Volvo Days 2019 can be summed up as playtime for the big kids starting with a “machine ballet to rock music.”
Volvo Construction Equipment hosted its week-long Volvo Days event all last week for about 1,000 customers and dealers from across the globe at its Customer Center in Shippensburg.
Stakeholders tested out the newest equipment, and different adaptable attachments that they considered adding to their fleets to improve operations at their businesses, or expand their offerings at their dealerships. Some were just out in the sun, having fun with the 60 machines available at their disposal.
“It's a chance for us to show our equipment off with what it can do, and all the different varieties and the flexibility we have,” said Ray Gallant, vice president of sales support of the Americas. “More importantly, it's a chance for us to interact with people, get to know our customers better. They get to know us, and see the passion that we've got, see the expertise that we have, and everything that goes into putting the equipment together and making it work.”
He noted Volvo will help organize smaller expositions and open houses at dealer sites for customers, but nothing of this magnitude.
Visitors will typically spend two days on site, but the real fun is Day 2 when they experience an opening Machine Show showcasing lots of equipment in action, choreographed to music -- “A Machine Ballet to Rock Music” as one gentleman called it.
The starting pose featured a paver on either side, along with truck excavators on piles of gravel holding a “Welcome to Volvo” sign. The opening segment had the different equipment roll out, for all in attendance to get a taste of what was to come throughout the day. The 20-minute show demonstrated the unique functions and capabilities of what was available at Volvo Construction Equipment.
“We put a big emphasis on all of the different attachments, bucket types, couplers and everything that can make our equipment more versatile,” Gallant said. “That's really the theme of the show today. It's not only that we have 60 pieces of equipment. It's they can do 200 or 300 different jobs just by switching out attachments.”
After the show, it was time for the customers and dealers to try the equipment for themselves in the demonstration area out back. Customers and dealers levitated toward different stations based on their curiosities and needs, which included soil compactors, compact equipment, haulers, wheel loaders, excavators and road equipment. Volvo experts were on-hand throughout the day at the various stations to answer any questions.
Lance Matheson, 15, of Sage Demolition & Land Clearing, attended the event with his father, Dwayne Matheson, of Evergreen Soils & Recycling, all the way from Utah.
Lance started learning about different excavators and loaders when he was 8 years old, and now he operates them on a regular basis at Sage.
“I got a chance to run a lot of cool machines, and it's good to see it all in action,” Lance said, adding his surprise at the speed of some of the machines.
Dwayne noted the opening show was great with all the “pretty toys.”
“We're here looking at machines that are likely to be future acquisitions, and it just helps us to see what the new innovations and new product line looks like, and the new features. It gives us an opportunity to talk to the technical support staff, and the engineers that design them,” Dwayne said.
He added that Volvo takes good care of its customers and dealers for a day of fun, hands-on experiences. And, it’s an efficient use of time because they can experience a lot of the machines of interest all at once, as opposed to just visiting one dealer who brings out one machine to test.
Also on site, Volvo showcased its EC200 Excavator – painted and designed for the 10th season of “Gold Rush” on the Discovery Channel – that will be touring the country and auctioned off in Orlando at the Con Expo by Ritchie Bros in February to benefit charity. Volvo has been providing equipment to the show since Season 2. The seat was signed by Tony Beets, Parker Schnabel and Rick Ness, who are all featured on the show.
Brian Chaney, of Clean Earth, sought possible upgrades to increase production and safety, but also had fun playing around with equipment that was too big to be useful for Clean Earth’s regular day-to-day operations.
“The safety features are the biggest piece to the equipment, and making sure the operators are comfortable is key,” he said.
He also noted comfort is correlated with a more productive worker: “When you get someone who loves a piece of equipment, they are more productive.”
For more information on Volvo Construction Equipment and its offerings, visit: www.volvoce.com.