Learn about our stores, equipment, employees and service to the community.
Sioux Falls Service Technician Wins First Place at National Tractor Pull Classic
Kent Huwe, Sioux Falls Service Technician, stands with his first place trophy from the National Antique Tractor Pull Association Corn Husker Classic, held in Lincoln, Nebraska. He received first place in the “Jackpot Pull” with a 1937 A John Deere pulling 4750 lb weight.
Kent has been “pulling” and competing for more than 25 years. “I enjoy the people involved in the events and I enjoy the completion of the pull, to see if my tractor can compete with others in my class.”
Kent has been with RDO Equipment Co. for more than 20 years. Congrats, Kent!
RDO Equipment Co. Names Jim Carell General Manager of New McKinney Location
MCKINNEY, Tex. (May 18, 2015) Jim Carell has been named General Manager of RDO Equipment Co.’s newest location in McKinney, TX. This location sells, rents, and services John Deere construction equipment and opened in March 2015.
Carell joined the company in 2002 as a sales professional at the Irving location. In 2014 he was named sales manager of McKinney, then under construction. Prior to RDO Equipment Co., he worked in sales at Kirkpatrick & O’Donnell as well as Continental Equipment. Carell has 25 years of experience in the heavy equipment industry.
He’ll oversee a McKinney team of more than 25 employees. With the addition of McKinney, RDO Equipment Co. has seven locations along I-35 from Dallas to Laredo. This location will provide additional support to north Texas customers and complement RDO Equipment Co.’s Fort Worth and Irving locations. The new store boasts 38,000 sq ft. and was designed to achieve LEED Certification by the United Sates Green Building Council (USGBC).
Daryl Shelton, RDO Equipment Co. vice president of Texas region, commented, “Jim’s vast industry and RDO Equipment Co. knowledge and experience provide a solid foundation for the launch of our newest Texas location.”
Carell added, “I am excited and honored to be chosen to lead a great team forward and meet the high standards set by the other stores in Texas and across our organization. It is a wonderful opportunity to be part of building the business utilizing our company’s core values.”
Burnsville Vermeer Team Members Jump in Frigid Water for a Good Cause
The Polar Plunge is an annual event that supports Special Olympics Minnesota. It involves teams raising funds and jumping into frigid Minnesota waters in the middle of winter! Polar Plunge events happen all over Minnesota (and similar events may even happen in your state!).
Dawn Albright, Parts Warehouse Specialist, has been jumping in the Polar Plunge since 2012. It started as a “bucket list” item but she loves the organization so much, she has continued to jump each year. After joining RDO Equipment Co., and talking about the event with her teammates, Katie Davis, Parts Specialist, and Amanda Freiermuth, Office Administrator, even though it sounded a little crazy, they were convinced to join in the fun for a wonderful cause.
The team raised a little more than $1,700, which included a donation from the Burnsville Vermeer store. They even had matching shirts with the RDO Equipment Co. logo.
Amanda commented, “Katie and I, being first time jumpers, were a little apprehensive, but the water was not nearly as cold as we anticipated! We had a great experience, and want to thank our store, RDO Equipment Co., and all those who donated to our cause and cheered us on. We had a lot of great support and we will be jumping into freezing water again next year!”
Grand Forks Hosts Week-Long Job Shadow
Three students from Sacred Heart High School, East Grand Forks, MN, job shadowed employees at RDO Equipment Co. in Grand Forks for five consecutive mornings. The students were exposed to our Core Values, stakeholders, culture, and Access Your Future (AYF) program in addition to spending time in the shop and the parts department. These students were very engaged and genuinely interested in what our business and our industry were all about.
A highlight for the students was operating a loader under the watchful eye and guidance of Mike Harshman, Shop Foreman. They were particularly impressed with the advances between the 644H loader and the 544K loader. Mike enjoyed his interactions with the students and commented that they were excited about operating the equipment and asked great questions about the features and functions of the machines.
Roni Lillehaugen, General Manager, commented, “All three students were interested in the AYF program and how it works. One of the students has committed to the program and will begin working with us in June. We hope that the other students will join the program when they graduate in 2016.”
Sunnyside Helps Teach Kids about Ag Equipment
In late March, the Sunnyside team participated in Dozer Days. This is the same event that the Portland store participates in every year, except this is the first year a Dozer Day event has taken place in Yakima, Washington. The event featured 2,500 attendees.
The event gives kids an opportunity to drive construction and AG equipment with proceeds benefitting children-related charities. The Sunnyside store brought two 7R series tractors, a gator, and a 3032E tractor for the event.
“It was a great time. We had a long line at our booth and the kids were very excited to drive the biggest tractor at the event,” said Ike Malson, Store Manager.
Those who helped and donated time: Central Trucking (donated trucking time), Ryan Johnson, Gill Perez, Joe Castillo, Eric Garza, Travis Hanger, Jake Hazzard, and Ike Malson.
Salinas Gets Involved in Local FFA Field Day
RDO Equipment Co. in Salinas, CA donated six 60 series machines for use at the 2nd annual Hartnell College FFA Field Day. This competition is hosted at the local community college for all of California’s Central Coast FFA chapters to participate. The competition consists of different events including welding, to produce judging, to farm power.
RDO Equipment Co.’s machines were used in the farm power event to assess the students’ tractor knowledge and operating ability. Students had to complete two separate tasks:
1. Students had to back an empty irrigation pipe trailer at a 90 degree angle through a set of cones, and then pull forward back through the cones without making contact (a task difficult to even seasoned operators!)
2. Next, students had to make three passes down a mock field using live implements:
One pass with a disc – students were required to lower the three point mounted disc o the proper depth, run the pass, and pick up the disc set at the designated field border.
One pass with a rototiller – students were required to engage the PTO, lower the three point mounted rototiller to the proper depth, run the psas, and lift the attachment at the designated field border.
One pass with a box float – students were required to scrape the ‘field’ flat using the drawbar mounted float, preparing the ‘field’ for the next competitor.
Students were judged on time, proper ground speed, starting/stopping at correct time, PTO engagement/engine RPM, use of machine’s seatbelt, and overall quality of the pass.
“This event was a great success, promoting our commitment to our community, as well as demonstrating the quality of the John Deere brand,” commented Peter Stuhlmiller, Service Advisor, who also helped design and judge the farm power event.
The Salinas team received the following thank you from the college: Thank you so much for your contribution of time and energy toward making our field day at Hartnell College a success. It’s only with committed volunteers like you that we can organize and run fun and educational events such as these. Without your judging skills and knowledge in Farm Power, students would not have been able to expand and strengthen their knowledge and abilities.
International Delegation Visits Red River Valley
A delegation of 20 international visitors stopped by the Moorhead store.
The group was represented by the Managers of agricultural companies in Ukraine, Russia, Moldova and Kazakhstan. The goal of their trip was to learn about seed business and agricultural equipment market in the USA, visit USA farms to learn about modern farming techniques, crop rotations and agronomy.
The trip was organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce / International Trade administration.
Brian Verkuehlen, General Manager of Sales, and Olga Hall, Division Manager of Ag Exports served as RDO Equipment Co. hosts.
“This group was very impressed with the Moorhead facility, expressed a strong interest in RDO Equipment Co. operations worldwide, and had insightful questions,” said Olga. “We were pleased to share our experience and knowledge of agricultural equipment business with them.”
Annual Safety Days Success in Washburn and Hazen
For the past several years, both Washburn and Hazen have conducted a Safety Day event for local elementary students.
February 19 marked the annual Safety Day for area First graders in Washburn. Looking for help to keep things running smoothly, Mike Kamurth, head of the Washburn Future Farmers of America (FFA), was approached and was more than happy to lend a helping hand. It was a win-win situation as it allowed RDO Equipment Co. to keep Service Technicians working, and the local FFA students who need to complete community service projects, the opportunity to contribute to a fun event.
At Safety Day, First graders were lead through the stations with FFA students explaining the dangers of fire, PTO, blind spots, animal safety, helmet safety, bike and ATV safety, and how to use 911.
“The event went very smoothly, and it was a great opportunity for us to partner with the local FFA. These students were a great resource, and helped add feedback to ways we can improve the event in the future,” commented Chad Richter, Store Manager.
This year’s event also featured four RDO Equipment Co. employees that had First graders who attended. Neal Neukomm with son Dierks; Wyat Klabunde with daughter Hannah; Dave Green with son Cory, and Loren Henke with son Treyden. The dads all assisted with the event, which made their First graders very proud!
Nearly 85 First graders from the Beulah/Hazen community attended Hazen’s 4th annual Safety Day. Terry Newman, Account Manager, led the day’s event, along with help from other RDO Equipment Co. employees from Hazen and Washburn.
“It’s a great opportunity for the children to learn and have fun. It also gives us the opportunity to do something great for the community,” said Dave Ripplinger, Store Manager.
RDO Equipment Co. and RDO Water Partner for SWAg Summit
The two-day SW Ag Summit is a cooperative event by Arizona Western College Foundation, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, the Yuma Fresh Vegetable Association and Yuma County Farm Bureau. In its 9th year, this event is focused on educational breakout sessions for local growers, ag professionals, college students, and businesses. RDO Equipment Co. and RDO Water in Yuma were involved in a big way at this year’s event.
The first day was primarily focused on demos. RDO Equipment Co. demoed the eBee drone and JDLink technology, while RDO Water demoed an automated pump/sprinkler irrigation system. In addition, both RDO Equipment Co. and RDO Water were sponsors of the event and had exhibitor booths.
During the General session, five experts discussed the Colorado River system, which was a very educational and eye-opening seminar. Other topics included food safety liability, efficient irrigation in the Low Desert, and drones and UAVs.
“The Summit is the only ag-industry event of its kind in our area,” commented Chris Harmon, RDO Equipment Co. – Yuma General Manager. “It’s important for our team to not only demonstrate the value we can bring to the agriculture community, but a chance for us to learn about the topics and challenges growers are facing.”
Ada Helps Youth with Eagle Scout Project
In 2014, two young men from the Ada community approached the team and asked if they could assist with their Eagle Scout Projects.
There were two separate projects that were completed. The first was a Veterans Memorial made of granite. The store assisted with time and machinery to help set the foundation for the very heavy stone to sit on. They also made a monetary donation and Tim Spilde, Lead Parts Specialist, operated the skid steer used for the project. The memorial is a main landmark of the community cemetery and is visible from the main throughway in town.
The second project was for a new sign for the Heart of the Valley (HOV) Golf Course in Ada. It was a “Course Rules” sign along with a memorial bench. Tim and Kirk Spilde, Central Parts Ordering Specialist, utilized Community Time and helped operate a skid steer and manual labor.
The two young men received their Eagle Scout Awards in February and were both very appreciative of the help they received from RDO Equipment Co.
“We were happy to help give back to these young individuals. Their projects help better our community,” commented E. Marquis, Store Manager.
More than 100 Attend Northwest Precision Ag Training
Over the course of three days, the RDO Equipment Co. team provided a training event to help customers learn strategies for better fleet and asset management.
Held at the Kennewick fairgrounds, customers attended classes that included MyJohnDeere.com, Apex Farm Management software, and in-field ride and drives with sprayers and tractors.
This was the first year trying a new format for the precision products training. The focus was to hold interactive and informative sessions that customers could gain value from and take back to their operation.
Saul Amezquita, Product Specialist Supervisor, conducted sessions in Spanish, which nearly half the attendees participated in.
Dan Eslinger, Product Specialist, and Joel Kaczynski, Product Specialist Manager, trained on JDLink and MyJohnDeere Operation Center and sprayers.
Kyle Sannes, Product Specialist and Alex Umpleby, Product Specialist trained on general set-up/operation, in field adjustments, and GreenStar Rate Controller set-up and operation.
Reps from SurFire AG also held a session to inform customers on solutions that can be used in conjunction with our John Deere Precision Products that will help them increase their chemical application accuracy.
“We were pleased with the turnout and the response to the materials,” said Joel. “This is the type of event that showcases the value and expertise our team brings to our growers business.
Vermeer Dealer Year End and Individual Award
The RDO Vermeer team recently attended the Dealer Year End Meeting in December along with the Sales – Parts – Service event in February, both held at Vermeer Corporation in Pella, IA. It was very exciting this past year as the team had many accomplishments along with a few individual accomplishments.
The following were awarded to RDO Vermeer teams and individuals:
CA & OR – Top 3 in the world for Tree Care Products
MN & ND – Top 3 in the world for Utility Products
Randy Logan (Fontana Sales Professional) – Recycling Products Champion
Mark Rieckhoff (Burnsville-Vermeer Sales Manager) – Sales Manager of the Year
Brian Schafer - #5 in the world for Sales
Eric Punt – 1st Vermeer Certified Master Technician
Marshall Anderson, Executive Vice President, stated, “The Vermeer Division had a great year in Fiscal Year 2015 and it was wonderful to see us recognized by Vermeer across all the segments as well as all regions. On an individual basis, we are very proud of the personal recognition that Mark, Brian, Randy and Eric received for their contributions to both RDO Equipment Co. and Vermeer. We are also proud of all the team members whose dedication and hard work allowed us to perform in the Top 3 of all dealers in five major categories.”
RDO Equipment Co. Announces Partnership with HIPOWER SYSTEMS
FARGO, N.D. (April 10, 2015) – RDO Equipment Co. announces a partnership with HIPOWER SYSTEMS, a manufacturer of power generation and power distribution equipment. All 17 Midwest Construction locations in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Montana will represent all of HIPOWER SYSTEMS’ product lines, from rental generators to power distribution products.
“The new partnership with HIPOWER SYSTEMS is a great fit for our organization, as we have similar values and goals. In their approach to customer service and with their equipment, HIPOWER SYSTEMS is equally committed to building and maintaining satisfaction and strong relationships with their customer base,” commented Justin Schulz, RDO Equipment Co. Product Manager.
RDO Equipment Co. will be sending six Service Technicians to the HIPOWER SYSTEMS facility to complete a comprehensive, three-week training curriculum. The program imparts knowledge on everything from basic generator engine and controller operation to troubleshooting and system maintenance of HIPOWER SYSTEMS equipment, specifically.
“We are impressed with RDO Equipment Co.’s commitment to uptime and superior service, which is important not only for the Oil & Gas industry but for all of our markets,” said HIPOWER SYSTEMS President Rafael Acosta. He continued, “Our joint dedication to quality, integrity, and customer support will be the key to success in this new partnership.”
Lon Kindseth, RDO Equipment Co. Vice President of Midwest Construction, concluded, “This is a quality solution we are able to offer and take care of our customers’ business needs.”
Ron Offutt Named to ND Agriculture Hall of Fame
Ronald Offutt, founder and Chairman Emeritus of R.D. Offutt Company was inducted into the North Dakota Agriculture Hall of Fame on March 7, 2015 during the 78th annual North Dakota Winter Show in Valley City.
Offutt is the founder of R.D. Offutt Co., the nation's largest producer of potatoes, and RDO Equipment Co., the largest network of John Deere construction and agricultural equipment dealerships in the U.S.
A native of Orrick, Mo., Offutt grew up on his family’s farm in Moorhead, Minn. He attended Moorhead High School and graduated in 1964 from Concordia College, Moorhead, with a degree in Economics.
Offutt is the former chairman of the Board of Regents of Concordia College in Moorhead, where he has served his alma mater for over 20 years on its board. He is a member of the Global Leadership Board of the Offutt School of Business at Concordia College and a member of the Board of Regents.
He is one of 41 recipients of the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award, North Dakota’s top honor, recognizing North Dakotans who have achieved national excellence in their fields of endeavor. He has also received numerous other regional and national awards for his contributions to agriculture.
The North Dakota Winter Show is home to the North Dakota Agricultural Hall of Fame. A selection committee, made up of different segments of the state’s agricultural committee, selects the yearly inductees from those nominated individuals. The selection is based on an individual’s contribution to agriculture in the state. Offutt was nominated by the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association.
RDO Equipment Co. Opens New Location in McKinney
MCKINNEY, Tex. (March 16, 2015) – RDO Equipment Co. has opened a new store in McKinney Texas. With seven current locations in the state, the McKinney store will provide additional support to north Texas customers and complement RDO Equipment Co.’s Fort Worth and Irving locations.
The new 38,000 sq. ft. location will offer sales, parts, service, and rental of John Deere heavy construction equipment. The store was designed to achieve LEED Certification by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
Daryl Shelton, RDO Equipment Co. Vice President of Texas, stated, “The additional north Texas location 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 serving the McKinney community for many years to come.”
The store will host a Grand Opening later this spring.
Moorhead and Hawley Host Spring Clinic
The Moorhead and Hawley locations each held a clinic called, “Enabling Solutions.” This clinic was aimed to help customers get prepared for spring and touched on their equipment, AMS solutions, manufacturer news, and more.
The clinic kicked off with an AMS refresher – things growers need to do before they hit the field, such as how to setup planters and air seeders on their displays and value added services.
After the AMS piece, RDO Equipment Co. team members discussed equipment readiness (tractors, planters and air seeders), winter inspections, and Technical Support.
Parts was next, including discussion about retrofittable parts from the MaxEmerge 5 row units to previous model row units, as well as John Deere incentives, and the filter sale. Customers were given a sneak peak of some of the newest products from John Deere, including the 9RX, 2730 ripper, SectionCommand (for air seeders), and SeedStar Mobile. Wrapping things up was a discussion on the importance of good data and how that applies to agronomic practices.
“These types of clinics are great opportunities to partner with our customers in preparing their businesses for planting season. Their uptime and productivity are crucial for the success of all RDO stakeholders,” commented Todd Thompson.
Jerry “Doc” Holliday Celebrates 25 Years
Doc Holliday celebrated 25 years of service this month with a store event. Doc grew up in rural Texas and graduated college with an engineering degree. Doc worked several years in the engineering industry, including time as the Lead Engineer on two large construction projects in Texas: one for the Corps of Engineers and another for the Texas Department of Transportation. After those projects wrapped, Doc entered the heavy equipment industry, where he’s been ever since.
Doc spent several years as a Sales Professional and is currently the Sales Manager in New Braunfels and Laredo. In his 25 years, he’s seen a lot of changes by way of technology and processes. “When I started, all of our quotes and POs were hand written, and we carried our inventory list on a computer-generated print out that was 8” x 14” x 3”. We made most our calls from pay phones. You made sure you always had your rolls of quarters, and I knew where every pay phone was located in the San Antonio area,” he said. The change of equipment technology – and price - has also been quite drastic. “Backhoes used to be in the $30k range, and now they are in the $70k range. They both still dig the same hole!”
What hasn’t changed, however, is how much he’s enjoyed working for RDO Equipment Co. “I am so thankful and fortunate to have built these relationships and long lasting friendships with my fellow team members and customers. Not only have I gotten to know them, but their wives, their children, and grandchild. I even know some of their in-laws!” he adds.
“I have also been graced to have worked for a family-owned and operated organization, and fortunately for me and my family (wife, Traci, and sons Justin, Sims, and Clay, who works in San Antonio as a Sales Professional), it has always been a feeling of one big family. My family and I are blessed to be a part of the RDO family.”
Aberdeen Employee Retires after 36 Years
Linda Hansen, Parts Administrator, etired from RDO Equipment Co. after more than 36 years. An Open House was held in her honor on February 20. The community was invited to come into the store to wish Linda well and enjoy refreshments.
Linda started her career in 1978 in the service department, back when the John Deere dealership in town was Brown County Implement. She transitioned to a parts role right before RDO Equipment Co. purchased the store.
What’s changed the most in her 36+ years in a dealership setting? It’s no surprise – technology. “I suppose the biggest change I’ve seen is the use of computers, when everything at one time was done manually or with just a typewriter!” she comments. She also notes that the machinery is so much larger and much more expense.
“I’m very fortunate to have made many wonderful friends of both employees and our customers in the past 36 years,” Linda adds.
Brian Bjordal, Store Manager, said,” Linda has done a great job for RDO Equipment Co. and will be missed by our customers and employees. We wish Linda the very best in her retirement.”
JD Kessler Named Webster Store Manager
JD Kessler is the new Webster store manager. He’s been with RDO Equipment Co. for nearly 7 years, and in his time with the organization has gained experience in several roles in sales and management, including Sales Manager in Livermore (focused on Vermeer product), Account Manager for Core Accounts in South Dakota, and most recently, Regional Sales Manager for Webster and Aberdeen.
“I look forward to taking the relationships with our internal and external customers to the next level and helping them be a part of the RDO story every single day,” said JD. “I have always been amazed no matter what store I have worked in, how great the people are – and it again rings true for the Webster team.”
Kevin Grove, Service Manager in Grand Forks, spent two days in mid-January teaching first- and second-year Auto Mechanics at Red River High School in Grand Forks. When the instructor for the class was called out for a few days, RDO Equipment Co. and another local industrial dealership were asked to fill the void.
Kevin’s assignment was to speak about cooling systems to the second year students and about preventative maintenance to the first year students. To supplement the classroom education, Kevin brought a new John Deere 524k loader into the class shop – a big hit with the students. He was able to show the students the similarities between gas and diesel machines through the combination of classroom and hands-on presentations.
Roni Lillehaugen, General Manager, was glad that Kevin and RDO Equipment Co. were able to help the school and the students. “We are fortunate to have someone as knowledgeable as Kevin who was able to step in and help out. The students appreciated having a guest speaker – and a loader to climb around on!”
RDO Equipment Co. Donates Equipment, Time to Local Event
Each year, RDO Equipment Co. supplies machines and man power to the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo. And every year at this event, many FFA chapters from around the state participate in the AG Mechanics show that is part of the event.
These students build saddle racks, smokers, fire pits, bumper pull trailers, goose neck trailers, deer feeders, hog traps, cattle pins, and even bottom dump trailers for 18-wheelers. The RDO Equipment Co. team donates time and equipment to help load and unload these projects made by students.
This year’s event boasted 243 projects – loaded and unloaded by the RDO Equipment Co. team – from 98 FFA Chapters, represented by 600 students.
“The Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo is a long standing tradition in our community, and I am happy that we can support the event and the work of these talented young men and women who participate,” said Matt Daniell, RDO Equipment Co. General Manager.
FAA Proposes New Rules for Unmanned Aircraft Systems
February 17, 2015 - By GPS World staff
The Federal Aviation Administration has proposed a framework of regulations that would allow routine use of certain small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in today’s aviation system for commercial purposes.
“We have tried to be flexible in writing these rules,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in a statement. “We want to maintain today’s outstanding level of aviation safety without placing an undue regulatory burden on an emerging industry.”
The FAA proposal offers safety rules for UAS under 55 pounds conducting “non-recreational” operations. The rule would limit flights to daylight and visual line-of-sight operations. It also addresses height restrictions, operator certification, optional use of a visual observer, aircraft registration and marking, and operational limits.
The proposed rules also includes extensive discussion of the possibility of an additional, more flexible framework for “micro” UAS under 4.4 pounds. The FAA is asking the public to comment on this possible classification to determine whether it should include this option as part of a final rule. The FAA is also asking for comment about how the agency can further leverage the UAS test site program and an upcoming UAS Center of Excellence to further spur innovation at “innovation zones.”
The public will be able to comment on the proposed regulation for 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. The FAA also intends to hold public meetings to discuss innovation and opportunities at the test sites and Center of Excellence. These meetings will be announced in a future Federal Register notice.
“Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace, and this milestone allows federal regulations and the use of our national airspace to evolve to safely accommodate innovation,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
The proposed rule would require an operator to maintain visual line of sight of a small UAS. The rule would allow, but not require, an operator to work with a visual observer who would maintain constant visual contact with the aircraft. The operator would still need to be able to see the UAS with unaided vision (except for glasses). The FAA is asking for comments on whether the rules should permit operations beyond line of sight, and if so, what the appropriate limits should be.
Under the proposed rule, the person actually flying a small UAS would be an “operator.” An operator would have to be at least 17 years old, pass an aeronautical knowledge test and obtain an FAA UAS operator certificate. To maintain certification, the operator would have to pass the FAA knowledge tests every 24 months. A small UAS operator would not need any further private pilot certifications (such as a private pilot license or medical rating).
The new rule also proposes operating limitations designed to minimize risks to other aircraft and people and property on the ground:
A small UAS operator must always see and avoid manned aircraft. If there is a risk of collision, the UAS operator must be the first to maneuver away.
The operator must discontinue the flight when continuing would pose a hazard to other aircraft, people or property.
A small UAS operator must assess weather conditions, airspace restrictions and the location of people to lessen risks if he or she loses control of the UAS.
A small UAS may not fly over people, except those directly involved with the flight.
Flights should be limited to 500 feet altitude and no faster than 100 mph.
Operators must stay out of airport flight paths and restricted airspace areas, and obey any FAA Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs).
The proposed rule maintains the existing prohibition against operating in a careless or reckless manner. It also would bar an operator from allowing any object to be dropped from the UAS.
Operators would be responsible for ensuring an aircraft is safe before flying, but the FAA is not proposing that small UAS comply with current agency airworthiness standards or aircraft certification. For example, an operator would have to perform a preflight inspection that includes checking the communications link between the control station and the UAS. Small UAS with FAA-certificated components also could be subject to agency airworthiness directives.
The new rules would not apply to model aircraft. However, model aircraft operators must continue to satisfy all of the criteria specified in Sec. 336 of Public Law 112-95, including the stipulation that they be operated only for hobby or recreational purposes. Generally speaking, the new rules would not apply to government aircraft operations, because we expect that these government operations will typically continue to actively operate under the Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) process unless the operator opts to comply with and fly under the new small UAS regulations.
In addition to this proposal, earlier today, the White House issued a Presidential Memorandum concerning transparency, accountability, and privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties protections for the Federal Government’s use of UAS in the national airspace system, which directs the initiation of a multi-stakeholder engagement process to develop a framework for privacy, accountability, and transparency issues concerning commercial and private UAS use.
The current unmanned aircraft rules remain in place until the FAA implements a final new rule. The FAA encourages new operators to visit www.knowbeforeyoufly.org.
CADsoft Consulting Announces partnership with RDO Integrated Controls
CADsoft Consulting Announces partnership with RDO Integrated Controls Representing innovative positioning technology solutions in the construction industry dedicated to Building Information Modeling (BIM)
FARGO, ND – CADsoft Consulting Inc., a proven leader in the implementations of Design and Construction technologies for the last 24 years, announced that they have signed a joint venture with the leading positioning distributor of Topcon’s field scanners and robotic technologies, RDO Integrated Controls, a division of RDO Equipment Co. This synergy is made possible primarily due to high level collaboration at the root level between Autodesk Inc. and Topcon. CADsoft and RDO Integrated Controls’ joint venture makes it possible for small and major construction trade partners to easily adopt and implement the most streamlined technology in the construction industry.
