Ring Power's Equipment Demo Operators Wear Many Hats

July 13, 2018 at 9:35 AMRing Power

Several dozen customers gathered in a tent on the back lot of Ring Power’s corporate headquarters in St. Augustine May 24. They had just attended a series of interactive presentations on the features and benefits of the Next Generation Cat Excavators, and were eager to see the groundbreaking machines in action. For Ring Power’s team of demo operators, demo-ing equipment is just one part of the job.   Pictured left to right: Blake Conwell, Bryce McGuire, Mike Oster, Curt Loucks, and Tim Maguire (SVP, HE Director of New Sales)

As AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” began blasting on the speakers, the attendees eagerly turned their attention to the mound of dirt in front of them. Suddenly, a Cat 730C Articulated Truck made a swift loop around the edge of the dirt mound, and three Next Generation Cat Excavators began to emerge in unison from behind the mound as they ascended to the top. (Checkout the video at the bottom of this post) 

The dramatic entrance and ensuing presentation was carefully choreographed and performed by Ring Power’s elite team of Machine Demo Specialists.

Comprised of Blake Conwell, Bryce McGuire, Mike Oster and — until recently — led by Curt Loucks (now retired), the machine demo team plays a vital role in supporting our business.  

“We really have the best team in the country — guys who are dedicated and work hard every day,” said Field Operations Manager Blake Conwell.

As demo operators, each team member wears many hats.  

They support our sales team by introducing customers to new products and technologies, and communicating the benefits of Cat machines over competitive offerings.  Sometimes, they do this at branch demo days and open houses; other times, they take the machine directly to a customer’s jobsite to demonstrate its capabilities in a real world environment.

When a customer takes delivery of a new piece of equipment, the machine demo specialists train the personnel that will be operating the equipment on a daily basis. They instruct customer operators on new features, demonstrate how those features work and ensure that operators know how to use the machine safely and efficiently.

Machine demo specialists also support our customers by performing on-site production studies to improve jobsite operations. A scale truck and/or onboard weighing systems are utilized to measure payloads and study cycle times. Any operation that involves digging, loading or hauling weight or volume over a measured distance can be analyzed to ensure maximum productivity.

The skills and technique of on-site equipment operators also can be examined to gauge their efficiency. If the demo operator specialist sees anything that could cut a few seconds off cycle times, that information is shared with the customer and/or operator. Whether it be adjusting tire pressure on a wheel loader in different underfoot conditions, or changing the spacing of on-site trucks, the demo operator specialist is able to make informed recommendations that save customers time and money. 

This ability requires extensive knowledge and continuous education in the quickly evolving field of machine technology. Each demo operator specialist attends the annual Certified Dealer Instructor Conference to stay abreast of the latest technology, and get an overview of machines that will soon hit the market. The conference is also an opportunity to share equipment successes and concerns directly with Caterpillar.

“There is a lot coming out and it is important for us to stay ahead of the game,” Blake said. “The more we know the more successful each demo will be.”

Kudos to the entire Machine Demo Specialists team. Your knowledge and expertise are instrumental to the success of our customers’ businesses … and ours!

 Check out the Demo Day entrance below. 

Posted in: Heavy Equipment

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Heavy Equipment Product Support Team Helps Customers Maximize Profits

April 3, 2018 at 10:40 AMRing Power

In the 1960s, Caterpillar initiated a unique service program, Custom Track Service. The specialists who provided this service, originally known as track men, were trained to measure undercarriage wear periodically and keep track of the data in order to substantiate service recommendations to equipment owners.

Over the years, the role of the track man has evolved and expanded significantly into that of Heavy Equipment Product Support Sales Representative (HE PSSR). Today’s PSSRs  do much more than monitor and evaluate the condition of the undercarriage on track machines―they also monitor and make recommendations for all manner of equipment, components, systems and maintenance products we sell, including hydraulics; machine work, powertrain and component rebuilds; preventative maintenance programs; customer support agreements; telematics and more.

