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How Machine Monitoring Equals Better Fleet Management

How Machine Monitoring Equals Better Fleet Management

Several years ago, RDO Equipment Co. created an internal system to monitor machines in its rental fleet, ensuring preventative maintenance was getting done and tracking intervals to avoid unplanned downtime. Fast-forward to 2017 and, by teaming up with John Deere, RDO Equipment Co. now offers complete Machine Monitoring services to customers, leveraging the connection to the machine made possible by JDLink.

Here’s what you need to know about Machine Monitoring and why to explore opportunities for your fleet from RDO Equipment Co.

What is Machine Monitoring?
John Deere operates a Machine Health Monitoring Center, and works with RDO Equipment Co. to turn machine trouble codes into proactive solutions and problem-solving info for customers. When something isn’t running at the optimal level, machines generate trouble codes – from the simplest issues like low tire pressure to more complex problems that could lead to future breakdowns and downtime. John Deere partners with RDO Equipment Co.’s trained Machine Health team to monitor alerts and develop solutions to prevent or help schedule downtime for customers.

How Does Machine Monitoring Help My Fleet?
With Machine Monitoring, RDO Equipment Co.’s team can notify customers of problems and help troubleshoot before the issue turns into a full-blown problem. Unique to John Deere, the team can even send software updates and bug fixes, saving time and, often, from having to send a technician out to update the machine onsite.

Can’t I Just Call Support When There’s a Problem?
Yes, and RDO Equipment Co.’s Service Support team will get machines back up and running – but imagine saving that phone call and machine downtime by proactively preventing issues. The biggest advantage of Machine Monitoring is identifying issues before they lead to costly equipment failure and downtime.

Not only that, because John Deere and RDO Equipment Co.’s teams are monitoring machine data from thousands of machines, they’re able to spot trends and address issues even faster, while coming up with new solutions to improve machine health practices.

Here are a few success stories from customers taking advantage of Machine Monitoring offered by RDO Equipment Co., both agriculture and construction equipment.

North Dakota
Machine Monitoring caught an issue that had been plaguing a customer and the store was unable to figure out the issue. Using RDO Equipment Co.’s Machine Health team along with John Deere, not only was the problem discovered, a solution was delivered using the information received from JDLink. RDO Equipment Co. scheduled service with the store closest to the customer and the repair was completed in a timely manner. The customer was appreciative of RDO monitoring the machine and that the team helped him out with an issue that, “had them beating their heads against the wall” for months.

After seeing one machine needing a software update, RDO identified 24 additional machines in the customer’s fleet needed the same update and was able to take care of all, quickly and prior to any issues occurring, and, most importantly, without having to send a technician to diagnose or repair – it was all done remotely.

A customer was having issues with a sprayer’s transmission in the field, thousands of miles from an RDO Equipment Co. store. RDO sent the tractor software and walked the customer through the installation process. The customer was previously unaware of the software update, and was happy the team was watching out for him.

After being dissatisfied with the service he was receiving, a customer switched from a competitor’s machines to John Deere equipment. After working with RDO, he has received several alerts from a Machine Health Monitoring Specialist, giving him information about the alert and options how to proceed. He’s grateful RDO is monitoring these issues before they become big problems, saying, “The window of planting and harvesting gets smaller all the time. Having RDO monitor our machines gives me peace of mind.”

With proactive monitoring and fast, remote capabilities, you can trust your fleet to the knowledgeable experts at RDO Equipment Co.

To learn more about Machine Monitoring and the complete preventative maintenance program, RDO Fleet Shield Services, contact machinehealth@rdoequipment.com.


January 17, 2018  |  Category:

A Technology Trifecta for the Mining Industry

A Technology Trifecta for the Mining Industry

As the mining industry continues to climb out of tough years, reducing costs, improving productivity, and enhancing safety are among the top priorities for most. Several technology opportunities exist to  help mining professional achieve these goals, and when key offerings are combined, they offer a big boost to an operation’s efficiency and effectiveness. Here are three of the primary technology offerings RDO Integrated Controls and its partners are bringing to the mining industry. 

Machine Control
By combining sensors and software, the biggest advantage machine control offers the mining industry is realized in efficiency. Mines move thousands, even millions of yards of material per year. When mismanaged and moved inefficiently, it can waste time, fuel, effort, and, most importantly, money.

Carlson Machine Control offers a solution that provides operators an accurate visual guide of position, making them better able to follow cuts and fills per the grading plan. And, Carlson software integrates with most brands of AutoCAD software.

On the management side, all machines enabled with Carlson’s machine control technology can report to a central hub where all machine positions can easily be viewed by engineers, managers, and other office staff. Management can track efficiency and productivity, and make adjustments if necessary, while also being able to send any project changes or updates directly to the machines, rather than manually visiting every machine onsite.

Machine Intelligence
Machine intelligence (or awareness) offers insight into everything about a piece of equipment, from tire pressure to optimum bucket load, in order to optimize operation of all machines for maximum productivity.

iVolve is a machine intelligence system designed to boost utilization of equipment like excavators and haul trucks. The iVolve hardware uses various sensors, such as hydraulic sensors and brake sensors to track and display machine awareness in real time. The product is compatible with most manufacturer’s equipment, making it an option for mixed fleets.

Like with the Carlson software, all machines running on iVolve report to a centralized hub. Based on pre-determined or developed criteria, viewers can see where all machines are onsite, and see alerts if they’re near any trouble spots like large potholes or other obstructions, or if there are any concerns with the machine’s operation or health. The immediate, real-time availability of all machine data and alerts enables management to detect machine or productivity issues, or spot safety hazards quickly, and make adjustments right away to avoid downtime or other major problems.

An added benefit of iVolve’s tracking is operators no longer need to fill out machine pre-checks or haul reports, and there’s no data entry personnel needed to enter these logs into a system manually. Not only does this save time and effort, it eliminates potential human error.

Not long ago, UAV technology was new to most in the mining industry; an exciting opportunity. Today, UAVs offer advantages like accuracy, efficiency, and safety with their ability to survey and provide 3D mapping and modeling of sites.

Drone technology can be used in several ways. Short-term opportunities include pit and dump management, storm damage assessment and control, and general daily plan communication, while long-term advantages include haul road, dump, and pit design, surface stability monitoring, and mapping of steep, inaccessible inclines. When a job is complete, all the data the UAV has collected can be used as final proof the project, even the final reclaim portion, was done to spec.

UAVs cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, especially compared to traditional surveying, and reach areas that would be inaccessible or dangerous for workers to navigate. Set up and planning of flights is also fast, and both imagery and video can be captured by a UAV.

Bringing It All Together
Today’s equipment professionals are living in a world of data overload. While nearly all recognize the value of collecting and analyzing data to run more efficient fleets and make better operational decisions, few have the time to actually execute a data-driven strategy. This is where RDO Integrated Controls steps in.

Understanding that data can be overwhelming to even the most savvy fleet manager, the RDO Integrated Controls team works with every customer to find out how the data can best work for them, and provide it in a way that allows them to use it for better management. The company also offers a Fleet Shield Services program featuring warranty and repair guarantees, and Solutions Center for questions and troubleshooting help.

With many exciting opportunities for the mining industry, it’s important to look for the ones that offer the biggest impact. Combining Carlson’s machine control solution with iVolve and UAV technology, RDO Integrated Controls can help mining professionals increase efficiency and safety, while reducing costs and manual time and effort.

To learn more about total solutions for the mining industry, contact the RDO Integrated Controls team.


January 2, 2018  |  Category: