RDO Equipment has officially taken over as the John Deere Construction and Forestry Equipment dealer in all Australian states except Western Australia, and General Manager of Sales Mark Kuhn says the brand is set to make a big impact on the domestic market.
By early next year, Australian customers will be able to purchase the full line of John Deere products, including, graders, wheel loaders, dozers, backhoes, excavators, articulated dump trucks, skid steer loaders and mini excavators. 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.
Mark says even before the launch there had been a positive reception for RDO.
“People are looking forward to this change. 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 says.
According to Mark, the RDO customer experience starts 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,” he says. “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% focused on the John Deere product.”
RDO has 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,” Mark says.
“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, Managing Director – Asia-Pacific & Africa at John Deere Construction & Forestry, 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. We’ve made strong investments in this market and we’re looking forward to working closely with RDO to expand John Deere Construction and Forestry’s profile in Australia. We foresee a very positive future here.”
What’s coming to the Australian construction market
RDO will offer Australian John Deere customers an initial eight dealership sites, mostly utilising existing world class Vermeer facilities. Backhoes, motor graders, wheel loaders and the full forestry line (including log loaders, forwarders, harvesters, feller bunchers and grapple skidders) are available from dealers now, with several new product lines to come:
- Articulated dump trucks due August/September. 5 models from 25 to 46 tonne
- Dozers due September. 11 models up to 261kW/350 net hp
- Excavators due before year end. 10 models, 13 to 40 tonne
- Skid steers due from December. 8 models up to 74.5kW/100 gross hp
- Mini excavators to arrive early next year.
RDO was established in the US in 1968 by Ron Offutt, then a 26-year-old potato farmer, in Casselton, North Dakota. More than 50 years later, RDO Equipment has more than 80 locations in the United States, and partnerships in Africa, Australia, Mexico, Russia, and Ukraine. It is the world’s largest John Deere dealer.
The company became the John Deere Forestry and Construction Equipment distributor for all Australian states apart from WA, on 1 May 2019 and will support customers from eight branch locations.
RDO came to Australia in 2012 when it acquired a 50 percent 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.
RDO at Diesel Dirt and Turf
RDO showcased a number of products including two new excavator models never offered before in Australia.
Jeff Kraft, Managing Director – Asia-Pacific & Africa at John Deere Construction & Forestry, joined Mark Kuhn, RDO’s General Manager of Sales, John Deere Construction & Forestry Australia, to launch the new venture on site at DD&T held in Sydney 3-5 May 2019.