“Welcome to RDO Buda,” said RDOE Buda General Manager, Ryan Wagner, as he cut the Chamber of Commerce ceremonial ribbon, inviting everyone to tour RDOE’s newest facility. Soon, everyone was enjoying a Texas barbecue dinner catered by Louie’s Craft BBQ of Buda. Assisting Wagner in hosting tours and providing information about the new facility’s capabilities were members of the RDOE Buda administration including Cory Kosse, Senior Vice President; Mark Garrett, Vice President; Mike Vertz, Parts Manager; and Dusty Oliver, Service Operations Manager.
This is RDO Equipment’s third store along the approximate 100-mile IH-35 corridor from Austin to San Antonio and is located halfway between their existing stores in Pflugerville and New Braunfels. The Buda store will primarily serve south Austin and surrounding areas, for the convenience of contractors south of State Hwy 71.
Situated on 21 acres of property, RDO’s Buda location now boasts the largest RDO equipment yard in the state. Constructing their 32,390-square-foot building from the ground up was the opportune time to install the best technology for parts storage and tracking. A computerized Vertical Lift Module (VLM) frees a great deal of standard warehouse space, allowing almost $1 million in small parts to be warehoused and quickly accessed in a footprint not much larger than a walk-in closet that is 30 feet tall.
An Accuport RFID (radio frequency identification) tracking system has been installed in the entrance to the service area storeroom to improve inventory accuracy for RFID-tagged items, including tools, PPE, kits, and parts. Authorized employees gain entrance via their key tag, tracking in real time who and what items leave and enter the room.
RDO’s Buda shop also boasts one of only two undercarriage track press/cylinder repair shops in Texas – capable of performing service on all makes of undercarriage equipment.
One of the day’s highlights was a live demonstration of a Wingtra drone. Purpose-built for surveying and mapping, the Wingtra drone combines the benefits of multicopters and fixed wing planes. Its vertical takeoff and landing capability (VTOL) allows this drone to efficiently navigate in confined spaces. Once airborne, it transitions to flying like a plane, providing precise data collection and mapping.
This RDO location – like all their others – participates in internship programs for students in local trade schools and high schools to encourage careers in the industry. “We have an on-staff recruiter who goes to all the area colleges and high schools. All RDO stores have programs to bring in local students to show them our culture,” said Kosse.
“Buda turned out to be a great spot for us because of all the work that is happening in this area,” said Kosse. Buda was chosen as the prime location to serve customers working in this booming region of northern Hays County that has been identified as one of the top 10 fastest growing regions in the U.S., according to U.S. Census data. Buda Area Chamber of Commerce representatives attending the event identified many construction market sectors as highly active including residential – both single and multi-family units; commercial – primarily warehousing and building related enterprises; as well as utility infrastructure serving new development.
Buda Chamber representatives credit this surge in development to the large number of firms relocating and expanding into the Austin area, especially manufacturing and technology giants such as Samsung, Tesla, Google, Apple, Oracle, and Home Depot Technology, who have brought with them thousands of their existing employees in addition to hiring regionally. Near future roadway construction plans for this area include major improvements to two local avenues that will serve as additional conduits to central Austin.