AGCO Corporation's application equipment division is moving quickly to complete realignment of its sales and service network for the Ag-Chem brand, which began in late summer 2007. These changes mean large commercial producers who own and operate Ag-Chem application equipment can turn to their local Caterpillar dealer as the one source for their application equipment sales and service needs.

Across the country, 22 dealers, many of whom hold AGCO's Challenger contract, have assumed responsibility for new machinery sales of Ag-Chem's RoGator high-clearance sprayers and TerraGator flotation applicators. In addition, these dealers will continue to provide mobile maintenance and repair service for existing Ag-Chem equipment. When completed, about the end of September, the new sales and service network will include 38 dealers with a total of 323 locations.

Built as a new approach to business, this network combines experience in service to large commercial operators and retailers with an approach to service developed through working with leading commercial construction operations.

"Since its inception in 1963, Ag-Chem has built a reputation within the application industry by meeting the needs of our customers with high-quality, innovative equipment and exceptional product service and repair," says Steve Koep, vice president, AGCO Application Equipment Division. "Agriculture continues to change, and we're stepping ahead, making changes to our business to help keep our producer customers be successful in their operations."

The new Ag-Chem service offering, providing mobile service fleets patterned after the CAT service program for the commercial construction industry, provides highly advanced service solutions to customers to maximize uptime, manage the cost of ownership and help protect their investment. As the most extensive mobile service system in the industry, it will offer maintenance, fast on-site/in-field repair and next-day parts drops to help keep producers rolling during the critical production season. In many cases, parts ordered by 4 p.m., in season, can be delivered to a convenient location near the customer by 8 a.m. the following day. Fully equipped repair trucks are stocked with parts most likely to be needed, further reducing the time needed to put equipment back into operation.

"Dealers with the Ag-Chem contract understand and know how to meet the challenges of producers who own their own application equipment, farm multiple acres across a large area and have narrow windows to get work completed," says Koep. "Ag-Chem has supported the application needs of producers and retailers for nearly 50 years, and the knowledge that comes from that type of experience helps set our network apart."

Within the organization's mobile repair and service offering, producers will be interested in predictive maintenance service contracts, which include oil and coolant analysis. Through this service, the Ag-Chem service representative will receive analysis reports that identify potential wear or failures inside the equipment. This reduces troubleshooting time and enables a service technician to make repairs before a machine goes down, eliminating or reducing equipment downtime.

This service also helps keep machines and engines operating at peak performance and often indicates minor repairs which can prevent a small problem from growing into a major repair. It also helps optimize oil change intervals and manage component life, decreasing the overall cost of equipment ownership and helping maintain equipment value.

"Our large producer customers have asked us for a business approach built around their needs," Koep continued. "Ag-Chem is now built to meet the unique needs of large operators, and we're confident this business approach will meet their expectations."