The Charles Machine Works (CMW), Inc., manufacturer of Ditch Witch underground construction equipment, is offering a flexible planned maintenance program that helps customers protect their investment in Ditch Witch equipment.
Available to customers through independently owned Ditch Witch participating dealerships, the Orange Armor planned maintenance program offers a variety of ways to keep Ditch Witch equipment in peak operating condition. One of the signature benefits of the Orange Armor program is planned maintenance at factory-suggested intervals, which minimizes downtime due to unanticipated repairs.
"We started [Orange Armor] to help customers better anticipate what their routine maintenance costs would be up front," says CMW's Jayson Shields, manager of parts and service business development. "This allows them to be more proactive about repairs and other things that can cause downtime."
Shields says the Orange Armor program is designed to be flexible, so customers can choose as much or as little protection as they want. "Ditch Witch dealers can customize a program to a specific equipment model and usage," says Shields. "This can be a long-term plan or an as-needed plan."
A long-term Orange Armor planned maintenance program involves alerting the customer when a factory-suggested service interval is scheduled. One way to schedule maintenance is through use of a GPS device that keeps track of the equipment's hours of operation. This is an optional Orange Armor service that Shields highly recommends.
"The GPS system can be programmed to track the equipment's location, engine hours and operational hours," says Shields. "When the equipment reaches a recommended maintenance interval, the dealer contacts the customer, by phone or e-mail, to schedule service. This takes all the guesswork out of when maintenance should be performed, and gives the customers peace of mind."
Shields says another benefit of the GPS service is the capability to set up a "virtual fence," which sends out an alert when the equipment is moved outside of a designated area, helping to prevent equipment theft. A GPS device can be installed on many types and brands of equipment — not just Ditch Witch equipment — and on a variety of on- and off-road vehicles, such as service trucks.
Routine maintenance can sometimes reveal other equipment issues that customers need to know about. "When [our dealer service technicians] perform service, they are trained to also inspect the machine for any issues that might be developing, and they also can check to see if the machine is in compliance with all factory updates," says Shields.
"The ultimate goal of the Orange Armor planned maintenance program is to make the customer feel more confident and to minimize surprises," says Shields. "For customers, [Orange Armor] can lower their operating costs, reduces their unplanned downtime, ensures that their equipment is going to work more productively, and extends equipment life. Another substantial benefit of Orange Armor is that it can increase the equipment's resale value."
Jake Sadler, Ditch Witch of West Texas sales manager, is definitely sold on the mutual benefits of the Orange Armor program. "A planned maintenance agreement assures that the customer buys all parts and labor from us," says Sadler. "And, every time customers call ahead to schedule maintenance, they always have us bring something else that they need, like replacement parts. This results in additional sales."