Plant & Equipment

Big changes mooted by dealer for earthmoving market

RDO Equipment’s general sales manager Mark Kuhn said that by early 2020, Australian customers will be able to purchase the full line of John Deere products, including quarry-spec equipment such as wheel loaders, dozers, backhoes, excavators and articulated dump trucks. The products will be sold and serviced by a strategic dealer network, supported by a new John Deere parts depot and a highly trained team.

Kuhn said even before the launch in May this year, there had been a positive reception for RDO.

“People are looking forward to this change,” he said. “They’re excited about the expanded product range – everyone wants more product – and they’re excited by RDO’s approach to partnering with customers.”

He said the RDO customer experience started with getting the basics right. “It’s actually simple stuff that makes good customer relationships. It’s getting back to people, it’s letting them know what’s going on, doing what you say you will do and being accountable.

“We say that the real work for our customers begins after delivery, with our plan to support them. That might involve cross-training their staff or developing parts consignments so they have parts ready the moment they need them. We aim to tailor our service to the customer and have plans in place before our customers have a problem. This is how we build customers for life, another core value for RDO.

“We have put together a strong team here in Australia, including lots of industry veterans with really solid experience, and all of our people are passionate about the business. We’re 100 per cent focused on the John Deere product.”

{{quote-A:R-W:175-I:2-Q:"The Australian market is very eager for the full line of John Deere equipment. They know that John Deere means quality and reliability – and RDO means an exceptional customer experience"-WHO:Mark Kuhn, General sales manager at RDO Equipment}}Kuhn said RDO had big plans for the Australian market, including consolidating and growing its forestry market share over the next three years and bringing the full John Deere construction range to Australian dealerships inside 12 months.

“There’s still a lot of major infrastructure work across Australia so we expect our first year will include a focus on graders and wheel loaders. And we know there’s a lot of excitement in the market about the new products coming in over the months ahead, including the excavator range,” he said.

“The Australian market is very eager for the full line of John Deere equipment. They know that John Deere means quality and reliability – and RDO means an exceptional customer experience.”

Jeff Kraft, the managing director of John Deere Construction and Forestry’s Asia-Pacific and Africa division, says the OEM is excited about what the new distribution agreement means for the Australian market.

“This is a strategic partnership for us. We see the Australian market as an important part of our Asia-Pacific and indeed our global brand footprint,” Kraft said. “We’ve made strong investments in this market and we’re looking forward to working closely with RDO to expand John Deere Construction & Forestry’s profile in Australia. We foresee a very positive future here.”

RDO will offer Australian John Deere customers an initial eight dealership sites, mostly utilising its existing Vermeer facilities that in the past have supported production-class machines for the quarrying and aggregate industries. Each is armed with advanced machine monitoring, remote diagnostic capability, and world-class parts availability. Wheel loaders are available from dealers now, with articulated dump trucks and dozers due by the end of the year.

Ron Offutt, a potato farmer in Casselton, North Dakota, established RDO, the world’s largest John Deere dealer, in 1968 when he was 26 years old. More than 50 years later, RDO Equipment has more than 80 locations in the United States, and partnerships in Australia, Africa, Mexico, Russia, and Ukraine.

RDO first came to Australia in 2012 when it acquired a 50 per cent interest in Vanderfield, a 14-store John Deere agricultural equipment dealer based in Toowoomba. In 2015, it made a further investment in Vermeer Australia. RDO is now also the world’s largest Vermeer dealer.

The company became the John Deere Construction and Forestry Equipment distributor for most of Australia on 1 May, 2019 and will support customers from eight branch locations.

The distributor for Deere products in the Western Australian market is AFGRI Equipment. It will service the WA market from five strategically placed branches in Geraldton, Albany, Esperance, Boyup Brook and Perth.

Source: RDO Equipment

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