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.
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.