the environment.You can check it out here

Find RDO Equipment Co. at and Vanderfield at

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook!

Second Annual Drone Focus Conference Held in Fargo, ND

Second Annual Drone Focus Conference Held in Fargo, ND

FARGO, ND (June 13, 2016) – Drone Focus Conference, the all-day, all-drones event, was held in Fargo on June 1. Organized by Emerging Prairie, a nonprofit organization in Fargo, the event brought together a sold-out crowd of 300 attendees with numerous speakers to discuss the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry. RDO Integrated Controls, a division of RDO Equipment Co., was a major sponsor of the event for the second year in a row.

Why Fargo?
North Dakota has gained national recognition as a leader in UAS technology and business implementation. What began in Fargo as the monthly, “Drone Focus Meetup” where educators, students, and enthusiasts could discuss regulations, technology, and business opportunities, evolved into the full-day event.

“Interest in the monthly meetups was growing rapidly,” Greg Tehven, Co-founder and Executive Director of Emerging Prairie explained. “We recognized the need for a dedicated drone conference and knew the value of it being held in Fargo where so much UAS action is happening.”

With six FAA-approved test sites, major universities and aviation schools, and a huge presence in the agriculture and energy sectors, North Dakota is a natural home for innovation and growth in the UAS industry.

Speaker Highlights
John Hoeven, U.S. Senator and former Governor of North Dakota, kicked off the event with a welcome address. A vocal and longtime advocate of UAS innovation, Hoeven hit home on North Dakota’s leadership in the industry, noting how the state is advancing the integration of UAS into national airspace and empowering businesses, from local startups to international corporations, to find new applications for the technology including improving agriculture operations, delivering goods to consumers, supporting law enforcement, or securing the nation.

Among the more anticipated speakers of the event was Baptiste Tripard, Managing Director for senseFly. His talk included a general overview of UAS applications in agriculture, surveying, and inspections, as well as insight into the future of UAS. He illustrated the benefits of UAS with a story of senseFly’s role in a project that mapped the surface of Switzerland’s iconic mountain, the Matterhorn. What previously took one company one year and one million dollars to produce an image, manually and via satellite, was done in one year and at a cost of approximately $15,000, using six of senseFly’s eBee drones.

One of the few speakers who presented at the inaugural Drone Focus Conference last year, Matt Hayes, Mapping Product Supervisor, RDO Integrated Controls, returned to discuss renewable energy and civil applications for UAS. After his presentation, Hayes commented on the increased level of participation at this year’s event, saying, “The growth was noticeable. In one year, this event went from a few speakers and about 100 drone enthusiasts to more than 20 speakers and 300 attendees, and people in all areas of the industry, from drone manufacturers and entrepreneurs, to business owners and students.”

Hayes also pointed out how noteworthy the industry growth has been in the course of a year, saying, “Last year, we were discussing all the possibilities. Things we could do, what we expected for this industry. Now this year, our discussions were based on experiences. We have more info, we have concrete data, we all have so much more knowledge we can share, and that’s really exciting to see.”

Additional, Notable Speakers
Ed Adelman, director of safety and analytics for Union Pacific Railroad
John Cavolowsky, director of NASA’s airspace operations and safety program
JD Claridge, CEO and co-founder of xCraft, the drone company famous for netting a deal with all five investors on the popular TV show, “Shark Tank.”
Dr. Mark R. Hagerott, chancellor of the North Dakota University System
Stuart Munsch, Rear Admiral, United States of America
Drew Wrigley, Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota

Drone Focus Conference 2017
Plans are already underway for Drone Focus Conference 2017, with the event scheduled for May 31, 2017. Tickets are available now. Follow RDO Equipment Co. on Twitter @rdoequipment to get updates as the event approaches.

For more information on drones for business applications, contact the RDO Integrated Controls team.

Drill School Held for Minnesota Vermeer Customers

Drill School Held for Minnesota Vermeer Customers

In mid-May, the RDO Vermeer team hosted the annual Drill School training event. Eight companies were represented at the event.

A two-day session was conducted at the Sauk Rapids store for employees and customers. The first day was classroom instruction and the second day was hands-on training running equipment. Nearly 30 customers completed the training along with numerous employees from Sauk Rapids, Burnsville-VER  and the Technical Support Center. 

Customers were able to run both new models as well as older models to get a fair comparison of the differences in new technology. New models include the D23X30S3 and D24X40S3 Horizontal Directional Drills and the DCI F5 Falcon locating system.

Classes included drilling operation and techniques, DCI locating, Wyoben mud properties, service tips and tricks along with a session on the latest advancements in cutting edge tooling.  Field specialists were on hand from RDO, Wyoben, DCI and Vermeer Corporation.

“A special thanks to the team members at both the Sauk Rapids and Burnsville-VER stores for their efforts. This event was a huge success and would not have been possible without all of us pulling together as one,” said Mark Rieckhoff, Burnsville – VER Sales Manager.  Plans are already underway for the next school, which may come as early as this fall.

June 13, 2016  |  Category: Events
Spring Training Held in Bloomington

Spring Training Held in Bloomington

Before the busy construction season hits in the Midwest, the RDOIC team organized a training event for operators and GPS pointmen.

There were roughly 20 attendees at the Bloomington store. Mark Anderson, RDOIC Account Manager, kicked off the training with GPS theory. He then covered base station setup, rover operations, and features of the pocket 3D software.

He switched gears to cover machine setup. “Calibration of a machine is a big one and some of the features of the machine software like 3DMC2.

Mark says that in any training the RDOIC team facilitates, they try to tailor the class to issues they can address, or specific topics customers like to spend extra time on.

“Our trainings provide valuable information to everyone in an organization – from the owners to the grade checkers – by providing up-to-date information on the latest features from our manufacturer partners. It’s a big value-added benefit for our customers,” said Mark.

June 10, 2016  |  Category: Events
Sacramento Hosts Advanced Rigging Seminar

Sacramento Hosts Advanced Rigging Seminar

A record 96 people attended Sacramento’s Advanced Rigging seminar. The store has been hosting approximately one seminar every six months, rotating between rigging-focused classes and climbing-focused classes.

SherrillTree Co. conducts the training and offers continuing education credits (CEUs) for all attendees. For certified arborists, the classes that our locations offer provide great value. 

“It’s a great opportunity for us to partner with Sherrill and host these training events,” commented Brandon Kyse, General Manager.

June 8, 2016  |  Category: Events

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 17 Now Available

This is the first episode in a series of episodes on farming and precision agriculture in Australia. We talk with Stephen Hegarty, who is the Precision Farming Manager with Vanderfield's VNET team. Vanderfield is Australia's largest John Deere dealer, and Vanderfield and RDO Equipment Co. entered into a partnership in 2012.

To learn more about Vanderfield visit their website at:
Also visit the VNET website at:

Hay Day Event Held for Imperial Customers

Imperials customers saw the latest in haying solutions from RDO Equipment Co. and John Deere at the store’s Hay Day event.

Onsite, RDO Equipment Co. team members displayed John Deere’s W235 Windrower with a 500R Header, as well as Frontier’s Hay Tedder, displayed on a 6-Series tractor.

“This event was a great opportunity to give our customers an up-close view of our equipment solutions,” commented Joe Castillo. “We heard lots of positive feedback and were pleased with the attendance.”

June 6, 2016  |  Category: Events
Tucson Displays New Lobby & Parts Department at Customer Open House

Tucson Displays New Lobby & Parts Department at Customer Open House

The Tucson store underwent a remodel to the lobby and Parts Department areas of the store, and showcased it during a Customer Open House event in late April.

As part of the remodel, Parts Specialists have their own individual parts pods and a newly-configured space behind them, which gives them additional warehouse space.

The lobby was also reconfigured to allow for more space in the lobby. Now mini excavators or skid steers can be on display.

And the remodel was completed just in time for the store’s annual Customer Appreciation Open House. “We had a great turnout and heard a lot of positive feedback on the new look and feel of our store,” said Pat Burnham, Store Manager.

June 3, 2016  |  Category: Events
Austin Service Department Serves Up Crawfish Lunch

Austin Service Department Serves Up Crawfish Lunch

Each quarter, the Austin Service Department organizes a lunch for parts and service team members to celebrate wins and demonstrate appreciation for everyone’s hard work. Since crawfish season is nearing its end, the team decided a big crawfish boil would be something fun and different than the usual pizza.

In addition to the unique meal choice, the team involved the entire store in the feast. A shopping list was made, the Service Advisors split it up, went shopping, and prepared the shop with tables, bread, and empty pans for shells.

John Tunstall, Service Advisor, cooked 90 lbs. of crawfish, potatoes, sausage, corn, and mushrooms in three separate batches.

Everyone sat down for lunch on May 6. Crawfish may be a southern delicacy, but many team members had never tried it. However, they were quickly shown how to eat them!

“It was a great, memorable experience for our entire store,” stated Susan Harrod, Service Advisor.

RDO Equipment Co. - Riverside Construction Update - May

RDO Equipment Co. - Riverside Construction Update - May

In addition to conservation practices in everyday operation, RDO Equipment Co. strives to be a good steward of the environment in new store construction. As part of construction progress, the new RDO Equipment Co. – Riverside store has begun scheduling weekly inspections for compliance with its Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP).

“We know the positive impact good erosion control practices have on the prevention of things like water pollution and wildlife habitat loss,” said Duane Bonini, general manager. “This is why erosion control is a primary area of focus in the construction of the new store, and we’re taking our SWPPP compliance very seriously.”

Miss last month’s update on construction progress at RDO Equipment Co. – Riverside? Get caught up now.

RDO Equipment Co. - Chandler Construction Update - May

RDO Equipment Co. - Chandler Construction Update - May

Things are starting to take shape at the new RDO Equipment Co. store in Chandler – literally. Steel erection is complete for the shop area, giving a sense of space to what will be the 12-bay service shop. Furthermore, concrete curbing and perimeter fencing are in progress, helping to further define the space of the land’s 11 acres.

“It’s exciting to see, what was once a completely vacant space, start to really have an identity with these defined areas,” said Dennis Howard, vice-president of the company’s southwest region.

If you missed last month’s update on construction progress at RDO Equipment Co. – Chandler, read the recap now.

Selecting the Right Attachments for a Compact Tractor

Selecting the Right Attachments for a Compact Tractor

By: Brian Lohse, Regional Aftermarket Manager, RDO Equipment Co.

Compact Utility Tractors (CUTs) are incredibly versatile. You can use them for landscaping and fence building projects. They can move snow and mow lawns. They are both gardeners and earth movers.

How is it possible that one machine can be so many things and accomplish so many tasks? One word: attachments.

When paired with the right attachment, a CUT goes from a machine to a productive workhorse. To best complement your new CUT and enable it to tackle any task, here are the top five attachments you should consider.

Rear Hitch
One of the biggest concerns customers have regarding attachments is adding the attachments. Specifically, the perceived difficulty of adding attachments can be intimidating to owners, especially new ones.

To address this concern, some manufacturers offer hitches that make it quicker and generally easier to change attachments. John Deere’s iMatch Quick-Hitch is an example of these easy-to-use hitches. The operator simply backs up, hydraulically-lifts the unit, and secures latches. Compatible with numerous types of attachments, this one is a must-have for all CUT owners.

Thanks to the versatility it provides, a front loader is one of the most popular CUT attachments. A loader can move dirt, haul rocks, even pick up and move heavy snow in the wintertime.

Loaders are also the base for several other attachments including pallet forks, buckets and snow pushers, making it one of the first that a new CUT owner should consider.

Mower Deck
Nearly all tractor owners also own property and one of the biggest tasks on every property owner’s to-do list is mowing. Many CUTs are equipped to be lawn mowers with the addition of a mower deck.

A bonus of this type of attachment is some manufacturers have designed mower decks to be incredibly easy to attach. John Deere offers a drive-over mower deck – simply drive over it, listen for it to click to the PTO connection and it’s ready to go without the driver having to leave his or her seat.

Whether pairing a tractor with attachments at the front of the machine or the rear, those pieces add extra weight to the CUT – something that can throw off the tractor’s balanced design. Wheel weights will even out the change in load.

An added benefit of wheel weights is better traction and balance on uneven terrain.

These days, tractors don’t just work from sun-up to sun-down. Many CUT owners do a fair share of work before dawn or in the dark of the night, making lights an essential attachment for both productivity and safety. 

Front and rear light kits are available for many types of CUTs and give operators a greater view of what’s happening around them.

These five basic attachments are a great starting point for all new CUTs. Your dealership will be able to show you additional attachments that will meet your unique future needs.


About The Author
Brian Lohse is the Regional Aftermarket Manager for the Midwest Ag region of RDO Equipment Co. Contact him at [email protected]

For more information on choosing the right compact tractor and attachments, or servicing your existing equipment, visit your local RDO Equipment Co. store.

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 16 Now Available

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 16 Now Available

In this episode we talk with Greg Tehven, one of the founders of Emerging Prairie in Fargo, North Dakota. We talk about innovation in the community, the monthly drone focus meetings, and the upcoming Drone Focus conference happening on June 1, 2016. Listen now.

Click here for more information about DroneFocus Conf 2016.

Connect with us on Twitter!
RDO Equipment - @rdoequipment
Nate Dorsey - @RDONateDorsey

Find the Agriculture Technology podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, or on a mobile device using any podcasting app.

Employees Partner with Customer to Help Washington Family Ranch

Employees Partner with Customer to Help Washington Family Ranch

Chris Stanley, Eugene Account Manager, and Ollie Windle, Portland/Eugene General Manager, donated time and RDO/Vermeer equipment to help the Washington Family Ranch near Antelope, Oregon. 

The Washington Family Ranch is a youth camp on a 100 square mile property in central Oregon.  Chris and Ollie worked alongside one of Chris’s customers, Paraclete Tree Service, trimming trees, chipping brush, and stump grinding with Vermeer equipment. 

