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ASC Breathes ’Second Life’ Into Older Equipment

Mon July 07, 2014 - Southeast Edition
Eric Olson

Shown is the same Volvo L120E before going through ASC’s Certified Rebuild Program of Volvo equipment.
Shown is the same Volvo L120E before going through ASC’s Certified Rebuild Program of Volvo equipment.
Shown is the same Volvo L120E before going through ASC’s Certified Rebuild Program of Volvo equipment. This Volvo L120E has gone through ASC’s Certified Rebuild Program of Volvo equipment.

Giving timeworn construction equipment a second life and saving money for the customers of ASC Construction Equipment USA Inc. is the fervent goal of both Patrick Overstreet and Cory Penland.

As managers of ASC, headquartered in Charlotte, they understand that their company’s partnership with Volvo has many advantages, both to them and their customers.

Among those advantages, is Volvo’s commitment to its Certified Refurbishment Program, a service designed to overhaul its customers’ older machines to the point that they can be used for many more hours of production than thought possible.

ASC, with locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, eastern Tennessee, Georgia, North Dakota and western Minnesota, has elected to place its refurbishment facility in its Asheville, N.C., location.

From Asheville, Penland oversees every single refurbishment as the company’s regional operations manager for western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Penland brings 19 years of experience to his job, almost all of that time in the service end of the business. Every day of those 19 years has been spent at ASC in Asheville.

Providing a ’Second Life’

The Certified Refurbishment Program was developed by Volvo “to add another offering to our customer base — to get a second life out of machines that in the past had been treated with a kind of a one-life methodology,” said Overstreet, director of product support of ASC Construction Equipment USA Inc. He has spent the last 15 years working at all levels of the parts and service business for various equipment manufacturers.

The refurbishment program currently is used on two of ASC’s main product lines: wheel loaders and articulated trucks. It covers products such as the C-series articulated truck and D-series wheel loader, models that came out in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

“The customer benefits of this program are multi-layered,” Overstreet said. “The program gives them a comprehensive inspection of their equipment and an in-depth look at their machine’s actual condition and what they can expect out of a second life.”

Overstreet stressed that not every machine that his company inspects ends up being a good candidate for refurbishment. Repairs and restoration may end up not being cost effective for the customer.

“The important thing is the program gives customers the option of a second life with their current equipment versus buying a new replacement,” Overstreet said. “By refurbishing their older machine, they can save up to 45 percent versus the cost of new equipment. So it gives the customer another opportunity to look at his older piece and say ’I can get a second life for this machine and take it from 12,000 hours out to 21,000 hours, or I can sell it, send it to auction or park it and buy a new piece of equipment.’”

That option is often a vital consideration for many construction equipment owners as they are known for being extremely loyal to machines that have served them efficiently for many years.

“Customers know their machines inside and out,” Overstreet explained, “and they know how well they have been cared for.

“They often prefer to refurbish their machine rather than buy a piece with 5,000 or 6,000 hours of use, particularly if they don’t know anything about the used machine’s background,” Overstreet continued.

Program Offers Something Extra

Although the concept behind Volvo’s Certified Refurbishment Program is used by other manufacturers and dealers, Penland sees the program as offering something just a bit more than other companies.

“The current warranty is three years, 5,000 hours on all major components, including components rebuilt by the dealer, not just refurbished components direct from Volvo,” said Penland. “From what I have seen, that is by far the best warranty in the industry on remanufactured components.”

To emphasize the point, Overstreet pointed out that the component warranty on the Certified Refurbishment Program is actually longer than that offered with a standard, 6-month, 1,500-hour warranty that comes with a new machine. Volvo’s refurbishment warranty covers the engine, transmission, drop-box (if applicable), differentials and final drives.

In effect, customers get a much longer warranty coverage period and at no additional cost.

“Another great thing about the Volvo program is the customer can customize his refurbishment based on the inspection,” Penland said. “That means that if the inspection reveals that certain parts of the machine are in great condition, he can have us focus on those areas that have significant wear and get them refurbished.”

He added that there are no set guidelines on what constitutes a full refurbishment on a machine, which he sees as being a “huge advantage” to customers.

Overstreet also pointed out that the technicians working on ASC’s refurbishment program are highly skilled at their jobs. Before they could step into an ASC shop, they had to first undergo an extensive training program to become qualified to do such precise work.

Overstreet believes that the entire program gives the customer “better peace of mind.”

Each Machine Is Carefully Analyzed

Prior to any work being done on a piece of equipment, ASC’s service personnel in Asheville talk to the customer to understand how much the customer paid for the piece when it was new, how many hours it has been operated and determine what the customer expects out of the refurbishment.

“So what we do is take the refurbishment cost and plug that in to determine what your operating cost per hour is if you do the refurbishment vs. buying a 6,000-hour used piece of equipment or replacing it with a new model,” Overstreet said, “That exercise does not always guarantee that refurbishing is the better way to go. We want to make sure that we have a satisfied customer at the end of the second life, not just on the day he picks up the refurbished equipment.”

He added that ASC doesn’t want to have the customer spend more money in cost per hour doing the refurbishment and then halfway through the second life realize that he has made a financial mistake because the cost is too high.

ASC Provides Options

Overstreet and Penland view the Certified Refurbishment Program as a way of simply offering a set of options to its customers, which has been a fantastic way of building customer loyalty.

“We have found the program to be well-received by our customers,” Penland said. “They like the fact that we are not just throwing a total-rebuild number at them. They are receptive to the fact that we do the inspection up front as a courtesy to them at no cost.

“Once we show them how much money they can save by refurbishing a machine that they need and can get a second life out of, the success of the program is made for us.”

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