Friday, 23 April 2021 10:55

Connected support helps keep contractor working

Written by  Mark Daniel
John Ranford says the peace of mind that his machinery fleet is working to full capacity is what drew him to John Deere's Connected Support system. John Ranford says the peace of mind that his machinery fleet is working to full capacity is what drew him to John Deere's Connected Support system.

With a diverse customer base scattered throughout North Canterbury, the reliability of the equipment used by farming contractor Rotherham Machinery Group (RMG) underpins the success of the business.

RMG services 20 farms in the region, which means manager, John Ranford, always needs the peace of mind that his machinery fleet is working to full capacity. This is what drew him to the John Deere Connected Support system.

"There are a lot of moving parts to this business, so it's essential each of the elements are operating smoothly," he explains.

Connected Support is a suite of digital tools linking farmers and contractors with their dealership, allowing technicians to monitor machinery performance and remotely provide vital back-up support. In RMG's case, Drummond and Etheridge, Rolleston, can deliver integrated support to RMG's John Deere 750A six-metre direct drill, a 6155M and three John Deere 7R 210s.

"Given we are based about an hour-and-a-half away from our local dealer, it's much more efficient for them to be able to see how the machine is running remotely and take action straight away," Ranford says.

Based near Culverden, the season comes to a peak for RMG in spring when there is the overlap between drilling for specialist seeds for winter crops, and silage and baling are in full swing. Throughout the rest of the year, its services include fertilising, spraying, land clearing and development, mowing, mulching and ploughing.

JD's Service ADVISOR Remote allows technicians to analyse machine information instantly from any location, rather than a mechanic needing to visit a farm to diagnose a problem.

It also enables them to bring the correct parts or specialist tools if there is a need for a visit.

For Ranford, one of the best indicators that the business is performing well is when the yard is empty. He is also comforted by the knowledge that unexpected issues can be avoided with John Deere Expert Alerts.

This is a Connected Support tool that notifies dealers of any potential machine issues that can occur before it becomes symptomatic, maximising uptime.

The dealer can also actively monitor machine Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) to determine the best resolution to keep his machines at optimal capacity. On one occasion, the RMG team received a call when they were discing on a steep slope, advising them to check the engine oil level in the tractor.

Ranford says John Deere Autotrac has proven invaluable, by ensuring consistency, no matter who is behind the wheel, with the high precision assisted steering system meaning operators can focus more on the task at hand, and the implements on the ground.

The mobile app also means Ranford can stay informed of the whereabouts of his machine operators, alongside the locations of the machines. The latter assists with regular maintenance tasks, with technicians able to see any machines nearby that require maintenance or upgrades.

More like this

JD invests in robotics

Global giant Deere and Co has acquired Silicon Valley start-up company Bear Flag Robotics, which specialises in autonomous driving technologies for existing plant and machinery.

JD extends extension cord

While there is still a major reliance on diesel engines, global tractor manufacturer John Deere is paying close attention to the electric route.

Robots coming to a paddock near you

While global player John Deere and German manufacturer Horsch are believed to be well down the track with autonomous field robots, it looks like Dutch start-up company AgXeed will be the first to enter series production with the aptly named AgBot.

National

Meat heads!

The Meat Industry Association (MIA) says it's facing bureaucratic barriers from Immigration NZ as it tries to get sufficient halal…

No end in sight!

Meat Industry Association (MIA) chief executive Sirma Karapeeva sees no end in sight to the shipping and logistical woes that…

Machinery & Products

Helps tame the wind!

Amazone's recently released WindControl System automatically monitors and adjusts the spreading pattern to compensate for the effect of the wind…

First Claas patent hits a century

While Claas has registered more than 3,000 patents during its 108-year history, the company is currently celebrating the 100th anniversary…

JD invests in robotics

Global giant Deere and Co has acquired Silicon Valley start-up company Bear Flag Robotics, which specialises in autonomous driving technologies…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Dirty tricks?

OPINION: An email from Fed Farmers' president Andrew Hoggard to Ag Minister Damien O'Connor saying some unkind things about the…

Greenwashing!

OPINION: A mate of the Hound's wants to know what's happened to meat company Silver Fern Farms and its latter…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter