To our valued customers, family and friends:
It has been a long and challenging year and then some. We wanted to take a moment to update you on our ‘behind the scenes’ - to let you know what we have been dealing with in 2021. Many of you have been patiently waiting for your tractor, utility vehicle, or implements to come in. Please know that we too are caught in the same ‘waiting game’.
For example, the last set of SGC series grapples arrived in March, 2021. We have been told all through spring and all summer long that they’re on the way. Land Pride has opened up another plant. This plant’s priority is grapples. Those grapples need steel to build them. Steel also is in high demand item and short on supply. Most significantly, Land Pride needed to hire and train new employees to help with production, because of the effects of Covid on their workforce. Add all of this plus the backlog from last year and we’re still waiting. The latest ETA for those grapples is November (fingers crossed!). We have over a dozen customers on our list waiting for these items.
Kubota has implemented an allocation list. Yes, you’ve read that right – allocation. It’s a complex formula that makes our heads hurt trying to figure out just what we will receive. We get a weekly update that for the most part, is half-right and half of the list is already delayed. It has been very frustrating. Gone are the days when you needed something we don’t have, the answer was “no problem, we’ll just order one up for you”. We’ve had order stacked upon order, for over a year we are still waiting on.
Been anxiously awaiting that new SVL Skid Steer? Want that excavator that will make all your work easier? Yep, so have we! We have on the allocation list one SVL and one excavator… sometimes. Right now, there are over 100 of those massive container ships waiting to dock in west coast ports. Most of these ports are backed up and short staffed. Your excavator may possibly be taking an extended cruise at sea. Once it gets to dry land, it faces another challenge – finding a truck and a healthy Covid-free driver to get it to the dealership.
How about those new RTV520’s, Sidekick’s, or even just one RTV-X1100? There’s a shortage of tires, tubing for the rops, lining for the bedliners, etc…Kubota is also facing a labor shortage just like many other employers. It’s been a giant struggle for factories to keep enough healthy workers working to produce all the little sub-contracted pieces that make the assembled final products to ship to the dealers.
For example, sometimes the hang up for receiving a tractor is no loaders. You read that right – how can you not have a loader shipped with a tractor. Isn’t that a pretty key component for using a tractor? That has happened. Sometimes the hang up is the bucket. We’ve had a few SVL Skid Steers shipped in without buckets. That is even worse than the tractor situation. What can you possibly do with a SVL w/o a bucket? How about shipping a backhoe without a bucket nor a subframe kit?
What we’re trying to communicate is that it’s not just one thing wrong, there is a whole slew of hurdles we are facing trying to get your machine to you. We have a list over FIVE pages long that has all your orders on it. We don’t play favorites. It’s set on a first come first serve basis. If you haven’t heard from us in a while, it’s not that we’re ignoring you. We just haven’t seen your machine yet. When we do get a truck load in, we are busy putting together as much of your package as we can, and then calling you with the good news that your order is in and ready. We know you are anxious for that call, but if it it hasn’t come, please feel free to call and check in for an update, and remember –in these uncertain times courtesy and kindness goes a long way….As Woodrow Call in Lonesome Dove said so eloquently, ”I hate rudeness in a man, I won’t tolerate it.” This struggle we all are facing is not going away any time soon. The problems with production, shipping, etc., will not be fixed quickly. It’s almost like we all are stuck in a “Ground Hog Day”, where every day is a repeat of the previous day; and if we can only take one name off the list, we consider that a major victory. Unfortunately what happens – we usually add three more names to the list!!! If you have called in and received a date that has long past come and gone please accept our apology. We are giving you our best time frame available to us at the time. I promise we are not making up random dates.
With the end of the year rapidly approaching. We know some of you need to make purchases before year’s end. If you need to make that investment before the end of the year, we want you to know that it is quite possible that your machine will not be here before the new year begins. Chances are very real a lot of the outstanding orders will not be here by the end of December! And it very well could be on into 2022. Yes, you read that right –sometime next year! You, however, CAN count on the fact that given the options we have, We WILL do everything in our power to keep you informed, and provide the service you expect.
We do understand your frustrations. We do share in your impatience. We also as you do, wish we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. We do want you to get the machine. We know you have a million projects planned with it. Just realize that until the pandemic runs its course things will remain a bit unsettled, and that dramatically affects our operations. It is not going to be back to normal at least through 2021. Hopefully this update will give you an idea of why things seem that they are not up to our normal high standards and expectations. Please be patient with us and know we are working hard behind the scenes for all of you. We are forever grateful for our customers and continually thankful for your understanding.