How to purchase used course machinery that is factory refurbished
Ransomes Jacobsen has launched the Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) initiative, where used equipment is factory refurbished and marketed to end-users. We find out more about the scheme from Tom Stidder, Ransomes Jacobsen’s technical manager.
What is the rationale behind this initiative?
We appreciate it’s not always possible for our customers to purchase new equipment, especially over the last three or four years, when the recession has impacted significantly on golf clubs, landscape contractors and local authorities. That’s the main reason why we have introduced this Certified Pre-Owned initiative to help them over this obstacle, offering quality machines that have been factory refurbished and available with a one-year manufacturer warranty. Customers will be, and are, surprised when they see the machines; we took some early models to SALTEX last September to gauge interest and most people thought they were new machines!
We look at them not as second hand machines, but as second generation. For example, look at a walking greens’ mower; we put it through a 90 point quality control check during refurbishment. Looking at a larger machine, say a riding greens’ mower, this will have in excess of 300 quality checks. To ensure transparency, the price advertised on our dedicated website is the price the customer pays – there are no hidden costs.
We use only original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, the major items such as cutting units, lift arms and chassis are manufactured here in Ipswich and every item we use in the refurbishment is the same as what we use in the manufacturing of our new build products.
Is it just for the UK?
No – quite a few of our initial CPO machines have gone to Europe. Also, our sister company, Jacobsen in the USA, has introduced the same initiative. This equipment is, or will be, available in most of our trading territories.
How does it differ from Toro’s Prema scheme?
In many ways it’s similar; we both take selected pre-owned equipment, inspect it, refurbish it and extensively test the finished product. The main differentiator is in regard to warranty; with us the first six months are covered by Ransomes Jacobsen’s full manufacturer warranty with the remaining six months on a parts-only basis. The Prema warranty is for six months.
Where do you get your machinery from?
We have an industry network of contacts – our own dealer network and the many second-hand dealers that populate this industry are our principal sources. The most important factor is the condition of the machine we take in. It obviously has to be in a state that makes it viable to put through the process. It goes through a rigorous inspection to ascertain what needs to be done; we’ll look at all aspects of the machine – engine, chassis, steering, brakes, fuel and cooling systems, hydraulics, electrics, cutting units, control systems, transmission and wheel and tyres.
How does the refurbishment process work and what do you do?
We have an experienced team of technicians devoted to the CPO process who work in a dedicated production area within our manufacturing facility. The machine is stripped down, worn parts replaced, repainted in our paint plant if necessary, and throughout the process it undergoes our rigorous quality control checks.
During a mower’s life there will be many updates to its functionality, for example new wheel motors may have been introduced, updates to the command and control systems, a new design of a specific hydraulic pump. Our CPO machines will have all these updates incorporated into the refurbishment and all the safety decals will be renewed as a matter of course.
We will regrind cutting units, replace bearings and seals, check and adjust controls; in fact we do everything that is identified in the initial check. If new cutting units or decks are required, these will be fitted as well. And, of course, they will be genuine replacements, straight from our after sales department.
What are the benefits to the end user?
The most obvious is the opportunity to purchase quality pre-owned equipment, technically reworked with OEM parts and almost as good as a new machine, at very affordable prices. Then there’s the added peace of mind of a 12-month warranty supported by a national dealer network.
What are the benefits to the Jacobsen organisation?
Well, from our point of view, we increase the number of machines out there in the marketplace and that increases our market share. It also provides an additional revenue stream for the business and will probably impact favourably on our parts business.
It will also mean that we touch new customers; end-users who have not bought from us previously, providing further opportunities as we establish relationships with them.
How will you be marketing CPO? How do end users get to purchase the equipment?
We’ve designed a dedicated website www.ransomestrader.com where all CPO machines are listed with their relevant purchase price. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis and the price advertised is the price the customer pays. They are delivered to the customer through our dealer network.