When the maker of Ditch Witch mobile drills and trenchers called Jeff Savage of Oklahoma City CSTK about adding rooftop A/C to a new model, it was both an opportunity and a challenge. Ditch Witch has used R-9777s on cabs for a long time, but now needed a rooftop unit that would meet tougher European standards for electromagnetic interference.
“In terms of performance and durability, the R-9777 is the right choice for this particular application,” Jeff says. “If we could equip one with an EMI filter, we’d be all set. But Ditch Witch needed fewer than 50 units. It wouldn’t be feasible for Red Dot to modify the R-9777 and EMI-certify it given the low volume of the Ditch Witch order.
The solution: Jeff contacted JBAR.
“They do custom work, they specialize in off-highway markets, and they’re part of Red Dot,” says Jeff. “I asked JBAR if they could help. They jumped right in.”
JBAR engineers developed a retrofit kit for a handful of R-9777s already installed on pre-assembled cabs. Moving forward, JBAR will produce a modified version of the R-9777 with EMI protection (and its own part number) and ship it directly to Ditch Witch’s cab suppliers.
“Everybody wins here,” Jeff says. "JBAR made it possible for us to continue to supply the Red Dot product."
"Jeff did a fantastic job coordinating communication between the engineers here and at Ditch Witch," says JBAR’s Tracy Metcalf. "We were all on the same page and had a prototype ready for lab and field testing within 30 days."
Tracy says JBAR gives Red Dot WDs access to the engineering and manufacturing resources they need to develop system business with specialty OEMs.
“It’s not usually cost-effective for Red Dot to modify an existing product or develop something new for a few dozen units a year," he explains. Through JBAR, a WD can offer off-highway equipment manufacturers a system of components from a single source that’s customized and designed to work together.
“I believe that’s important today,” Tracy says. “With low-volume OEMs, we’re seeing a trend where they want to streamline the number of suppliers they use. Having three, four, or five suppliers in the system can be hard to manage when there’s a warranty or supply issue. JBAR can take on those smaller, custom jobs and help the WD support the OEM with a customized unit.”
If you’re working with a specialty OEM, contact your Red Dot Account Manager about how JBAR can help meet your needs.