That equipment upgrades come at a cost is a given. A closer look at cost reveals two cost categories: cost of ownership and operating costs. Ownership costs are the equipment purchase cost, trade-in value, insurance, tax shelters and annual usage. Operating costs include fuel, labour, depreciation and sometimes the costly killer – repairs.
When it’s time to invest their hard earned dollars back into their equipment, what do producers consider when making decisions about upgrading equipment? We asked our customers to share with us what is most important to them when it comes to upgrading.
- A need for speed: Any machine that allows a farmer to seed faster is an asset. The short seeding season and the growing size of farms creates a demand for increased speed.
- Durability to decrease downtime: When things go wrong at seeding season, farmers find themselves in trouble. A lack of durability can require an equipment upgrade before you’re ready for one.
- Maximizing potential: With competition pushing land prices up in many areas, many farmers need to find ways to earn more on the land they already own. This can include upgrading to equipment that offers more accurate seed placement and row spacing.
- Productivity, please: Increased efficiency leading to higher yields ensures that the investment in the equipment provides returns.
- Lower operating costs: Making the investment in cost of ownership can be somewhat offset by a reduced operating cost, an expense that can be influenced by everything from new technologies to improve the lifespan of tools to the ease with which a piece of machinery operates.
- Service with a smile, but not too often: Gone are the days when most equipment repairs could be completed in the farm shop. Advancements in technology can mean that someone well versed in the electronic heart of the machine must perform service and repairs. The responsiveness and availability of a manufacturer’s service department can be one of the biggest factors a farmer considers.
Producers want to do more with less. They’re looking for equipment that goes faster, covers more ground, and produces more productive crops. For many, the bottom line is this: Can the machine efficiently and reliably deliver more productive hours?
What is most important to you when it comes to equipment upgrades? Let us know on Twitter @Morris_Seeding