John Deere Construction and Forestry Equipment customers can look forward to an expanded range, a dedicated Australian parts hub and, soon, an all-new forestry fleet management software system, according to Mark Kuhn, General Manager Sales for RDO Equipment Australia.
RDO is the new John Deere Construction and Forestry dealer for all states apart from Western Australia. Mark says John Deere’s TimberManager and TimberMaps fleet management software will be best in class, allowing for simple mapping of production data over several logging sites for both cut-to-length and tree-length operations.
“The program is already available for wheeled and tracked harvesters and forwarders and will be rolled out across the rest of the John Deere forestry equipment range over the foreseeable future,” he says.
RDO will sell John Deere’s full construction and forestry range, including swing machines which have been absent from the Australian market for the past few years.
“The range of John Deere G Series swing machine, which will come to Australia for the first time, will deliver everything customers expect from John Deere forestry equipment – uptime, reliability, fuel efficiency, durability. We’re proud to say customers can walk into a dealership right now and order a swing machine in the form of either harvester, processor or log loader. Our doors are open and we’re ready to go.”
RDO currently has eight dealerships and has plans to fast track several new dealer locations over the next three years. The company is working with John Deere to ensure most of its technicians are capstone trained, which means they have completed extensive, high level training with John Deere. In addition, fast parts supply is assured with the launch of a new John Deere regional distribution centre in Melbourne.
Mark says he and the RDO team are excited to start working closely with customers to help them make the most of opportunities in the market.
“Right now there’s good export opportunity in hardwood chip and softwood round log, and we expect the market will sit at this pretty sound level for another two to three years,” he says. “It’s an exciting time in forestry and we’re really looking forward to building quality partnerships with our customers, whether they have one or two machines or a whole fleet.
“We’ve made a serious commitment to this market and we have big plans to increase our market share quite considerably over the next few years.”
In a similar vein, John Deere General Manager Forestry Asia Pacific & Africa Simon Shackleton says the brand is excited to be partnering with RDO to deliver a strong customer experience in Australia
“John Deere is a premium brand in the market and RDO is really on board and ready to drive growth in market share through its willingness to invest in facilities, people and training plus supporting dealerships to stock the full range, right across the board. It’s exciting to work with a dealer which is fully focused on John Deere Construction and Forestry products,” he says.
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.