 “The differentiator in our world today is product support,” said Randy Harper, VP Product Support Sales Manager – North.  “It is the deciding factor in the majority of equipment purchases and it’s what sets us apart from the competition.”

Currently there are 14 heavy equipment PSSRs serving customers throughout Ring Power’s Florida territory, each responsible for approximately 70 customers. Those customers depend on their PSSRs to minimize machine downtime and maximize their profits.

“We want our customers to feel like their PSSR is their very own fleet manager, working for them as a consultant, providing them repair options that best meet their needs,” Randy said.

To achieve this, our PSSRs serve as the first line of contact for their customers. They work as a “go-between” with the parts, service and condition monitoring departments to help customers achieve the maximum value for their equipment by increasing productivity and lowering operating costs.

In addition to PSSRs, Ring Power has two HE ISRs (inside sales reps) who are, essentially, PSSRs without a truck. They are responsible for helping customers with smaller equipment fleets achieve the same goal of maximizing profits and lowering operating costs.

Perhaps the most exciting heavy equipment industry development over the past several years has been the rapidly expanding field of telematics. To assist PSSRs in selling the benefits of having connected equipment, a technology sales rep (TSR) has been added to the product support team. The TSR often accompanies PSSRs on customer calls to provide onsite demos of this rapidly expanding and evolving technology.

Telematics technology such as Product Link and VisionLink enhances the PSSRs’ ability to manage their customers’ fleets and make informed maintenance and service recommendations. For example, if a machine relays a code indicating that a part needs replacing, the PSSR can coordinate with the parts department to make sure the field service tech has the part when he goes to the customer’s job site the first time; reducing machine downtime and field service callouts.

The role of the track men may have expanded and transformed over the years, but the goal remains the same―partnering with customers to provide them with the knowledge and support that will help ensure their success.

Posted in: Heavy Equipment | Service

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A Lot Rides on Undercarriage Service

January 15, 2018 at 12:24 PMRing Power

You’ve probably heard that undercarriage typically accounts for 20 percent of the purchase price of a track machine. But did you also know that it accounts for 75 percent or more of the machine’s lifetime repair tab?

Because it both supports and propels track-type machines, the undercarriage is subjected continuously to the relentless forces of wear and tear, day in and day out. Everything, from the conditions of the work environment to the way a machine is operated and the surface on which it is driven, affects the longevity and performance of these components.

Performing routine maintenance and timely service on undercarriage helps not only to maximize a machine’s power, stability, and safety, but also to minimize operating costs over the course of its life.

Ring Power is fortunate to have four, full service undercarriage (U/C) shops ― in St. Augustine, Tampa, Orlando and Ocala ― equipped and staffed to keep up with customer demand and strategically located to serve customers throughout North and Central Florida. All promise 12-hour turnaround and are prepared to do whatever it takes to deliver on that promise.

Undercarriage work is physically demanding, requiring a level of cooperation and teamwork unmatched by our other service departments. Whether a machine needs new pins and bushings installed or old ones turned; idlers and rollers replaced or reconditioned; track shoes replaced or rail repaired ― it all starts on the wash rack. There, compacted dirt must first be dislodged (sometimes with air-powered needle chippers!) and washed away so that the track groups can be removed and taken to the track press. Once exposed, the individual components can also be removed and either reconditioned or replaced, before the reassembly process begins.

 

So, how do our U/C shops manage to turn every undercarriage job around, day after day, in 12 hours? U/C shop foremen, Matt Harden (Tampa), Daryl Gandy (WCC), Brian Phelps (Orlando) and Jody Peavy (Ocala) agree. “Communication is the key,” they maintain.

Internally, each foreman meets at least once a month (and, depending on the workload, as often as once a week) with his branch service manager and holds toolbox meetings twice a month with his techs and service advisors to discuss best practices, review procedures and recommend ways to improve safety.

Our product support sales reps also play a huge role. By continuously monitoring the condition of the undercarriage on their customers’ track machines, they know when service will be needed and can even prepare work orders in advance. This allows the foremen to pre-order the necessary parts so that work can begin as soon as the machine arrives.

