April 15, 2016

Give Your Maintenance Program a Tune-Up

In today's forestry market, you can't afford not to have a structured maintenance program. With complex variables to face, including the weather, labor, trucking, and changing quotas, you need to ensure your machines are available when needed to remain competitive. A maintenance program reduces unexpected downtime and increases the likelihood of meeting schedules and production levels. Through our Ultimate Uptime program, you dealer can help you put a structured maintenance program in place that will help you manage cash flow while improving uptime. Here are a few questions to get the conversation with your dealer started.

What is a structured maintenance program?
Structured maintenance involves following the actions prescribed by the manufacturer at the appropriate time to ensure maximum machine uptime. Your dealer can educate you on how to perform daily checks and what periodic maintenance is required for major components. They can work with you not only on performing required maintenance at the right time, but scheduling it during times that have less impact on production, like rainy days, evenings, and weekends.

An appropriately planned and executed maintenance program has a direct impact on the operational availability of your machines. If you lack a maintenance program or don't properly execute your plan, the risk is downtime — and that's not a risk worth taking.

How can my dealer support my maintenance program?
Your dealer can help you reduce the overhead costs and time associated with maintaining your machines, so you can focus on revenue-generating activities. Although all loggers understand the need for maintenance, the challenge is execution. Your dealer can take the worry out of this by structuring an Ultimate Uptime package around your specific needs.

For example, some loggers prefer to handle minor oil changes and inspections that happen at 500-hour intervals, while letting the dealer handle the bigger, more time-consuming maintenance activities such as major fluid changes that happen at 1,000-hour increments.

What about improving cash flow?
Your dealer can help you improve cash flow by fixing maintenance costs to make them more predictable. A preventive-maintenance agreement can be bundled into the financing of a new machine. And an extended warranty can cover major repair costs. By setting these costs over the term of the machine, you don't have to worry about suddenly incurring major unexpected repair bills when revenues are down.

What is Ultimate Uptime exactly?
Ultimate Uptime is a customizable program available through your John Deere dealer. Our dealers will work with you to build an uptime package that meets your specific needs, including customized maintenance and repair agreements, onsite parts availability, extended warranties, fluid sampling, response-time guarantees, and more. Some dealerships offer these customized services through their own brand-name machine maintenance program under the Ultimate Uptime umbrella.

What assistance can the dealer offer in terms of parts, filters, fluids, and fuel?
Dealers can provide quality John Deere parts, oils, and filters. Many customers, however, use non—John Deere parts and fluids. Our dealers can help ensure that these meet the appropriate requirements. They also offer a wide variety of fuel solutions, from fuel delivery to diesel conditioners that uphold diesel fuel performance and maintain peak engine efficiency year-round.

Can the dealer help me out with diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) and diesel particulate filter (DPF) maintenance?
Absolutely. In our experience, DPF service is often not required until the first major engine overhaul. Actual intervals will depend on your specific machine application and regular maintenance practices. Your dealer can help you determine when ash service is required. John Deere EPA Final Tier 4 (FT4)/EU Stage IV engines minimize total fluid consumption — diesel fuel plus DEF. An exceptionally low DEF consumption rate reduces the need for DEF by four to six times compared to some other FT4 systems.

How do I get JDLink™ on my smartphone?
Your dealer can help you with that, too. The JDLink app allows you to set up maintenance schedules, track machine hours and service intervals, and access machine-health indicators. You can also monitor machine location, hours, idle time, and fuel use, as well as receive alerts about machine issues before they turn into major problems. JDLink is the proprietary machine-monitoring system of John Deere ForestSight™ and is a standard feature of Ultimate Uptime.