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Rain Bird ESP-SMT Smart Controller

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by JimLewis, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830

    Well, that's too bad. I don't know that it's quite as bad as you describe everywhere. I know when I go to the Select Contractor trips and other trips with RB, I do see a number of the same territory reps from year to year. But I also do see some new ones too. I know they're working very hard to get some long term reps in every area. I know this from talking to the guy who manages all of the reps across the nation. We have lunch a couple times a year.

    But just FYI: I've had 5 different RB reps over the last 10 years. So it hasn't been cake here either. I've just always made a point to know who my RB rep. is, to get to know him right away as soon as he starts, and to keep the relationship active and ongoing. Because I believe they are an invaluable resource. They've proven to be over and over again.
     
  2. Rotor_Tool

    Rotor_Tool LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 349

    It's pretty bad. I spent nearly 12 years with the company. Turnover is their biggest issue, during my time there I saw a lot of talented people come and go. I know the guy you mention, he is a great guy - unfortunately one of the people he reports to looks out for himself and no-one else. I am sure you have met him on the SC trips.
     
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830

    Yah, I'm well aware of the high turnover issue there at RB. Not just among reps. It seems to be company wide. They are definitely a stringent company to work for and they demand performance. They could probably benefit from some policies to increase team thinking and cohesiveness. But that's not my business so I don't usually go there. That's for them to deal with.

    But my point is; find out who your local area rep. is, get to know him, he/she can help you. If you don't currently have one for your area, keep checking back. Most areas of the country do have a rep. somewhere not too far away. It's worth it to get to know them and keep the relationship going, even if you have to do it all over again with a new rep. next year.
     
  4. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Posts: 1,836

    We got a new rep in Houston a little over a year ago, out of about a dozen calls to him, I've had 1 returned and he didn't have the answer to my question. We were supposed to have lunch just so I could meet the guy but that never happened either. Our previous rep was really very good but left RB for a variety of reasons. I usually end up calling the Austin rep if I need something, I'm not in his territory but he answers his phone, returns calls and either knows the answer or will find it for me. It's a shame that I have to call a rep for another region to get any results but I've learned that with RB, that's often how it is and just adapt. I like their products, I just wish they had better reps. The Hunter rep for my area has been with them for years and I never have issues getting in touch with him. I don't always like his answers, and I generally don't prefer his products, but he's there when I need him.
     
  5. cjohn2000

    cjohn2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 552

    Funny we are discussing RB and the SMT controller. I called RB with a issue with a ESP-SMT and had to wait half an hour on hold to get through to technical services and the guy didnt seem to know their products. With Hunter ive never had to wait very long for technical support and their techs know their products.
     
  6. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,810



    The head of their technical dept is also a well respected member of the LS irrigation forum too.
     
  7. cjohn2000

    cjohn2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 552

    I think I might know who you are talking about.
     
  8. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,810

    I doubt it, the guy you are thinking of is short and has a wooden leg.
     
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,830



    So you're judging the company based on one time when you had to wait longer than you wanted and with one guy??? I'm not sure you have much of a case there. But whatever...

    I've actually never needed to call tech support for either RB, Hunter, Toro or any other brand for that matter and I've been doing this 17 years. Sounds like you seem to need to call tech support quite a bit based on your statement.

    If I ever did have an issue, I always just went straight to my hunter rep., Toro rep. or RB rep. And they've always been equally responsive and helpful. Or if it was just a product failure issue I would just quit using the product - as was the case when we used to install Hunter spray heads and all their wiper seals started failing after just being in the ground a year.
     
  10. cjohn2000

    cjohn2000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 552

    About once a year I will run into an issue, where I check with tech support. There have already been two people, one from RB and one from our supplier who have messed around with this controller trying to get it to work.
     

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