Teams in RDO Equipment Co.’s agriculture regions have spent time over the last few months hosting training events for customers and team members alike. Though each event has a specific focus, consistent themes include technology, partnership and helping customers get the most out of their machines.
Take a look at some of these events designed to help growers and RDO team members gear up for this growing season.
Customer Clinic Tour in the Northwest
Different clinics were held for combines, sprayers and John Deere Operations Center at eight of the Northwest Ag stores from January through March.
Customers were invited to each event to hear from RDO experts and see the equipment and concepts in person ahead of planting season.
The team in Pendleton, Oregon, kicked off the events with a combine clinic in January.
“It was great one-on-one interaction,” said Store Manager Allan Taylor. “Attendees particularly enjoyed learning about the technology elements like Operations Center and Expert Connect. Plus, it generated excitement among the team for the other clinics that followed.”
Collaboration and Celebration the in Midwest
North Dakota teams in Bismarck, Hazen and Washburn combined for a customer clinic and appreciation event in February.
The teams were joined by FSO team members and John Deere representatives to provide information on the full slate of ag equipment offerings with a focus on cab displays and John Deere Operations Center. The event ended with an appreciation dinner.
“We don’t often have the chance to gather our customer group like this to show off the latest tools and info to benefit their operations while also saying ‘thank you,’” said Regional General Manager Doug Maus. “It was a great event with great conversations and connections.”
Customer clinics in Aberdeen, South Dakota, and Fargo, North Dakota, were opportunities to talk technology with growers as the snow thaws and the growing season gets closer.
“The goal was really to show customers the technology they already have within Operations Center and what technology they can be using on their farm today to fully utilize their equipment,” said Nic Miller, regional general manager for Ada and Hawley, Minnesota. “Many customers realized they don’t need to buy all new equipment to use technology and get more out of their equipment than they are today.”
The clinics included a variety of RDO vendor partners, John Deere representatives and FSO support teams. Topics included the likes of seedbed preparation, planter optimization and machine fluid and filter maintenance, all wrapped in a technology theme.
Both events closed with dinner and entertainment, and feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
“We take a lot of pride in facilitating quality clinics here in South Dakota, ensuring they’re educational for customers when it comes to technology and preparing them for the growing season,” said Taylor Gosch, regional general manager for Aberdeen, Redfield and Webster, South Dakota.
“It’s also a great time to appreciate our customers for the business,” he continued. “We are extremely grateful for the support we receive from our teams and the FSO to make these events successful.”
Pasco Potato Planting Ride-alongs
RDO parts team members in Pasco, Washington, partnered with growers for potato equipment ride-alongs, providing a live look at planting equipment in action.
The team experienced new technology, like foldable six-row planters, and learned about critical parts and the sensors on the machines. They also learned about farming practices such as seed spacing and seed depth.
“It was a real eye-opener for them to see what goes into the planting process and just what the operator must do to make sure everything is correct,” said Store Manager Jarrod Bailey.
Parts Manager Mikey Damon organized the event. Damon grew up on a farm in the Columbia Basin and leaned on the relationships he’s built with other area growers to help.
“The customers were excited for this,” Damon explained. “I think it showed them that we truly want to partner and engage with them and their business.”
Team members joined customers in the field and in tractor cabs, getting a firsthand look at the equipment they support and adding far greater context than what’s available from a parts manual. Overall, it was a valuable way to better understand customers and their needs.
“The parts team now knows what a bed planter is, for example, and why some farmers use it rather than a row-unit planter and the benefits of each style of planter,” Damon added.
Service Technician Training for Orchard/Vineyard Tractors
A joint training effort by John Deere and RDO team members helped bring service technicians in the Northwest Ag region up to speed on a popular tractor model for orchard and vineyard operations.
Teams in this region support more than 250 5G series tractors. Designed specifically for orchard and vineyard use, 5G tractors are a niche machine requiring unique knowledge and skills to support. Within RDO, many newer service technicians have yet to have opportunities to get hands-on a 5G and learn what sets it and its users apart.
“We had a challenge in that only a handful of our technicians were true experts in the 5G series,” said Darrell Olson, regional aftermarket manager. “Those without that experience simply hadn’t had the chance to learn yet, and we knew we had the resources to help.”
Jim Baergen, agriculture technology trainer, tapped John Deere representatives who, paired with the NWAG technicians most experienced with 5G tractors, developed a curriculum and hands-on sessions to share expertise.
Twenty-three service technicians learned over two two-day sessions that proved valuable for a variety of reasons.
“It really helped these technicians gain a more in-depth understanding of this model, as well as establishing camaraderie among each other across the region,” Olson said. “Now they know who else at RDO they can reach out to for help.”