Posted in: Challenger Tractors | Governmental | Heavy Equipment | Paving Products | Service

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Quck Tips: Cat Connect Condition Monitoring

September 19, 2017 at 11:23 AMRing Power

Cat® Connect Condition Monitoring capabilities allow our advisors to remotely analyze many things about a piece of equipment, including: site conditions, inspection results, repair history, electronic history and fluid analysis results.

An advisor then provided actionable recommendations for maintenance, repairs, training and operations. Following these recommendations can help keep your machine running better and more efficiently.

Posted in: Heavy Equipment | Service

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Small Wheel Loader Daily Walk-around

August 31, 2017 at 4:03 PMRing Power

 

Before starting your machine it’s important to perform a daily walk-around.

First, always be sure to check you transmission fluid level. Next, take a look at the center articulation area. Keep an eye out for wear in the driveline area. Then, inspect all hoses and couplers, making sure there are no leaks. Remember — don’t check for leaks with your fingers. Next, check all tires. Check inflation pressure and look for any damage to the tires or rims, as well as checking for loose lug nuts. Don’t forget, the front tires need more pressure than the rear. Then, take a look at the lift arm – inspecting for wear. Look for any sign of leaks in the lines or any loose fittings or hose clamps. Next, take a look at the bucket. Look for any unusual wear patterns or cracked welds. Finally, examine the cylinder rod. Make sure the tilt rod is not scratched.

Posted in: Heavy Equipment | Service

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Quick Tips: Cat® Connect Asset Management

August 25, 2017 at 11:02 AMRing Power

 

One of the most important features of Cat® Connect is the asset tracking service. Product Link allows us to collect fleet location and utilization data from anywhere around the world.  This data gets aggregated in the cloud and you can access it anywhere. You are able to see the locations of all your equipment – even down to a single piece of equipment. You can quickly and easily monitor utilization and check for fault codes. Cat Connect Services provide the information, advice and partnerships you need so you can make the most of your valuable machine data.

Posted in: Heavy Equipment | Service

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Quick Tips: Small Wheel Loader Engine Compartment

August 15, 2017 at 11:50 AMRing Power

Before starting your machine, it’s important to perform a daily walkaround. After you’ve completed your walk around on the exterior, you will also want to check the engine compartment.

 

  • Check engine enclosure screen for damage
  • Inspect engine compartment for debris and/or leak
  • Check the engine oil to ensure proper levels and look for any possible contamination.
  • Check air cleaner service indicator
  • Check coolant level
  • Inspect fuel cooler; hydraulic oil cooler; charge air cooler hydraulic coil filter for debris and leaks
  • Examine fans and fan enclosure
  • Check the radiator and fuel cap
  • Inspect hydraulic oil filter
  • Look for signs of exhaust leaks
  • Inspect V Belt
  • Check Air Intake Hoses
  • Look Under Machine

 

 Following these steps will help your machine working longer and more efficiently.

 

Posted in: Cat Rental Store | Corporate | Heavy Equipment | Service

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Fluid Lab Runs Like a Well Oiled Machine

June 29, 2017 at 3:14 PMRing Power

Ring Power's Fluids Analysis Lab (a.k.a. “Oil Lab”) is one of the best in the nation.

Located in Tampa’s main service building, it houses about $1 million worth of high-tech diagnostic equipment and computer software and is staffed by a dedicated team of oil lab technicians ― five in Tampa and one in St. Augustine ― who process anywhere from 400 to 500 fluid samples each and every day!

Taking samples of oil, fuel and coolant to diagnose a machine’s operating condition is a good way to prevent component failures and unplanned downtime. Much like conducting biometric screenings to diagnose a person’s state of health, analyzing fluids is an accurate, reliable way to detect and resolve potential problems before they become major issues.

But putting 60+ samples an hour through a battery of sophisticated chemical tests without mixing them up is, by itself, no small feat.

Each fluid sample undergoes five tests ― depending on the fluid type and the preliminary results, some might require seven ― to check for viscosity, contaminants and wear metals. Think about that for a minute: That means our oil lab technicians must conduct and record the results for anywhere from 300 to 400 or more chemical tests every hour.

