Purchasing a new piece of machinery is a decision that takes some thought, some comparisons, and some hard and fast facts about whether or not the purchase of this machine is beneficial to your farming operation and will show you the kind of return on your money you are looking for. So we have put together some tips to help you tell if you are buying a quality machine that will last you seasons and help you increase profits on your farm.
1. What type of steel is it made from and what is the life of this machine?
Lots of manufacturers are trying to bring down the price of their machines by using cheaper steel, tires, ect. to make their product. But this isn’t necessarily a good thing if you plan to keep your machine around and get the most for your money. On many of the machines we sell we know that the most industrial strength steel is used in the making of the piece and that the life of the machine is dependent on that. Also something to keep in mind is making sure that you are getting a machine that coincides with the size farming operation you have. For instance, as far as bale wrappers go, if you have a hay operation that bales 5,000 bales per season but buy a bale wrapper that has a recommended amount of 400 or less bales per season- it doesn’t mean you cannot use that wrapper, but don’t expect to get extended life out of it.
2. Are there lots of parts sold for this machine?
It’s always a good sign when the parts are readily available for the machine you have, but that also not many parts are needing or break often. How do you figure this out? You can always ask your local dealer how many parts they sell for a certain machine and if they are major parts or just small wear and tear parts.
3. Are there testimonials from customers out there?
Just like if you were buying a new car, you would probably read some reviews about how customers are liking their new purchase and if they would recommend it to others. So read some online reviews of the machine you are interested in and see if a majority of customers would recommend this product to others.
4. Do you need more tractor power to run this machine?
Something to think about when it comes to attachments and short lines is whether you can run this product with your current tractor set up or you would need more power, which would equal more expense. Most of the machine we sell are fuel efficient and faster, and use less horsepower- because we know that is a deciding factor when buying a machine.
5. What is the used market or trade in value of the machine?
This would be another question for your local dealership, as they see machines go in and out and are able to get a sense of whether there are customers out there asking for used machines of this kind and if they keep a good trade in value.
6. Will this machine increase my profits on the farm?
You have to look at the cost of the machine vs how much money you will be saving in time, fuel, and selling profits whether you are talking about crops, cows or hay. If your cows milk will be worth more, your hay will sell for a greater profit or your crops will be sold at a better price, you can estimate how many years the savings will take you to equal the price of the machine. Also remember something we all often forget: your time is money. So if a machine can save you 25% of your time each day, you should count that as money saved.