“The easiest way to explain it is to say it’s Siri for your equipment,” said Travis LaDuke, Lynx Consultant at Foley Equipment. “You have a question, and we can answer it — most of the time right away and without having to send a field technician to your site.”
By subscribing to Foley Lynx, customers can call, text, or email the service anytime they encounter an equipment question or issue. LaDuke or another full-time Foley Lynx technician will respond — if not immediately, then typically within 30 minutes during regular business hours. Those working in the evening can leave a message and should expect a response first thing in the morning.
“We can walk you through a lot of quick things to check, or I can go to our engineering team and get you an answer that gets you going,” LaDuke said. “If field service does need to come out, then they already have a good idea of what’s wrong, so they spend less time on site and you’re back up and running faster.”
Foley Lynx includes a Facetime-like service that allows customers to share photos and videos with the technicians.
“We can text pictures back and forth, but sometimes it’s better if you can show us what you’ve got going on in real time,” LaDuke said. “We can text a link that turns your phone into a remote camera. Then it’s even easier to walk through the troubleshooting process and narrow down the problem.”
With an annual Foley Lynx Ultimate Subscription, customers can also get unlimited access to Cat Advanced SIS 2.0 — Caterpillar’s service information system that includes detailed parts information, service manuals, troubleshooting guides, and more.
“Cat SIS 2.0 is new to many customers, but it has been around for a long time and is the same system used by the professionals,” LaDuke said. “Our Lynx team has a lot of experience navigating SIS 2.0 and can share that knowledge. We can help you locate the correct parts, find the right page in the service manual, and interpret what certain instructions mean. It definitely improves our ability to communicate and problem-solve as a team.”
- A Foley customer working out of state in Arizona on a job called in because a fault code kept popping up on an excavator. The Foley Lynx technician determined that a software fix would resolve the problem. The technician updated the software remotely from Kansas, and the machine was back up and running in 45 minutes.
- A customer attempted to add an attachment for an excavator but couldn’t get it to work properly and couldn’t tell if the issue lay with the machine or the work tool. The Foley Lynx technician connected to the excavator remotely and confirmed that all machine parameters were in order and that the malfunction lay with the attachment.
- A customer couldn’t get the air conditioning to work on a motor grader. Remote troubleshooting revealed that it wasn’t getting electrical power. The Foley Lynx technician pulled data from the machine and discovered that the air conditioning system had been turned off, leading the computer to believe it wasn’t installed in the first place. The Foley Lynx technician dispatched a field technician who had the air conditioning working in less than 30 minutes.
Before Foley Lynx, most of these issues would have required sending a field technician to the site, triggering an immediate trip charge. And depending on the location of the site and the availability of personnel, delays were possible — which could have resulted in costly unplanned downtime.
“Uptime is important to our customers,” LaDuke said. “We recently worked through an issue for the operations manager of one of our largest customers, and he was very appreciative of our ability to get him a resolution within minutes of sending his question. We hear ‘I don’t know what we did before Lynx’ all the time.”
“Don’t be afraid to use it just the way you use Siri or Alexa,” he said. “‘Where do I find this part?’ ‘What does this button do?’ Lynx is for any question you have.”
The service can be valuable for companies onboarding new operators or technicians, who may not be familiar with the ins and outs of Cat machines — or with heavy equipment at all.
“Often, when a machine is new to an operator, they’re trying to figure out which buttons to push,” LaDuke said. “We can explain where all the switches are located. We can explain how to change the settings on the monitor to use a different work tool. We can even explain how to set up the grade control system and start using it to achieve better accuracy. That’s a real benefit nowadays with the lack of experienced operators.”
For the Foley team, streamlining the process of gathering information from the field leads to better diagnosis of problems, less duplication of efforts, and time saved.
“I think of it as the difference between going to a Ford dealership to buy a vehicle and going to a used car dealership,” LaDuke said. “The experience is going to be completely different. Lynx is one more way Foley Equipment can offer that superior customer service and value and be there every step of the way, even if we never set foot on site.”