From the booming oil region in western North Dakota to the rich agriculture fields of eastern Oregon and Washington, RDO Equipment Co. does business with several types of customers and in numerous regions, cities, and communities. Depending on the time of year, there's a lot going on – and it might not be what most would expect.
Here's a special look at what's going on in RDO's Northern California Vermeer region this time of year with the region's General Manager, Brandon Kyse and Regional Sales Manager, Jeff Sobrero.
The Region Overview
The NorCal Vermeer region includes three stores:
Fowler, Hayward, and Sacramento
What's Unique About This Region?
While small in number of stores, the NorCal Vermeer region is massive in geographical footprint, covering customers just south of Bakersfield all the way up to the California/Oregon border, as well as northern Nevada, almost as far east as Utah.
What Types of Customers Make Up the Region?
The RDO team supports several areas of business in the region. According to Kyse, two of the biggest right now are also those that have grown out of incredibly different opportunities — wildfire clean-up and underground technology customers.
"We had so many wildfires the last few years that really ravaged the state," he said. "Many of our tree care and our forestry customers have stepped in to take on the clean-up and prevention work that came as a result."
Sobrero added "Natural disasters aren't pretty; they're certainly not how we want our customers to grow and stay busy. But they happen and, in this area, we had several customers who were poised to take on the opportunity to expand or grow their business, thanks to the Vermeer equipment they already had and that we sell and support."
Underground fiber optic and telecom business, on the other hand, is one being driven by a positive trend.
"The way we all communicate, work, and live now, the demand for data continues to grow," Sobrero explained. "Our phones, streaming television, how businesses operate — everything needs data, so underground drilling for fiber optic line installation is a booming market for us."
Kyse agreed, adding, "The growth is country-wide, but here, we're kind of the hub of the technology industry. A lot of cities want to be at the forefront of going to 5G, and be able to deliver fiber to homes and businesses."
What's Going on for Customers This Time of Year?
Unlike many RDO regions, the NorCal Vermeer region doesn't see much of a seasonal aspect affecting customers, except for one key area that will be ramping up in the next few months: orchard removal.
"A big part of our customers' business in the orchard industry is the removal work," Kyse said.
Whether fruit-producing or nut-producing, orchard trees are often viable for many years, some lasting two, three, or even four decades. However, once they stop producing, they need to be removed to make way for a new batch to be planted. Kyse further explained, "Vermeer recycling and forestry equipment is used to grind dozens of acres of orchard trees so the growers can rotate their crop."
What's Exciting for the RDO Team in This Region?
Every RDO region, every RDO store, and every RDO team is unique. Kyse and Sobrero agree their region is no exception and point out the energy that comes from the region's ongoing success.
"The NorCal Vermeer team has been steadily growing for years," Kyse said. "We continue to see revenues grow and continue to add more team members every year, and I think it shows that the work we do to support our customers matters and it's valued."
Sobrero built on Kyse's comments, saying, "Our team members here are passionate about what they do, and our customers have very deep brand loyalty, both to Vermeer and RDO. That's a testament to Vermeer for delivering quality machines but it's also a nod to the RDO team for the service and support we back it up with."
Finally, both agree that Vermeer's specialized equipment and the variety of customers the region supports offers makes it unique and creates a fun atmosphere for the team.
"We get to work with all different sizes of customers," Sobrero said. "Some purchase millions of dollars of equipment every year, then there are also the owner/operator guys who have one machine and you get the opportunity to interact with them on a daily basis, really work with them to help their company grow. It's really fun and exciting to work with someone to buy their first grinder then ten years later, they've grown and we're still their partner."