“It was a great opportunity for us to work with our customers, show off Vermeer equipment, and help the ranch,” said Chris.

Three Tips for First-Time Lawn Mower Owners

Three Tips for First-Time Lawn Mower Owners

By: Marcus Braswell, Transactional Account Manager, RDO Equipment Co.

You’re ready to purchase your first riding lawn mower. After going online and researching, you see there are a lot of options. Add in a trip to a big-box store with aisle after aisle of aimless wandering and you could wind up more confused than when the search began.

The good news is this doesn’t have to happen to you. A reputable dealership with trusted salespeople is a great place to start and finish the buying journey. You don’t have to spend countless hours online researching before you head to the store and, once you get there, you won’t be left to go at it alone. Just be ready to answer the three basic questions a good salesperson at your local dealership will ask.

Question #1: “What’s your property like – size, shape and landscape?”

The characteristics of a buyer’s property set the stage in determining the mower type. One of the primary differentiators is steering. There are three main types offered to suit different property sizes and characteristics.

Two-Wheel Steering
A more entry-level class of mower, this type works well for homeowners with an open space that doesn’t have many obstacles or tight corners. It’s generally a good fit for properties 1/3 of an acre up to 3 acres. Yards with a few slopes are no problem for a two-wheel-style unit.

Four-Wheel Steering
A four-wheel-style mower offers a tighter turn radius than two-wheel steering, making it great for lawns that have naturally-occurring obstacles like trees and shrubs, or hardscapes. It’s typically advised for larger property owners with a total land area of 3 acres or more. Like the two-wheel-style, this unit can also handle slopes well.

Zero-Turn Steering
Just as the name implies, a zero-turn mower (ZTR) has a zero-turn radius, and can hug tight corners and curves. This precision, combined with their speed, makes ZTRs a common choice for professionals in the lawn and landscape, maintenance, and parks and recreation industries. Homeowners with properties that include gardens, hardscapes, and several plants, shrubs and trees may find this mower is the best option. Unlike two- and four-wheel-style mowers, ZTRs are best suited for flat land with minimal slopes.

The property’s characteristics can also help determine another primary decision: deck size.

Does the yard have a fence with a narrow opening/gate? Are there trees or shrubs close enough to one another that it could be a tight fit for the mower to get through? Knowing these unique features of the property ensures the proper deck size is selected.

Question #2: “What extra tasks do you expect the mower to do?”

Along with selecting the type of mower is finding the right accessories. Every buyer has different needs and expectations, and a variety of attachments and implements are available to meet them. However, keep in mind that some are only available with certain types of mowers, and certain features, designed for comfort or advanced operation, are offered as the mower goes up in price point.

The Basics
Depending if bagging or mulching is preferred, the first and most common attachment needed is a bagger or a mulch kit, or, for some customers, both. Sweepers are another common material handling attachment. Tow-behind carts are great for hauling materials and supplies for gardening and landscape activities. Sprayers can apply a variety of materials including liquid fertilizer, weed killer and even de-icing material.

More Advanced
Those looking to do more with a mower or who are looking at options above the most entry-level model can take advantage of more options. Single-use and multi-use attachments offer landscaping abilities like tilling, aerating and thatching. Box and rear blades handle tasks like grading and backfilling. Operators planning to work longer hours or have more than one person onsite should consider safety accessories like mirrors and lights.

No matter what part of the country, weather is a factor in any type of outdoor work. Sun shades protect from summer’s heat and powerful sun rays, while full-enclosures and heater add-ons are ideal for cold-weather comfort. Front blades, blowers and brooms offer the ability to turn a mower into a snow removal machine during the winter months.

Question #3: “How long do you expect the mower to last?”

This question seems like a no-brainer – the mower should last for as long as possible, right? But it’s an important question to consider, as it sets up the buyer to take ownership of the maintenance and care needed for best mower performance and longevity.

Operator’s Manual
All mowers include an operator’s manual. This handbook is key to understanding the parts of the machine, safety features and the proper way to perform basic maintenance tasks, so new owners should take time to review and become familiar with it.

First Things First
New mowers have an engine “break-in” period, meaning engine oil should be changed after the first 8 hours of new mower operation. After that, check the oil prior to every use.

Additionally, before each use with the mower, do a quick overall inspection. Check for any visible signs of damage, loose parts that should be tightened, or areas needing grease. Also, inspect the tires to be sure air pressure is adequate and even. Check the fuel level and refill when necessary. Finally, give the mower a quick cleaning to remove excess debris. 

Routine and Ongoing
Every year, the air filter should be changed. Large property owners and those who live in dusty, drier environments should check and clear air filters on a more frequent basis.

Oil changes are another task typically done on an annual basis or per every 100 hours of operation. Just like with the air filter, that frequency can change based on amount of use and operational conditions.

The mower deck should also be checked periodically, including the blade and belts, to ensure nothing is clogged, cracked or dull. The mower’s blade should be sharpened annually, prior to the first mowing of a new spring season. Blades can be sharpened throughout the season but don’t overdo it, as too much sharpening can actually degrade the integrity of the metal.

If the mower sits idle for a month or longer, the fuel likely needs to be changed. Ethanol-gasoline blends will separate over time. This can lead to condensation build-up or water in the carburetor – both can cause a host of problems. If it’s known that the mower will be taking an extended break, add fuel stabilizer. Or, the fuel can be drained completely and properly discarded. 

Finally, some dealers offer an annual mower inspection. Take advantage of this service and get, not only the full TLC treatment the mower needs, but the peace of mind knowing the machine is primed and prepped for the season ahead.


About The Author
Marcus Braswell is a Transactional Account Manager for RDO Equipment Co. in Pasco, WA. Contact him at [email protected] 

For more information on choosing the right lawn mower and attachments, or servicing your existing equipment, visit your local RDO Equipment Co. store.

May 12, 2016  |  Category:

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 15 Now Available

In this episode, we go back to the basics and introduce GPS technology. We talk with Larry Herman, a product specialist based in Bismarck, North Dakota, about what GPS is, how it works, and how it's being used in the agriculture and construction industries. Listen here

Connect with us on Twitter!
RDO Equipment - @rdoequipment
Nate Dorsey - @RDONateDorsey

Find the Agriculture Technology podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, or on a mobile device using any podcasting app.

Moorhead Holds Successful Customer Appreciation Event

Moorhead Holds Successful Customer Appreciation Event

On March 31, nearly 400 customers filled the Moorhead shop for their annual Customer Appreciation dinner. This event serves two purposes: to thank customers for their business, and to allow team members an opportunity to spend time with customers in a more relaxed atmosphere. According to Mike Wollschlager, Store Manager, “It’s great to see everyone laughing and having a good time together.”

“We have our sales and service teams available to help with any questions and our Parts Specialists are very busy during the event,” said Mike Wollshlager, Store Manager.

Employees not only cleaned and prepared the store and shop for the event, but prepared and served the meal, which included grilled steaks, baked beans, potato salad, and dessert.

“As our customers gear up for planting and construction season, we’ve been busy making sure their equipment is ready to go and that we’re ready to meet their needs when it’s go time,’” commented Mike.

May 9, 2016  |  Category: Events
Imperial Organizes Food Drive

Imperial Organizes Food Drive

Imperial team members organized a food drive for their local food bank. The store matched the amount of food donated by the team members. The total donation weighed in at 455 pounds of food when they delivered it.

The team volunteers at the local food bank monthly with their Community Time, and wanted to organize a food drive as another way to give back.

“Our team members have enjoyed getting involved with our food bank, which provides for so many in our community,” said Joe Castillo, General Manager.

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 14 Now Available

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 14 Now Available

In Episode 14 we talk with Aaron Brehmer, a product specialist based in North Dakota, about John Deere machine sync. He goes over the basics of how multiple pieces of equipment can communicate with each other, the hardware needed to make this work, and the benefits of using this technology. Listen here.

Connect with us on Twitter!
RDO Equipment - @rdoequipment
Nate Dorsey - @RDONateDorsey
Aaron Brehmer - @RDOAaronB

Find the Agriculture Technology podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, or on a mobile device using any podcasting app.

South Dakota Ag Stores Host Spring Clinic

South Dakota Ag Stores Host Spring Clinic

Spring in the Midwest means one thing for farmers: planting. For the past several years, the Aberdeen, Redfield, and Webster stores have teamed up to offer customers a beneficial clinic to help prepare them for the planting season. These clinics focus on equipment optimization and the latest technology solutions available for the type of equipment the customer will be utilizing.

In late March, about 50 customers attended their spring clinic that focused on planting and seeding operation. New at this year’s event, the local Firestone dealer presented on the importance of proper tire inflation and the impact it can have on soil compaction, along with industry updates on the latest tire technology.

Terry Lacher, Product Specialist Supervisor, commented, “We heard many customers say it was nice to have an outside party come in and talk about tires, as they don’t typically have an opportunity to attend sessions like that.”

He added, “With the economic times we are currently experiencing, our customers are looking for ways to better utilize their equipment and make every operation they perform more efficient.”

May 2, 2016  |  Category: Events
Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 13 Now Available

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 13 Now Available

In this exciting episode we talk with Gary Licquia, an account manager with RDOIC. Gary specializes in UAV technology and their applications in agriculture, construction, and mining operations. In this episode he covers some of the basics of the technology and also the senseFly line of drones that RDO Equipment Co. and RDOIC support.

Connect with RDO Equipment Co. on Twitter @rdoequipment

You can also connect with Nate Dorsey on Twitter @RDONateDorsey

Find the Agriculture Technology podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, or on a mobile device using any podcasting app.

Construction Update: Chandler, AZ

Construction Update: Chandler, AZ

With every new construction project, RDO Equipment Co. looks for opportunities to implement effective conservation practices and procedures. The company’s second location in the Phoenix area is no exception.

Construction is progressing at the RDO Equipment Co. – Chandler store, highlighted this month by the concrete pour for the 37,300+ square-foot facility. The final flooring will be polished concrete, a finish that promotes a much more efficient cleaning process to both reduce energy usage and water waste.

“We’re committed to responsible environmental stewardship at every location,” said Dennis Howard, vice-president of the company’s southwest region. “Something one might perceive as simple flooring design can have a significant impact on that mission.”

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 12 Now Available

In this episode we talk with Jeff Wiener, Service Support Center Manager, about RDOs unique service support center. He talks with us about how the service support center benefits RDO customers and about the technology that enables them to support customers and solve problems remotely.

Connect with RDO Equipment Co. on Twitter @rdoequipment
You can also connect with Nate Dorsey on Twitter @RDONateDorsey

Find the Agriculture Technology podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, or on a mobile device using any podcasting app.

RDO Integrated Controls Expands Topcon TopNET live Network

RDO Integrated Controls Expands Topcon TopNET live Network

Industry leader in Topcon solutions and support adds five states to coverage network

FARGO, ND (April 15, 2016) – RDO Integrated Controls, a division of RDO Equipment Co., brings Topcon’s TopNETlive network to Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. This expands RDO Integrated Controls’ footprint from California, and builds on the existing network coverage already established in 19 other states, making TopNETlive the largest network in the country with more than 700 reference stations.

TopNETlive is a network cooperative managed by Topcon Positioning Systems and its global dealer network. The unique nature of this cooperative enables clients and users the opportunity to invest in the network. Those who choose to do so receive benefits from the cooperative that enable them to recoup their initial investment in less than three years, and maintain the benefits as long as their reference stations are active in the network.

“What we see on the horizon is deeper integration into live networks, and ease of use for clients to run machine control and survey equipment in a connected environment,” Adam Gilbertson, General Manager of RDO Integrated Controls said. “TopNETlive gives our clients the most flexibility and reliability available on the market today from the largest network in the United States.”

The Topcon TopNETlive network is both a productivity-enhancing and cost-reducing opportunity for clients and users. It’s also the most flexible network in the world, allowing users to connect to a true VRS network when available, and providing the option to select a single baseline RTK correction in an area where signal quality is degraded. Subscribers have the ability to connect quickly to a reliable network with 24/7 accessibility, and there are no bases for users to set up and localize on their own.

Click here for more details on the Topcon TopNETlive network from RDO Integrated Controls.

Construction Update: Riverside, CA

Construction Update: Riverside, CA

RDO Equipment Co. is committed to environmentally-responsible design in all new construction projects. This month, construction at the Riverside store is focused on a unique water conservation feature.

The Riverside store will include an 18-bay service shop with a ClearBlu Environmental system. This water recycling system works by filtering the water used for washing equipment, allowing it to be reused continually.

“Especially considering the large service area we’ll have in this location, we know the ClearBlu system is going to have a major impact on reducing our overall water usage,” said Duane Bonini, general manager.

Stay up-to-date on all company news by visiting us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 11 Now Available

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 11 Now Available

We're joined in this episode by Danilu Ramirez, a Water Management Consultant with RDO Water in California. She talks with us about some of the laws and issues around managing water in California, and some of the consulting services she provides through RDO Water.

Connect with RDO Equipment Co. on Twitter @rdoequipment
You can also connect with Nate Dorsey on Twitter @RDONateDorsey

Find the Agriculture Technology podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, or on a mobile device using any podcasting app.

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 10 Now Available

In our tenth episode we talk with Dave Gratton, an account manager in Hawley, MN, about variable rate planting. He talks with us about the equipment and technology that's needed to start as well as the basics on making a variable rate prescription.

Connect with RDO Equipment Co. on Twitter @rdoequipment and with Nate Dorsey @RDONateDorsey.

Find the Agriculture Technology podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, or on any mobile device using any podcasting app.

Field Service Technician Featured in Diesel Power Magazine

Field Service Technician Featured in Diesel Power Magazine

Jordan Gailbraith, Field Service Technician in Irving, has a lot of interests, but diesel engines most likely top his list. He’s worked for RDO Equipment Co. for the past 12 years, but the diesel bug bit him long before that.