Topcon is a global leader in precision positioning technology and solutions and has designed their solutions to allow building and civil infrastructure construction customers to form a tighter, more seamless workflow that will increase on-site worker productivity, enhance jobsite safety, and improve quality control.
Additionally, Topcon and Autodesk, a leader in cloud-based design and engineering software for the construction industry, have collaborated to allow products, such as Autodesk Point Layout and the new BIM 360 Layout iPad app, for BIM to more efficiently interact with Topcon’s LN-100 3D Layout Navigator. This provides greater interoperability between Autodesk’s design solutions and Topcon field positioning hardware to connect workflows between the office and the field utilizing robotic total stations for construction positioning. As an Autodesk Authorized Gold Partner and an Autodesk BIM 360 Advisor, CADsoft Consulting has the expertise to provide a complete solution and create jobsite efficiencies by helping contractors more easily connect BIM output to field based implementation. These efficiencies reduce contractor error and re-work while speeding-up the overall installation process.
“By selecting to partner with RDO Integrated Controls, CADsoft Consulting continues to expand our innovative and advanced technology offerings to meet our customer needs,” said Lisa Duncan, Principal of CADsoft Consulting. “Our customers are embracing BIM and have an immediate need for layout workflows to increase jobsite and project accuracy and substantially increase productivity as well. The LN-100 total station robot and Autodesk Point Layout software sits as the focus for the delivering these needs to our clients. With RDO Integrated Controls' expertise and guidance with positioning technology this can be quickly translated into real opportunities with our clients moving forward.”
”As part of our business philosophy to be a total solutions provider in the positioning industry, we are excited about the strategic advantage that this partnership will allow customers. This is an opportunity to extend our services and continue to deliver superior results that will truly benefit the work our customers do,” said Kelly Gress, RDO Equipment Co. Vice President.
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 www.rdointegratedcontrols.com.
About RDO Equipment Co.
Founded in 1968, RDO Equipment Co. is a family owned and operated company that provides and supports innovative solutions for John Deere agriculture, construction, lawn and garden; Vermeer; Topcon; and RDO Water customers. The organization, with headquarters in Fargo, N.D., employs more than 2,200 team members. The company has 70 sales and service locations in nine U.S. states and partnerships in Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, and Australia. Learn more about RDO Equipment Co. at www.rdoequipment.com.
About CADsoft Consulting
CADsoft Consulting is a proven leader in the implementation of architectural, engineering, and construction design technologies and workflow. With over 24 years of industry, business, and technical experience, CADsoft Consulting’s unique services are sought after by leading architectural firms, engineering companies, manufacturing and mining, government agencies, and academic institutions. CADsoft Consulting is an Autodesk Gold Partner with specializations in Building, Civil Infrastructure, Advanced MEP, Advanced Structure, Process & Power, and Government. In addition, CADsoft holds Autodesk Consulting and Product Support Specializations and is an Authorized Training Center (ATC). For more information visit www.cadsoft-consult.com.
Autodesk, the Autodesk logo and ATC are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries.
Grand Forks Service Manager Celebrates 30 Years of Service
Several team members joined the Grand Forks store in recognizing Kevin Grove, Service Manager, for his 30 Years of Service. Kevin’s wife, Carol, and son, Ryan, helped celebrate this special milestone along with many guests including Christi Offutt, CEO; Lon Kindseth, Vice President; and Ron Saar, Regional Aftermarket Manager.
Kevin stated that he has enjoyed his years at RDO Equipment Co. and has built many strong relationships and friendships with both customers and employees. Roni Lillehaugen, General Manger, Grand Forks, is pleased to be able to work with Kevin. “Kevin is a wonderful employee who truly exemplifies our Core Values and Stakeholder philosophy of doing business. He is well respected by our stakeholders and is a great ambassador for RDO Equipment Co. – I am honored to work with him and have him on our team.”
Brian Bjordal Named Aberdeen Store Manager
Brian Bjordal has been named Store Manager in Aberdeen. Brian joined RDO Equipment Co. one year ago as the Webster Store Manager. He previously worked at Walmart for 23 years, with the last 11 as the Walmart Store Manager in Aberdeen.
“Brian brings a wealth of customer service experience,” commented Brook Stephens, Regional General Manager. “Brian has made an immediate impact to our stores in South Dakota, and I look forward to his leadership in Aberdeen.”
Partnership Formed with Central Lakes College
Central Lakes College, with campuses in Brainerd and Staples, Minn., attended RDO Integrated Controls’ Roadshow this spring. John Maleski, instructor, brought a few students with him from their Heavy Equipment Operations & Maintenance program.
The students and faculty were so impressed with the technology and the partnership between Topcon, John Deere, and RDO Equipment Co., that the college has purchased a Topcon 3DMC2 system for their John Deere 700J and a GR-5 Base/Rover/Data Collector to integrate into their operator training program.
Through Topcon’s Educational Partner Program (EPP), the RDO Integrated Controls team was able to present Central Lakes College with a substantial discount on the gear. “This is a big win for us,” commented Scott Schumacher, Account Manager. “To have these students entering the workforce with an excellent base of knowledge on Topcon machine control, along with the support they’ll receive from our team, is huge.”
When working through the deal, John’s biggest concern was getting the students questions answered after the initial training was completed. “When we discussed Fleet Shield Services and explained the RDOIC Solutions Center, it really made the college feel comfortable moving forward with the purchase,” added Scott.
Portland Volunteers Time and Equipment
For the 7th year in a row, the Portland store was involved at the Portland Creative Science School to chip Christmas trees. Rod Fischer, Field Service Technician, and his son volunteered to do the work.
Joanna Goebel, with the Creative Science School, told Ollie Windle, General Manager: “This year’s Treecycle was a huge success. We collected $650 in donations by “recycling” or chipping around 100 Christmas trees. The chips will provide mulch for our garden and the money will go towards our Environmental class time which includes teaching the students about gardening, horticulture, and the natural world.”
She added, “We so appreciate Rod and his son for coming out and giving their time. They helped for several hours, hauling trees, getting the area ready for the chips, and most of all chipping the trees. Our event would not be as successful if it weren't for the donated time and equipment.”
Midwest Construction Sales Professional Wins John Deere Award
In early December, Chad Kesteloot, a Sales Professional in Sioux Falls, was awarded the John Deere Signature Salesman Award for 2014. Chad joined RDO Equipment Co. in 1996 as a Field Service Technician and transitioned into a sales role in 2005.
“Chad has shown exceptional dedication to our customers and organization and is incredibly deserving of this recognition from our manufacturer,” commented Morgan Hullinger, General Manager.
“The nice thing about this award is you didn’t even know you were competing for anything! I truly enjoy partnering with my customers and promoting RDO Equipment Co. and John Deere. This organization is a great place to work and I am grateful for the opportunities that are available.”
Fontana Partners with Police Department’s K9 Unit for Toy Drive
Over the holiday season, the Fontana store held a toy drive and partnered with the Fontana Police Department K9 unit. The store was able to fill up a few stock boxes with toys which were then donated to the Kaiser Hospital and given to children who will be spending Christmas in the hospital, undergoing cancer treatments.|
Colby Gergovich, Regional Aftermarket Manager, added, “I was impressed with the efforts of the entire team and I know we made some very sick kids and families who will be spending Christmas in the hospital really happy.”
Tom Yarrington, Sargent with the K9 unit, said, “Last year, we partnered with the great folks in Fontana. Through a toy drive they initiated, so many toys were collected not only were we able to service all of the children who were in the hospital during the time of our visit, the remaining toys were used to bring happiness to children for several weeks after! Last year three large boxes of toys were collected. One of the boxes of toys were given to the West Covina Police K9 Unit (who we train with regularly). We taught them how to conduct these visits. Last year their K9 Unit made their first visit to children at a hospital near them. Due to the success, they partnered with a company in their city and this year they have just completed their second visit!”
Tom added, “We are honored and blessed by the partnership/friendship we have with Vermeer – RDO in Fontana. It is through their generosity that we are able to bring happiness to so many children and families during this holiday season.
Flagstaff Donates Turkeys
The Flagstaff team “hatched” a plan to help their local food bank during Thanksgiving with a donation of 10 turkeys, matched by their local grocery story. Through Thanksgiving, customers and employees were encouraged to donate a turkey
Employees were also challenged to bring in non-perishable food items for the food bank.
In total, about 20 turkeys were donated along with 50 pounds of non-perishable food items donated by employees.
“It was great to be able to donate to those in need during the holiday season,” commented Glen Preston, Parts Specialist.
Portland Donates Bikes
The Portland store donated two BMX bicycles to the Clatskanie People's Utility District for their annual Christmas gift to those in the local community that are in need.
Account Manager Nick Frappier stated, "This was an exciting opportunity for our store to be a small part of kids in need this Holiday season.”
Pictured (left to right) is Missy Shepherd, John Elliott, Zach Ramey, Nick Frappier, Derrick Hough, Jaime Garcia, Michael Lampkins, Dave Geiger.
Minot Participates in Local Radio Station’s Christmas Giving
KHRT in Minot organizes its Horn of Plenty each year to help families in need during the Christmas season. This year, the Horn of Plenty packed enough baskets for 350 families in the local community.
RDO Equipment Co. in Minot stepped up to help KHRT’s efforts. The Minot employees donated non-perishable food items and the store matched the donation. Galen Weltikol, Julie Kinn, and Marchell Walker utilized Community Time to deliver the food items and purchase the items that the store matched.
Jerome Dahlin, Trever Campeau, Lynn Burns, Kaleb Boehler, Gordy Nord, Travis Klein, and Galen also used their Community Time to help deliver food items to the collection site as well as deliver baskets to local churches so they could be dispersed to families in need. They helped deliver 700-800 boxes of food to five area churches.
“The employees of KHRT radio were very appreciative for our help. It takes a lot of time and planning to make something like this a success, along with the support of the entire community,” said Marchell Walker. “It was a great opportunity for our store to get involved with this project and to help area families have a more enjoyable holiday season.”
The Amazing RTK Race
In early December, 18 students of the Surveying & Civil Engineering program and Construction Management program at Dunwoody College of Technology participated in the Amazing RTK (Real-Time Kinematic surveying) Race led by instructor Kelly Ness.
Using Topcon Hiper V GPS systems provided by RDO Integrated Controls, seven teams were given 60 points to “stakeout” combined with “clues” to verify that the team visited each point. The GPS stakeout positions had to be accurate to within 0.04 feet. The clues were questions such as “What letter__?” and the GPS would lead them to center of the letter “T” on a water valve. The final point to be located was only found by solving a Coordinate Geometry problem which led the teams to a MNDOT survey monument named S 62 located at the Basilica of Saint Mary.
Josh Nave, Bloomington Account Manager, commented, “Despite freezing temperatures, the spirit of competition was alive and well as I witnessed several teams running between stakeout points. This was a great event that we were happy to support.” The winning team received hats provided by RDO Integrated Controls.
Aberdeen wins 2014 Abby Award for Community Service
Each year the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Abby Awards. These are 10 awards that recognize a business or organization for their work in a certain area.
At the 2014 Abby Awards, RDO Equipment Co. was selected for Community Involvement – Business.
Community Involvement—Business: Exceptional performance in its support of arts and culture, sports, education, voluntary groups, and/or community service.
Evan Fonder, RDO Equipment Co., said, “There are number of businesses in Aberdeen that work to make it a better place to live through giving back both time and money so it was very humbling to be selected and gives our store a tremendous amount of pride to know that we are recognized among a lot of very great organizations.”
RDO Integrated Controls Takes Top Awards at Annual Topcon Event
RDO Integrated Controls took home several awards at Topcon Xperience 2014, the manufacturer’s annual sales awards event.
The RDO Integrated Controls team was the recipient of six awards, including:
1. Top 10 Construction Sales Dealer
2. Top 10 Survey Sales Dealer
3. Top 3 Emerging Business Sales Dealer
4. Top 5 Market Performer for Construction
5. Emerging Business Dealer of the Year
6. Construction Business Dealer of the Year
Blair Schneibel, Bloomington Regional Sales Manager, and Chris Jeffers, Anaheim Account Manager, were also recognized by Topcon for a standout year. This award, called, “Coffee for Closers,” comes from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. Topcon has been doing this award for several years, and award winners a plaque and $50 Starbucks gift card.
Kelly Gress, Vice President of RDO Integrated Controls, commented, “We have made significant accomplishments this past year and it was great to be recognized as an industry leader by our manufacturer partner. Providing great technological solutions and best-in-class service to our customers remains our primary goal. Being recognized by Topcon means we will be able to continue to do this with the additional leverage we gain as a top dealership.”
He added, “None of this would be possible without the dedication, innovation, and hard work of the entire RDO Integrated Controls team.”
RDO Equipment Co. Represented at IEA Conference
When the Industrial Environmental Association (IEA) was planning their annual conference held in October in San Diego, they wanted local speakers who could cover a range of topics in regards to promoting the industry and protecting the environment. Some of these topics included: Regulatory Updates, Recycling/Composting, Water, Cap & Trade, Mobile Diesel Compliance, and Energy.
The IAE made their speaker inquiry to the San Diego Air Pollution Control District (SDAPCD). Because of the relationship and partnership built over the past few years by Alan Rakow, Power Plant Technology and Emission Specialist, the group recommended him. Alan was asked to present on Mobile Diesel Compliance as it related to the off-road industry.
“The opportunity to be a presenter at this conference was a huge win for RDO Equipment Co.,” said Alan. “Attendees learned that our fleet is compliant through 2022, (making it one of the cleanest fleets in the county); that we have someone on staff to answer emissions questions; and that we also contribute to the community and are actively involved in reducing emissions.” Because Alan is an advocate for the Carl Moyer Program, which secures funding for customers who wish to update their fleets, he’s helping companies become compliant while saving them thousands of dollars at the same time.
