Following the devastation of Hurricane Michael, Beard Equipment and John Deere donated the use of a John Deere backhoe to four local counties and municipalities in the Florida Panhandle. The cities of Lynn Haven, Callaway, and Mexico Beach and Jackson County experienced serious damage as a result of the hurricane, which made landfall in the area as a Category 4 storm and caused the destruction of buildings and limited access to power, water and roadways.
“We can’t even describe the sheer devastation of Hurricane Michael on the Florida Panhandle. High winds downed trees, cut off power and damaged underground utilities, leaving the residents without access to clean water and electricity,” said Drew DeLaney, president, Beard Equipment Co. “We’re looking to do our part by providing resources to the people who live in these communities need to rebuild their towns and cities. We know it won’t be easy, but we want to assure them Beard Equipment and John Deere are here to help.”
In an effort to ease the recovery process, Lynn Haven, Callaway and Mexico Beach received a 310L backhoe and Jackson County received a 310SL free of charge for six months. As the areas recover, the donation will give workers the equipment they need to remove trees, repair waterlines, and get resources back online.
“The John Deere backhoes are extremely versatile and can tackle a variety of tasks with the loader bucket on the front and the backhoe boom on the back,” said DeLaney. “The controls are intuitive and these cities and counties already own one, so it is easy for operators to navigate and work in the affected areas.”
The free rental is part of the John Deere Enterprise Disaster Support Program that offers financial support for Deere equipment dealers in the form of rental subsidies, depreciation compensation, demonstration discounts or similar funding, allowing dealers to provide equipment for use in disaster support and recovery areas in their local communities.
“John Deere offers this program to help our dealers quickly respond to disasters,” said Nate Clark, the manager of enterprise citizenship at Deere & Company. “The program brings together John Deere, dealers, customers and nonprofit or governmental organizations when disasters strike, putting John Deere equipment to good use.”
In addition to the support from John Deere, the rental donation was made possible due to the backing of the John Deere dealer network. Understanding the crisis in Florida and southern Georgia, dealers came together, giving up machine orders for the greater good.
“Following the hurricane, dealers offered their inventory, either from the factory or their own lots, shifting the focus of equipment deliveries to the impacted areas,” said Jason Daly, global director, Marketing & Support, John Deere Construction & Forestry. “It is an honor to work with such a great group of independent businesses that are willing to support their communities and one another during a time of need.”