CE Awards 2017: John Deere, Volvo and Navistar Build Big Telematics Operational Centers and Cool Service Offerings

innovative iron awardsThe Coolest and Most Creative Compact Equipment of the Year

Exploration is the engine that drives innovation, so let’s go exploring. Let’s search through a year’s worth of creative ideas in the off-highway equipment industry and see if we can benchmark the innovative exploration of the American machine market. Over the last 12 months, global manufactures from Case to Kubota have released compact machines that have set new standards for power, versatility, efficiency and design. Our editors have traveled across the country to meet these manufacturers, operate their new products and give detailed reports and opinions both in print and on our website (compactequip.com). We sifted through the hundreds of models and brands released in 2017 and picked 25 units that set the new bar for innovation. With this article, we salute those companies that have changed the commercial equipment market over the last year with their unique, interesting and innovative machines, engines and technologies.

Keith Gribbins is associate publisher of Compact Equipment.

Volvo’s ActiveCare Direct


Volvo’s all in when it comes to remotely tracking machine functions, geofencing and fleet management via telematics. At CONEXPO/CON-AGG ActiveCare Direct was announced — believed to be the industry’s first telematics monitoring service offered at the OEM level and supported through a dealer network. Volvo has also built an uptime center with an experienced team of analysts capable of proactively monitoring and reporting on customer fleets throughout the United States and Canada. The service relieves the burden of sorting through vast quantities of available data. ActiveCare Direct is free for one year on eligible new machine purchases. For more info, visit volvoce.com/na.

John Deere’s Machine Health Monitoring Center

john deere

John Deere had an enormous year on the machine technology front. Located inside the mile-long Dubuque Works facility in Iowa, the newly minted John Deere Machine Health Monitoring Center is changing how John Deere and its dealers analyze data and proactively support customers through mainstream technology. In an effort to simplify data management and enhance jobsite productivity, John Deere and LHP Telematics (an industry leader in creating custom telematics solutions) joined forces to further advance the proficiencies of John Deere WorkSight and JDLink. And for the first time, JDLink is now available as a factory-installed option on all new large-frame G-Series skid steers (330G, 332G) and compact track loaders (331G, 333G). For more info, visit deere.com.

Navistar’s OnCommand, Accelerator Write-Up


Navistar has the tools to make both dealers and truck drivers more efficient. In July, the brand behind International trucks announced that its integrated OnCommand Connection Telematics solution was available for purchase. It offers trucks and fleets an easy-to-use, comprehensive, one-price solution that can help drastically cut the cost of vehicle maintenance, while handling virtually all federal and state compliance needs. Also, Navistar’s Accelerator Write-Up mobile app is a first-of-its-kind mobile application that expedites truck customers’ service visits by streamlining the write-up and diagnostic process. For more info, visit navistar.com.

Want more innovation? We have plenty more Innovative Iron Awards here.

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