Alan added, “More importantly, I believe the biggest take away for those who attended was seeing that there is more than one highly qualified heavy equipment dealer in San Diego.”
Hayward participates in California Coastal Cleanup Day
Employees from the Hayward store participated in the 30th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. During this annual event volunteers clean the shoreline from Mexico to the Oregon border including beaches, inland waterways, around the San Francisco bay and as far inland as Lake Tahoe.
Team members decided this year to volunteer at the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center located at the southeastern part of the San Francisco bay, about a mile away from the store. This was just one of the more than 850 sites in 55 of California’s 58 counties available for volunteers this year.
Hayward volunteers included Shop Foreman Frank Gouveia; Service Technician Zack Knight; Service Technician Jet Mathews and their family members and friends. Also in attendance were family members of Aftermarket Manager Ryan Scott and Office Administrator Erin List, who were busy working at the Hiring Open House being held at the store.
Some individuals combined with other community volunteers and picked up trash along the entry road and salt marshes while others pulled invasive ice plant, Russian thistle, Australian saltbush, and stinkwort. The naturalists noted the 65 large bags of green waste picked was a record by far for that location. Some unusual items were found including a 8” diameter mooring rope, a very heavy, large plywood fish prop, and a ruby red slipper that sparkled in the light. The team members joked that it belonged to Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz!
With 75% of the cleanup sites reporting, the statewide count stood at 54,124 volunteers. Together, those volunteers picked up 576,571 pounds of trash and 109,494 pounds of recyclable materials for a total of 686,065 pounds or 343 tons. Organizers estimated that 60% to 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 store and enjoyed a fantastic BBQ of Tri Tip steak with all the fixings prepared by Sacramento Shop Foreman LaVor Steenblik. Frank commented, “Everyone always has such a good time at these events and it’s great to hear them say how much fun it is to cleanup as well as how good it makes them feel.”
RDO Caters Taters is another Record Breaking Event
Fargo/Moorhead area R.D. Offutt Company and RDO Equipment Co. team members hosted the 15th annual RDO Caters Taters for Charity on November 6 benefitting Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Village Family Service Center in Fargo. The event was a huge success, and served more than 2,790 guests during the two hour luncheon. Along with sponsorships and a raffle, the final total give to the charity was $52,135.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is America’s leader in one-to-one youth service, with more than a century of proven success in creating positive friendships that benefit children, volunteers, families, neighborhoods, and communities. In the Fargo-Moorhead area, BBBS has been a program of The Village Family Service Center since 1973. School based mentoring was added in 1998.
At the event, guests were served a “pound-tato” (a gigantic, one pound baked potato), choice of toppings, a beverage, and dessert, all for a ticket price of $6. The event also featured a popular Take Out area, a raffle, door prizes, sales of fresh bagged potatoes, and an appearance by the event’s mascot, Tommy Tater.
Susan Smith, BBBS Director, said, “These funds will go directly towards helping us forge strong and lasting relationships between children and adults mentors in our community. This will help us change children’s lives.”
Phoenix Partners with New Charity
For the Phoenix store’s third quarter community involvement project, the team wanted to do something different and decided to work with an organization they had never previously worked with.
They decided to volunteer at Mary Ellen’s Place, which is part of the Veteran’s First organization. This facility is designed to help struggling or homeless veteran women and continues to stabilize lives while assisting in meeting the unique and challenging needs of women veterans.
Over the course of three days, Phoenix team members assisted by painting the trim around the building and around their back patio. They also made donations of file cabinets and other items.
Founder and CEO Joan Sisco sent a thank you letter that stated, “Because of your group of volunteers spending three days at Mary Ellen’s Place, the trim and back patio look like new. Keeping the building in good shape makes the women proud of where they live and because of you, they can be proud to call Mary Ellen’s Place home.”
Chris Devoe, General Manager, stated, “We had more than 15 team members utilize their Community Time and/or donate toiletries and supplies. Great team effort by everyone!”
“It was a great opportunity to get involved with a new organization,” added Michael Carr, Phoenix Parts Specialist. “A huge thanks to Rich Vormelker, Service Manager, and Jim Kleppe, Parts Manager, for organizing the event.”
FSO Team Members Utilize Community Time to Give Back
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays quickly approaching, many team members are making sure they don’t miss out on utilizing their Community Time before the end of the year. Here are some examples of what some FSO teams are doing with the benefit.
Ronald McDonald House
The Employee Relations team volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House of the Red River Valley hanging Christmas lights and doing some light yard work at the north and south houses in Fargo. The Ronald McDonald House of the Red River Valley offers home-like comfort, support and care for families with children receiving medical care in Fargo-Moorhead. Their homes provide the opportunity for families to stay together, in proximity to the treatment hospital, and be comfortable and cared for during their stay.
Individuals involved in these projects included Ryan Johnson, Amanda Dawson, Emily Keeling, Ann Hauff, Christy Gustafson, Jamie Ihry, Jody Jahner, Leslie Olson, and Tori Weisbeck.
Ryan Johnson, Employee Relations Director, commented, “It was fun team-building activity and a rewarding experience to support a charity whose mission is geared around helping families through a difficult time. The people at RMH were very appreciative of the support and we enjoyed the day.”
Festival of Trees
The FSO’s Community Responsibility Committee (CRC) made someone’s holiday season a little brighter by participating in the Fraser Ltd. Festival of Trees. The decorated trees are displayed and then donated to families who otherwise would not have a tree for Christmas.
Becky Sjolin, Sheena Wendlick, and Cindy Bye decorated two trees this year. The trees featured several toy tractor “ornaments” along with a John Deere beanie and blanket, serving as a tree skirt.
“It is a terrific event which truly benefits all involved,” said a representative from Fraser, Ltd.
Sioux Falls Donates their Time for Community in Need
Canton, South Dakota suffered a horrible flood earlier this summer that affected many people in the small community. Many people were affected and had damage to their homes.
RDO Equipment Co. in Sioux Falls stepped up to help those in need. Six employees utilized their 8 hours of Community Time to help remove damaged items from basements including furniture, carpet, paneling, and more. They also helped with removing water and sludge caused by sewer backups. After the removal, they assisted with bleaching the basements.
“It was not easy work for our team. It was hard, dirty, and messy, but work that the city desperately needed,” said Morgan Hullinger, General Manager.
“The residents of Canton were so appreciative. They really couldn’t thank us enough,” added Cory Myhre, Yard Coordinator, who was also instrumental in arranging the volunteers.
“After a hard day, I know that our team members felt extremely satisfied knowing that they helped out a community in need.”
RDO Equipment Co. Recognized by Lignite Energy Council
The Lignite Energy Council recently honored individuals and companies for their dedication to the lignite industry during the Council’s 41st Annual Meeting on October 1, 2014, in Bismarck, ND. RDO Equipment Co. in Bismarck was awarded the Lignite Contractor/Supplier award in appreciation of the company’s dedicated service as a contractor/supplier to the lignite industry. Randy Hoovestol, Sales Professional, accepted the award.
“These individuals have given much of their time and energy to help sustain a strong lignite industry that benefits our region by providing reliable, low-cost and increasingly clean electricity,” said Jason Bohrer, president & CEO of the Lignite Energy Council.
Derek Shaffer, General Manager, commented, “Our mining sales and support have come a long ways in the past few years ago. This award recognizes those efforts. We are very proud and honored to be recognized by the Lignite Energy Council for our hard work.”
New Midwest Construction Region Store Managers
Two new Store Managers have been named in the Midwest Construction: Pete Barrie in Sauk Rapids and Doug Maus in Dickinson.
Pete was previously a Sales Professional at the Burnsville – CE store and he has nearly 20 years of experience in the construction industry. Prior to joining RDO Equipment Co. three years ago, Pete served as a Product Support Representative for a Komatsu dealer in Utah and Nevada.
“I look forward to building a lasting relationship with the team in Sauk Rapids. We have a very dedicated and talented group who exemplify our Core Values. I look forward to growing the Sauk Rapids market and continuing to be a business leader that is very involved in the community as well as the preferred heavy equipment dealer,” Pete commented.
Doug joins RDO Equipment Co. after spending 25 years with CIH dealer West Plains Inc. At West Plains he served in various roles including Service Technician, Service Manager, Parts and Service Coordinator, and Store Manager.
“I’m excited to join RDO Equipment Co. and look forward to learning the construction industry and working with the team members,” Doug said.
Moorhead Partners with NDSCS for Safety Days
Each year North Dakota State College of Science (NDSCS) hosts Safety Days, an event for students that focuses on safety associated with safe operation of equipment.
The school requests equipment from businesses in the industry so students can get hands-on operator training.
For this year’s event, the Moorhead store brought a 210LC excavator and 544K loader.
“One of the benefits of being involved with this event is that we get quality one-on-one interaction with first year students. They are getting familiar with our equipment, and we’re able to build a relationship by promoting the opportunities at our company. It’s also a great opportunity to further connect with our current Access Your Future students,” said Mike Wollschlager, Store Manager.
In addition to Mike, Shawn Pascke, Customer Service Advisor; Erik Sahr, Sales Manager; and Rick Thibert, Sales Coordinator, attended.
Burnsville CE Participates in Day of the Dozer Charity Event
The Burnsville CE store participated in the second annual Day of the Dozer fundraiser for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota on September 13th. Day of the Dozer was organized to give children of all ages the opportunity to get into the driver’s seat of all types of construction equipment. Through donations from equipment dealers and local contractors, there were more than 40 pieces of equipment at the event and included both an operational area as well static display. RDO Equipment Co. donated the use of a 210 Hitachi, a 772GP motor grader, and two simulators.
Burnsville CE Sales Manager Scott Weness served on the planning board for the event. “There were more than 1,500 people at the event. Our goal was to raise $10,000 for Children’s Hospitals. We blew past that goal and raised $15,000.”
Burnsville CE, along with the Burnsville VER and RDO Integrated Controls teams welcomed more than a dozen employees and their family members as volunteers for the event. “I was very proud of all my fellow team members who volunteered. Many participants and customers commented on the level of support RDO Equipment Co. gave to the event,” said Scott.
Matt Dull, General Manager, added, “Scott did a tremendous job arranging the details of this event. Not only does he support our employees and customers on a daily basis, but has a passion for giving back to our community. Thank to you our team members who gave their time to a cause that we truly believe in supporting.”
Minot’s Community Giving
Individuals from the Minot store recently spent time giving back in two unique ways – by volunteering at DaySun’s Day of Giving and at Luther’s Kitchen, one of Minot’s soup kitchens.
DaySun Day of Giving
This community event is supported by several businesses throughout Minot, ND, in memory of DaySun Gross, a Minot resident. This event is a celebration of life aimed to spread awareness to drinking and driving. At the event, 550 bikes and helmets were given to low income families, as well as 1,200 coats and 1,100 backpacks full of school supplies.
The store was asked to get involved by a customer who owns Magic City Harley Davidson. Mike Daeley, Service Administrator, helped assemble many of the bikes, and several employees came on Saturday morning to help set up the bikes outside for the event. The store also made a financial donation to help purchase bikes.
Looking for ways to volunteer in the community, Matthew Barron, Sales Intern, suggested Luther’s Kitchen. The Minot team felt it was a worthy cause to give of their time. Over the past several weeks, team members utilized their Community Time (Team members included Albert Ahanonu, Bob Amick, Woody Baker, Matthew Barron, Sharon Baxter, Lynn Burns, Jerome Dahlin, Jennifer Korgel, Jim Little, Keenan Lopez, Brad Murphy, Todd Nelson, Marchell Walker, Greg Wiest, Nathan Wohlk, and Katie Woller.)
While there, the team prepared food for the weekly meal for the homeless in the Minot area. They also help serve food and did anything else the soup kitchen needed.
Jon Markle, General Manager, commented, “These experiences taught us how much the community really appreciates the donation of time. In my opinion, the donation of time demonstrates to the community members that we care and we are truly vested in the community.”
RDO Equipment Co. in Ada Supports Local Ag Day
Ag Day is an annual event for local high school students put on by Paul Borgen Farms, a RDO Equipment Co. customer from Ada, MN. This annual event encourages young people to understand the important details necessary for today’s farmers to continue providing quality produce. Students attend ten separate, twenty-minute sessions presented by professionals from across the agriculture industry, including American Crystal Sugar Co., Amity Technologies, Agvise Laboratories, GK Technology, Inc., Ag Country Farm Credit Services, West Central Ag Services, John Deere Seeding Group, Pioneer Seed, Eide Bailly, LLP and RDO Equipment Co.
Team members from RDO Equipment Co. in Ada, MN presented the benefits of John Deere FarmSight Solutions, escorted John Deere Tractor rides guided by John Deere AMS equipment, documented the day’s events with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, and served noon lunch to everyone.
“We are fortunate to be involved in this annual event to help present information on the important solutions that demonstrate the role farming plays in feeding, clothing, and powering a growing world,” said Todd Thompson, Regional General Manager.
RDO Integrated Controls Partners with North Dakota State University Geology Students
Field Geology is a capstone course for the Geology major program at North Dakota State University. In 2014, 22 students spent a week studying the geology of the Little Badlands area of western North Dakota. Their goal was to demonstrate their ability of integrating knowledge they have gained from all their undergraduate courses in interpreting the geology of a specific area. After making observations and measurements, the students are required to create an extensive report of the type required by companies and in graduate-level courses.
