Rental equipment sees hard use no matter the user, but a lot of problems can be traced to operator error. Billy Goat is trying to change that with their new Text to Video program. By texting a keyword to a number clearly printed on the machine, the operator will be sent a short video detailing everything they need to know to get started. This makes equipment easier to use for inexperienced renters and helps avoid misuse that can shorten the life of equipment.
How Does it Work?
The instructions and the keyword for the specific piece of equipment are clearly printed either on the operator’s position or at the controls. The user texts this word to 33988. They are then sent a link to a short instructional video for the equipment.
What’s Covered in the Video?
All videos touch on three main topics:
1. Starting the engine
2. Operating the machine
3. Tips for using the machine
For example, if the user has a NextGen Sod Cutter in front of them, they’ll see a tag that instructs the operator to text “SOD” to Billy Goat’s T2V number. When they text the number, the system replies with a link to a YouTube video hosted by Billy Goat’s communications manager, Gail Trudeau. In the video, Trudeau goes over the following topics:
The safety equipment needed — Gloves and safety glasses
-How to start the engine — Pointing out the location of the run switch, choke, and starter handle, as well as when to use the choke
-How to adjust cutting depth — Pointing out diagram for depth settings on the cutter, and how to set the pin that determines depth
-How to engage the cutting blades
-Using the levers on the handle to engage the hydrostatic drive in forward and reverse
-Locking and unlocking the rear caster wheel for straight and curved cuts
All of this is covered in about 90 seconds. There’s no intro or graphics, just the basic information the operator needs to get started. While by no means comprehensive, this is enough for a novice to start using a piece of equipment. It also shows exactly where on the machine the operator can find easy-to-miss items like the choke and caster wheel lock. For 95% of rental users, this gives them everything they need to know.
Who Can Use this Tool?
The user doesn’t have to download a separate Billy Goat app, and the video can be viewed on any smartphone using the YouTube app or any modern HTML5-compatible web browser. That means it will work with virtually every smartphone on the market.
What isn’t Covered?
Troubleshooting and in-depth use information are left out. Users will still need to refer to a manual if the equipment isn’t delivering the results they expect, or if the engine doesn’t want to run.
When Will T2V Be Available?
The first equipment to get this feature was the Next Gen Hydro-Drive 18” Sod Cutter in mid-2017. Success with this pilot program has led the company to start rolling it out onto other models this year. Currently, videos are available for several overseeder, dethatcher, aerator, blower, and vacuum models. Debris loaders and the Grazor crack cleaner are not yet covered.
Can I Get Parts for My Billy Goat Using My Smartphone?
Whether you’re on your phone or your computer, you can go to www.billygoatparts.com to get everything you need for your Billy Goat equipment. We’re a certified dealer for Billy Goat and their partners including Honda, Subaru, and Briggs & Stratton, so we’re able to have anything you may need delivered to your door. Our search engine can even narrow down parts choices based on your model and serial number, and it will show you factory diagrams and descriptions, making it easy to find what you need. We ship across the USA and Canada.