RDO Equipment delivers new machinery and customised service support to one of Australia’s largest standalone forestry contractors

RDO Sunchip

Caption: Mark Blackberry, Sunchip Group’s Managing Director pictured with RDO Equipment’s Brian Daubney celebrating the handover.

RDO Equipment has delivered a fleet of brand-new John Deere forestry machinery to one of Australia’s largest forestry contracting companies, while supporting them with a full-scope service and parts support package for their Hervey Bay operations.

Queensland-based Sunchip Group has accepted a fleet of John Deere feller bunchers, swing machines, skidders and forwarders over the past few weeks, with all machines backed by the service and support of RDO Equipment and the John Deere brand.

RDO Equipment’s General Manager of Operations Mark Kuhn says Sunchip partnered with RDO because of their ability to deliver customised service solutions.

“The word partnership means something to our business, and we really thought about how RDO Equipment and John Deere could best support Sunchip with more than just machinery, but as a strategic business partner that finds new ways to deliver different opportunities,” he says.

“We have set up a remote service hub in the area for Sunchip to access through an exclusive arrangement, with RDO service staff trained to specifically support Sunchip’s new machinery fleet.

“We provided them a total support package, which includes financing alternatives, machine warranty and a customised support plan that aims to maximise Sunchip’s productivity and uptime and reduce daily operating costs.”

Sunchip Group is one of Australia’s largest standalone contractors, specialising in flat country unique harvesting and steep slope harvesting. The machines will be used in their recently awarded harvesting contract.

Sunchip, RDO Equipment and John Deere forestry equipment group photo
(Left – Right) – Stacey Douglas (Sunchip), Jack Hosmer (Sunchip), Steve Totivan (Sunchip), Beau Hughes (Sunchip), Simon Shackleton (John Deere Forestry AU), Mark Blackberry (Sunchip), Brian Daubney (RDO Equipment), Daniel McCarten (RDO Equipment), Keith Berger (John Deere Forestry USA), Chris Harwood (John Deere Forestry USA), Jonathan Haubenstricker (John Deere Forestry USA), Adrian Wapling (John Deere Forestry AU), Wayde Cleary (RDO Equipment).

Mark Blackberry, Sunchip Group’s Managing Director has a big vision to turn the local area into a well-known forestry training hub.

“We’re working together with RDO to ensure our operators are comfortable and completely trained on all equipment and that they understand how to optimise them to their full potential,” he says.

“The remote service hub we have set up with RDO will help us continue to train our operators, as well as assist with any immediate service or parts issues the fleet may have.”

The Sunchip fleet delivery has been supported by a team of forestry equipment specialists. Along with RDO’s forestry product, service and sales team, John Deere has sent a forestry technical support specialist from their unit in Dubuque, Iowa. The team is onsite to train and provide support for the new equipment during implementation and throughout the contract.

In addition, all of the machines will be fitted with JDLink technology, John Deere’s telematics system that enables operators to manage their entire fleet from their desktop or mobile, and provides remote access to machine hours and location, fuel consumption, idle time and maintenance reminders.

“JDLink also comes with an alert function that lets Sunchip and RDO know immediately if there is a problem. We’ll then be able to read and clear diagnostic codes, record machine-performance data, and even update software without travelling to the jobsite,” Mark Kuhn says.

“This will be very helpful for Sunchip as they’ll be using the machines across many forest locations in Queensland, so keeping track of them in one system that collects all machine data will assist in monitoring productivity and any other issues.

“The John Deere forestry range is a well-respected, durable product and we’re hoping this is the first deal of many between Sunchip and RDO Equipment.”