Building a unified fleet: how can your crew benefit?

For tree care, rental or landscape contractors wanting to grow their business, it’s important to consider how your company’s future growth may affect equipment purchasing decisions made today. There are several practical advantages to powering your fleet with a single, unified brand — many of which will benefit your crew in the long-term growth of the business.

Operation and maintenance training

When it comes to training a crew — especially new operators — consistency can be beneficial to the learning process. Different models manufactured by the same brand often have commonalities throughout the product lineups. For example, operators can learn to run their machine as efficiently as possible once they become familiar with machine technology like the operator presence system on mini skid steers and stump cutters.

Kyle Newendorp, a product specialist for Environmental Solutions explained, “Consistently working with the same brand of tree care equipment can make training easier for operators who might be switching models or machines within the fleet, as they’ll be using common features and technology.”

Operators working with the machines daily get to know the machines better than nearly anyone else. That gives them the advantage of knowing when the machine is running well, and when it’s not. With a unified fleet, operators can learn the ins and outs of any model they run and can confidently perform daily machine inspections. In time, crew members may be able to trouble shoot on their own or be able to discern when a Vermeer service tech is needed.

For Ryan Grzywa, a customer service manager at Vermeer Midwest in Aurora, Illinois has seen firsthand the benefits that come with running a unified fleet. He explained, “If you have an all-Vermeer fleet and have a machine out being serviced, you can replace that machine with one of the same brand. Your crew will likely already know how to use that machine and they won’t have to spend working time training on a different brand of equipment.” 

Specialized knowledge built through time and experience working with equipment helps to sharpen their skills and improve overall efficiency on jobsites. For companies that are frequently working in different locations or with a different model than usual, this expertise becomes even more valuable. It’s not uncommon to move crews or machines to where the work needs to be done the quickest, and running the same machines can make it easier for operators to jump in where they’re needed most.

When you run a unified fleet of machines, scheduling operator or maintenance training is easier than ever. All you need to do is give your dealer a call to schedule in-depth training on each piece of yellow iron you have. With a fleet of mixed-brand equipment, you may have to reach out to multiple dealers to schedule trainings, which can become inconvenient over time. Your local dealership can send a specialist to your offices or jobsite to provide in-depth training on machine features, operational best practices and conduct a machine demo.

“Your local dealer can also explain how to check for wear on parts, perform regular maintenance (like greasing the machine) and monitor engine fluids and filters,” Newendorp said. “If needed, they can observe your operators running the equipment to provide tips and tricks to maximize jobsite productivity.”

Service made simple

With tree care equipment containing multiple high-wear components — like brush chippers, stump cutters and whole tree chippers — part replacement and maintenance is a priority and should be completed promptly.

When you have a Vermeer-exclusive fleet, ordering parts or stocking up on wear items is easier than ever. Making one trip or phone call to fulfill your parts order makes machine maintenance a quick and smooth process. For example, if you have multiple Vermeer stump cutters and brush chippers, all you need to do is call your dealership to get an order of teeth, knives or other high-wear components shipped to your doorstep.

Having multiple machines of the same brand – for example, running several Vermeer mini skid steers amongst your crew – can simplify machine maintenance. Your crew will only need to learn the design of one machine and can use common parts to complete work on the whole fleet. If you have problems with a machine or have questions, your dealer can be a resource that can help with your entire fleet, rather than multiple dealership contacts for multiple brands.

Building a partnership for years to come

When you decide to purchase yellow iron, that is just the beginning of a trusted partnership being built. As that relationship evolves, your dealer will become familiar with your fleet — they may even anticipate business needs like part orders, service intervals and crew training. Having a consistent point of contact can create a strong partnership over time, likely leading to simplified communication when getting your sales, parts and service completed. Regular communication with your dealer means you can ask questions as they arise and even get advice when working on challenging jobsites. 

As a business grows — whether that’s more jobs or more crew members — that growth usually leads to new or more robust machines being added to the fleet. Working on the same brand can be beneficial to crews, as the transition to a different model will likely be a smoother process as the machines will feel familiar when operating. 

When that time comes, having a trusted advisor at the dealership can be helpful when it’s time to add or update machines within your fleet, as they will be familiar with your business goals and how to help achieve those goals. Your local Vermeer dealer can also help with your crew’s transition to an upgraded model by providing individualized training to cover new machine features.

Building a unified fleet doesn’t happen overnight. For businesses building out a fleet, be sure to take some time to explore and demo different models. Once you land on your ideal machine, talk to your local Vermeer dealer about the different options and strategies available to develop your fleet of yellow iron. The benefits for your crew are clear — and your Vermeer dealer will be there to support you every step of the way.

For more information on tree care, rental or landscape equipment, contact your local dealer.

Vermeer Corporation reserves the right to make changes in product engineering, design and specifications; add improvements; or discontinue manufacturing or distribution at any time without notice or obligation. Equipment shown is for illustrative purposes only and may display optional accessories or components specific to their global region. Please contact your local Vermeer dealer for more information on machine specifications.

Vermeer and the Vermeer logo are trademarks of Vermeer Manufacturing Company in the U.S. and/or other countries. © 2024 Vermeer Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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