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GrowMaster Crops Equipment Truck Rodeo

Ensuring the quality and accuracy of our equipment

Did you know that every piece of Southern States GrowMaster agronomy equipment is checked and certified annually? From June through November, GrowMaster service professionals travel around the Southeast holding regional equipment rodeos. At the rodeos, experts check equipment, calibrate machinery and provide training sessions to Southern States employees.

What Happens at a Rodeo

There are four stages involved with a rodeo:

GrowMaster experts inspect everything from top to bottom to ensure accuracy of application equipment.

A detailed inspection is conducted of the spreader components to include gears, belts hydraulic lines, spinner blades, etc.

GrowMaster experts also administer mechanical inspections to help detect worn or damaged parts. A preemptive approach is taken to make sure Southern States can apply at maximum efficiency when the season dictates.

GrowMaster experts check spray nozzle performance for accuracy in liquid applications.

GrowMaster experts check pans placed in field tests to verify accuracy of dry material application.
  1. GrowMaster experts will perform a regulatory DOT standard roadside check on licensed equipment, conducting a level 2 walk-around along with a check of paperwork and license status.
  2. GrowMaster experts also conduct a level 1 inspection where they check everything underneath the equipment, including tires, wheels, axles and the frame.
  3. Experts test all application equipment to make sure it will properly apply crop inputs. "The checks help make sure we're not over or under applying anything, since misapplications can damage crops," says Jim Melton, Assistant Manager of Safety and Loss Control at Southern States.
  4. GrowMaster holds a classroom portion at the rodeos to go over standard DOT and application training as well as other specialized trainings. "We might hold a class on a trending agronomy topic or a class on what's changing in the marketplace as far as new products or crop protectants - basically any topic which we feel our employees need to become more informed in," says Floyd Bush, Fleet and Equipment Manager at Southern States.

Not Making the Grade

The equipment must pass a checklist of items to obtain certification for that year. If for some reason a piece of machinery does not meet certain standards, Southern States will park it until the necessary repairs are made.
Annual inspection also gives Southern States a chance to go back to a vendor to make a product more user-friendly. "With a new piece of equipment, you get a chance to see how it performs," Melton says. "If you hear the same thing about a new piece of machinery from several different people, there's probably an issue that needs to be addressed."

Why Rodeos are Important to You

Southern States has held equipment truck rodeos for the past 20 years to ensure quality service for our customers. "We look at at least 30 different types of equipment throughout the year at the rodeos," Melton says. "Our vendors tell us that we are one of the only companies who perform this kind of check and calibration service."

"The rodeos give us a chance to make sure our equipment is accurate before we get out in a customer's field," Bush adds. "It also gets the maintenance and repairs completed before the fall so that we're ready to go."

The Southern States GrowMaster Rodeos provide a valuable self-inspection of equipment and a training opportunity for employees that helps ensure accuracy in the field and deliver on the promise of value to growers using these services.

For more information on Southern States application services, please consult your local Southern States Agronomy Professional.

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