Dealer Capabilities Improve

Nov. 10, 2022

The perception among fleet managers of how their dealers can partner with them has improved since last year, according to a new study conducted by Construction Equipment in partnership with Topcon Positioning Group.

See the complete 2023 Annual Report & Forecast.

Slightly less than half of respondents (48.8 percent) to the 2023 Annual Report & Forecast rated their primary dealer's ability to partner on service as "excellent" or "very good." This compares to 43.3 percent giving the same ratings a year ago.

More dealers such as Bobcat of North Texas, winner of this year's Dealer Excellence Award, are able to offer management-type services for maintenance and troubleshooting of customer machines and fleets. More manufacturers, including Doosan Infracore, are monitoring machine data and communicating with both fleets and dealers in order to improve reliability and availability. 

Here are more dealers doing it right

Maintenance management using machine data, service dispatch, and customer relationships can free up equipment managers and improve uptime. Dealers across the country, representing various brand lines, have been moving forward with these opportunities.   

Still, only 13.6 percent of fleet managers rate their dealers as "excellent" on their ability to provide the service, statistically unchanged from the 13.0 percent report last year. On the low end of the rating scale, 14.2 percent of respondents rated their primary dealer's ability to partner on service as "fair" or "poor," up from 12.7 percent in the 2022 Annual Report & Forecast. As more equipment managers understand the value of how machine data can improve availability and reliability, the demand for and evaluation of such services continues to increase.

How well do equipment dealers understand machine tech?

In another measure of dealers' capability to partner with their fleet customers, the survey asked about dealer understanding of the machine technology in their products.

Confidence among equipment managers remains the same as it was last year, with slightly more than half (53.6 percent) rating dealer understanding of machine technology as either "excellent" or "very good." In the 2022 study, 54.5 percent recorded the same ratings. The percentage rating understanding as "excellent" is 14.0 percent in the 2023 study, compared with 15.8 percent last year.

About one in 10 (11 percent) rate their primary dealer's understanding of machine technology as "fair" or "poor," statistically the same as in the 2022 survey, when 10.4 percent rated understanding similarly.

About the Author

Rod Sutton

I have served as the editorial lead of Construction Equipment magazine and since 2001. 

Our mission is to help managers of heavy equipment and trucks to improve their performance in acquiring and managing their fleets. One way we do that is with our Executive Institute, where experts share information and ideas that will enable equipment managers to accurately manage equipment costs so that they can deliver the optimum financial benefits to their organizations.

We also have a laser focus on product development, performance, and technology; as well as equipment acquisition, disposal, and maintenance. Our exclusive Field Tests take earthmoving equipment and truck into the field for professional evaluations.

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