Carter Machinery Hosts 'CarterCon,' Cat Operator Challenge

Mon October 14, 2019 - Northeast Edition #21
Aaron Witt – CEG CORRESPONDENT



CarterCon provided equipment owners and operators the opportunity to demo equipment, learn new products and technologies, and explore all of the services available through Carter Machinery beyond the machine purchase.

Earlier this year, when Caterpillar challenged its dealers nationwide to host new product introduction events, Carter Machinery's marketing team saw an opportunity to showcase more than new dozers and excavators. With that initial idea came CarterCon, the biggest and most comprehensive customer event Carter has ever hosted. The event not only showcased new iron, but Carter services and vendors as well as the Caterpillar Global Operator Challenge.

Carter Machinery, the Caterpillar dealer serving Virginia and southern West Virginia for more than 90 years, has a long history of selling yellow iron to just about every industry and market within its territory. While its decorated past is something to celebrate and be proud of, it's not resting on its laurels. Over the past few years, Carter has made enormous investments in the services, rental and technology portions of its business.

"CarterCon was our opportunity to showcase that Carter provides much more to our customers than just machines," said Jenna Peckman, a senior marketing consultant at Carter who helped organize the event.

Last year, Carter hosted four smaller new product events across its territory. While they were a success, Carter thought that one big event in Richmond, the center of Virginia, would be most successful.

From the beginning, Carter wanted the event to reach well beyond only yellow iron. CarterCon, hosted on Sept. 12, featured power systems, rental, training, technology, the Caterpillar Global Operator Challenge, and even other equipment manufacturers.

"If we could get 300 people to show up, we'd consider it a success," said Peckman.

Fortunately, Carter had more than 400 people register at the event and believes many more showed up. The company got the word out about the event via email, direct mail, the Carter website, social media, and old-fashioned word of mouth from sales reps. According to Peckman, "The number one way our customers heard about the event was through the sales reps directly, which showcases the great relationships they have with Carter customers."

The Global Operator Challenge was the big draw, with owners shutting down their job sites early so their operators could attend CarterCon and compete.

While success for the challenge was defined as 100 participants throughout the day, more than 125 competed. The compact track loader course, which included knocking tennis balls off cones and navigating through a figure-eight course, was the most popular.

The diversity of products and services on display was impressive. Outside was a new D6XE dozer and 336 Next Gen excavator available to operate, the Cat Construction "In the Trenches Tour" showcasing new mini-excavators, and the Global Operator Challenge competition courses.

In the indoor expo area, there were generators and engines on display from power systems, Cat simulators from Carter University to try out, booths with Trimble and Tada technology, and numerous other equipment manufacturers showcasing their equipment too.

"The goal was to demonstrate that we have everything our customers want and need beyond yellow iron," Peckman said. CEG



The compact track loader course, which included knocking tennis balls off cones and navigating through a figure-eight course, was the most popular.
The compact track loader course, which included knocking tennis balls off cones and navigating through a figure-eight course, was the most popular.

“CarterCon was our opportunity to showcase that Carter provides much more to our customers than just machines,” said Jenna Peckman, a Senior Marketing Consultant at Carter who helped organize the event.
“CarterCon was our opportunity to showcase that Carter provides much more to our customers than just machines,” said Jenna Peckman, a Senior Marketing Consultant at Carter who helped organize the event.

In the indoor expo area, state-of-the-art 3D Cat Simulators were on hand from Carter University for customers to try out. These simulators provide hands-on learning to enhance traditional operator training programs.
In the indoor expo area, state-of-the-art 3D Cat Simulators were on hand from Carter University for customers to try out. These simulators provide hands-on learning to enhance traditional operator training programs.

Carter University is a comprehensive training program that is conducted through instructor-led classes and online programs, dedicated to training customer technicians and operators. Carter also has a dedicated team of Instructors teaching an Apprenticeship Program that is nationally recognized and fully accredited and offers excellent full-time pay and benefits.  The program is ideal for recent high school graduates or those exiting the military, possessing a strong mechanical aptitude.
Carter University is a comprehensive training program that is conducted through instructor-led classes and online programs, dedicated to training customer technicians and operators. Carter also has a dedicated team of Instructors teaching an Apprenticeship Program that is nationally recognized and fully accredited and offers excellent full-time pay and benefits. The program is ideal for recent high school graduates or those exiting the military, possessing a strong mechanical aptitude.

Carter Machinery, the Caterpillar dealer serving Virginia and southern West Virginia for more than 90 years, has a long history of selling yellow iron to just about every industry and market within its territory.
Carter Machinery, the Caterpillar dealer serving Virginia and southern West Virginia for more than 90 years, has a long history of selling yellow iron to just about every industry and market within its territory.

CarterCon is the biggest and most comprehensive customer event Carter has ever hosted. The event not only showcased new iron, but Carter services and vendors as well as the Caterpillar Global Operator Challenge.
CarterCon is the biggest and most comprehensive customer event Carter has ever hosted. The event not only showcased new iron, but Carter services and vendors as well as the Caterpillar Global Operator Challenge.

Last year, Carter hosted four smaller new product events across its territory. While they were a success, Carter thought that one big event in Richmond, the center of Virginia, would be most successful.
Last year, Carter hosted four smaller new product events across its territory. While they were a success, Carter thought that one big event in Richmond, the center of Virginia, would be most successful.

In the indoor expo area, there were generators and engines on display.
In the indoor expo area, there were generators and engines on display.

The Global Operator Challenge was the big draw, with owners shutting down their job sites early so their operators could attend CarterCon and compete.
The Global Operator Challenge was the big draw, with owners shutting down their job sites early so their operators could attend CarterCon and compete.