TractorPal App Lets You Track Machinery Maintenance, Inventory
Recording parts and service in a notebook was a hassle for South Dakota farmer Erik Schlimmer. While jotting it all down served as a way to track machine maintenance, the archaic process made it difficult to manage his fleet, especially when traveling from farm to dealership.
Having the information on a mobile device, he thought, would be far more efficient. Looking for a way to ditch the paper, he turned to Keith King, who comes from a long line of farmers and has a background in computers and marketing.
“Erik called me asking if I knew of an app that could keep track of his tractor maintenance,” recalls King, who lives in Volga, South Dakota. “Although I didn’t know of one, I told him I bet the two of us could develop one.”
How It Works
Launched in 2014, the TractorPal app lets you track maintenance and inventory of all your agriculture machines and attachments – including cars, trucks, and all-terrain vehicles – with your iPhone or Android device.
The maintenance feature gives you the ability to list part numbers, oil quantities, dates of service, and hour/odometer readings. It also sends schedule reminders to alert you when a machine is due for maintenance.
“In the app, just select Service Now, and it takes you to the service screen where you can select things like engine oil, air filter, fuel filter, coolant, and even part number,” says King.
The inventory function lets you keep an up-to-date list of equipment and includes details like serial number, purchase price, where purchased, original miles, and model year.
“It puts all inventory and maintenance records right in the palm of your hand,” says King. “If you are in the dealership and need to know the last time you changed your oil or you need to find a past part number, it’s right there on your phone. If you have an old filter in the shop and aren’t sure what tractor it goes on, you can search past maintenance records with the TractorPal app to quickly find out.”
You can also create formatted reports that can be printed or emailed – a useful feature when selling machinery.
“If you sold a tractor and the new owner wants all of your maintenance records on that machine, you simply select Email Report and the specific machine, and then email it. It’s that easy,” he says.
Security is another component of the app. “No one has access to machinery information except for you,” he says. “The information stays on your phone.” If you choose to use the sync function, your machine data will be backed up on a secure server in the cloud.
“When you enter new information, just sync and the information will be backed up,” says King. “Create an account with Google, Facebook, or Twitter. If you don’t have one of those accounts, just create one with only your name and email address.”
While only Android devices can take advantage of the sync feature, King says adding the option to the iPhone platform is a goal.
Rest assured, he says, your data will not be sold.
You can test-drive the app through a free trial. A full version of the TractorPal app can be purchased for $9.99. It will store unlimited data.
This past January, King and Schlimmer created TractorPal LLC. In April, Shannon Hopfer joined the team. He will help with faster and more frequent updates.
The three men plan to continue adding features to the app, including the ability to update records on a desktop computer.
“In this day and age, it just makes sense to have the information you need with you at all times,” says King. “Maintenance and inventory records are no different. To a farmer, that’s valuable information.”
For more information, visit TractorPal.com.