Outsourcing Fleet Management & How It Can Benefit Your Farm or Ranch

by New member BarnCat ‎09-06-2017 09:51 AM - edited ‎09-06-2017 09:53 AM


Running a farm or ranch today means something completely different than it did 10 years ago.  Fortunately, today's advanced machines are being engineered with technology and advancements to help you complete a variety of different tasks at faster rates, with lower operating costs. However, as machines are upgraded, knowing how to effectively manage and utilize the equipment becomes an increasingly difficult task.


This is why many farm and ranch owners are choosing to outsource their fleet management. By doing so, they are able to collaborate with an outside team of experts to reduce their overall operating costs—by assessing how they currently utilize their machines, and how they can improve efficiency and uptime moving forward.


Ed Faulk, commercial manager of Caterpillar Job Site Solutions, tells operation owners to consider the following when they are trying to determine if outsourcing fleet management could benefit their operation:

  • Do you have spare machines or backup machines you keep ‘just-in-case’ there is an unexpected breakdown?
  • Has there been any accidents on your operation that have raised safety concerns?
  • How many hours are you using your machines daily/monthly?
  • Are you concerned with the amount of fuel your machines are burning?
  • Do you keep an inventory of parts?
  • How often do you have unplanned machine downtime or repair bills?
  • Do you know how to utilize all of the technology and/or features available on your machine?

Finding the Right Fleet Management Program for Your Operation

If any of these issues are a concern for you, it may be time to talk to your equipment dealer about outsourced fleet management options. Some advanced equipment manufacturers offer comprehensive programs that can be tailored specifically to your operation’s needs.


To help you get a better idea of the capabilities you should expect to see from a fully comprehensive outsourced fleet management program, the following chart provides a few examples:


Outsourced Fleet Management_Program Services Chart_Image.jpg




























Proven Success

Now that you’ve read about what outsourced fleet management programs entail, you’re probably wondering how they have helped other farm or ranch owners, like yourself. So, we asked Faulk to also share a few customer success stories:

  • A dairy farmer was noticing significant machine idle times throughout the operation’s fleet. After assessing the issue and implementing a fleet management plan, idle times were reduced by 65 percent.
  • A feedlot operation owner wanted to reduce the amount of operating hours he was putting on his fleet of wheel loaders—while maintaining optimal production. He initially contracted with a program to reduce monthly hours by 25 percent, and later signed a new contract term for a 50 percent reduction. The operation has now experienced a 63 percent decrease in operating hours throughout the life of the contract.
  • Another feedlot operation had a fleet of aging wheel loaders and no monitoring capabilities. After engaging with a fleet management program, they implemented a solution to update their fleet with new machines. By doing so, they were able to decrease idle time across the fleet by 51 percent—ultimately leading to annual fuel savings of approximately $50,000. Additionally, the operation experienced a 40 percent reduction in the amount of time required to complete work on the operation.

As you can see, outsourcing fleet management can bring significant value to agricultural operations—it’s all about tailoring a plan to your specific needs. This is why it’s so important to find a program that offers a variety of capabilities, backed by a team you can trust. Bottom line, the ultimate goal is to develop an ongoing, collaborative partnership to make sure your operation continues to succeed. To learn more about outsourced fleet management programs and the value they can bring to your farm or ranch, contact your local Cat® dealer or visit Caterpillar Job Site Solutions


We’d like to hear from you about how you currently manage your machines and equipment, and your thoughts on outsourcing fleet management.

  • How do you currently keep track of factors such as machine service hours, fuel usage, idle time, repair costs, etc.?
  • When you purchase new machines or equipment, how do you stay on top of and utilize the new advancements and technology?
  • Have you ever considered outsourcing your fleet management? If so, what lead you to that consideration?
  • Are you currently outsourcing fleet management? If so, which type of services did you include in your program?
  • Have you noticed benefits from outsourcing your fleet management? If so, can you describe some of them?

About the Author
  • I’m an Attachments Product Application & Sales Support Specialist for Caterpillar in North America. I have been with Caterpillar for five years including roles in the field as a dealer sales support representative and marketing support in the skid steer and small wheel loader product groups. I graduated from Iowa State University with degrees in Agricultural Business and Economics. Our goal is to provide a full portfolio of attachments for our customers to be more productive and versatile with their machines.
  • I am an Industry and Application Rep for Caterpillar. I graduated from NC State with a dual degree in Agriculture Business Management and Agriculture Science, concentrating in Leadership and Environmental Technologies. I focus primarily on the relationships between customers, dealers, and the product specialists for the Building Construction Products division. Growing up on a tobacco and beef cattle farm, I have several years of machine operation experience and agricultural knowledge. Thomas Jefferson said it best in that, "Agriculture is our wisest pursuit, because it will in the end contribute most to real wealth, good morals, and happiness."
  • My passion is in storytelling and thought leadership, helping people connect with the brands they love and helping brands connect with their audiences. At Caterpillar, I get to work with a variety of industries and customer solutions, supporting our customers who are making huge impacts in our world every day. It's not just about the yellow iron - it's about understanding the problems our customers face, and being a part of the total solution.
  • I’m a Compact Wheel Loader Product Application Specialist for Caterpillar in North America. I have 11 years of experience, including roles in the field as a dealer technical support representative, and as a distributor business model consultant.  I graduated from North Carolina State University with a Mechanical Engineering Degree, and wanted a job where I didn't have to sit in front of a computer all day.  This job allows me to get out and get my hands dirty, with the goal of providing solutions to customers’ machine needs.
  • I am a Marketing Communications Specialist for Caterpillar with over twelve years of experience marketing the Cat brand to customers in Latin and North America. My goal is to arm customers with the information needed to make well informed purchase decisions; to maximize the value of Cat machines by using an array of Cat Work Tool attachments; and to minimize the total cost of ownership by using Cat parts and Cat Dealer service.
  • I am an expert Operator and Application Specialist for Caterpillar concentrating on products used in the construction trades industry. I operate, evaluate and train on Cat machines and Work Tool Attachments worldwide. I have a Degree in Agricultural Engineering, Craftsman Certified and was named Apprentice of the Year 1981 at the University of East Anglia, UK.
  • I am the National Association Manager for Caterpillar and have responsibility for customer associations and partnerships in multiple industries for Caterpillar. I have 12 years of experience at Caterpillar, and have spent most of those years in the field with dealers and customers around North America. I have always had a passion for equipment and find myself fortunate to be able to work with dealers and customers almost every day.
  • I am a Product Application Specialist with 16 years of experience in the industry. As a Building Construction Products Global Trainer, I focus on training dealers and customers on machines, attachments and applications as it relates to the construction, agriculture and landscaping segments.
  • I have been with Caterpillar for more than eight years, working in various roles including a materials engineer, a filters product manager and my current position as a parts consultant. My job allows me the opportunity to work with Cat dealers and customers providing insight on how the use of quality filters and fluids results in better equipment performance and lower owning and operating costs.
  • I am a marketing and sales support professional for Caterpillar. In this role, I work with our marketing and customer service teams to support or dealers and customers, concentrating on our Small Wheel Loader, Skid Steer Loader, Mini Excavator and Dozer product groups. The exchange of ideas, information and opinions about equipment and how it’s used in various industries on forums such as this blog helps me fulfill my role at Caterpillar to the best of my ability.
  • I am the commercial/market consulting expert for all Caterpillar tires and rims with 14 years of experience. I provide guidance in the harsher work environments of mining and industrial/waste applications. Our goal is to turn our dealers and customers into knowledgeable and trusted resources with respect to tires and rims. Our group offers training, technical support and resources to develop a level of expertise within the Caterpillar value stream that is ordinarily reserved for tire companies and local tire service providers. Ultimately, we want to provide our customers with a total Cat solution from the ground up.
  • I am a Sales Support Manager for Cat Financial and have responsibility for ensuring that the right financial products are available to Cat customers who purchase, lease or rent to own. 8 of my 10 years with Caterpillar Financial have allowed customer and/or dealer interaction as part of my daily responsibilities including over 3.5 years as a Territory Manager. I take personal satisfaction in finding financial solutions that work for our customers and CAT dealers.
  • I’m a Telehandler Product Application Specialist for Caterpillar in North and South America. I have 13 years of experience, including roles in the field as a dealer service operations and technical support representative, and as a distributor business model consultant. My telehandler passion and focus is working with dealers and customers to maximize the versatility of the product through machine and operator training.
  • I am a Product and Application Specialist with over 35 years experience at Caterpillar. I focus on helping you to determine the best Cat machines, work tool attachments, and services for you to use in the building and general construction, landscaping, specialty trades, and agricultural industries.
  • I am a Senior Regional Insurance Marketing Manager with 16 years’ experience at Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services. I have the opportunity to work with 18 North American dealers providing risk management products and services that helps the Caterpillar Enterprise ( Caterpillar, Dealers and Customers) manage their business risk. Caterpillar Financial Insurance Services offers Extended Protection Plans for machines and engines, Physical Damage Insurance, Inventory Protection Plans, Dealer Property and Casualty, Risk Management, Marine Transit Insurance and Dealer Bonds.
  • Jeff Brown is a marketing professional for Caterpillar Skid Steer, Multi Terrain and Compact Track Loaders. Over Jeff's 12 years in the industry, he has visited with and studied the needs of customers across landscaping, construction, and agriculture segments. Delivering innovative solutions that solve customer's problems is Jeff's main focus.
  • I am a North American Product and Application Specialist for Caterpillar. In this role, I have had the opportunity to represent Caterpillar at various trade shows and train customers on new Small Wheel Loader content. I graduated from Purdue University in 2001 with a Mechanical Engineering degree and have spent the past 15 years with Caterpillar in various engineering roles. Growing up in the Mid-West, I have always loved the cold and the unique activities winter enables. Unfortunately, I had to give those up when I moved to North Carolina. I don't care what people say, you never get used to a hot climate.
  • I am a Filter and Fluid Marketing Consultant with over 14 years experience working at Caterpillar. My focus is to ensure customers understand the importance of using superior filtration and lubrication products in their equipment.
  • I am a Sales Support Manager with over nine years of experience in a variety of roles with Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation. Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to gain experience in matching financial products and tailoring funding strategies to the specific needs of customers. This includes more than three years as a Territory Manager in Seattle partnered with N C Machinery, an authorized Cat dealer covering the states of Washington and Alaska.

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