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

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.

Green machine upgrades for 2022

John Deere's MY22 9 Series line-up includes the wheeled 9R, twin-track 9RT and the four-track 9RX - featuring a larger, more comfortable cab.

JD picks up a swag of awards

Technology used by farmers to maximise harvest capacity in difficult conditions has earned John Deere’s HDR Cutterbar Draper Series a 2021 AE50 Award.

Combines win robotics award

John Deere's X Series Combine Harvesters received a CES Innovation Award to recognise their ‘outstanding product design and engineering in consumer technology’.

Green machine frugal on fuel

According to the industry respected independent DLG PowerMix test, John Deere appears to be the best choice of tractor for transport applications with its new 7R330 model.

National

An 'amaizing' change

The success of some of the early Māori adopters in the kiwifruit industry is starting to catch on.

Machinery & Products

Made in NZ... Hansen Products

Made in New Zealand looks at the wealth of design and manufacturing ability we have in this country, producing productive…

New models mark seventh decade

Celebrating its 70th year – and having already released the fifth generation A Series in January – Valtra has just…

Kubota's new autumn offerings

Kubota, which is gaining traction in the agricultural sector with an ever-broadening portfolio, has announced some additions for autumn.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Bad company

The Hound is among many in the agriculture sector, including many of our top scientists, who are somewhat cynical claims…

Quitters?

OPINION: This old mutt wonders what it is about tall, balding, ex-Fonterra executives and their (non) ability to handle life…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter