CED

June 2015

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through specialized testing at a prov- ing ground, which can take several months. "From contract award to first machine in the field can be two years," said Bridge-Case. "Just like any customer, they expect the dealer to do warranty work with certified technicians for a five-year period of extended warranty," said Keith Menke, program manager, mili- tary accounts, John Deere Construc- tion & Forestry. Other maintenance work is typically done in-house. "Military customers place the same value on reliability, quality and cost as other customers. ey want to know that John Deere will be there aer the sale," added Menke. Dealer Dilemmas with the Military Market While manufacturers typically take a lead role with military customers, dealers can also be actively involved in serving military customers as well. West Side Tractor, the John Deere dealer based in Naperville, Ill., has supplied John Deere parts around the world for 20 years. According to Vice President Diane Benck, that business has changed dramatically over the past three-four years. "It has gotten incred- ibly competitive," she said. "Today the military is much more focused on cost versus speed of delivery." During the war, West Side Tractor was getting parts to Afghanistan and Iraq in 48 hours, which was what they needed. But with the shi in focus to cost rather than service, Benck says the business today is not as lucrative. "ere are all kinds of companies who supply just the military and do it at very low margins," she added. Doug Wiles, general manager for Sonsray Machin- ery, worked on a reman of 20 Case military backhoe loaders in 2014. e low-hour machines were returning from Iraq in need of repair related to damage from abusive use and exposure to the elements. e contract was awarded to Sonsray by Case corporate. e military market isn't one they typi- cally pursue, although the reman work did lead to a few other opportunities. "It is very difficult to do business with the federal government," explained Wiles. "We have made a few attempts to win other military contracts but there are so many other requirements. It's very difficult to become a direct vendor. Instead we rely on the manufacturer's expertise." Ring Power's Rook Could be a Solution for the Military One dealer that isn't shying away from opportunities with the military is Ring Power Corp., the Caterpillar dealer for North and Central Florida. Its Tactical Solutions division manufactures and markets the Rook, an armored critical incident vehicle custom designed with mission specific attachments. e dealer custom built its first Rook for a SWAT team member seven years ago, and the company purchased the business three years ago. Built on a CAT Model 287D, the vehicle comes equipped with an armored deployment platform, a hydraulic breaching ram, a vehicle extraction tool, a grapple claw and a trailer for $275,000. "ere is no other vehicle that does this," said Shaun Mitchell, assistant vice president for the Tactical Solu- tions division of Ring Power CAT. e versatile unit allows officers to approach a structure without covering open exposed ground on foot. It can li officers more safely into second story entries. It can be used in hostage rescues, to deal with barricaded suspects, in riot situations, or to remove debris when natural disasters strike. Its low ground pressure (5 psi), small footprint and rubber tracks allow it to be used in tight areas without damaging ("Built for a Fight" continued from page 33) >> SELLING TO THE MILITARY 34 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | June 2015 The armored deployment platform on the Rook provides room for up to four fully dressed officers and is equipped with four locking gun ports, four bulletproof glass sight ports and three infrared video cameras. (continued on page 54) *The Department of Defense budget peaked in 2010, but was decreased in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015. Figure 1-2. Department of Defense Topline Since September 11 Attacks ($ in billions) FY 2009 FY 2010 FY 2011 FY 2012 FY 2013 FY 2014 FY 2015 FY 2016 Base 513.2 527.9 528.2 530.4 495.5 496.3 496.1 534.3 OCO 145.7 162.4 158.8 115.1 82.0 84.9 64.2 50.9 Other* 7.4 0.7 -- -- 0.1 0.2 0.1 -- Total 666.3 691.0 687.0 645.5 577.6 581.4 560.4 585.3

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