Before this time in the field, NDSU approached the RDO Integrated Controls team in Moorhead to get replacement batteries for an older Sokkia total station they were planning to use. After contacting manufacturing partners Topcon and Sokkia, Scott Schumacher, Account Manager, discovered that the batteries for that specific unit were no longer manufactured.
Only weeks before the students headed out to western North Dakota to collect data, the team recognized this as an opportunity to help them out. “We offered them a demo on a brand new Topcon ES-105 total station so the students could complete their project and be exposed to the latest and greatest technology,” said Scott.
He added, “This was a great way to show we are invested in our community and provide a solution to the university. The demo also provided us with an opportunity to do a presentation on the future of the survey and machine control technology to over a 100 students next month, something we’re really looking forward to.”
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge – Accepted!
Throughout the month of August and September, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dominated the social media scene. If you’re unfamiliar with the challenge, here’s how it worked:
1. You are nominated (by a friend, colleague, family member, business)
2. You have two options – accept the challenge by dumping a bucket of ice water over your head and making a small donation to the ALS Association, OR forgoing the ice water and make a large donation to the ALS Association.
3. If you accept the challenge, you are then allowed to nominate 3-5 individuals/businesses of your choice.
What is ALS? Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease" given that the baseball player was a victim of the disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised more than $100 million. This money will be used across the country to assist in research.
Many of our employees personally took this challenge, but so did many of our stores!
Megan Pemberton, Salinas Service Advisor, lost her Mom to ALS four years ago. When the ALS Ice bucket challenge surfaced, she knew she wanted to take action. She mentioned doing a store-wide challenge to see if they could raise any funds. The Salinas team had 11 volunteers and in total donated $1,700. They also challenged a few other stores to see if we could keep the movement including Yuma, Pasco, and Imperial.
Yuma accepted the challenge next. Nine team members got water dumped on them by their coworkers. Employees donated personally to the Association and the Yuma store matched the donation, for a total of $310.
The Pasco store had 7 volunteers who braved the ice bucket and made a $500 contribution to the ALS Association.
Nine Imperial team members accepted the challenge and donated $400. In return, they challenged their local water and energy provider, Imperial Irrigation District. Joe Castillo, Regional General Manager, commented, “This was a great event for a good cause. Everyone, including those who were only spectators, had a good time with this event.”
Aberdeen was challenged by their local Case dealer, Titan Machinery. The store had 20 employees either participate through a donation or do the ice bucket challenge, or both. They raised $2,350 for their local ALS Association. They in turn challenged Artz Equipment (an AgCo dealer), HC Clark (the Titan Machinery – New Holland Dealer), Pierson Ford and Dakota Fluid Power (a competitor in the Hydraulic repair business).
Evan Fonder, Aberdeen Store Manager, commented, “When Titan challenged us, it was great to see a bunch of our employees want to respond, both for the cause and to have some fun with it. It was also great to see how businesses that compete against each other day to day could come together for a good cause. We received a lot of positive comments from around the community after participating.”
San Antonio Donates Box Fans for Seniors in Need
Project Cool is a city-wide initiative hosted by United Way and the City of San Antonio, in partnership with the San Antonio Fire Department, which aims to provide free box fans to seniors in need during the summer months.
While most families in Texas can usually cope with the extreme heat of the summer, seniors often struggle with high temperatures. Some seniors do not have air conditioning and those that do may not be able to run theirs for fear of the expense on their utility bills, especially those who live on fixed incomes. Last year, nearly 4,000 fans were distributed to San Antonio-area seniors who are 60 years of age and older.
This is one of the annual projects that the San Antonio store donates to because employees feel it’s such a worthy cause. The store donated twenty fans to Project Cool.
They were delivered to the distribution center where seniors can also go to get food, including fresh fruits and vegetables provided by the San Antonio Food Bank.
“The Texas heat is nothing to mess around with, and we’re proud to support an initiative that helps take care of members of our community,” said Shane Brownlow, General Manager.
Portland Hosts Sherrill Tree Seminar
More than 40 people attended a Sherrill Tree aerial rescue training seminar, hosted by the Portland store. Some participants traveled from nearly 300 miles away to attend.
The training featured techniques and hands on scenarios related to aerial rescue situations that arborists and line workers may encounter. The participants learned a lot and stated that they hoped they never had to use the skills, but feel confident that they could if necessary.
“The instruction was great, the customers that attended were energetic and eager to learn and the Portland weather couldn’t have been more perfect,” commented Ollie Windle.
Escondido Partners with Local Elementary School
The Escondido store completed a community service project at Cajon Park Elementary School where they set up an irrigation system for the school’s garden.
They arrived bright and early to start gluing parts, digging trenches, and installing equipment to give the garden a stable watering system. In addition to the volunteer hours of the setup, the store also donated a large amount of the parts and product needed to complete the project.
El Cajon Park Elementary school uses its garden to further the education of the their students by creating a gateway for them to learn more about different cultures, insect types, gardening and vegetation practices, and how to maintain a stable environment for different plants, flowers, vegetables, and fruits.
Massiel Perez, Store Manager, commented, “When speaking with the teachers involved, we found that the garden is very popular among the students and causes much excitement. We are proud to have the opportunity to supply them with the foundation needed to keep this garden running smoothly for years to come!”
Tucson Donates Backpacks to Military Families
For the third year in a row, the Tucson store has donated backpacks and school supplies to Tucson Troop Support, a local charity that helps local military families.
This year, the store donated enough supplies to provide 32 filled backpacks to children in military families that are in need of assistance during the back to school season.
“We are truly grateful to give something back to our military families that give so much to support our country,” commented Lisa Roberts, Office Manager.
“We have a great relationship with Clarissa Geborkoff / Tucson Troop Support and the entire store looks forward to working with her and her team to support military families in need. It’s a gesture that we can all be proud of,” added Bill Hitchcock, Tucson General Manager.
Farm Rescue to Help 300th Farm Family This Fall
By the end of the year, Farm Rescue will have assisted more than 300 farm families in crisis. Each of these families has experienced an illness, injury or natural disaster that prevented them from planting, haying or harvesting their crop in a timely manner. Farm Rescue stepped in and helped these families when they needed it most.
No, in this case, 300 is much more than a number – 300 families in the upper Midwest are able to continue supporting their communities and feeding America. These families are friends, neighbors, and customers. They are the rural community.
This year, Farm Rescue gears up for their eighth harvest season. The non-profit organization is supported primarily by business sponsors, personal donations and grants from foundations. The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust is currently matching new donations to Farm Rescue 2-for-1. RDO Equipment Company sponsors field equipment. Farm Rescue is on schedule to help more than 50 families this year.
Families. Not numbers.
Has someone you know been helped by Farm Rescue? Share your story of how Farm Rescue ‘came to the rescue’ or donate to support our mission at farmrescue.org
FSO Team Volunteers for United Way
The Payroll, Benefits, and Safety team supported the United Way of Cass Clay School Supply Drive by counting, sorting, and organizing supplies that will be distributed to local school-age children in need.
“We volunteered last year for the event and everyone had a great time, so we knew it was something we wanted to do again. It supports a need in our community and we were glad to again be involved,” said Brett Olson, Compensation and Benefits Director.
John Deere Day of Play events Held in Aberdeen, Casselton, and Moorhead
Aberdeen, Casselton and Moorhead stores held Day of Play/Drive Green events this summer.
This was the 2nd annual Day of Play for Aberdeen, and was a great event. Nick Kallhoff, Parts Manager, took the lead on organizing the event and the whole team did a great job making a fun day.
They had activities both inside and out, including play areas for toys, ride-on and pedal equipment, face painting, coloring station, pools filled with corn and soybeans for sand toys, Barrel Train rides, a duck pond, and every kid that attended received a free coloring book and small toy. They also had the Fire Department out with a truck for the kids to tour, and the Aberdeen Police Department conducted a bike safety class.
The team raised roughly $500 for the area Boys & Girls club through a free will offering during lunch. They estimate they had about 500 in attendance, which was up from 300 last year. In addition to traditional marketing, they brought flyers to the local YMCA Youth Center, the Boys & Girls Club, and mailed flyers to every daycare in Aberdeen, as well as partnered with a local grocery store to hand out flyers to their customers.
Evan Fonder, Store Manager, commented, “We saw a lot of people that had never been to the store before, but it also brought in a lot of customers and their families that we regularly do business with, which helps to connect with them on a different level and strengthen our overall partnership. This type of event is so different from anything else we do, and when you see 200 kids running around, it’s hard not to have a great time with it.
Moorhead’s event, held in late June, was a bit rainy, but still proved to be a great day.
The showroom was pristine and featured new interior signage, which encouraged attendees to take a look. Many were surprised and didn’t know that the Moorhead store had such a vast array of lawn and garden equipment, as well as a huge selection of John Deere merchandise, Honda, and STIHL products. They served lunch and had several pieces of equipment on display, along with gators for kids to play on.
Paul Morlock, CP Manager, commented, “Despite rainy conditions, it was a great event and good exposure.”
Casselton’s Day of Play event featured combine and tractor rides, barrel rides, a corn play area, yard games, face painting, coloring, and seed planting. Around 100 kids attended – some all the way from Williston, Iowa, and even Pennsylvania.
Store Manager Nic Miller said, "This is a great event that showcases to the community that we have something for everyone at the dealership. The team pulled together and put in a lot of extra work and that helped make the event a success."
Washburn Parade Makes for a Family Affair
The Washburn store participated in their community’s Lewis and Clark Riverboat Days Parade in June. This is always a popular event for employees to participate in, and they never seem to struggle finding willing participants to drive equipment.
This parade has become a fun event for employees and their families to spend together. This year, Josh Wooledge, Service Advisor; Neal Neukomm, Account Manager; Loren Henke, Parts Specialist; and Josh Bintz, Equipment Detailer, all brought their families along for the fun event.
Brent Slaubaugh, Account Manager; Vernon Cole, Service Technician; and Ian Zimmerman, Account Manager also joined in the fun.
The store had an S680 combine drop candy from its auger a few stops along the route, which was a huge hit with parade goers.
“This parade is a great way to show our community – and our family members – who we are,” said Chad Richter, Store Manager.
Regional Training Event in Hayward
Service Technicians from Portland, Sacramento, Fowler, and Fontana joined Hayward Service Technicians for a regional Vermeer training event, held in Hayward.
Lance Langle from Vermeer Freeman and Jeff Vander Molen from Vermeer Manufacturing facilitated the training which covered compost turners and electrical and hydraulic systems of trammel screens.
They brought a simulator for a trammel screen that they used to show how each component works together. A CT718 compost turner and two TR626 trommel screens were available to the class for troubleshooting and utilizing the diagnostic program.
“It was a great turnout even during an incredibly busy time for our stores. The attendance shows the value of training to everyone within the organization and our manufacturing partners. Vermeer’s participation in the event was very appreciated, and we hope to have many more opportunities like this in the future.
Sauk Rapids and Burnsville-Vermeer Employees Participate in Mended Hearts Golf Tournament
For the second year, Burnsville and Sauk Rapids team members participated in the Zipper Open Classic Golf Tournament for Mended Hearts (Chapter 10).
The event was held in Sartell, MN at Blackberry Ridge Golf Course. Fifteen teams participated including doctors and nurses from the Heart Center at St. Cloud Hospital as well as heart procedure survivors.
Mended Hearts is a support system for individuals that have endured heart procedures.
The money raised this year again will go towards AED’s (Automated External Defibrillator) that will be placed throughout central Minnesota. RDO Equipment Co. served as a Cart Sponsor. Each cart used at the tournament featured the RDO Equipment Co. logo and the company had representation in the program.
Employees from Sauk Rapids and Burnsville-VER participating in this year’s event included Dan Dostal, Sauk Rapids Sales Professional; Tom Pistulka, Sauk Rapids CSA; Jason Nigg, Burnsville-VER Parts Specialist; and Pat Arnold , Burnsville-VER Sales Professional.
For Pat, Mended Hearts is an organization that holds special meaning. “My father-in-law, who serves as the Mended Hearts Chapter 10 President, had open heart surgery 5 years ago, and both my uncle and father passed away from heart attacks. This organization holds some special interest to me, and RDO Equipment Co. sponsoring and allowing us to be part of this event is just awesome!”
Pasco Participates in Annual Parade
Pasco’s 26th annual Grand Old 4th of July Parade featured nearly 80 entries. RDO Equipment Co. in Pasco was awarded the sweepstakes award.
More than 20 Pasco employees and family members participated in the parade. RDO Equipment Co.’s entry featured 20 pieces of equipment including a customer’s restored John Deere 530 tractor that pulled a decorated trailer, service truck, S680 combine, gators, and tractors of all sizes.
The employees involved in the parade got together the evening prior to decorate the equipment grill burgers and hotdogs.
“Everyone that participates loves being a part of this community event and looks forward to it each year. It’s great to see the looks on the kids’ faces as they see a combine or 9RT coming down the street,” commented Dick Muhlbeier, Store Manager.
Phoenix Gives Back this Summer
Phoenix team members coordinated two community-giving projects this summer. First, they did a school supply drive for the Children’s First Academy in Phoenix. 100 percent of students and their families at this school are at or below the poverty line and a vast majority of the students are homeless. There are approximately 350 students, grades K-9, that are educated at the school. The school provides stability for these children amid an unstable environment; many of the children live in motels or shelters. Children First Academy work’s to provide the necessities, care, and attention that so many homeless and low socioeconomic children lack.
