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John Deere Tractor, Dozer, and Vermeer Trencher parked on a football field

From Green Iron, to Yellow Iron, to the Gridiron

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It’s almost time to take the field. We’re nearing kick-off. Management is making the final roster moves to assemble a winning line-up. That’s right; it’s time for the big game.

No, not that big game. The kick-off to spring is nearly here and for the equipment industry, it means machines and workers are about to take the field. With jobsites busy as ever, your fleet needs to be ready for hard work and long hours – is it up to the task?

An annual, thorough inspection is among the best ways to ensure your equipment is in prime form for the season ahead. Just like the athletes getting in prime condition to take the field on Sunday, it’s essential your team stays sharp and up-to-speed on technology and opportunities that could allow them to do their jobs better, faster, and more economically.

Every fleet manager, construction business owner, and equipment operator knows the value of quality pre-season preparation. But what if your company just doesn’t have the time or proper resources to dedicate this level of focus to the team and fleet’s health? Consider your trusted equipment dealership.

RDO Equipment Co. is one dealership that offers an annual inspection program for equipment including John Deere, Vermeer, and other leading brands. In addition to larger machines, the company also provides annual inspections for machine control, paving, and other systems, as well as special opportunities for annual training and technology upgrades.

Because your line-up is just as important as the ones that will be on both sides of the field at NRG Stadium this weekend, here are 5 reasons why an annual inspection now from your trusted dealership is the key to a winning work season in 2017. 

For something as important as your team and fleet’s health, don’t trust it to anyone but professionals. Most dealerships employ trained, certified equipment technicians that ensure the highest level of care is given to every machine. Many of them even specialize in a certain manufacturer, great for fleets with several machines bearing the same brand name. Similarly, leading dealerships often have dedicated product specialists who are experts in equipment technology and can ensure systems are working properly, calibrated, and software is up-to-date.

Additionally, skilled technicians and product specialists have a keen ability to “see” what others can’t. Like the best, most intuitive defensive players, they draw on experience and patterns to offer a proactive vs. reactive approach. The best technicians, for instance, are able to spot small issues that could be the beginnings of major problems, and address them before they become serious.

Those untrained or inexperienced in equipment maintenance and technology may have the best of intentions, but can easily miss warning signs and crucial points, or perform repairs or system upgrades incorrectly.

Detailed Playbook
The best technicians and dealerships alike provide an exceptional level of detail when it comes to inspecting machines, including a thorough process highlighted by dozens – or more – check points. This goes deeper than changing oil and replacing air filters, often including in-depth looks at everything from pumps and engines, and heating and A/C systems, to testing cords and connectors, and cleaning system components.

This attention to detail extends beyond machines and systems, as most dealerships keep precise, thorough records of maintenance and service. While the immediate benefit is simple peace of mind, the long-term payoff comes in multiple forms.

For example, good record-keeping gives a technician greater insight into the machine’s history – what it has been through, past problems, and how well (or poorly) it has been maintained. They can also compare to records of other, similar pieces of equipment to identify patterns or uncommon issues. All of this can help a technician better troubleshoot or offer proactive suggestions down the road.

And when the time comes to sell a machine, detailed records that prove how meticulously it maintained can pay off in actual dollars. Think of a veteran quarterback looking to be traded. Taking care of himself throughout the years and proving he has done so will no doubt fetch him a higher offer – likely, even more than a younger prospect who’s harboring a host of health problems.

On-Field Elements
A good equipment manager has all the essentials on game day – from cleats to jerseys to snacks – ready to go for the team. Likewise, major dealerships offer a substantial inventory of parts and the ability to source and deliver them fast, thanks to relationships with major manufacturers and, often, a network of their own stores. This broad selection often extends to crucial products like batteries, DEF, and filters for added convenience and no interruption to work throughout the season.

Some dealerships take their parts game to an even higher level. RDO Equipment Co., for example, has a dedicated Parts Support Center. This centralized team supports all stores in the entire dealer network, fielding customer questions, finding and sourcing the parts customers need, and, most importantly, delivering parts quickly.

Strength in Numbers
Speaking of dealerships with large networks of stores, another advantage of them comes during peak inspection season. Rather than customers experiencing delays in response time and service due to higher demand, the team often works with other stores to balance out the workload. If one store is over shop capacity, another store can step in and take on some of the work so no customer is turned away or left waiting.

One could say a solid dealer network is your company’s 12th man.

A Full Roster
Few businesses these days operate with only one manufacturer’s line of equipment. Top dealerships are experienced and able to care for numerous lines of equipment, even if it’s not the flagship brand carried at the store.

RDO Equipment Co. technicians, for example, are trained and certified on major manufacturers like John Deere and Vermeer, but also have the resources to do everything from basic care up to more complex work on other manufacturers too. Talk about a touchdown for companies with mixed fleets.

Calling the Right Play
Just as coaches on the sidelines manage the clock and make the most of each quarter, the best fleet managers know the right call to make at each crucial point in the asset management game. Key to every equipment offense is to avoid being blitzed by unexpected downtime and repairs when the busy spring season is underway. Before winter ends, make the right play call and get your equipment inspected at your trusted, local equipment dealership.