“I guess you could say I first got started racing when I was a kid. I was always trying to go fast whether it was on my tricycle or motorcycle. Ever since I got my first diesel truck, I’ve been making them go fast,” he said.

Jordan and his truck, Rusty Racer, are featured in the April issue of the popular magazine, Diesel Power. The article features several photos and an interview with Jordan, discussing the truck’s unique and clever style. (You can catch the complete article and 20+ photos here.)

Jordan was spotted by Diesel Power at the National Hot Rod Diesel Association (NHRDA) World Finals last year. They took some pictures and asked Jordan some questions about his truck. “Next thing you know, and I’m in the magazine. It’s a dream come true!”

Susie Johnson, Sales Professional and Jordan’s teammate in Irving, said, “Jordan is such a reliable, hard-working guy. He deserves being recognized for his work both at RDO Equipment Co. and with his diesel truck. This article highlights his passion and showcases his talent.”

Agronomist Workshop Held in MW Ag Region

Agronomist Workshop Held in MW Ag Region

Members of the Midwest Ag team held a one-day workshop for agronomists at the Red Horse Ranch in Fergus Falls, MN.

In total, 48 agronomists from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota attended and participated in the precision agriculture workshop.

The workshop featured four different sessions, covering topics like using the John Deere Operation Center to manage an agronomy consulting business and work with customers. Another session focused on how to send prescription maps to equipment through JDlink, mobile data transfer, and standard USB. One session focused on drones and aerial imagery, and the last session was on the capabilities of common John Deere equipment in terms of precision agriculture.

RDO Equipment Co. Agronomist, Nate Dorsey, commented, “We had a lot of hands-on activities for attendees to help them practice the skills in a safe environment, and provided the lecture materials and activity sheets so they could continue practicing and have additional training with their customers.”

The event received very positive feedback from the agronomists who attended and many said they’d be interested in additional training and attending future workshops.

“We have never provided this type of training to our customers trusted advisors in the past and it was great to hear such positive feedback from them. We are continuing to demonstrate the value that the RDO Equipment Co. team can provide,” said Joel Kaczynski, Product Specialist Manager.

April 1, 2016  |  Category: Events

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 9 Now Available

In this episode we talk with Colin Artz, an account manager based in Aberdeen, South Dakota, about John Deere's JD Link System. JD Link enables you to monitor machines, manage logistics, and data to and from equipment.

Connect with RDO Equipment Co. on twitter @rdoequipment and Nate Dorsey @RDONateDorsey

Find the Agriculture Technology podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, or on any mobile device using any podcasting app.

Diesel Exhaust Fluid FAQs

Diesel Exhaust Fluid FAQs

Diesel Exhaust Fluid FAQs
By: Carlos Martinez, Parts Manager, RDO Equipment Co.

Everyone who owns or operates large equipment has likely heard of Diesel Exhaust Fluid, or DEF. Yet not everyone is fully aware of what exactly it is, what it does, and how it fits into an existing operation. Fortunately, for every question about DEF, there’s an answer.

Below are 10 of the most frequently asked questions – and answers – regarding DEF.

1. What Is DEF?
Diesel exhaust fluid, commonly referred to as DEF, is a solution of 67.5% deionized water and 32.5% high-purity urea, that’s used to chemically reduce nitrogen oxides emissions (NOx) from non-road mobile machinery and heavy equipment.

Just as important as knowing what DEF is – knowing what it’s not:

 DEF is not a fuel additive.
 DEF is not toxic or harmful to humans or animals.
 DEF is not flammable or explosive.

While safe, DEF should still be handled with care to avoid unnecessary spills, contact with eyes, or accidental ingestion.

In the event of a spill on the floor, cover and contain the spill with an absorbent, non-combustible material such as sand. Shovel and dispose of the material in an appropriate container. If DEF is spilled in a sink, on a vehicle, on clothes or gets into the eyes, flush immediately and thoroughly with water.

2. How Does DEF Work?
DEF is used in Final Tier4 diesel engines with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) systems. SCR is an after-treatment technology that treats exhaust gas downstream of the engine, with the goal of reducing levels of NOx emissions that are harmful to the environment and health. DEF is injected into the exhaust stream, prior to the SCR catalyst, and converts NOx into harmless nitrogen and water.

3. Why Does My Equipment Need DEF?
All Final Tier4 engines are equipped with SCR systems. Not only does this technology work with DEF to reduce NOx, the SCR process allows engines to operate at maximum efficiency for better fuel economy and lower costs.

4. How Do I Use DEF?
Although its name may imply otherwise, DEF should never be used in the diesel fuel tank. It should only be used in the appropriate, dedicated DEF tank, which features a smaller opening than a fuel tank and a blue cap so it’s easy to identify.

5. How Much DEF Can I Expect My Equipment To Use?
Every engine varies in its use of DEF. John Deere engines are designed to use less DEF than similar engines; typical DEF use is 1-3% of fuel consumed. So for every 100 gallons of diesel fuel consumed by a John Deere tractor, approximately 2 gallons of DEF would be needed.

Some engines are designed to burn more DEF; up to 10-12% relative to fuel consumption. Those operating equipment with different engines should research and monitor DEF consumption to accurately assess expected usage.

Additional factors affect DEF usage, one being equipment application. More demanding applications typically require more fuel and DEF.

Although minimal, temperature and humidity also affect DEF consumption. Hot, dry climates use more; cold, humid climates use less.

6. How Often Do I Refill DEF?
One might think because DEF isn’t consumed at the same rate as fuel, it doesn’t need to be refilled at the same rate. However, most DEF tanks are much smaller than fuel tanks so they do need regular checks and refills. Most tanks are sized appropriately to be refilled with every fuel refill or every other fuel refill.

7. How Do I Store DEF?
Because it’s corrosive to aluminum, DEF must be stored in appropriate containers made from durable composite material. Storage containers made from stainless-steel, polypropylene, and high-density polyethylene are appropriate options, and DEF can usually be stored up to one year without issues.

Keep in mind climate when storing DEF. Because it’s 2/3 water, DEF begins to turn slushy at 12 degrees Fahrenheit and will freeze solid. The good news is DEF isn’t harmed by freezing; it can be thawed and used with no side effects. Do not add chemicals or additives to DEF in an effort to prevent freezing, as doing so may contaminate and ruin the fluid.

8. How Do I Know If My DEF Is Old Or Contaminated?
The easiest way to spot bad DEF is to look at it. The fluid is naturally clear so if it appears cloudy or colored, it’s likely contaminated or old.

If one needs to dispose of bad DEF, do so in an ethical manner. Do not pour DEF down a drain or dump outside. Every area has proper DEF disposal regulations so check with the local government, municipal and environmental agency.

9. How Much Does DEF Cost?
DEF costs about the same per gallon as diesel fuel – but keep in mind, it’s not consumed at the same rate as fuel, so be sure to factor in that usage when planning the expected cost.

10. Where Can I Get DEF?
DEF is available in several places, even some gas stations and retail stores. However, not all DEF is created equal. To get high-quality DEF and the type that’s designed for heavy equipment, it’s best to purchase from a reputable dealer. And regardless of where DEF is purchased, ensure it’s American Petroleum Institute (API) and AdBlue® certified.

RDO Equipment Co. offers DEF in various amounts, as well as containers, dispensing units and pumps. Bulk programs and delivery are also available for added convenience.


About The Author
Carlos Martinez is Parts Manager for RDO Equipment Co. in Imperial, CA. Contact him at [email protected] 

For more information on DEF and equipment, including portable dispensing units, pumps and bulk fluid programs, contact your local RDO Equipment Co. store.

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 8 Now Available

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 8 Now Available

In this episode we talk with Kris Green, a product specialist based out of Webster, South Dakota, about how to send files to and from John Deere equipment.

Connect with RDO Equipment Co. on twitter @rdoequipment and Nate Dorsey @RDONateDorsey

Find the Agriculture Technology podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, or on any mobile device using any podcasting app.

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 7 Now Available

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 7 Now Available

In this episode we talk with Frank Toves, an Account Manager with RDO Water in Salinas, California. RDO Water is an irrigation company that specializes in using the latest in irrigation technology to improve water use and crop health in many areas of the Midwest, Southwest, and Northwest United States.

Connect with RDO Equipment Co. on twitter @rdoequipment and Nate Dorsey @RDONateDorsey

Find the Agriculture Technology podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, or on any mobile device using any podcasting app.

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 6 Now Available

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 6 Now Available

In episode 6 we talk with Ben Hilde, a product specialist based in Minnesota, about the John Deere App Center and one of the apps available there, the GoSeed App.

Connect with RDO Equipment Co. on twitter @rdoequipment and Nate Dorsey @RDONateDorsey

Find the Agriculture Technology podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, or on any mobile device using any podcasting app. 

Midwest Ag Stores Support Riding on Angels Wings

Midwest Ag Stores Support Riding on Angels Wings

The Ada store recently had a fun visitor. 

Riding on Angels Wings is local organization that offers Equine therapy for children with special needs.

They have approximately 12 horses at their stable, where staff and interns from North Dakota State University’s Equine program care for them.

They have benefited hundreds of children in area communities since getting started in 2002. Ada, along with Moorhead, Breckenridge, and Casselton, supported their annual fundraiser and is also working with them on some potential group volunteer projects.

As a thank you for supporting them, Riding on Angels Wings brought Tinker, one of their original ponies, to the store to meet the Ada team members.

“It’s not every day you have a pony in a store! It was great opportunity to further our connection with the group. We look forward to continuing our relationship with them and finding ways to support them and the work they do,” said Evan Fonder, Store Manager.

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 5 Now Available

Agriculture Technology Podcast - Episode 5 Now Available

In episode 5 of our Agriculture Technology podcast, our guest is Alex Umpleby, a product specialist with RDO Equipment Co. based out of Hermiston, Oregon. With the spring planting season fast approaching we talk with Alex about the different Air Seeder options available from John Deere and also the SureFire Ag system for delivering nutrients at planting.

Find the Agriculture Technology podcast on Soundcloud, iTunes, or on any mobile device using any podcasting app.

Practice Makes Perfect in Potato Peeling Contest

Practice Makes Perfect in Potato Peeling Contest

By Matthew Weaver, Capital Press

Six teams of three from the Northwest potato industry competed in the second annual potato peeling contest at the Washington-Oregon Potato Conference in Kennewick, Wash.

KENNEWICK, Wash. — Six teams turned out to compete for the title of fastest potato peelers in the Pacific Northwest.

The second annual potato peeling contest helped to build industry enthusiasm during the first day of the Washington-Oregon Potato Conference in Kennewick, Wash.

“It seems to be a crowd favorite,” said Ryan Holterhoff, director of marketing and industry affairs for the Washington State Potato Commission. “You see a lot of people gathered around and even after they’re done peeling, they’re sticking around to see who’s going to win.”

Judges Debbie Graaff and Pam Nutter, sisters from Quincy, Wash., looked for the number of potatoes peeled and how much peel remained. All three teams in the final round had five perfectly peeled potatoes, they said.

Graaff and Nutter have judged potato peeling during the Quincy Farmer Consumer Awareness Day for six to eight years. How fast are they themselves?

“Not,” Graaff said with a laugh. “I just judge, I’m not a peeler.”

Jarrod Bailey, service advisor for RDO Equipment Co., said his company sponsored two teams last year and this year.

“It was kind of a no-brainer that we were going to enter,” he said.

Bailey’s team, with teammates Jennifer Boyer and Kelvin Efterfield, emerged the big winners after two rounds and a championship round.

Teams paid a $100 entry fee. The winners received $25 gift cards and plaques. Proceeds from the contest, roughly $500, will support the SAGE Center in Boardman, Ore., an interactive visitor center that highlights sustainable agriculture and energy.
Bailey said the team watched some how-to videos on YouTube and practiced earlier in the day.

They “absolutely” plan to compete again next year.

“Have to defend the title,” Bailey said.

Advice to aspiring teams? Bailey says nope.

“Not as long as I’m competing,” he said.

The judges were more free with suggestions.

“Peel potatoes,” Nutter said.

Check out some fun videos from the event, including some live potato peeling by the RDO team!

Basic Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips

Basic Lawn Mower Maintenance Tips

By: Ramon Beltran, Regional Aftermarket Manager, RDO Equipment Co.

There’s nothing worse than unreliable equipment. A machine that doesn’t deliver top-quality results is a waste of precious time and effort, and one that won’t start causes even more frustration.

Routine maintenance is one of the best ways to extend the life of equipment. In the case of a lawn mower, that little bit of TLC goes a long way to ensuring a perfectly manicured lawn is achieved with every mow.

Quick and easy for even the novice equipment owner or operator, the following five, basic maintenance tips will keep your John Deere mower running properly for years to come. 

Note: Always consult the operator’s manual for specifics to your machine, like proper oil type and filter.  Before proceeding with any maintenance, make sure to wear the appropriate safety gear, park the mower on a flat, level service and double-check the engine is off and cool. For more information on proper lawn mower maintenance, visit your local RDO Equipment Co. store.

Clear the Air
Dirty air filters do more than hamper a mower’s performance – they create inefficient operation that wastes fuel. They can also cause permanent engine damage if they allow dirt and other debris to enter it.

The average user should replace the air filter once a year. For those who maintain large properties, mow commercially or operate in dusty conditions, the filter may need replacement more often.

When it’s time to change the filter, first clear away any debris from the air intake area. Remove the paper element and foam pre-cleaner. While a paper air filter element should never be cleaned, a foam pre-cleaner can be cleaned in a bucket of warm soapy water. Rinse, squeeze out excess water and allow the pre-cleaner to dry on a clean towel.

Once dry, replace the pre-cleaner, taking care so debris doesn’t get pushed into the engine. Insert a new, clear air filter and close the cover.