The Phoenix team donated 50 backpacks and the employees donated school supplies. Some of those donated supplies included 500 pencils, 65 notebooks, 40 safety scissors, 56 boxes of crayons, 41 pencil sharpeners, 130 file folders, and 86 glue sticks.
“This was a very worthy cause that we will consider doing every year,” said Michael Carr, Parts Specialist. Chris Devoe, General Manager, added “I asked our management team to come up with a charity that they would like to donate to, and Jill Gallagher (Fuel Manager) contacted Children’s First Academy. I’m excited and very pleased with our team’s effort and involvement to donate to such a great organization.”
The other community event this summer was the store’s annual water drive for the St. Mary’s Food Bank. They donated more than 140 cases of water (which equals 470 gallons of water) to be distributed to those in need in the Phoenix area. To match the water donated, RDO Equipment Co. also donated $200. This financial donation will allow the food bank to provide more than 1,400 meals.
Product Specialist Team Conducts Training for MWAg Sales Teams
The MWAg Product Specialist team conducted field training and sprayer certification for more than 150 Account Managers and Aftermarket employees from Aberdeen, Ada, Bismarck, Breckenridge, Casselton, Fergus Falls, Hawley, Hazen, Kindred, Lisbon, Moorhead, Moorhead FSO, Rapid City, Redfield, Washburn, and Webster.
The training featured a full day of courses, ranging in topics such as AutoTrac Hardware and Function, Planting and Seeding, Combine settings and operation, Rate Controllers – Dry/Liquid and Set up, MyJohnDeere.com and John Deere FarmSight, and more.
“We’re an industry leader in the way we conduct and provide training for our team members,” said Todd Thompson, Regional General Manager.
Joel Kaczynski, Product Specialist Manager, added, “A big thank you to the team for providing such quality training to our sales and aftermarket team members. This training furthers our commitment of providing superior service to our customers and strengthens our unified implementation of the FarmSight strategy.”
Dwight Bleth Celebrates 45 Years in the Industry
Dwight Bleth, Regional General Manager for Hazen and Washburn, recently reached a significant milestone – he has spent his entire career in the John Deere equipment industry (with no plans to stop now!). We asked Dwight to share a bit of his experiences, including how he got started, the changes he’s witnessed, and what he’s come to love about this business.
HOW IT BEGAN
I started in this business as a set up technican on June 4, 1969 at Richardton Farm Equipment (Richardton, ND) and my first job assignment was to set up a new John Deere C20 cultivator and as I remember it was 18ft wide. I remember this because it made quite an impression on me (literally) when during the set up process, I positioned one of the shanks on the frame and when I turned to reach for the attaching hardware, the shank shifted and the spring inadvertently hit me above the eye, hence the impression.
I worked in set up for about three months and then moved to reconditioning and tractor repairs. I spent the next six years as a Field Service Technician, making service calls and in-store repairs.
In 1975 I moved to Dickinson and started working at Letvin Equipment Co. as a Technician. After a few years, I became Service Manager, before transitioning to a career in sales. In 1985, I became the Sales Manager and stayed in that role until 2006, when Letvin Equipment was purchased by a dealer group and I was fortunate to join the RDO Equipment Co. family as an Account Manager in Hazen.
In 2008, I became a Regional Sales Manager, and currently, I serve a dual role as Regional Sales Manager and Regional General Manager of Hazen and Washburn.
Looking back, I first started as a set up Technician because I needed a job, and had no plans to remain in this business. But, as you can see, what started as a job became my lifelong career.
45 YEARS OF CHANGE
The change I’ve witnessed has been huge. Back in the early 70’s, equipment was small by today’s standards. Tillage and seeding equipment at the very largest was 24-30 feet. The largest tractor was 140 horsepower. Combines could only harvest about 300 bushels per hour and most chemical application was done from the air and we were limited to 2- 4D.
Dealerships for the most part were single stores, small and family owned. Believe it or not, Technicians were plentiful and they were paid $500 per month. Making field service calls was the exception rather than the rule.
As the years passed the equipment, farms, and dealerships became larger. Eventually, the dealership organization evolved into multiple locations under common owners. As technology has become more popular and in-demand the pace of change has increased rapidly and at times, training employees and customers can be challenging. The customers’ need and demand for support from service and parts are increasing as fast as the technology.
I very much enjoy the involvement with customers, team members, and the agriculture industry. The most enjoyment I feel from this career is taking care of the customers, and seeing an employee that I have had the fortune to work with become successful. It has been exciting watching the evolution of equipment and anticipating what the next generation of equipment would look like.
Adam Spade Named Store Manager for Prescott and Flagstaff
Adam Spade has joined RDO Equipment Co. as the Store Manager for both Prescott and Flagstaff.
Adam has several years’ management experience in the construction industry, most recently serving as the Branch Manager in Sierra Vista, AZ for United Rentals.
“I am extremely excited for the opportunity to work for a company that values its employees the way RDO Equipment Co. does, and to work with such great people at the Flagstaff and Prescott stores. Everyone has been incredibly supportive and helpful during my first few weeks, and I am looking forward to leading the teams here as we grow our market share and continue our great service,” said Adam.
Dennis Howard, Vice President of Southern Construction, added, “I am excited about the leadership Adam brings to Northern Arizona. His energy and customer focus will definitely create new opportunities for RDO Equipment Co.”
Burnsville Vermeer Supports MMUA Training
Each year the Minnesota Municipalities Utilities Association (MMUA) holds a safety and training exercise in Marshall, MN for its linemen. The MMUA consists of Municipal Electric Divisions from mainly Minnesota, but other municipalities from bordering states with cities near the Minnesota borders are also members, including Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota.
Vendors are asked to bring in equipment for the lineman's use to complete jobs at the training center. The MMUA does a nice job of having it set up and run like an actual jobsite in one of the municipalities’ city limits.
RDO Equipment Co. team members were there to showcase products and help train and show the linemen how to use the Vermeer equipment. The Burnsville store had a flatbed truck set up with two MX240 1000 gallon tank mixing systems, a Vermeer D20x22II Horizontal Directional Boring machine, and F5 DCI Locating System for the two bores they completed with the crews.
Other equipment the store brought for display included a Vermeer RTX750 quad track machine set up with a trencher and a backhoe, a Vermeer S800TX mini skidsteer, and a VacTron LP555SDT, which was a sold machine to one of the municipalities on hand for the training (Elk River Municipal Utilities).
The event consisted of four days of training and two days of hands on training with underground equipment.
"For RDO Vermeer to be involved in this event is a great way to show the capabilities, features, and benefits of Vermeer equipment to the customer. It is also a great way to show the knowledge and expertise of our Drill Specialist, Tim Williams, and sales force. This gives the customer confidence that not only are they buying a quality product in Vermeer, but with that purchase they are getting RDO Equipment Co. and the resources a solid dealer can provide,” said Pat Arnold, Sales Professional.
Aberdeen Hosts Operator Training for DOT
To prepare for the summer mowing season, the Aberdeen store held operator training for the South Dakota Department of Transportation. They are currently leasing 17 John Deere tractors for the summer.
More than 30 operators attended the training. Ryan Kraft, Service Technician; Taylor Gosch, Account Manager; and Andrew Balgaard, Account Manager, went through the daily maintenance and the operator controls with each attendee.
“Our partnership with the SDDOT has only continued to grow over the years,” commented Evan Fonder, Store Manager. “This is also a tremendous opportunity for exposure of John Deere small agriculture tractors that we provide and support.”
Prescott Supports PBR Event
The bulls were bucking, the dirt was flying and the riders were trying to hang on to complete their 8-second ride at the Mile High PBR (Professional Bull Riders).
The event was held May 16-17 and was sponsored by the RDO Equipment Co. location in Prescott. The store provided a John Deere 744K loader and 825i S4 Gator for use in the arena and had a TX Gator and an 850i RSX Gator on display on the concourse.
The “Shark Tank” was also sponsored by RDO Equipment Co. (see picture) which allowed customers and team members the opportunity to experience the excitement of being in the arena with a bird’s eye view of the action.
Several Prescott customers were in attendance at the event. Team members in attendance included Dennis Howard, Vice President of Southwest Construction; Rick Levin, Sales Professional; and Sherry Smith, Transactional Account Manager.
Sherry commented, “This was a great way to support a favorite community event and spend some time with our customers.”
Grand Forks Team Members Volunteer at Relay for Life
On Friday, June 6, 2014, four members of the Grand Forks team spent the entire day volunteering at the Relay for Life at University Park in Grand Forks while utilizing their 8 hours of Community Time. Jeff Ness, Service Technician; Mark Salberg, Service Technician; Jared Harshman, Sales Professional; and Chris Shirek, Parts Support Specialist, helped with setup, registration, and serving meals to cancer survivors and their families. All four mentioned what a great time they had and Jared has already signed up to help again next year.
Carrie Salberg, wife of Mark Salberg, is a committee member for the 2014 Relay for Life. On Thursday, June 12th, Carrie came to RDO Equipment Co. and presented a special Thank You plaque to the team during morning huddle. Carrie praised the team members for their help and support in raising awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society.
The Community Time benefit gives team members an opportunity to become more involved in our local communities. Roni Lillehaugen, General Manger, is proud of her coworkers. “I am proud of our team members for the role they played in the Relay for Life event. They are good-hearted people and great ambassadors for RDO Equipment Co.”
FSO Team Members Use Community Time at Special Olympics State Games
Each summer, the North Dakota Special Olympics State games are held in Fargo. It’s a huge 2-day event that features several athletic events and needs many volunteers to help it run smoothly.
FSO team members from both IT and Marketing Communications departments utilized their community time to volunteer at this year’s event.
Team members from the IT department helped early in the morning by setting up tents, bleachers, chairs, tables, carrying equipment, and set up Bocce ball courts. They also help set up the weight lifting area with tables and chairs. Towards the end of the day, the Marketing Communications team assisted during volleyball games, set up chairs for the Athlete’s Parade, and took down the Bocce ball courts.
Jeff York, Database Administrator, commented, “I have been a spectator for several years as my cousin, Ben, participates in the games. It was really great this time around to volunteer and help out a good cause.”
Lakeside Represented at Touch a Truck Fundraiser
Three employees represented the Lakeside store at the Touch a Truck event in San Diego on June 7. The Touch a Truck event is a fundraiser for childhood cancer. Every dollar raised directly supports innovative cancer research and therapies for children in San Diego and at 13 other facilities nationally.
The event features more than 100 vehicles that kids of all ages can climb in, climb on, and honk the horn. Military, construction, public safety, delivery, off road, hot rods, and more are on display.
The Lakeside store got involved in this event last year. The three employees that volunteered at the event included Dennis Foreman, Service Technician; Martin Sinnott, Parts Specialist; and Rick Murray, Truck Driver.
Mike Fenton, General Manager, commented, “This is a growing event and great way to help raise money for a worthy cause, while also showing off our equipment.”
RDO Equipment Co. Names Chris Harmon General Manager
RDO Equipment Co. has named Chris Harmon as General Manager of its Yuma and Wellton locations.
Harmon is a 20 year Yuma resident and has been with RDO Equipment Co. since 1997. During his time with the John Deere agriculture and construction dealership, Harmon has served as regional finance manager, director of rental operations, and was most recently a regional sales manager.
He received his undergraduate from University of Nevada Las Vegas in 1988 and his MBA from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1992. Harmon is active in the Yuma community, currently serving on the board for the Yuma Community Food Bank and as Commissioner for Housing Authority of the City of Yuma.
RDO Equipment Co. Introduces Bug Vacuum for Berry Customers
As one of the largest berry producing areas in the world, the Watsonville area customers needed a very unique piece of equipment. RDO Equipment Co. recognized this need and developed a bug vacuum for strawberry row crops.
The “bug vac” creates 4700 cu. ft. per min. suction over the rows to rid the crop of insects. The unit is hydraulically powered from the rear PTO and powers the hood fans that draw the insects up and out.
The store can produce systems designed for 3 or 4 row crops from 48”-68” in width. The minimum horsepower requirement to run the bug vac is 60 hp.
The Watsonville store has partnered with a local manufacturer who supplies the components, and the Service Department performs assembly, setup, and modifications. The assembly phase takes roughly 30 hours to complete. The store has sold 3 units and has 3 more pre-sold within the last 6 months.
Matt Smith, Aftermarket Manager, said, “Feedback from customers has been great. They are very happy that we are now providing this equipment in our local market. This is a true example of being a total solutions provider.”
In the berry market, the most common tractor is the 5 series John Deere because of versatility and power. RDO Equipment Co. has shown tremendous growth in the area and continues to provide the solutions our customers need.
Williston Store Participates in Parade
The 82nd Williston Band Day Festival and Parade was held on May 10 2014. RDO Williston had a float with a new Trailer, Dozer and a Skidsteer pulled by a truck from Horob Transport from Williston. Several employees from the Williston store participated in the event, including Greg Hulihan, Sales Coordinator; Jennifer Palmer, Service Administrator; Kristal Huffman, Rental Coordinator; Tracy Huffman, Service Administrator; Marco Risquez, Sales Professional; and Scott Anderson, General Manager.
“It was a great way to get involved in a community event like this and showcase some equipment. A big thanks to Horob Transport for use of their truck and Mark, their driver,” commented Scott.
Hayward Plants Trees for Community Park
Looking for ways to get out in the sunshine and help out in their community, Frank Gouveia, Shop Foreman, contacted the Livermore Area Parks and Recreation District (LARPD) who informed him that they had been awarded a grant to purchase 35 trees to plant at Lake Del Valle in the Livermore hills, which is roughly 10 miles south of the Livermore store.
