There eventually comes a time when that old tractor or wheel rake cannot pull its weight any longer, and you need to decide whether it is time to replace it. This is a large investment, however, and it is not one you should take lightly.
Instead of relying on a set number of years, there are many factors you should consider. Replacing your equipment at the right time can mean thousands of dollars’ worth of savings.
The problems with using old machinery
Even if your equipment is running fine right now, it may be time to consider replacing it anyway. Putting up with old machinery can hold your farm back in multiple ways.
1. Costs – For one, they can be expensive to keep operational; maintenance and repairs become more frequent as time goes on. It is often more affordable to just shop for a replacement at online listings like berrymachinery.com, and look for bargains.
2. Dependability – Old machinery has a bad habit of breaking down just when you need it most. Delays in planting or harvesting can have serious repercussions far beyond their repair costs. This is a risk that you will regret taking.
3. Performance – Advanced technology means higher capacities and more efficient operation. Finishing tasks faster and easier is one of the best ways to improve your bottom line. Good machines will usually pay for themselves.
What is your ideal equipment replacement schedule?
You have several ways to approach equipment replacement, and each has its own set of advantages and drawbacks. Generally, most schedules fall under these three types:
- Replace regularly – Using this approach, your farm will replace its equipment on a regular basis. You maximize warranties, make sure that productivity is always at its peak, and get good resale prices. This is fairly expensive, though, and could limit your cash reserves.
- Wait until cash is available – Many farmers wait until they have a sizable reserve of funding before replacing their old equipment. This helps you attend to other financial needs more effectively, but it is difficult to predict when you will have the spare cash.
- Keep it ‘til it breaks – Lastly, you can also use your equipment until it is completely broken and unfixable. While this costs you the least upfront, especially if you can do minor repairs yourself, it also means that your equipment may break down at a crucial time. Be careful when choosing this option.
Weigh the costs and benefits carefully of any equipment purchase, and you will likely come out ahead.