A Fresh Fuel Filter
A clean fuel filter keeps potentially harmful particles from entering and damaging the engine, while also aiding in efficient fuel consumption. When it’s time to change a fuel filter, start by placing a drain pan under it. Also, note the arrow on the existing fuel filter and the direction it’s pointing. It’s crucial the new filter is attached so that the arrow is pointing in the same direction.

First, inspect the fuel filter and connecting hoses, ensuring the hoses aren’t worn or cracked. Next, loosen the hose clamps and move them away from the filter. Disconnect the hoses from the old filter, then quickly reattach the new filter – again, make sure it’s facing the correct way. Finally, reposition the hose clamps to ensure the filter is secure.

It’s a good idea to start the mower and let the engine run for a few minutes while quickly checking for any leaks. 

And don’t forget to properly dispose of the fuel filter, as well as spilled fuel and any fuel-soaked towels.

Oil Toil
Engine oil should be checked prior to every use but it only need to be changed annually. Those whose mower use exceeds that of a typical homeowner or those who mow in dusty conditions should change more often. Additionally, new mowers have an engine “break-in” period, which simply means the engine oil should be changed after the first 8 hours of new mower operation.

To change engine oil, start by placing a drain pan under the oil plug and loosen the dipstick. Next, drain the oil. Replace the oil plug, then take the time to wipe down and clean up the area. Replace the engine oil with a fresh fill and finally, replace the dipstick.

Run the engine for a minute, then shut it off and allow ample cool-down time. While the engine is cooling off, clean up any spilled oil and dispose of the old oil in a proper manner. Check with local regulations and look for recycling options in the area.

When the engine is cooled, check the oil level. Over-filling can damage the spark plug and lead to engine start issues so be sure the oil level is at an appropriate amount before calling this job finished.

Keep That Spark
If the mower engine is experiencing hard starts, running unevenly or misfiring under load, the spark plug may be damaged or dirty. Identifying a dirty or damaged spark plug is easy and so is changing it.

Remove the spark plug wire. Next, use the spark plug socket and turn the plug counterclockwise to remove it.

Use a spark plug tool to set the gap distance as specified in the operator’s manual. Tighten the new spark plug in place, then reattach the spark plug wire. Occasionally, a spark plug may just be a dud so start the engine to test the new one.

Hit the Deck
To ensure good airflow, lift and quality of cut, the mower’s deck needs periodic maintenance.

Start by removing the mower deck as instructed in the owner’s manual and clean it of any excess debris.

Inspect the drive belt for worn or cracked areas and replace the belt, if needed. Next, remove and check the blade, looking for any signs of damage or excessive wear. Depending on the condition, a blade can be replaced or may just need to be sharpened.

Prior to installing the new or sharpened blade, take one final opportunity to remove any buildup of dirt and debris.

Although it may sound time-consuming or complicated, basic maintenance is one of the easiest, most cost-effective and all-around best investments you can make in your lawn mower. By giving it some simple, routine care, the mower will pay you back with years of dependable operation and beautifully cut grass. 


About The Author
Ramon Beltran is Regional Aftermarket Manager for RDO Equipment Co. in Imperial, CA. Contact him at [email protected]

For more information on lawn mower and other equipment maintenance, contact your local RDO Equipment Co. store.

Compact Utility Tractor Troubleshooting Tips

Compact Utility Tractor Troubleshooting Tips

By: Joe Gonzalez, Account Manager, RDO Equipment Co.

It has happened to everyone at one time or another. You’re ready to begin a day’s work – but your compact utility tractor has other ideas.

From starting trouble to engine issues, there are a host of problems one can face when operating a CUT on a daily basis. Fortunately, many of these complications are minor, and can be addressed fairly easily.

Below are three of the most common CUT operating issues, along with possible causes and the corresponding troubleshooting tips.

Note: Always consult the operator’s manual for troubleshooting help. Before proceeding with any troubleshooting, make sure the machine is on a flat, stable surface and the engine is turned off. For more information on equipment troubleshooting, visit your local RDO Equipment Co. store.

From the Start
If the engine is hard to start, won’t start at all or starts but stalls almost immediately after, there are several potential causes to investigate.

Possible Problem Area: Battery
Troubleshooting Tip: Ensure the battery is fully charged, and posts and terminals clean. If the problem persists, replace the battery.

Possible Problem Area: Electric Circuitry
Troubleshooting Tip: Check for a blown fuse and replace if needed, as specified in the operator’s manual.

Possible Problem Area: Fuel System
Troubleshooting Tip: First, ensure the fuel shut-off valve is open/on and adjust if needed. Next, check to see if a dirty or clogged fuel injector or fuel filter is the problem. Clean or change if needed. If the problem persists, the fuel may be stale or contaminated. Drain the fuel and replace with a fresh fill. A final check should be made to the fuel lines to ensure there are no loose connections.

Possible Problem Area: Air Intake
Troubleshooting Tip: Clean the foam pre-cleaner with warm, soapy water. A paper air filter element should never be cleaned, as it can easily become damaged from wiping or blowing air. Instead, always replace a dirty filter.

The Heat Is On
Excessive heat is one of the leading causes of engine failure. If the engine overheats and the tractor isn’t being operated at overload, consider the following possibilities.

Possible Problem Area: Oil
Troubleshooting Tip: Check the engine oil level and fill to the proper amount if needed.

Possible Problem Area: Coolant
Troubleshooting Tip: Check the coolant level and add engine coolant if needed. 

Possible Problem Area: Fan Belt
Troubleshooting Tip: First, adjust the fan belt to ensure it’s to the specified tension. If upon examination, the fan belt appears damaged or broken, replace it. 

Possible Problem Area: Air Flow
Troubleshooting Tip: Clean the foam pre-cleaner and/or replace the paper air filter element. As mentioned above, never attempt to clean a paper air filter. If the issue isn’t the air filter, air flow may be restricted. Clean the area around the engine, ensuring there’s no buildup of dirt or other debris.

Steering In the Right Direction
If the tractor’s steering seems off, there are a few possible culprits.

Possible Problem Area: Oil
Troubleshooting Tip: First, check to be sure the transmission/hydraulic oil is at the proper level, and fill if necessary. Then, allow the engine to run a bit to ensure the transmission/hydraulic oil isn’t too cold.

Possible Problem Area: Filter
Troubleshooting Tip: Check the oil filter for dirt, clogging or damage, and replace if needed.  

Possible Problem Area: Lack of Lubrication
Troubleshooting Tip: Lubricate the steering linkage.  

Possible Problem Area: Bent Front Axle
Troubleshooting Tip: If the axle is bent, the tractor should be brought to an authorized service center to be fixed properly. 

Encouraging Uptime
Knowing what to look for is the first step in properly diagnosing and fixing issues with a compact utility tractor.

One final tip: Most common tractor problems can be prevented with proper preventative maintenance. Dedicating just a few minutes each day or even every week is the best defense to unplanned and costly downtime. 


About The Author
Joe Gonzalez is an Account Manager for RDO Equipment Co. in Imperial, CA. Contact him at [email protected]

For more information on equipment troubleshooting and maintenance, contact your local RDO Equipment Co. store.

Bismarck Delivers Meals with Meals on Wheels

Bismarck Delivers Meals with Meals on Wheels

During the months of September, November, December, and January, Bismarck team members have been assisting with meals on Wheels for area residents.

The idea came from team member Sandy Doffee, who coordinated it with their local hospital. The deliveries were set for the same time each weekday and the team would do a month at a time. Wanda Hoffert, Office Manager, commented, “It is such an awesome way to get involved. We had the same route three out of the four months, so you really get to know the people.”

“I would encourage all our stores to look into volunteering with Meals on Wheels. It’s easy, enjoyable, and necessary to help provide meals to those who are in need.”

Bloomington Team Serves Meal at Ronald McDonald House

Bloomington Team Serves Meal at Ronald McDonald House

After a long day at the hospital, families look forward to a “home-away-from home” cooked meal. The Ronald McDonald House “Cooks for Kids” meal program gives volunteer groups a special opportunity to support families with children with serious medical conditions. Groups purchase, prepare and serve a buffet-style meal of their choosing and by doing so, they give the families one less thing to worry about.

On January 6, the Bloomington store had 10 team members volunteer their time and prepare a dinner meal for the 80-100 people staying at the Oak Street Ronald McDonald House. This house is the largest of the four that are in the Twin Cities metro area; it is always full with a waiting list for families needing a place to stay. The group served pulled pork sandwiches, homemade mac and cheese, coleslaw, baked beans, fresh vegetables, and several desserts for the house guests.

“We enjoyed preparing the meal and serving the families, knowing that this was one small way to help during a difficult time,” commented John Ahart, Regional Aftermarket Manager.

Phoenix Donates Toys to Arizona Burn Center

Phoenix Donates Toys to Arizona Burn Center

In December, the Phoenix team conducted their annual toy drive for the Arizona Burn Center. Team members donated more than $700 worth of toys.

In addition, the sales team was able to collect $12,000 in donations from multiple customers and businesses that was also presented to the Burn Center.

The Burn Center had a need to update the shower table they use when a burn patient first arrives. This piece of equipment is used on a daily basis, and their current table is metal, uncomfortable, and doesn’t allow complete mobility for the patient. The money that was donated will enable them to be able to purchase a new, state-of-the art shower table, made of a heavy-grade plastic with the ability to raise and lower a patient’s head to aid in comfort.

The Arizona Burn Center has been a grateful recipient of toys from the Phoenix store and this year, were blown away by the donation that can be used for such a necessary piece of equipment. Patricia Kardos, Director of Nursing at the Burn Center, commented, “We look for this simple piece of equipment to make a huge difference in the lives of both our pediatric and adult burn patients. We appreciate all of your efforts so much. Thank you again for all that you have done for our team.”

Dennis Karre, Phoenix Sales Professional, has a passion for the Burn Unit. Roughly seven years ago, one of Dennis’s customers was burned badly in an accident on his farm. Dennis spent quite a bit of time at the Burn Center while his customer was recovering. While there, he learned about the many kids recovering from burns, and one of the things they looked forward to was picking out a toy after having their dressings changed. Dennis started a toy drive in the store, and since then, has continued to help grow the donation.

“Knowing that our efforts in collecting donations will help provide a new, state-of-the-art piece of equipment at the Burn Center is a great feeling,” said Dennis. “I am so proud to work for an organization that allows us to support and get involved in the causes we feel important.”

RDO Equipment Co. Announces “Agriculture Technology” Podcast Now Available on iTunes

RDO Equipment Co. Announces “Agriculture Technology” Podcast Now Available on iTunes

RDO Equipment Co. announces the launch of its new podcast, “Agriculture Technology,” that discusses the latest products, services, and technologies in the agriculture industry.

The podcast is available for listeners on iTunes, Soundcloud, or any mobile podcasting app. Topics such as John Deere’s Harvest Mobile App and John Deere’s 9R Series tractors are among the first covered. Future episodes will cover topics like spring planting, variable seeding, self-propelled sprayers, and UAVs.

Nate Dorsey, RDO Equipment Co. product specialist supervisor and agronomist, commented, “We’re excited to provide information in this format to growers. Those in the agriculture industry are expected to continue to do more with less, and our goal is to help provide information on the technology that allows them to do so.”

Find the Agriculture Technology podcast on Soundcloud (, iTunes, or on any mobile device using any podcasting app.

Community Builder Program

Community Builder Program

The unique program, launched in July 2015, is designed to support charitable organizations R.D. Offutt Company and RDO Equipment Co. team members work with, while building vibrant and prosperous communities in which we live and work.

The Community Builder program features an opportunity for team members who have a strong history and ongoing engagement with a charitable organization in their own community to apply for a grant benefiting that organization. The grants awarded are meant to be transformative and impactful to the benefiting charities.

A total of $105,000 was granted to five charities.

Here are some details behind each application.

Boys and Girls Club of Aberdeen – submitted by Brian Bjordal, Aberdeen Store Manager
Brian has been involved in the Club for more than 12 years, currently serving on the Board of Directors. “The Boys and Girls Club is a great, worthwhile, and much-needed project for our community and north eastern South Dakota and I plan to continue being an active volunteer and cheerleader for the club,” commented Brian.

The Boys and Girls Club of Aberdeen serves the youth of Aberdeen by providing a safe and enriching environment with after school care including non-school days and during the summer. In 2014, the club’s membership peaked at 937 and it has been operating above capacity for the past 24 months.

“We are extremely excited about the support this grant will provide towards our Capital Campaign project,” commented Mike Herman, Executive Director of Boys & Girls Club of Aberdeen. “It will go a long way towards our goal and allow us to begin construction in the summer of 2016. We are grateful for this generous gift, their trust, and most importantly, their commitment to this project.”

Krum ISD Education Foundation - submitted by Daryl Shelton, Vice President – Texas region
Daryl has been involved with the Foundation since 2013 and he has helped the organization incorporate as a 501(c)3. He commented, “We have invested in a long-term, annual commitment to support the goals and mission of the Foundation, and have quickly seen the impact this investment has made to enhance the education experience of our youth.” Krum Independent School District was formed in 1903. Krum, TX is located 45 miles north of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. The District is comprised of more than 2,000 students and is expected to grow at a rate of four to six percent annually.

The Krum ISD Education Foundation Board of Directors commented, “We are so grateful for the kind generosity of RDO Equipment Co. and R.D. Offutt Company. This grant award will make a substantial impact to continue the Education Foundation’s goals of preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s challenges through four key areas: technology grants, instructional initiatives, student enrichment grants, and teacher scholarship grants.”

Toys for Tots (DFW Metroplex) – submitted by Roscoe Elkins, Technical Communications Specialist, Irving
Roscoe served as a U.S. Marine and has been involved in the Toys for Tots – DFW program for 10 years.

