The arrival of a new forest machine at the logging site is always a big event. Whether it’s a customer’s first John Deere forest machine or the latest acquisition for a logging company that has long trusted the brand, a successful user experience and productive operation is ensured with John Deere’s delivery training expertise.
The job site arrival of every new John Deere forest machine manufactured in Joensuu is an important event that cannot be waved off with a simple wish of ‘put it to work.’ It may be a new customer’s first John Deere, the latest purchase for a contractor who has been using the green machines for decades, or anything in between. One thing they all have in common is that the first logging site is started with a John Deere forest machine regional trainer.
A new machine in a familiar mould
Granvikin Metsätyö Oy has been in the logging business for more than four decades, and also John Deere has become familiar. It currently has seven logging chains, and the main brand is clearly John Deere. “Five new John Deeres have arrived in the past year; the latest is this 1170G harvester with an H424 harvesting head,” reports CEO Johnny Granvik.
Being familiar with the brand, is delivery training really needed? Can’t you just drive the machine off the trailer and start logging? “They really do come ready to go, but we still go through the final adjustments. We set up the new machines as if they were from the same mould as our other machines so that the operators who are accustomed to them can start working with them as easily as possible,” Granvik notes.
Fine-tuning or a full walkthrough
In this case, it is specifically about fine-tuning the new machine, the integration of the TimberMatic Maps system with the customer’s existing service and a walkthrough of new features. Regional trainer Timo Aikala has installed a second measuring wheel on the harvesting head and has calibrated the correct hydraulic pressures of the harvesting head. With the knives sharpened to working condition, the machine is ready to move to the forest for final adjustments and a calibration check of the measuring equipment. “Customers who have already used John Deere forest machines usually want a new machine to have the same functionality and movements as the previous one. We also go over the machine to point out any changes from the previous model. This usually takes about three hours, and then the machine is ready for logging,” Timo Aikala explains.
"With new John Deere customers, we go through the machine thoroughly – both the technology and the various settings and functions."
- Timo Aikala -
“With new John Deere customers, we go through the machine thoroughly – both the technology and the various settings and functions,” Aikala continues. “More time is spent on this, and, especially with the harvester, it’s often useful to book a second training day at a later date so that we can go over any issues that have come to mind over the course of the work.”
Even small changes make a difference
Tony Rintala, who does contractor work for Granvik, is an example of a newer customer. Rintala is also familiar with John Deere from previous forwarders, but this is the first John Deere 1510G forwarder purchased brand-new. “I drove the last one for 11,000 hours; a lot of things can change in that time. So even though the new machine was familiar in principle, and of course I know how to operate it, it was good to go over the whole machine with a trainer and update my knowledge,” Rintala says. The trainer also has the latest information about the technology’s small details that may have been updated on the newly delivered machine; these are important for the operator to be aware of.
Practically straight to work
The training content varies based on the individual needs of the customer, and it also covers practical technical measures that should only be carried out with the customer on site when the machine is handed over.
The first verifying measurement is complete and the result is 0.79% on the plus side. This provokes satisfied wonderment: “They come from the factory with just unimaginable accuracy,” says Eemil Granvik, who is responsible for maintenance at Granvikin Metsätyö. This underlines the usefulness of a thorough test run at the factory. Johnny Granvik agrees that machine readiness is at a high level. “There’s very little to adjust on these machines. The measurement and colour marking were right on the money. And all-in-all, the first bite with this machine is very good,” says Granvik, as he and Timo Aikala head off to fell a few dozen stems in a stand consisting mainly of fir.
A good start guarantees a win-win for everyone
Finally, it’s time to fill in and sign the delivery report for Granvikin Metsätyö’s newest John Deere forest machine. Timo Aikala, who has been a regional trainer at John Deere for nine years and worked with forest machines for many years before that, says that delivery training brings clear benefits for the shared future of the customer and the machine. “During delivery training, we verify that the machine is working as it should. We also make sure that the operator is comfortable with the new features so that they can be put to use as efficiently as possible,” Timo explains. At the same time, customers are also consulted for any suggestions for improvements that can be passed along. “Most important is that the customer gets the machine working in the forest quickly. It’s a win-win situation,” concludes Timo Aikala. Johnny Granvik agrees and makes no secret of his satisfaction with the performance of the green forest machines: “Finding something to improve on a machine this good is no easy task.”