Add to that the extreme care that must be taken to ensure the validity of the test results ― measuring precisely, calibrating the equipment, following set procedures, keeping accurate records ― and you’ve got a real challenge.

Fortunately, our oil lab technicians are up to it.

Their days begin at 5:30 a.m., when Dennis Buckner brings in the sample bottles and sorts them by machine and fluid type. By 6:00, Sheri Delgado is hard at work, entering each sample into the LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) database according to the tests it requires while Alice Martinez begins checking and calibrating the equipment, monitoring the operating procedures, and verifying the data entries. By 6:30, Amelia Cullen and Travis Veitch are running the samples through the gamut of chemical tests and by 8:00, Eileen Garcia is at her computer in WCC, evaluating and interpreting the new data, comparing it with established baselines and previous results to look for trends.

Two rotation wheels gently disperse the particles throughout the sample before particle count testing.

Working in the oil lab takes commitment, integrity and ― above all else ― teamwork.

A basic knowledge of engines, hydraulics, transmissions and power trains is also helpful. Our oil lab team keeps up on equipment technology via online studies; Eileen, who interprets the test data, and Sheri, who backs up Eileen, must be recertified by Caterpillar every two years for this important job.

We applaud our team of topnotch oil lab technicians for their commitment to excellence. In March, they processed 10,638 oil samples, setting a new record and putting them on track to beat last year’s total. It’s easy to see why Ring Power has been at the forefront for fluids analysis since 1974.

 

 

Ring Power Achieves Gold for Heavy Equipment Service

May 25, 2017 at 9:25 AMRing Power

 In March, Ring Power became the first Cat dealer in the Atlanta district to achieve Service Excellence Gold for delivering heavy equipment customers the highest quality in product support facilities, processes and culture. Only three other Cat dealers in North America ― 13 worldwide ― achieved the Gold rating for Service Excellence Performance in 2016.

 This is truly a significant achievement and one that is not easily earned. To rate a dealership’s service operations, “Service Metrics” data on efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction are gathered and analyzed on a quarterly basis. These objective data are then combined with subjective “Service Attributes” data on safety, sustainability, operational management, leadership, customer focus, learning and development, innovation, employee engagement and 37 other criteria, which are gathered once a year during a face-to-face meeting between the Caterpillar district and dealer senior service management teams. The resulting scores rank each dealer’s service performance relative to that of all Cat dealers worldwide.

 Kudos to all our service and support personnel for earning Ring Power a place on the elite team of SEP Gold Cat dealers!

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Corporate | Heavy Equipment

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Ring Power Corporation Names Two New Members to Board of Directors

March 30, 2017 at 10:57 AMRing Power

Ring Power Corporation Chairman and President Randal L. Ringhaver and the board of directors are pleased to announce the appointments of Frank Streva to the office of Senior Vice President, Director of Used Equipment Sales, and Brian Cholmondeley to the office of Senior Vice President, Director of Power Systems. 

Streva joined Ring Power as Used Equipment Sales Division Manager in January after 12 years with another Cat dealership, Louisiana Machinery Co. While at Louisiana Cat, Streva worked in a variety of roles in finance, sales, and operations and earned a Six Sigma Master Black Belt. Streva has a bachelor's degree in marketing from Louisiana State University.

Cholmondeley began his career with Ring Power in June 1994 after graduating from Flagler College.  Cholmondeley has held various positions since then, including heavy equipment sales representative, assistant governmental sales manager, Cat Rental Store East Coast Sales Manager, Cat Rental Store General Manager and, most recently, Power Systems Division Manager. In 2011, Cholmondeley was named an assistant vice president and in 2013, vice president.

About Ring Power Corporation

Ring Power Corporation, North and Central Florida’s Cat® dealer, is headquartered in St. Augustine, Florida. Ring Power is comprised of eight divisions and has more than 55 years of experience servicing and supporting Cat® products and allied equipment. For more information, visit www.ringpower.com

Posted in: Corporate | Heavy Equipment | Power Systems

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