“I have seen how the Toys for Tots program brings joy to families who would not have a holiday if this program didn’t exist,” Elkins commented. “We are fortunate to have RDO employees volunteer to stand with our Marines and collect donations,”
The Dallas/Fort Worth Toys for Tots program is the largest one nationally, benefitting more than 255,000 children each year. As the metro area continues to grow, so does the need.

David Marks, Event Chair, DFW Toys for Tots Motorcycle Run commented, “Donations are critical to the DFW Toys for Tots Foundation efforts to meet the needs of the local community. It is critical that our fundraising efforts are successful so that we may buy toys to fill out the orders submitted by our distributing agencies throughout the community. We value our corporate donors in these efforts because of the stable and continuous contributions they bring.  Thank you RDO. We look forward to a long and continuous Toy for Tots partnership.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley – submitted by Adam Gilbertson, RDOIC General Manager – Northern Region, Bloomington; Greg Moffet, Kindred Store Manager; and Emily Keeling, HR Generalist, FSO – Fargo
Adam Gilbertson was a beneficiary of the Ronald McDonald House’s support and services when his son, Henry, was born in 2011. At 28 weeks gestation and weighing only 2 lbs, 1 oz., Henry required heart surgery soon after his birth and was life flighted to Denver, CO. Following his surgery, Henry’s recovery was much more difficult and slower than expected and the family’s seven day stay soon turned into seven weeks. “Having no family or connections in the Denver area, the Ronald McDonald House provided us a place to call home as we spent the days with our son,” commented Adam. “The house provided us a support network of staff and other families who were in similar circumstances. Their support and understanding through this difficult time was invaluable.”

Greg Moffet was also helped by the Ronald McDonald House, not once, but twice. In 2001 and again in 2005, his two sons were both born at 26 weeks. “When your first son is born at 1 lb 15 ½ oz, and then we went through it again with our second son, born at 2 lbs, 1 oz – even if everything goes best case scenario, you know it’s going to take a long time before you get to take your child home,” says Greg.

The Ronald McDonald House the Moffets stayed at was located about 10 minutes from their hospital near the University of Minnesota campus. “I will always have kind words and support for the Ronald McDonald Houses, their staff, and the businesses that support this organization,” continued Greg. “They helped us during the scariest times in our lives.”

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley supports families whose children are receiving medical care in the Fargo Moorhead community and provides home-like comfort, support, and care for families. In 2014, the organization served more than 1,000 people from 321 families, representing 3,219 total nights.

Emily has been involved in planning for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley’s annual fundraiser, called the Sweetheart Ball. This event is the largest local fundraiser for the organization each year. “Several years ago, my family went through a time where one of my family members needed extended medical care outside of our community,” stated Emily. “During that time, we realized the importance of having a place to call ‘home’ each night while we were going through such a stressful time. In the same way, the Ronald McDonald House allows several families throughout the Red River Valley to have a place they can call home while their child is receiving medical care. Given my family’s personal experience, I feel the people at the Ronald McDonald House have a family’s best interest at heart and are a great organization.”

“After 33 years in Fargo, we have once again begun to outgrow our family space and need to address growing concerns,” commented Jill Christopher, Executive Director at Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley. “This generous grant from RDO Equipment Co. & R.D. Offutt Company is a vital piece as we look to what the future holds for the Ronald McDonald House and how we can best help even more families who need it.” 
RMH: left to right: Christopher, Executive Director at Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley; Adam Gilbertson, General Manager at RDO Equipment Co.; Ryan Offutt, Executive Vice President at RDO Equipment Co.; and Greg Moffet, Store Manager at RDO Equipment Co.

Ruth Meiers Hospitality House – submitted by Lon Kindseth, Vice President of Midwest Construction, Bismarck
Lon, along with his family, has been involved in supporting the Ruth Meiers Hospitality House both financially and through volunteering for nearly 20 years. “My wife Dianna and I are proud to be associated with an organization like Ruth Meiers that does so much to help so many people,” he commented.

The Ruth Meiers Hospitality Shelter provides services to low-income individuals and families, seniors, Veterans, people with disabilities, homeless individuals, and people who just need some extra help in their lives. In 2014, the organization provided more than 43,000 nights of shelter and 100,000 meals to men, women, and children in the region. Ruth Meiers provides direct services to Bismarck and the surrounding communities.

“Through the generosity of RDO, Ruth Meiers continues to work with the business community to end homelessness in our region,” added Jaclyn Hall, Director of Ruth Meiers Hospitality House. “Their support makes programs like ours possible.”

Hayward Participates in Health and Safety Fair

The Hayward store participated in the annual Health and Safety Fair organized by the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) for their employees. Last year’s event had more than 400 park employees in attendance.

Team members Frank Gouveia, CSA; Brandon Kyse, General Manager; and Diane Johnson, Sales Coordinator, were onsite for the event. Their booth featured a Vermeer chipper and stump cutter as well as various safety items on display, from climbing belts to bug eye goggles, which turned out to be one of the most popular items.

The event was held at the Little Hills Ranch in San Ramon, California, and featured several other companies related to health and safety, as well as Park Rangers who brought one of their mounted patrol horses and flew in a helicopter during the event. The full-day event wrapped up with a BBQ and raffle.

“EBRPD has been a great customer for years and the Health and Safety Fair is a great way to meet, greet, and train the front line park employees,” said Brandon.

February 11, 2016  |  Category: Events

Redfield Team Helps Deliver for Meals on Wheels

Redfield Team Helps Deliver for Meals on Wheels

Since August 2015, the Redfield team has been delivering meals for their local senior nutrition program. One week a month, they deliver the meals to Redfield seniors. Team members who are able to deliver the meals that week take a shift.

“The senior nutrition program has told us how grateful they are for our continued help as they have seen a decline in volunteers in the past several years.  We enjoy the opportunity to give back to the community in this area,” commented Clae Hoots, Store Manager.

Account Manager Kerry Baird added, "The Meals on Wheels recipients have shown nothing but gratitude for delivery of their daily meals. They have made us feel good about the services we have provided. Many recipients thank us personally and look forward to our conversations."

RDO Equipment Co. Breaks Ground at Newest Location in Chandler

RDO Equipment Co. Breaks Ground at Newest Location in Chandler

Construction has started at RDO Equipment Co.’s second location in the Phoenix-area. On January 29, team members gathered for an informal groundbreaking ceremony. The new store is located on Interstate 10, south of the 202, and is expected to open in early 2017.

Like the current RDO Equipment Co. location in central Phoenix, this new location will sell and support John Deere construction equipment.

“The new store in Chandler furthers our commitment to our customers and allows us to expand our overall services and product support capabilities in an expanding market.  We look forward to growing our close-knit team into an additional location and continuing to serve the Phoenix community for many years to come,” commented Dennis Howard, Vice President of Southwest Construction.

*Photo: RDO Equipment Co. team members, along with Gordon Bluth of Blucor Contracting Inc., held a ground breaking at the site of the new Chandler location. Blucor is performing the dirtwork.

*Photo from Blucor Contracting Inc.

RDO Equipment Co. Announces Partnership with Vermeer Equipment Holdings Pty. Ltd.

RDO Equipment Co. announces that they have partnered with Vermeer Equipment Holdings Pty. Ltd. and acquired 50% interest in five Vermeer locations in Eastern Australia.

Vermeer Equipment Holdings Pty. Ltd. (VEH) is the dedicated Vermeer dealer for all Eastern Australia states plus Papua New Guinea and other Pacific Island nations. VEH is headquartered in Brisbane, with additional locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Townsville.

“Our organization was founded on the principles of entrepreneurship and innovation with a focus on our customers and team members, and VEH has a very similar history,” stated Christi Offutt, RDO Equipment Co. CEO and Chair of the Board of Advisors. “VEH’s commitment to providing solutions allows them to continue to take care of customers and grow and develop their employees and we are excited about the strength of this partnership in continuing these ideals.”

“As a family-owned business, Vermeer Corporation puts a great deal of focus on succession planning to remain progressive while providing confidence and consistency to our team members, dealers and customers. We expect the same of our dealership network. VEH and RDO Equipment Co. have demonstrated a best practice in their efforts to work together to develop a progressive succession plan that will provide customers confidence for years to come,” commented Jason Andringa, CEO of Vermeer Corporation.

VEH founder Peter Pullan added, “I am looking forward to sharing resources, ideas and best practices with RDO Equipment Co. who are a successful machinery dealer in the strong but competitive USA market. I can see many mutual benefits for Vermeer dealerships on both sides of the Pacific.”

Commenting about the acquisition, Ryan Offutt, Executive Vice President and head of international operations for RDO Equipment Co., said, “We are excited to expand our international dealership presence and to grow our relationship with Vermeer. Vermeer Equipment Holdings Pty Ltd is one of Vermeer Corporation’s best run and largest international operations.”

Pasco’s Customer Appreciation Dinner

Pasco’s Customer Appreciation Dinner

In early December, the Pasco team hosted their annual customer appreciation dinner. The event had a great turnout, with more than 400 customers in attendance.

For the second year, the store had the Kennewick FFA chapter help by greeting customers, serving food, and clearing tables.

The store organized a silent auction at the event, with all proceeds benefitting the FFA club. The auction raised $2,115.

“We were pleased to see so many customers in attendance and be able to thank them for their business this past year,” said Tassie Alderliesten, Service Manager.  “And the fact that we were able to partner with one of our local FFA groups was the icing on the cake.”

Williston’s Caps for Cans Drive

Williston’s Caps for Cans Drive

In December 2015, RDO Williston completed a “Caps for Cans” Drive where employees and customers were able to bring in at least four non-perishable goods and receive an RDO Equipment Co. hat in exchange.

The proceeds raised were to be donated to Salvation Army in Williston. The Williston team worked closely with the Salvation Army to arrange the fundraiser. 

The Williston store donated $500 and also held a silent auction before the location’s move to sell extra furniture, which raised $475. With that money and donations received from team members, customers, along with a few other businesses matching the store’s donation, employees purchased a significant amount of food for the Salvation Army.

The Williston Salvation Army was thrilled with everything RDO Equipment Co. raised. Because of the holidays, the Salvation Army had depleted their food, so the donation replenished their shelves! In total, the food donation weighed 1,507 pounds.

“Our employees had a blast connecting with our community and being able to give in a great time of need. The Caps for Cans Drive inspired employees to participate in ringing bells for the Salvation Army over the holidays – and were delighted to meet community members and customers while on ‘duty!’” commented Savannah Leone, Office Administrator.

“I’m very proud of our team, that during a very busy and stressful time of year for us, especially with the move to our new location, we were able to find the time and to give back and create new partnerships within our community,” added Scott Anderson, General Manager.

Minot Service Technician Testing for Vermeer Master Technician Certification

Mike Pelletier has been a Vermeer Service Technician in Minot for nearly five years. He is currently testing for his Vermeer Master Technician Certification. He has completed and passed the written portion of the test, which consisted of three timed exams focused on three different equipment groups. For each exam, he had to achieve an 80% or higher in order to receive credit and progress to the next exam. Mike is only the second Vermeer Service Technician at RDO to successfully complete these exams.

The next step in Mike’s certification will be a grueling hands-on test at the Vermeer Pavilion in Pella, IA, in early 2016. The Pavilion will be filled with equipment from the three segments he was tested on during the written portion of the certification. He will be given a shop ticket for each machine that has the customer issue or complaint and will be required to troubleshoot, repair, and validate the machine within the specified time period. After the repair, he will be expected to walk an instructor through his process and he will be evaluated on each station.

To help prepare for the hands-on test, Mike has been going through any training materials he can find, and reviewing materials from previous courses. “RDO Equipment Co. has helped me prepare for this part of my career by helping me set goals for my continued education and giving me the time needed to reach these goals,” said Mike.

Bob Amick, Service Advisor, stated, “Mike is a leader in the Vermeer field. The knowledge he has gained during his training and testing process ensures we can repair our customers’ equipment efficiently, timely, and correctly. Customers continue to return to our shop for maintenance and regularly ask for Mike to work on their machines.”

He added, “This is a tremendous accomplishment and our whole team knows he will succeed in Pella!”

Washburn Hosts Open House Event

On Thursday December 4th, the Washburn store hosted an Open House event to showcase the new facility. Local customers and vendors were invited to visit the store throughout the day. A meal of prime rib, baked potato, and all the fixings was served to more than 250 people.

Mark DeMay and Andrew Week of John Deere presented Store Manager Chad Richter with a portrait of Deere & Company World Headquarters as a grand opening gift.

Throughout the day, it was estimated more than 300 people came through the new building and took part in the meal that was provided. Eleven items were given away including a bean bag toss and a washer toss game.

“We had a nice day with a great turnout and a wonderful meal. We were able to showcase our new facility and show our customers how much we appreciate them,” said Chad Richter.

January 11, 2016  |  Category: Events
“Caps for Cans” Big Success for Several Stores this Holiday Season

“Caps for Cans” Big Success for Several Stores this Holiday Season

During the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, several RDO Equipment Co. MWCE and MWAG locations conducted a food drive called “Caps for Cans.” The concept was simple – a customer receives a special RDO Equipment Co. cap for every four items donated to the food drive. This idea started back in 2013 in Bozeman, MT and has continued ever since.

For many stores, the food drives consisted primarily of employee donations due to the busy time of year for customers. In other locations, donations are encouraged through displays set up in the showroom.

The Midwest Constructions stores that participated included:
• Bozeman
• Williston
• Sauk Rapids
• Grand Forks
• Dickinson
• Rochester
• Marshall

Midwest Agriculture locations that participated included:
• Breckenridge
• Fergus Falls
• Kindred
• Hawley
• Hazen

Each store worked with a local organization to donate their collected food. In Sauk Rapids, the team partnered with the Salvation Army to collect non-perishable food items for the St. Cloud area food shelf. Employees, customers, and vendors all made contributions.