Volunteers from the Livermore store were broken up into two groups that worked on two different days. The first group included Frank, Ryan Scott, Regional Aftermarket Manager; JJ Reyes, Parts Specialist; Kris Peterson, Service Advisor; Erin List, Office Administrator; and Eric Rutledge, Account Manager.
The first group got an early start and worked for four hours digging holes and planting native Valley Oaks and Spruce trees. Digging was a bit tough at times since the area they wanted the trees was on land that covered the outer edges of a riverbed so there were lots of river rocks to deal with. They were able to get six trees planted in the time they were there.
The second crew consisted of Lucas Oxsen, Field Service Technician; Matt Bolt, Service Administrator; Tony Rego, Service Technician; and Jesus “Chewy” Alderete, Parts Specialist. They also worked for about four hours and managed to get six trees planted.
Both groups said they felt great about the volunteer work they did and gained some knowledge of how to properly plant a tree. Park Ranger Josh Sosine said in an email that both crews were very hard workers. He also appreciated all the help they gave him and they were welcome back anytime.
RDO Equipment Co. Partners with ECSA
For the second year in a row, Lakeside partnered with the El Capitan Stadium Association (ECSA), also known as 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.
RDO Equipment Co.’s community involvement committee chose to partner with ECSA for the opportunity to promote the spirit and culture of RDO Equipment Co. For this year’s event in late April, RDO Equipment Co. was the sole sponsor of the bull fighters (rodeo clowns). Fighters wore RDO Equipment Co. merchandise throughout each performance. In addition, roughly 25 RDO Equipment Co. employees volunteered their time during the Sunday performance by working in one of the concession stands. The group raised $500 in tips, which was then given back to the ECSA.
“The rodeo was a great way for us to show our support of the local community and help raise money for the youth of Lakeside. We had a great turnout and had positive feedback with our booth on display as well. The team really enjoyed the experience,” said Mike Fenton, General Manager.
Billings Takes Part in Local Landfill Rodeo
The Billings Landfill arranged a Landfill Rodeo to give operators from across the state the opportunity to get hands on training.
The landfill worked with several equipment dealers, including RDO Equipment Co. The store brought a John Deere 850K dozer, equipped with a Carlson Landfill system, and a John Deere 744K Loader.
“The dozer equipped with the Carlson system gave operators the chance to see the benefits of the Carlson system,” commented James Fields, RDOIC Account Manager.
Justin Ridgeway, Sales Professional, added, “Our involvement with the rodeo was a success thanks to the teamwork of the Sales, Parts, Service, and RDOIC team members. We were able to have our machines at the landfill for a few days with no issues. The best part of the rodeo was that we were able to put our 850K right next to the CAT D6T and operators were able to see several advantages of the John Deere unit, such as visibility and serviceability.”
Burnsville Vermeer Hosts Drill Operator Event in Pella, IA
The Burnsville Vermeer team hosted a first-ever Drill Operator training event at the Vermeer Corporation in Pella, IA. Similar training events had been held in the past, but typically called “mud schools” and had been more classroom/instructor-led training.
The Burnsville Vermeer sales team met in December 2013 and brainstormed how to improve the “mud school” concept, increase engagement, and increase the level of machine knowledge with the customer base attending. The group decided that the event needed to be focused on more hands-on training versus classroom, and that the ideal location for this training was Pella, IA. “When I questioned attendance and getting our customers to travel upwards of 12 hours to a training event, the sales team responded with a Field of Dreams type comment – ‘Build it and they will come’ – and did they ever!” said Mark Rieckhoff, Sales Manager.
The school was 2.5 days per session, with two sessions held that week. Each session had 11 companies represented, with a total of 53 students throughout the week. RDO Equipment Co. was well represented with all Account Managers, Parts and Service Managers, Service Technicians, and office personnel supporting the event. Also supporting RDO Vermeer were Alliance Partners in DCI, McLaughlin, Vactron, and Wyoben.
There was a mix of hands on and classroom instruction throughout the 2.5 days, evenly split. Students left the school with a minimum of 7 hours of actual “seat time” and hands-on operation at a demo site in Pella. The last half day of the school was an equipment rodeo in which the students could put the skills they just learned to practice, competing amongst each other for prizes. The rodeo was focused on quality and accuracy of directional drilling, not speed.
This was the first of its kind of event for both RDO Equipment Co. and Vermeer Corporation. Neither company had ever facilitated a hands-on training event at this level/size. Both RDO Equipment Co. and Vermeer Corporation have done one off operator training or one-on-one training with a company. Logistically, Vermeer Corporation in Pella is not set-up to handle large groups, simply due to lack of available equipment. RDO Equipment Co. brought 6 directional drills, 5 vacuum excavators, 8 locations systems, and 2 mixing systems for attendees to train on.
“Overall, I feel the event was a huge success and the way my team pulled together during the week was phenomenal. Our sales team is spread out over two states and we do not regularly see each other as an entire group face-to-face. The planning for this event was pretty much handled over the phone until we were all together Saturday prior to the event in Pella. I couldn’t be prouder of our team what was accomplished in that week,” commented Mark.
Steve Rosenow, General Manager, added, “The sales, service, and parts teams spent a great amount of time planning this event and it was a great success by the feedback we received from the attendees. Great job to everyone involved in making this a success!”
South Dakota Planting Clinic Takes a New Approach
For several years, the South Dakota agriculture stores (Aberdeen, Redfield, and Webster) have held a Spring Planting Clinic. They typically held three consecutive clinics at each of the stores. This year, the team decided to host one clinic at an offsite location. The day’s event featured a large class for planter optimization and maintenance in the morning, and then breakouts in the afternoon that focused on technology, application equipment, and display optimization.
The event focused on planting equipment, self-propelled sprayers, dry spreaders, 8R’s, 9R’s, the new MaxEmerge 5 planter, the new 7R, and the Farm Rescue air seeder and 1910 cart. They also had a large aftermarket presence with Parts OnSite displays, and Parker hose displays which generated exposure and excitement about the ability as a dealer to do more than just sell equipment.
JD Kessler, Regional Sales Manager, said, “Overall, it turned out to be a great event. We had roughly 300 customers attend and we received a lot of great feedback about the way we did the clinic this year. Many attendees enjoyed networking with producers they don’t typically see and they seemed to appreciate that we weren’t shutting our shops down for the event, which is typically what has been done.”
He added, “It was a lot of fun to see the Aberdeen, Redfield, and Webster teams come together and host a great event. There were a lot of moving parts and the team really stepped up to get everything ready. Customer feedback was exceptional and they were very appreciative we would host an event like this.”
Rancho Dominguez Clean up Little League Park
California had a severe rain storm this spring that inundated and unleveled a local Little League field close to the Rancho Dominguez store. When the team in Rancho Dominguez heard about the lead time the City had to repair the park, the team offered man hours and equipment.
On March 22, Account Manager Jerry Barker; Lead Parts Specialist Ruben Valenzuela; and Part Specialist Joel Reyes, donated their time by leveling and raking the field. They used a S650TX Skid Steer and also showed up with Gatorade and water for all 10 little league teams.
“The team at Rancho Dominguez was very proud to help this local park get their field in playable conditions. The Little Leaguers were very excited to see us arrive with drinks and to watch the equipment work. It was a good day for everyone - not only did parents and City staff see what equipment we have to offer, but more importantly, what type of people we employ,” said Ruben.
Ehrenberg Team Helps out United Way
The Ehrenberg team participated in the 2014 Touch-A-Truck fundraiser, put on by River Cities United Way in Lake Havasu City, AZ.
During this event, kids of all ages were able to get in the driver’s seat of different types of machinery that’s used in and around the community such as tractors, semi-trucks, tow trucks, cranes, bucket trucks, etc. In addition to getting behind the wheel of a John Deere 6190R, the Ehrenberg store also provided kids with John Deere coloring pages and crayons to sweeten the deal!
Larry King, Service Technician, commented, “The question of the day seemed to be: ‘Are those monster truck tires?’ It was a great opportunity for our store to have presence and participation in doing some good in our community, and a chance to utilize our Community Time.”
Breckenridge Class Visit
The St. Mary's Catholic School’s 7th grade class visited the Breckenridge location. The students were studying 1/16 and 1/32 scale tractors and wanted to measure the accuracy of full size tractors. They were given a tour of the facility and then proceeded to the old combine shop so they could work on their project.
The store had a 9650RT, 9510R, 6210R and a 3720 cab tractor along with the scale toy tractors for the students to measure. They collected data for about an hour and then planned to analyze it back in the classroom and come to a conclusion of accuracy.
Mike Makovsky, Breckenridge Store Manager, commented, “It was awesome to see the excitement in their faces, not only when they arrived but when they departed. It was a great community involvement opportunity for the Breckenridge location.”
Sherrill Tree Climbing Seminar Held
The Eugene Oregon Vermeer location hosted a Sherrill Tree climbing seminar (advanced climbing techniques) in mid-March.
More than 50 customers attended the seminar which featured an indoor tree in the shop, thanks to some creative rigging from the Eugene team!
“Being new to the Eugene market, this class was not only critical to be able to provide training to our customers, but also to gain exposure in the area and highlight what we can provide. The class was extremely well received by our customers,” commented Ollie Windle, General Manager.
Yuma Customer Appreciation Dinner
On Friday March 28, 2014, Yuma held a Customer Appreciation Dinner. Clint Pikula, Yuma Account Manager; Craig Johnson, Wellton Account Manager; and Eddie Good, Yuma Account Manager, manned the grill and cooked Tri Tip. Raul Murrieta, Yuma Parts Manager, made two big pots of beans and Keith Knappen, Yuma Service Manager; Saul Amezquita, Precision Product Specialist; and Linda Huffman, Office Administrator, mixed up the coleslaw.
Roughly 150 customers were served and enjoyed a fun event and good food. Yuma Parts Specialists Jose Gonzalez, Javier Peralta, and Ricardo Camarillo helped with set up and clean up.
Dave Webb, Store Manager, spoke to customers about RDO Equipment Co.’s commitment to our customers and meeting their every need. The store had several displays of equipment, Stihl products, RDOIC units and parts.
“This customer event was a huge success. Our customers saw how hard our team members worked to make it a memorable and quality event. It’s something that we will continue every year,” said Dave Webb.
Lisbon Planter Clinic
The Lisbon team held a Planter Clinic for their customers. Josh Stroh, Precision Product Specialist; Tony Kramer, Precision Product Specialist; and Jim Huseth, Product Specialist Supervisor presented information at the clinic, along with Paul Peterson, Regional Sales Manager, and Missy Sjolin, Parts Manager.
Roughly 30 customers attended as well as the majority of Lisbon employees in shifts. The clinic lasted about two hours and was held at the Ransom County Expo Center.
“It has been a while since the Lisbon Location has held a customer planter clinic and the customers seemed very pleased to see us offer this again, especially with the introduction of new things to come from John Deere in planters for 2015,” said Missy.
Terry Malingen Named Regional Sales Manager
Terry Malingen has been named the new Regional Sales Manager for the Breckenridge and Fergus Falls locations. Terry began his career with Interstate Equipment in 1998 as a Customer Service Representative before transitioning into an AMS role.
After Interstate was purchased by RDO Equipment Co., Terry continued as a member of the Precision Products Team as a Specialist before transitioning into his current role as Shortline Product Specialist. Kevin Johnston, Regional General Manager, commented, “Because of his roles, Terry has developed strong relationships with many stakeholders and I look forward to that knowledge being shared with the teams in place.”
Terry said, “I look forward to continue building relationships with all of RDO Equipment Co. stakeholders and look forward to all the new challenges and opportunities of the position.”
Jim Carell Named McKinney Sales Manager
Jim Carell has been named Sales Manager for the new McKinney location. Jim started with RDO Equipment Co. in 2002 as a Sales Professional. In 2012, he took the role of Sales Manager in Irving.
“Jim is a great asset to RDO Equipment Co. and the Texas Region. He has been an instrumental team member in driving the focus, direction, and market impact in the Dallas-Fort Worth area with strong gains in focused segments such as heavy-highway. We look forward to his continued contributions to employee development, customer engagement, and the overall sales and support efforts in Texas,” said Daryl Shelton, Vice President of Texas.
RDO Equipment Co. Team Members Host Customer Reception
Vermeer team members from Oregon and California sponsored a customer reception at the US Compost Council. The annual convention was held in Oakland, CA this year.
RDO Equipment Co. sponsored the reception at Scott’s Seafood in Jack London Square for some of our top customers. Customer attendees included Sonoma Compost, Synagro, City of Plano, and Bunyan Brothers.
Brandon Kyse, Vermeer General Manager, commented, “Our customers appreciated the reception. It was a good opportunity for us to spend time with them and to thank them for their business."
Lakeside’s Success with Carl Moyer Funding
Glen Bullock, who recently bought Dick Miller Inc. (DMI) Construction Company, was aware of California’s Diesel Off-Road On-Line Reporting System (DOORS) but didn’t fully understand it. Alan Rakow, RDO Equipment Co.’s Power Plant and Emission Specialist, met with Glen and explained the regulations that his fleet would have to meet a Fleet Emission Average of 6.5 to be compliant in 2019 (his current Fleet Average is 10.2).
This was both good and bad news. Glen’s fleet of 10 pieces of tier 0 or tier 1 Komatsus was severely out of compliance. The good news is he now knows his compliance target date and has six years to meet it.
