If you own a Vermeer haying tool that has seen more than a few seasons, and you need a part your dealer no longer stocks, don't just assume you're out of luck. There's still a chance you can put it back into operation using factory-made parts.
Headquartered in Pella, Iowa, Vermeer has introduced what they call "Legacy parts." Visiting this summer, I learned that they can make parts for outdated models that they no longer routinely carry parts for. Having run into that problem a time or two with older machines when my family still farmed, my ears perked up when they explained and showed me this part of their operation.
Vermeer has devoted an entire department to producing these parts. Katie Monroe, Vermeer Forage Solutions Marketing Specialist, says certain factors affect the company's ability to manufacture parts.
"We will make any part that is feasible regardless of the age of the machine," she says. "Feasibility is determined by Vermeer's ability to secure purchased parts/components, find usable prints and or access to the necessary fixturing for manufacturing."
Finding usable engineering prints can be a challenge today, she says, especially for things developed before electronic documents were used.
"We do everything we can to satisfy the customer's needs, and generally we can help them out. Although as with everything, there are exceptions to every rule," she says.
The bottom line, though, is that at least one company is extending customer service so far as to devote an entire division to making individual parts for older machines upon request. The Legacy Parts department is located in one of the plants that make up the Vermeer Mile stretch in Pella, Iowa. Several of the plants are devoted to making equipment for the forest products and commercial equipment markets. Balers and forage equipment still remain a priority, however.