General Manager Pete Barrie commented, “Our hope is that this small contribution will help those in need during this time of Thanksgiving and add to their joy this holiday season. Our entire team is very thankful that RDO Equipment Co. allows us opportunities in which we can give back to the communities in which we live and do business in.”

Lakeside’s Food and Toy Drives

Lakeside’s Food and Toy Drives

In November, the Lakeside team organized a food drive in their store. They delivered the food to the Fraternal Order of Eagles as part of their “People Helping Pantries” program.

“We had great participation throughout the store. Our team took great pride in reaching our goal of filling large collection boxes we had in both the main lobby and Parts Department,” commented Mike Fenton, General Manager.

Following the Food Drive, in December, the store organized a Toy Drive. All the collected toys went to a nearby church that served as a Toys for Tots collection site. The store filled their boxes and four employees also went and helped sort all the toys from the community. Those team members included Dennis Foreman, Pete Woliung, Rachael Timm, and Debra Gloyd.

More than 300 families near the Lakeside community were able to provide toys to their children this holiday season.

“I’m very proud of our team’s generosity and commitment this time of year to help those less fortunate in our own community,” said Mike.

RDO Equipment Co. & R.D. Offutt Company Announce Recipients of Community Builder Program Grants

RDO Equipment Co. & R.D. Offutt Company Announce Recipients of Community Builder Program Grants

FARGO, N.D., December 21, 2015: Fargo, N.D. based companies RDO Equipment Co. and R.D. Offutt Company announce that five charitable organizations have been named recipients of their Community Builder grant program.

Launched in summer 2015, the companies’ Community Builder program is designed to support the charitable organizations team members work with, while building vibrant and prosperous communities in which we live and work. The grants awarded are meant to be transformative and impactful to the benefiting charities.

“The Community Builder program builds upon our value of community involvement at RDO while mirroring the passion of giving back, which is the legacy of my father and our Founder, Ron Offutt, along with the other members of our family,” commented Christi Offutt, Chair of RDO Equipment Co. and R.D. Offutt Company.

A one-of-a-kind program, any team member from RDO Equipment Co. or R.D. Offutt Company can apply for a Community Builder grant. As part of the application, the employee must explain how the grant will benefit the local community along with information about their personal commitment to that organization.

Based on the applications received from team members, five Community Builder grants totaling $105,000 were awarded to the following charities:
• Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Red River Valley – Fargo, ND
• Boys and Girls Club of Aberdeen – Aberdeen, SD
• Krum ISD Education Foundation – Krum, TX
• Toys for Tots (DFW Metroplex) – Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
• Ruth Meiers Hospitality House – Bismarck, ND

About RDO Equipment Co.
Founded in 1968, RDO Equipment Co. sells and supports agriculture, construction, environmental, positioning, surveying, and irrigation equipment from manufacturers including John Deere, Vermeer, and Topcon. With more than 75 locations across the United States, including partnerships in Russia, Ukraine, and Australia, RDO Equipment Co. is a total solutions provider. Learn more at

About R.D. Offutt Company
R.D. Offutt Company is a six-generation, family-owned and operated food producer celebrating our 50th Anniversary in 2014. R.D. Offutt Company seeks innovative, better ways to sustainably produce food while maintaining our commitment to the communities in which we reside, and the land on which our company was built. Today, R.D. Offutt Company has grown to include farming operations supporting multiple types of food production across twelve states.

RDO Integrated Controls Receives Awards at Annual Topcon Event

RDO Integrated Controls Receives Awards at Annual Topcon Event

RDO Integrated Controls Receives Awards at Annual Topcon Event

Topcon Xperience, the manufacturer’s annual sales meeting for their global business, was held in Austin November 3-6. The event is Topcon’s annual training and showcase of new technology that will be coming to market in the next year. 

Several RDO Integrated Controls team members attended and the team was the recipient of two awards, including:
1. Top 10 Sales Construction Technology
2. Top 3 Sales Emerging Business Technology

Jason Pearson, Western North Dakota Regional Sales Manager, was recognized by Topcon for sales excellence with their “Coffee for Closer” Award. This award, created from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, is something Topcon gives out every year. Jason received a plaque and Starbucks gift card.

Kelly Gress, Vice President of RDO Integrated Controls and MWCE, commented, “Providing superior technological solutions and best-in-class service to our customers is our primary goal, and it’s rewarding to be recognized by our manufacturing partner for our efforts and continued focus.”

He added, “None of this would be possible without the dedication, innovation, and hard work of the entire RDO Integrated Controls team.”

December 11, 2015  |  Category: Awards

Meet the Expert: Motor Grade Event Held in SWCE

Meet the Expert: Motor Grade Event Held in SWCE

As a way to demonstrate the company’s commitment to customers’ motor grader business, the SWCE team invited customers to an event that featured Mark Johnson, John Deere Motor Grader Expert. RDO Equipment Co. and RDO Integrated Controls teams organized the exclusive Meet the Expert event which demonstrated and discussed how customers can maximize their motor grader operation and productivity.

The one day event featured tips and tricks of operation; discussion on ease of serviceability; a Topcon demonstration; and the opportunity to operate the new FT4 AWD grader.
Two separate events were held – one at the new Lone Butte, AZ location, and the other in Lakeside.

Mark Johnson commented, “Please thank everyone in your organization for the hard work and preparation that they put into these two demos. The demo sites where set up just perfect. All the logistics for the GPS and the models and machines worked out just great. It gave your customers a tremendous feel for both the machines and the electronics. Everything was well staffed and each customer felt they had top priority as they went from machine to machine.”

He added, “I noticed that many of the attendees stayed for hours asking questions and running machines, which is not something you usually see at these events.”

Chris Groll, RDO Integrated Controls Regional Aftermarket Manager in Anaheim, said, “After attending both events I feel that this was one of the best RDO Equipment Co. / RDOIC  partnership events we have presented. Since the event was focused on motor graders, I believe this helped draw a quality group of customers and allowed the team to be highlighted as a Total Solutions Provider.”

December 9, 2015  |  Category: Events

Washburn FFA Chapter Visits Store

Washburn FFA Chapter Visits Store

In late October, the Washburn store had the pleasure of their local FFA chapter visiting and touring the grounds. Store Manager Chad Richter along with Hazen Store Manager David Ripplinger took the students around into the shop area and wash bay. Both Store Managers made it a point to explain how shop safety is a very important part of the job. The next stop took them through the parts warehouse and the show room; along with a full tour of the store. They were given information about the Access Your Future Program as well.

The school’s FFA leader, Mike Kamrath, was very appreciative of the time taken with the students and they look forward to doing it again next year.

Chad commented, “It’s a good opportunity for these young men and women to visit our store, to get a better base of knowledge about agriculture and equipment, and the opportunities available at our company.”

Tucson Participates in Southern Arizona Construction Career Days Event

Tucson Participates in Southern Arizona Construction Career Days Event

Tucson Participates in Southern Arizona Construction Career Days Event

On November 5 and 6, the Tucson store participated in the Annual Southern Arizona Construction Career Days. More than 1,000 students attended this event from 27 high schools.

The event aims to increase students’ awareness in the construction and related industries. This helps increase and enhance job placement in vocational, trade, and technical jobs.

The Tucson team brought an excavator simulator that the students were very excited to try out! Rob Deeran, CSA; Craig Summers, Sales Professional; Brian Behan, Sales Professional; John Davis, Sales Professional; Will Newborn, RDOIC Account Manager; and Pat Burnham, Store Manager, were in attendance.

Pat commented, “This is the second year for this event and the turnout more than doubled over a year ago. It was great to partner with ATB and the local contractors here in Tucson. We were definitely well represented and the best showing of all the local dealers.”

Burnsville – CE Gets Involved with Day of the Dozers Event

Burnsville – CE Gets Involved with Day of the Dozers Event

Burnsville – CE Gets Involved with Day of the Dozers Event

In early October, the Burnsville – CE store participated in the third annual Day of the Dozers. This event raises money for the Children’s Hospitals of Minnesota and gives young children an awareness of the construction industry. Scott Weness, Sales Manager, served on the planning committee for the event.

Attendees of all ages are given the opportunity to get in the seat of the large equipment and go for a ride with an experienced operator. All of the machinery and volunteer time are donated by local contractors and dealers.

“This year we set a goal of $20,000, and we ended up raising $30,000 for the day! This is a great event because it raises money for a great cause and it gets kids excited about the construction industry for our next generation of operator,” said Scott.

More than 35 machines and simulators were on site for the kids to ride and operate as well as many units on static display.

Community Time Spent Cleaning Up California Wetlands

Community Time Spent Cleaning Up California Wetlands

Community Time Spent Cleaning Up California Wetlands

A total of 31 Community Time hours were spent cleaning up one of California’s few remaining wetlands. Six members of the Rancho Dominguez and Fontana stores volunteered to assist at the Gardena Willows Wetlands, which is nine acres of willows that provide habitat for insects, amphibians, and more than 32 species of birds.

The request for assistance actually came when Gardena Willows reached out to the store to get information about green waste recycling. Using a Vermeer BC1500 chipper, the team members filled two 50 cubic yard containers with chipped wood, and due to the limited space of the area, all the wood had to be manually moved to the chipper.

Colby Gergovich, Regional Aftermarket Manager, commented, “It was a lot of work, but we enjoyed ourselves and really made a difference in the appearance of the grounds.”

The other employees involved included Jerry Barker, Rancho Dominguez Account Manager; Juana Madrigal, Rancho Dominguez Service Advisor; Mario Munoz, Rancho Dominguez Service Technician; Joe Cawl, Regional Sales Coordinator; and Breanne Chastain, Fontana Office Administrator.

Rochester Supports and Participates in Muddy Warrior Race

Rochester Supports and Participates in Muddy Warrior Race

A Rochester customer, Elcor Construction, served as the director for this year’s Muddy Warrior Race, which is put on to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Foundation and a weekend retreat they host to help our veterans. Elcor Construction reached out to the Rochester store team to consider being a corporate sponsor for the race.

Not only did the Rochester team financially support the event – they quickly put together a 15 person team to compete in the Muddy Warrior Race. The race was a 5K run filled with 18 special obstacles ranging from an icy water plunge, to crawling through a mud bog under barbed wire, to various climbing stations. Getting wet and covered in mud was all part of the competition.

“It was a great way to help a very worthy cause and our team had an absolute blast! We can hardly wait until next year!” commented Todd Koenigs, General Manager.

Webster Strengthens Partnership with Local FFA Chapter

Webster Strengthens Partnership with Local FFA Chapter

Webster Strengthens Partnership with Local FFA Chapter

The Webster store has been a longtime supporter of the Webster FFA program and recently, was able to show them just how much support RDO Equipment Co. can offer.

The Webster FFA is unique in a way that they actually have their own farm for the students to operate. This year the group had 40 acres of soybeans that they planted and took care of themselves. When it came time to harvest, RDO Equipment Co. stepped up with the donation of a John Deere S670 and 635F.

Service Technician Darin Rumpza made sure the equipment was performing at its best for the students. Account Manager Jerod Matthews demonstrated how to run the machine for the students and then they took over.

“It was a unique opportunity for our students to gain this kind of exposure to the equipment and technology,” said Fred Zenk, Webster FFA advisor.

“We are thrilled to be able to play a part in this. It is great to see the young people in our communities step up to the plate and take ownership. Fred Zenk is doing a great job with the FFA in Webster,” commented JD Kessler, Store Manager.

Now that harvest is complete, the students are learning how to market their crop. “It’s another opportunity for these students to learn about the business,” added Fred.

Flagstaff and Prescott Host Customer Open House Events

Flagstaff and Prescott Host Customer Open House Events

Flagstaff and Prescott Host Customer Open House Events

The Prescott and Flagstaff locations held customer engagement open house events on September 17th and 18th.  The events were very successful with 150 customers attending. Customers enjoyed lunch and one lucky Flagstaff customer, Clint Bleeker of The Landscape Connection, had the winning ticket for a Liberty Safe that was given away.

On September 17th, the Prescott location also had a Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting ceremony.  On hand for the event included Dennis Howard, Vice President of Southwest Construction, and Chris Ritter, CWP Sales Manager.

“We were very pleased with the turnout,” Adam Spade said. “It was a great opportunity for our customers to spend some time in our stores and get to see some of the new models of John Deere equipment. Our teams in both Flagstaff and Prescott really came together to organize two very smooth events.”

November 23, 2015  |  Category: Events
Construction, Integrated Controls, and Vermeer Divisions Impress at Minnesota Fall Maintenance Expo

Construction, Integrated Controls, and Vermeer Divisions Impress at Minnesota Fall Maintenance Expo

Construction, Integrated Controls, and Vermeer Divisions Impress at Minnesota Fall Maintenance Expo

In early October, several Minnesota Construction store participated in the Minnesota Fall Maintenance Expo. This is an annual equipment show in which RDO Equipment Co. has been participating in since 1995 and it is one of Minnesota’s best equipment shows.

Maintenance crews from governmental agencies around the state of Minnesota gather each year in St. Cloud for this show. The show boasts 58 outdoor vendors and 90 indoor vendors and also puts on an outdoor Snowplow Rodeo and Skid Steer Competitions for attendees.

This year, RDO Equipment Co. brought in a motor grader, backhoe, skid steer, Mini Excavator and an ag tractor. In addition, the Burnsville Vermeer store brought in several pieces of equipment including a stump cutter, Mini Skid Steer, and a brush chipper. RDO Integrated Controls also brought in several pieces of machine control technology to have on display.

Inside the RDO Equipment Co. tent were John Deere excavator and motor grader simulators for attendees to try, along with JD Link Product Specialist, Chad Christen, who displayed the JD Link Technology. He was able to bring up customers’ equipment on his computer for a live demo.

Sales teams from Moorhead, Marshall, Rochester, North Mankato, Burnsville (both Construction and Vermeer), Bloomington and Sauk Rapids staffed the show. 