Glen understood that turning a fleet of 10 pieces is a huge financial undertaking and that six years may not be enough to meet the 2019 compliant date. It was during this conversation that Alan informed Glen of the Carl Moyer Program which awards companies government funding to replace old, high polluting units/engines with a newer unit/engine with the latest tier level. Upon learning about this program, Glen made the decision to replace his old units for newer units and line his company up to meet his compliance dates as soon as possible.
Glen contacted other local equipment dealers but they were unable to dedicate the required time or resources to the project that RDO Equipment Co. had already committed to.
RDO Equipment Co.’s proactive efforts made this project of converting Glen’s fleet with Carl Moyer funding much less of a headache for him. With the help of Alan Rakow and Lakeside Sales Professional Brent Ford, researching the needed data to prepare and complete all the applications, and walking them through the process, Glen was awarded $500,591 of grant funds through the Carl Moyer Program. With the funds, Glen ended up converting five of his 10 pieces from Komatsu to John Deere.
The new pieces of John Deere equipment include: two524K Loaders, one 644K Loader, one 550K Crawler, and one 310SK Backhoe which totals approximately $755,000 in new equipment sales. The other five pieces Glen says we will be converted when the next round of funding opens, which according to San Diego Air Pollution Control District (SDAPCD) will be in the late spring or early summer.
Field Support Office Team Members Help Ring Bells for Salvation Army
The red kettles of the Salvation Army are a familiar site around the holidays. The bell ringers themselves are a necessity to the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign each year.
During the 2013 holiday season, several departments at the Field Support Office used their Community Time to ring bells. Those departments included: Accounting, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Credit, and Organizational Development.
These team members provided more than 140 hours of volunteer time at various locations throughout the Fargo/Moorhead community (some on frigidly cold Fargo days!).
The funds raised through the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign assists thousands of individuals in the Fargo/Moorhead community with hot meals, personal care items, rent and utility assistance, prescription care, support during disasters, and other needs.
Sue Kressin, Accounting Manager, commented, “Our team was thrilled with the positive responses from the public as we were out braving extremely cold temperatures. We all walked away with a feeling that we had done something very worthwhile for the community, were appreciated by the community, and had fun at the same time.”
She added, “It is a very rewarding and positive team building opportunity we are provided by our employer.”
Chad Fleckenstein Named Hazen Service Manager
Chad Fleckenstein has been named Service Manager in Hazen. Chad started with RDO Equipment Co. in 2007 as a Service Technician and soon transitioned to a Field Service Technician.
David Ripplinger, Hazen Store Manager, commented, “Chad’s skill and knowledge of John Deere equipment, as well as the relationships he’s established with our customers, make him well suited for this position.”
Vern Johnson Named Service Operations Manager for South Dakota and Western North Dakota
Vern Johnson has been named Service Operations Manager for South Dakota and Western ND. Vern joined RDO Equipment Co. in 2010 as part of the acquisition of the Webster, S.D. store. He started his career in 1993 as a Service Technician and has most recently served as Store Manager in Webster.
“Vern’s understanding of the region he will be working in along with his extensive experience in Service is a natural fit for this position,” commented Steve Connelly, Vice President of Midwest Ag. “I am excited to welcome Vern in this new role and look forward in seeing the positive support that he will provide.”
Brian Lohse Named Regional Aftermarket Manager – Parts for Midwest Ag
Brian Lohse has been named the Regional Aftermarket Manager – Parts for the Midwest Ag region. Brian joined RDO Equipment Co. in 2005 in Lisbon with a strong background in the industry. He served as the Store/Parts Manager in Lisbon until 2009 when he became the Store/Parts Manager in Fergus Falls.
Steve Connelly, Vice President of Midwest Ag, commented, “Brian is a great complement to our already strong Aftermarket team, working closely with each location, the CPO, and other RAM’s throughout our company to increase efficiencies, processes, and revenues.”
“I’m very excited for this opportunity and look forward to working with our region to continue to grow our Aftermarket business,” added Brian.
Evan Fonder Awarded Emerging Leader Award
Aberdeen Store Manager Evan Fonder has been awarded the Emerging Leader Award from the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce. Established by the Chamber in 2008 to foster young leadership and enhance youth retention in the community, this award is presented to an individual who is in the first years of their career and has demonstrated leadership qualities within their businesses and community.
Evan has worked at RDO Equipment Co. for 9 years. For the last three years, he has served as the Aberdeen Store Manager and he was a Regional Sales Manager prior to that. The Emerging Leader recognition is awarded during an annual Champions Luncheon in Aberdeen.
Recipients must maintain active participation in local associations, organizations, and volunteer boards; must have received recognition from managers and peers for demonstrating leadership skills and standards in the workplace; and be enthusiastic in their commitment to promoting and growing with the community, region and State. Individuals are nominated for the award by someone from within the Chamber membership and all applications are reviewed by the Chamber Board of Directors.
“It has been great to see how Evan has grown as a leader both in the company and in the community,” commented Brook Stephens, South Dakota General Manager. “I am excited for Evan to have received this award.”
Washburn Store Holds Annual Safety Day for Area First Graders
On February 6, 80 first graders from Washburn, Turtle Lake, Underwood and Center elementary schools attended Safety Days at the Washburn, ND store. In partnership with the ND Farm Bureau, the McLean County Extension Office, and the McLean County Sheriff’s Office, the annual event featured information covering a broad group of safety topics. These topics included safety practices around animals (complete with a live horse), how to deal with strangers, police procedures (including trying on handcuffs and exploring a police car), and how to be safe around heavy equipment and PTOs.
Patti Were, Josh Wooledge, Brandon Mehrer, Ian Zimmerman, Jeremy Birdsell and the rest of the team at the Washburn store helped with the preparation for the event and with the demonstrations.
Wanda Schneider, Office Administrator, Washburn noted, “The kids got a lot of good information and we kept them very busy all day with lots of fun, smiles and giggles. And most importantly, we hopefully showed them how to keep from getting hurt.”
Lisbon Store Holds Customer Appreciation Supper
On January 29, employees at the Lisbon store prepared and served a Customer Appreciation steak supper to 60 customers as a thank you for their ongoing business.
Wylie Geyer, Lisbon Store Manager, commented, “The local team planned and delivered the entire event and many of the customers commented about how nice it was to sit and visit with the employees.”
RDO Equipment Co. Recognized as FFA Star Partner
The RDO Equipment Co. agriculture locations in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota have been recognized as FFA Star Partners for 2014. This program allows businesses to contribute to the growth and development of FFA leadership activities and agriculture education curriculum.
Someone who benefited from the agriculture education curriculum is Kody Liebenow, Service Technician in Moorhead, who has been with RDO Equipment Co. for two years. He graduated from Enderlin, ND and was very active in his school’s FFA program. He participated in Ag Mechanics for four years. His senior year of high school, his Ag Mechanics team of three individuals won the state competition and participated in Nationals, taking third place. Ag Mechanics includes anything from setting up a GPS for combines, to picking the right sprayer nozzles for a self-propelled sprayer, to figuring out the area of a golf course and deciding how much fertilizer is needed, to repairs on small engines.
Kody said he always knew he wanted to go into mechanics, and his school’s FFA program was a great option. “I knew that the FFA was the organization in our school that I could compete on a large level with mechanics.”
After graduating at M|State in Detroit Lakes, MN and working at RDO Equipment Co., he sees the value of his employer supporting the FFA. “It’s a really big deal. To be able to sit at the state convention in front of 1,500 people, and see RDO Equipment Co.’s name on banners is awesome. It’s great to see our company so visible within the FFA.”
According to the FFA Foundation and Association, participation in the Star Program gives an organization the satisfaction of knowing that they are contributing to tomorrow’s leaders in the agriculture industry, while gaining valuable recruitment and exposure at major events.
Tamra Maddock, North Dakota FFA Foundation Assistant Director, commented, “We’ve loved partnering with RDO Equipment Co. and providing an avenue for our students to connect with your organization.”
Fontana Partners with Police Department’s K9 Unit for Toy Drive
Over the holiday season, the Fontana store held a toy drive and partnered with the Fontana Police Department K9 unit. As an incentive for customers to participate, the store offered a $15 coupon off their next purchase.
The store gets parts from the factory in large stock boxes, so their goal was to fill up one box. Team members alone filled up roughly 1.5 boxes, and then with the support of RDO Equipment Co. customers, another 1.5 boxes were filled.
Colby Gergovich, Regional Aftermarket Manager, added, “I was extremely impressed with the efforts of the entire team and I know we made some very sick kids and families who will be spending Christmas in the hospital really happy.”
Duane Bonini, General Manager – Southern California, commented, “I believe this was one of our best events ever, as there was great participation from the employees and some customers really got into it! We were very surprised at the size of the donations from our customers and it was a great feeling to make a child's Christmas a little brighter.”
Aberdeen Gives to Ronald McDonald House
The Ronald McDonald House is an organization that many of our stores have become involved in, whether it has been volunteering their time to prepare a meal, donating a meal, or donating overall funds.
This past month, the Aberdeen store gave back to the Ronald McDonald House in Sioux Falls, SD (which is their nearest Ronald McDonald House). The store provided a meal, which included pulled pork sandwiches, taco soup, cookies, fruit cups, and veggie tray. In addition, Nick Kallhoff, Parts Manager, presented a check which represented funds that had been donated throughout the entire year.
The Ronald McDonald House was very appreciative of the support. Janet Krueger, who works at the house, commented that so many of their families aren’t local Sioux Falls residents, so to receive support from the communities of the families was so nice.
Nick said, “I met families from Aberdeen and surrounding communities who were staying at the house, and they were so appreciative of the food – one of the mothers staying there said it was the best meal they’d had in months.”
He added, “It was a nice feeling being able to do something for the families there. Listening to their stories of heartache and the stresses and miracles they have witnessed is truly moving.”
Southwest Construction and RDO Integrated Controls Host Two Successful Roadshows
In December, the SWCE and RDOIC teams hosted two very successful Total Solutions Roadshow events for customers. The goal of these events was to showcase the available services and solutions provided by RDO Equipment Co. and get hands-on with the equipment and technology to see the benefits first-hand.
Each Roadshow featured extensive work by team members to prepare the stores and demo sites. Each featured door prizes (and a grand prize of a John Deere gun safe) as well as a BBQ lunch.
“Both events were a phenomenal success. The hard work the teams put into making this happen was evident. Contractors that I spoke with at the events were very impressed in the total solutions we displayed. They see us as one company and it was nice to have an event that enforced that. Everyone who participated in putting this together should be very proud of what they accomplished,” commented Dennis Howard, Southern Construction Vice President.
Riverside Roadshow: December 5, 2013
The Southern California RDOIC team partnered with the Southwest Construction team to demonstrate the latest in Topcon technology and John Deere equipment at the Riverside store. More than 30 companies attended the event, with a constant flow of customers into the demo area to get hands-on with the equipment. In addition to the RDO Equipment Co. story, the RDOIC story, and Topcon technology featured, Alan Rakow, Power Plant Technology Specialist, did a special presentation on 2014 Carb Emissions update, which generated multiple questions from both presentation sessions.
Tim Houchens, RDOIC Regional Sales Manager, commented, “The Riverside Total Solutions Roadshow was a huge success and win for both RDO Equipment Co. and our customers. Customers were able to see our equipment and technology at work in a fun, relaxed environment. In addition, the show prep gave us an opportunity to develop a demo site in the Riverside yard, which we will continue to utilize for demonstrations."
The event featured a significant amount of equipment on display and available for demo, and included:
Dozer: JD750K: Twin Antenna MC2 dozer system
Dozer: JD850K: Single Antenna MC2 dozer system
Dozer: JD650K: I33 Topcon System
Grader: JD772GP: Twin antenna MC2 with mmGPS
Excavator: Hitachi 245G: X63 GPS Topcon System
Excavator: Hitachi 35G: X22 2D Topcon System
Haul truck: JD410E: HT30 Topcon System
Sakai SW800: Intelligent Compaction System
Mobile Mapper Truck
GR5 Base & Rover Station
Robotic Total Station and Laser Station
Sitelink Jobsite Management Software
Tucson Roadshow: December 10, 2013
The Arizona RDOIC and Construction teams held a joint product Roadshow at a site near the Tucson store. The event was attended by more than 75 individuals, representing 30+ companies throughout the Arizona territory.
Mike Oberbillig, RDOIC Regional Sales Manager, commented, “The teamwork between both divisions of the company was great to see and truly showed the customers the advantages of doing business with RDO Equipment Co. in Arizona.”
Equipment on display and available for demo included:
Dozer: JD764: Twin Antenna MC2 dozer system
Dozer: JD850K: Single Antenna MC2 dozer system
Dozer: JD750J: I33 Topcon System
Grader: JD772GP: Twin antenna MC2 with System 5 Sonic Tracker
Excavator: JD210G: X63 GPS Topcon System
Excavator: JD35D: X22 2D Topcon System
Haul truck: JD410E: HT30 Topcon System
Mobile Mapper Truck
Sitelink Jobsite Management Software
Williston Collects Food for Local Food Bank
The Williston store held its first Holiday Food Drive. The collected food was given to the local Food Bank serving Western North Dakota.
All store employees were encouraged to bring nonperishable food items, and the participation from employees – and customers – was great.
Cash Wish, a local grocery store, worked with the Williston store to get a spectacular deal on a few pallets of food as well.
Lizz Wentz, Office Administrator, and who was the driving force behind the food drive, commented, “We would like to thank everyone who participated in making it a very Merry Christmas for a lot of families in need in our community.”