Helping your equipment dealer help you

Pierre Fortin, Tigercat
August 17, 2017
By Pierre Fortin, Tigercat
Parts associate Larry White (L) and store manager Tom Sawrey (R) help a customer at the new CTW Rose Hill, N.C., location.
Parts associate Larry White (L) and store manager Tom Sawrey (R) help a customer at the new CTW Rose Hill, N.C., location.
Aug. 17, 2017 - In logging, time is money just like any other business. When your forestry machine has a technical issue that threatens your wood harvesting capacity, time is of the essence.

The machine’s issues must be diagnosed and solved in the shortest amount of time possible to minimize lost production and repair expenses. Additionally, proactively fixing small items can prevent major malfunctions that could permanently damage the machine or endanger personnel. 

To make the most efficient use of time, the dealer technician needs to show up to the work site well prepared to do the repair or adjustment efficiently. The technician must have a good notion of what problem needs addressing immediately on arrival and what parts he or she will need. The key to this preparation is good communication between the logger in the field and the Tigercat dealer. Clear communication saves time and money.

First and foremost, you need to provide the dealer with the machine model, serial number, location and a precise explanation of the issue. Is the machine still under warranty? Will it need to be extracted to the roadside for repairs? Is it acting up continually or sporadically? Has the problem developed over time or has it just suddenly appeared?

When dealing with problems in the hydraulic system, the operator should think about whether the issue is a lack of power or a lack (or excess) of speed, or a combination of both. Is the problem occurring when only one function is activated or when a combination of functions are being used? Are all of your operators complaining about the problem or just one of them? Is there a hydraulic oil leak? If so, remember to exercise caution when investigating the leak (see Preventing high-pressure injection injuries).

Your cellphone camera can be a valuable tool to relay details from the machine back to dealer technicians. Sending clear pictures of a hydraulic leak or broken part can help the technician understand what has happened and ensure the right tools and parts are on hand for the repair. A short video of the machine’s behaviour can also reveal how to deal with the issue and potentially save significant troubleshooting effort, especially if the problem is intermittent or difficult to describe.

For electrical or control system issues, if the system is giving alarm messages, the dealer will need a thorough description of all of the messages. Write down all the details and error numbers that show up on the control system display or take a picture of the alarm message and pass it on to the dealer. Let the dealer know about the frequency of the issue and if it seems to be related to a particular time or sequence of work. For engine or after-treatment system alarms, you can also look at the alarm log in the control display of the machine and take a note or snap pictures of the last few alarms listed. The meaning of various engine SPN and DTC codes can be checked using the Tigercat App available for both Android and iOS.

And talk to your dealer about RemoteLogTM, Tigercat’s new telematics system. RemoteLog can transmit to the dealer – efficiently and automatically – most of the critical information that the service technician requires to work on your machine.

Pierre Fortin is an operator trainer for Tigercat. This article was originally published in Between the Branches. Read more at http://www.tigercat.com/service-tips/helping-tigercat-dealer-help/

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