“Many thanks to the hard work that went into our space highlighting RDO Equipment Co. as a total solutions provider,” commented Pete Barrie, Sauk Rapids General Manager. “Special thanks to Krista Wiemer, Sauk Rapids; Mark Rieckhoff, Pat Arnold, and Randy Noska, Burnsville  Vermeer; and Jesse Miller, Burnsville Construction, for the time spent organizing set up and take down of the show.”

He added, “RDO Equipment Co. made a great impression this year and a great time was had by all of our customers.”

November 20, 2015  |  Category: Events

Rod Fisher First in OR to Earn Certified Vermeer Technician – Tree Care

Rod Fisher First in OR to Earn Certified Vermeer Technician – Tree Care

Rod Fisher, Portland Field Service Technician, is the first technician in Oregon to earn the Vermeer certification of “Certified Vermeer Technician – Tree Care” with a passing test score of 88%.

Ollie Windle, General Manager, stated, “We are excited for Rod to earn this Vermeer certification and proud that he continues to develop as a technician and valuable team member for the Oregon region.  The next step is to strive towards Vermeer certification in other product lines as well as pushing for the ultimate goal of Certified Vermeer Master Technician.”

Trey Kizer Named Hewitt Store Manager

Trey Kizer Named Waco Store Manager

Trey Kizer has been named Store Manager in Hewitt. In his new role, he’ll be responsible for all sales, parts, service, rental, and store operations at the Hewitt location

Trey has worked for RDO Equipment Co. for more than 13 years in a sales role and has a vast knowledge of the industry and customer base.

Cory Kosse, Austin and Hewitt General Manager commented, “I’m confident Trey will be a great leader and developer for our Hewitt store.”

Annual RDO Caters Taters for Charity Event Raises More than $66,000

Annual RDO Caters Taters for Charity Event Raises More than $66,000

Annual RDO Caters Taters for Charity Event Raises More than $66,000
2015 Proceeds Benefit Taylor Made Living of the Anne Carlsen Center

RDO Equipment Co. and R.D. Offutt Company held their annual event, RDO Caters Taters for Charity in Fargo on November 5, 2015 at the Baymont Inn & Suites. The potato luncheon and raffle served roughly 2,700 potatoes through both dine in and take out and raised $66,410 for Anne Carlsen Center’s Taylor Made Living.

The Taylor Made Living model will offer another choice for adults with disabilities and their families different from other community living arrangements – one that is driven by individual needs and choices recognizing that recreation, and leisure activities, community involvement, and social interaction are as important as vocational and daily living skills training.

Patrick Kirby, Chief Development Officer of Anne Carlsen Center, commented, “We were so excited to be selected as this year’s charity of choice. It allowed us to let so many more people know about what the Anne Carlsen Center is doing in the community, such as our Taylor Made Living residential facility.”

He added, “We are so grateful to RDO, the sponsors, the volunteers and staff who made this event so amazing, and everyone in the community who participated for their generosity and support!”

In its 16th year, RDO Caters Taters has raised more than $430,000 for charities in the Fargo Moorhead community. A different charity is selected each year. To learn more about the potato luncheon, visit

Ron Offutt Inducted into the Junior Achievement Upper Midwest Business Hall of Fame

Ron Offutt Inducted into the Junior Achievement Upper Midwest Business Hall of Fame

Ron Offutt Inducted into the Junior Achievement Upper Midwest Business Hall of Fame

On September 24, Ron Offutt, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, was among six leaders inducted into the 2015 Junior Achievement Upper Midwest Business Hall of Fame. Inductees were selected for their excellence in business and philanthropy, and for their significant contributions to their communities. Their stories aim to inspire local students to strive for success and encourage their entrepreneurial spirit.

Junior Achievement programs are taught in nearly 700 schools throughout the Midwest, exposing nearly 160,000 students in grades K-12 to its programming focused on relevant, fundamental learning opportunities.

As part of his induction, a video was produced by the JAUM team and highlights the business success and entrepreneurial spirit of Mr. Offutt. You can view the video here: 

Hayward Helps Clean California Shorelines

Hayward Helps Clean California Shorelines

Employees from the Hayward location participated in the 31st annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. This annual event has volunteers cleaning the shoreline from Mexico to the Oregon border, beaches, inland waterways, around the San Francisco bay to as far inland as Lake Tahoe. This year, the Hayward team decided to volunteer once again at the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center located at the South Eastern part of the San Francisco bay about a mile away from the store. This was just one of the over 850 sites in 55 of California’s 58 counties available for volunteers in this year’s event.

This year’s volunteers included CSA Frank Gouveia, Vermeer Account Manager Mark Meyer, RDOIC Account Manager Jason Lacey, as well as their family members and friends. The groups working at the center were split up with some people picking up trash along the salt marshes while other groups pulled out an invasive plant called stink wort. Some of the unusual items found this year included an electric guitar, a plastic Tiki statue, playground ball, and a tennis shoe.

With 75% of the cleanup sites reporting, the statewide count stands at 53,555 volunteers. Those volunteers picked up 548,450 pounds of trash and an additional 65,738 pounds of recyclable materials, for a total of 614,188 pounds or 307 tons. Past cleanups found that 60-80% of the debris picked up on the beaches and shoreline is made up of single use disposable plastic items that originate on land and travel through storm drains, creeks, or rivers and end up on the beach and in the ocean.

After the event everyone met back at the interpretive center for snacks and watermelon. “It’s great to hear everyone say how good they feel about what they did after the event. We look forward to this event every year,” said Frank.

November 11, 2015  |  Category:

Moorhead Store Partners with John Deere Electronic Solutions to Give Back to Food Bank

John Deere Electronic Solutions, based in Fargo, ND, is a branch of John Deere that provides innovative technologies and engineering design capabilities, in addition to extensive manufacturing. They are responsible for many of the electronic components found in all John Deere equipment.

Over the past several years, RDO Equipment Co. has partnered with JDES and provided equipment at their employee events.  Because of that involvement and relationship, the Moorhead store recently demonstrated their expertise and knowledge on a donation to the Great Plains Food Bank.

John Deere Electronic Solutions had a budget of $3,000 to utilize towards a donation of a riding mower to the Great Plains Food Bank, which serves the state of North Dakota and Western Minnesota. The food bank had plans to add a front mount snow blower to the lawn mower down the road.

“After learning more about the size of the yard and the relatively small area of sidewalks that would need snow removal, I suggested looking at a smaller riding mower and a walk behind snow blower,” commented Kipp Anderson, Transactional Account Manager.

The Moorhead store was able to discount the equipment to the point that they met the budget of John Deere Electronic System while fulfilling the ultimate needs of the food bank.

“This is a great example of our team members displaying a passion to meet the needs of our customer, in this, both JDES and the food bank,” said Steve Connelly, Vice President of Midwest Agriculture.

Matt Milosevich is new Webster Parts Manager

Matt Milosevich is the new Parts Manager in Webster. Matt joined RDO Equipment Co. in 2013 as a Parts Specialist in Aberdeen. Matt’s background in agriculture and ranching has made him a great asset to the company, and while in Aberdeen, had exposure to all aspects of the business, including trucks, construction, and agriculture.

“I’m excited to welcome Matt to the team in Webster. His work ethic, character, and strong leadership qualities will make him a great addition to our team!” said JD Kessler, Store Manager.

October 27, 2015  |  Category:

Webster Employee Picnic

The Webster store sent summer out in style at an all-employee pig roast on Sunday, September 13. The event featured a hog, purchased from a local 4H’er and roasted. They followed lunch with a bean bag tournament that father/son Terry and AJ Meland won and had activities for the kids including a bounce house.

“This was a fun, Sunday afternoon get together. What was really neat is that we had it on the ‘front lawn’ of our store – so as customers were driving by and honking, the whole community got a glimpse as to the kind of people that work at RDO Equipment Co.,” commented JD Kessler. “We’re the kind of people that have each other’s back, people that have fun together, and people that are committed to the community in which we work.”

Peter Johnson Name Ada Service Manager

Peter Johnson is the new Service Manager at RDO Equipment Co. in Ada. Johnson joined RDO Equipment Co. in 2013 in a regional role, working with service departments throughout North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota.

Johnson is a graduate of North Dakota State University and has been in the service industry for the past five years. Johnson also served for 13 years in the Minnesota National Guard.

“Peter has gained valuable knowledge and experience working with many of our stores in the Red River Valley and beyond,” commented Evan Fonder, Store Manager. “I am very excited about the leadership he brings to our team, and looking forward to working with him to support growers in our community.”

Team Building Event for Breckenridge, Fergus Falls, and Hawley   Members of the Breckenridge, Fergus

Members of the Breckenridge, Fergus Falls, and Hawley teams got together on a Saturday afternoon for a team building event at a paintball course in Audubon, MN. They spent time on two different courses, one being a very wooded area and the other an open course with limited hiding places!

They ended the day at the Hawley store for some great food prepared by the team and additional fellowship.

“Everyone had a great time,” said Mike Makovsky, Breckenridge Store Manager. “Anytime we can spend time together doing an activity that many of us enjoy is a great day!”

October 22, 2015  |  Category:
RDO Integrated Controls Approved by FAA to Fly Drones

RDO Integrated Controls Approved by FAA to Fly Drones

FARGO, ND (October 19, 2015) – RDO Integrated Controls, a division of RDO Equipment Co., has received FAA approval to operate unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs) to conduct mapping, training, agricultural, and survey applications. The company is an authorized senseFly distributor and sells and supports various UAV units for customers across many industries.

The FAA approval comes in the form of an exemption to Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA), which covers the operation and registration of aircraft in the national airspace. The Section 333 Exemption grants authorization for certain unmanned aircraft to perform commercial operations. These flights must occur at or below 200 feet by a UAV operator with aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds during daytime and be conducted within visual line of sight of the pilots while maintaining a certain distance from airports or heliports. Fewer than 2,000 Section 333 exemptions have been granted nationwide to date.

Matt Hayes, RDO Integrated Controls Mapping/UAV Product Supervisor, commented, “We are extremely pleased with the news. Receiving our exemption is a positive step towards expanding the benefits of this technology within the commercial marketplace.”

For more information about how RDO Integrated Controls UAV solutions can work for your business, visit


About RDO Integrated Controls
RDO Integrated Controls, founded in 2009, is a division of RDO Equipment Co. The division provides positioning solutions for customers in the construction, mining, engineering, survey, and landfill industries. For more information, visit

About RDO Equipment Co.
Founded in 1968, RDO Equipment Co. sells and support agriculture, construction, environmental, positioning, surveying, and irrigation equipment from manufacturers including John Deere, Vermeer, and Topcon. With more than 75 locations across the United States, including partnerships in Russia, Ukraine, and Australia, RDO Equipment Co. is a total solutions provider. Learn more at

Phoenix Donates to Local School in Need

The Children’s First Academy, located near the Phoenix store, is a school that teaches children ages kindergarten through high school. They have roughly 350 students who live below the poverty level, and the vast majority of the students are homeless. Their buses log roughly 900 miles a day picking up and dropping off students to shelters, motels, and apartments. The school’s goal is to provide a high quality of education and provide curriculum that brings each child’s performance to grade level.

Last year, the Phoenix store got involved with this school by donating school supplies and backpacks. This year, the store was notified that they were in desperate need of food and hygiene products, in addition to school supplies. The team members in Phoenix came together and donated school supplies, hygiene products, and gently used clothing. The store then made a donation of $250 in food.

“This was a very successful donation for our store for such a worthy cause,” commented Michael Carr, Parts Specialist.

Dennis Howard, Vice President of Southwest Construction, added, “Any time you can help a child in need, it is worth the effort. The Phoenix store does a great job of coming together and supporting this and many other causes.”

Mark Kuhn Named Irving General Manager

Mark Kuhn has been named General Manager of the Irving, Texas location.

Mark joined RDO Equipment Co. in 2006 as a Sales Professional in San Antonio, TX, and then moved to Irving, TX, as the Sales Manager. In 2011, he moved to Riverside, CA, as Sales Manager and became General Manager of Riverside in 2012. Before that, Mark worked at Alamo Industrial as a Texas Territory Manager.

“We are excited to have Mark lead the Irving location and know his experience, drive, and passion for RDO Equipment Co. will be well received. We look forward to leveraging the many experiences he gained while managing in the SWCE region,” said Daryl Shelton, Vice President of Texas.
Mark starts his new role on November 1, 2015

October 13, 2015  |  Category:

Irving Interns Compete in National Tractor Restoration Competition

Leo Davila and Edwin Castro-Alvarado are currently interning at the Irving shop part time while they go to school at Dubiski Career High School. It is an innovative technical school for high school students that equip them with the skills they need for the 21st century professions.

Through their involvement with their school’s FFA program, Leo and Edwin and their fellow FFA’ers made it to the national level of the Delo Tractor Restoration Competition. They restored a 1946 Farmall “B” tractor.

According to the information on the competition’s web page, the overall condition of the tractor was BAD. The tractor had been sitting behind a home and hadn’t run in many years. The engine and power train were intact as individual components and the electrical system was in very poor condition. The starter and generator were hard to diagnose since the tractor didn’t start. The students attempted to turn the engine over by hand but it was frozen. They weren’t able to diagnose the transmission or the final drive with just a visual inspection. Gauges were in poor condition and the brakes were inoperable. The paint was completely gone and the sheet metal was in poor shape – but there was a hint of the original paint. Not a single piece of this tractor was repaired or restored without the DIRECT participation of the Dubiski FFA members.

“While this isn’t a John Deere tractor, it is quite impressive that this was done entirely by high school students. We are lucky to have Leo and Edwin in our shop. They bring a passion for this industry and reminds us all why we love what we do,” said Rob Duckett, Service Advisor.

New RDO Equipment Co. General Manager Named in Riverside

Duane Bonini has been named general manager of RDO Equipment Co. in Riverside, Calif., effective October 12, 2015. Bonini will be responsible for all operations at both the Riverside and Fontana locations. In fall 2016, the two stores will combine into one location in Riverside and Bonini will continue to lead the John Deere and Vermeer operations.

Mark Kuhn, previous General Manager in Riverside, has relocated to Texas where he will serve as the General Manager at the organization’s Irving location.

Since 2009, Bonini has served as general manager of the southern California RDO Equipment Co. Vermeer operations, which include the Rancho Dominguez and Fontana locations. He will continue to be responsible for the Vermeer operations in Southern California, working directly with Vermeer Manufacturing and the RDO Equipment Co. management team.

Marshall Anderson, Executive Vice President and head of the RDO Equipment Co. Vermeer teams, commented, “Duane has done a superb job of leading our Southern California Vermeer business over the past six years. His passion for driving employee engagement, customer service and the industry overall is contagious and has driven great results. I look forward to continuing to work hand-in-hand with him and his team in order to drive the growth of Vermeer and RDO Equipment Co. in Southern California.”

Dennis Howard, Vice President of Southwest Construction, commented, “Duane is a proven leader in the Southwest. He is coming in at a point where he can leverage the strength of the current teams. He understands and embraces the single enterprise our customers desire from a partner.”


About RDO Equipment Co.
Founded in 1968, RDO Equipment Co. sells and support agriculture, construction, environmental, positioning, surveying, and irrigation equipment from manufacturers including John Deere, Vermeer, and Topcon. With more than 75 locations across the United States, including partnerships in Russia, Ukraine, and Australia, RDO Equipment Co. is a total solutions provider. Learn more at

October 9, 2015  |  Category:

San Antonio Makes a Little Boy’s Dreams Come True

Using the “Contact Us” form on our company website, Chad Jakel submitted a request to his nearest John Deere store:

“I have a son, Callen, with a neurological disorder. He is developmentally delayed and nonverbal, along with a host of other medical conditions. One of his favorite things in life is John Deere tractors and construction equipment. He owns three different “I Love John Deere” DVDs.

Callen uses sign language and has created his own sign for "tractors."  The sign looks like a person using a large steering wheel.  It is his most used and clearest sign used.

Callen’s birthday is next month and I wanted to do something special for him. I was wondering if we could bring Callen to your business so he could see the equipment up close. I think it would absolutely blow his mind! If there was any we could see some of the tractors in action, that would be amazing. At the very least, could we walk around the property to look at the equipment?”

The San Antonio store quickly invited Callen and his family to the store and arranged for a visit.

On August 14, Callen and his family toured the store, and got to spend some “stick time” in a loader, dozer, and excavator. After operating the equipment, Callen and his family were brought into the breakroom where the entire San Antonio store sang him Happy Birthday. They served cake and gave Callen a few John Deere toys as gifts.

In a follow up email, Callen’s dad wrote, “I can't even begin to thank you and your crew for what you did today.  There have been some rough times over the last couple of years with Callen's health, but today was one of his brightest ever.  We feel so thankful and blessed for everything.”

“We had a wonderful time getting to know Callen and his family, and I know that we have developed a lifelong friendship with them,” said Shane Brownlow, General Manager.

Callen was recently awarded a Walt Disney vacation from “Wish with Wings” and will be heading to Disney World in September. However, his family says they’re not sure it will top the excitement he had spending the day at RDO Equipment Co. next to his favorite line of tractors!

October 6, 2015  |  Category:
Access Your Future Newsletter available

Access Your Future Newsletter available

Don't miss the Fall 2015 issue of AYF Insider. The AYF Insider is distributed twice a year throughout RDO Equipment Co. and highlights students, their involvement and accomplishments, new initiatives and other important updates about the Access Your Future program.

Take a look!

Knife River – Success in Belgrade, MT

Knife River is one of the largest construction materials and contracting companies in the United States, with more than 4,800 employees in 19 states and their footprint is very similar to that of RDO Equipment Co.’s.

In Montana, Knife River is one of RDO Integrated Control strongest supporters in the industry of machine control and John Deere and Topcon integration.

For the East Belgrade Interchange project, Knife River completed a very detailed interstate project that involved construction of new bridges along I90. Beginning in August 2013, the project consisted of four phases, with an expected completion of this summer.

Nick McGregor, Knife River GPS Project Manager expected the Interchange project to be a ‘no stakes in the ground’ project, and except for an initial layout for visual effects, that was a true statement.

“Typically when most roads are built, a separate surveyor will provide staking, such as catch stakes. There is vital information we need to know as far as slopes, shoulders of the roads, and measuring fill material. Also, with three roundabouts that were incorporated into this Interchange Project, there were various amounts of grade changes with tight radii. But we were able to utilize our GPS equipment for all of it,” commented Nick.

He added, “With the complexity of the Interchange Project, having machine control take over with no waiting period for survey stakes to be put in the ground, we were able to keep building as fast as we could import or export the material, giving us full advantage for early completion.”

RDO Equipment Co. and RDO Integrated Controls, a united team, filled the needs of Knife River throughout every phase of the project, whether it was heavy equipment needs, machine parts and repair, or machine control service and support. “When we had equipment break downs, RDO made sure to get us the necessary parts as quickly as they could so our down time was very minimal. They would also check in with us, whether it was to see how the equipment was working or the part they replaced was correct or to see if we needed anything from them,” Nick said.

A wide range of equipment was utilized, including Topcon GPS base and rover systems, to John Deere motor graders and dozers, and Topcon Paving sonic systems.

Kelly Snively, RDOIC Account Manager, commented, “This was the ultimate partnership between customer, manufacturers, and dealer. Our customer finished the job way ahead of schedule and commended this accomplishment on the level of technology, equipment, and support they had from our team.”

Nick added, “The partnership with the Montana team was great. When a problem occurred, any individual I spoke with would have an answer for me right away. I got to know quite a few of them very well. These team members made my life a lot easier when it came to resolving issues. There was no taking a back seat with them – solutions were given in a favorable manner.”

Vice President of RDO Integrated Controls, Kelly Gress, added, “Through a single enterprise approach, we truly demonstrated our ability to provide a total solution, which is a significant win for our entire organization.”

September 29, 2015  |  Category:
Grand Forks Team Members Volunteers at Local Habitat for Humanity Build

Grand Forks Team Members Volunteers at Local Habitat for Humanity Build

On Friday, July 10, seven members of the RDO Equipment Co. team in Grand Forks used their special skills and talents to help the Habitat for Humanity build a new home for a local family. Parts Specialists Mike Schuler and Adam Thompson, along with Service Technicians Jason Kouba, Zach LaMarca, Jeff Ness, James Sorum, and Travis Thompson,  worked side-by-side to frame the home.

It was hot outside, but the team never slowed down – they worked hard and accomplished considerably more than the site foreman had expected them to. As an added benefit, RDO Equipment Co. provided lunch at an area restaurant for all those that were involved with the build that day – a nice break from the heat and humidity. 

Mike Schuler commented, “This was the first time I have volunteered for a project like this. It felt good knowing we were helping out a family in need.”

“It was a fun day to be out there with people I work with, but to be working with them in a different environment – I learned a lot of things while helping build a house that I’ve never done before!,” said Adam Thompson.

He added, “I would encourage other team members to utilize their Community Time because it’s an awesome thing this company offers every employee – eight hours of paid time to volunteer to help others in need. Not many companies do something like this.”

Roni Lillehaugen, General Manager in Grand Forks, was very pleased with the teamwork exhibited for the build. “The team members were all feeling pretty good about their contributions to this worthy cause. They told me how much fun they had and appreciated the opportunity to give back to the community.”

September 28, 2015  |  Category:
“The Wall” Makes a Successful and Memorable Stop in Sioux Falls, SD

“The Wall” Makes a Successful and Memorable Stop in Sioux Falls, SD

A replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall made an appearance in Sioux Falls, SD August 6-9, and RDO Equipment Co. supported this tribute with employee volunteer time and John Deere equipment. 

The Sioux Falls chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America sponsored the largest traveling war memorial to visit the Sioux Falls community and reached out to active members of the local Association of General Contractors. The Sioux Falls team partnered with Soukup Construction, which provided an operator for a John Deere 772GP motor grader to construct a level walkway to serve as a base for the wall to sit upon.

RDO Equipment Co. team members gathered to assemble the 360’ long replica as well as assisted the construction of bleachers, flag poles, and fences. The volunteers were dedicated to help make the Wall a first class memorial to pay respect to Vietnam veterans.

The memorial’s daily activities had regular guest speakers and information tents where people could ask for assistance in locating names on the wall.  Several gathering tents where available for veterans and guests could rest or share stories of their experiences. The memorial was open 24 hours a day and thousands were able to visit the site. 

The entire Sioux Falls team was involved throughout this unique experience. “This was an excellent way to use our Community Time to work together to honor our veterans,” commented Jeffrey Mathis, Service Advisor.

September 26, 2015  |  Category:
Tucson Supports Backpack Brigade Program

Tucson Supports Backpack Brigade Program

For the third year in a row, the Tucson team donated nearly $500 worth of school supplies to Tucson Troop Support, which in turn provides free backpacks filled with school supplies to local military families.

In addition to the donation, several Tucson team members volunteered at the Annual Back to School Backpack Event to fill and distribute the backpacks to the family members of the National Guard, Reserve, and Active Duty personnel.

“We feel very honored to do this for our military heroes and their families,” commented Lisa Roberts, Office Manager.

September 24, 2015  |  Category:
Military Discount Now Available on GreenFleet

Military Discount Now Available on GreenFleet

A military discount program was created by John Deere under the GreenFleet program. The Agriculture groups were made aware of this program, and thought it would be beneficial to promote.

“Working solely with governmental customers, I have been asked many times if we or John Deere have any programs for our current and past veterans. And until now, I had to answer no. When we were informed about this GreenFleet promotion, it was exciting to see that we finally had a program we could offer an opportunity to our veterans to purchase John Deere equipment,” commented Jason Hintermeister, Governmental Sales Specialist.

Jason worked with Sara Rooney, Marketing Specialist, to design the floor displays and counter displays. In addition, stores are encouraged to hang, in the appropriate manner, an American flag about the poster displays on showroom floors.

“We are hoping to let every American Veteran – past and present – know how much we appreciate their service to our country. I would encourage every RDO Equipment Co. team member to take the time to say thank you to any veteran who stops into our locations inquiring about the program or any veteran they meet out in our communities. This program gives us the opportunity to offer that gratitude and reminds us that our freedom does not come without great sacrifice,” Jason added.

Learn more about John Deere's GreenFleet program: 

September 21, 2015  |  Category:

Sunnyside Donates 1200 Water Bottles to Firefighters in Northwest

According to news sources, the fire burning in Washington is now the largest in state history. In an effort to show support the Sunnyside team donated all of the store’s bottled water to help firefighters who are fighting the flames.

Roughly 1200 bottles of water were donated to the Sunnyside Fire Department, who has been assisting with the fires.

“It’s a small way that we’re able to give back and show our support of their efforts,” said Steve Taylor, General Manager.

September 18, 2015  |  Category:
Vermeer Southern California Customer First to Purchase Newly Released Stump Cutter

Vermeer Southern California Customer First to Purchase Newly Released Stump Cutter

The City of Redlands, CA, is the proud owner of Vemeer’s newly released SC40TX Stump Cutter. This machine, the first of its kind, allows the operator to drive to, and even cut the stump, from the stand-on platform. Among many other enhancements, it offers improved speed and maneuverability compared to other self-propelled models.

Upon delivery of the unit, the Southern California team conducted an RDO PromiseTM training session with the City of Redlands team. During the training session, two RDO Equipment Co. account managers highlighted all of the maintenance points, wearable parts and items, safety features, and operator controls. They also went through the operator’s manual and discussed helpful pages and answered any questions. Three City employees then operated the unit under the guidance of the account managers. This hands-on portion covered proper throttle speeds, cutter wheel sweep speeds, safety from ground traction and flying objects, to job efficiency. Wrapping up the training, the RDO Equipment Co. team members answered questions about fuel efficiency, ease of transport, and clean up.

“The biggest positive for the customer is that the unit is track mounted,” stated Eric Tusler, Sales Manager. “The City previously had a wheeled tow-behind unit that was very cumbersome. Their new stump cutter allows them into tough areas and gets the job done faster. They waited four months for this machine – even built their bid spec around it – but are very pleased with their purchase and the service they’ve received from our team.”

September 16, 2015  |  Category: Products

Employee Utilizes Community Time to Help Fight Wildfire

The Douglas Fire Protective Association (DFPA) requested to rent chippers to help secure the fire line for the Oregon Department of Forestry’s battle against the Stouts Creek fire. A wildfire in Southwest Oregon has spread quickly due to dry conditions and very hot temperatures.

Chris Stanley, Eugene Sales Professional, delivered two chippers for their use, but the DFPA didn’t have someone to operate one. They found a logging company to supply the guys, run the machine, and tow it around, but only a few of them had ever been around a chipper.

Since a walk around and equipment training isn’t much fun without material to run through it, Chris volunteered to go up on the fire line. He attended a couple safety classes and they issued him all the gear needed.

Chris started bright and early with the DFPA, which he said was a neat experience because he got to sit through their briefings and attend a breakfast with one of the teams. Along with the local association, there were fire departments and individual firefighters from all over the state, as well as a few out of state. The fire, at one point, was growing around 1,000 acres an hour. A large amount of homes in the area have been evacuated in the steep country.

“This was an experience I’ll never forget – they were grateful to be shown how to properly utilize the chippers and the equipment is helping them do their job. I don’t think I’ll quit my day job – but it was exciting to get in the middle of it and help out for a couple of days,” commented Chris.

September 11, 2015  |  Category: