7 Tips for Buying Farm Equipment
Buying new farm equipment is a major commitment. The agricultural industry is always changing, and the latest machines offer technological advances in comfort, usability, efficiency and life span. Upgrading your equipment could make a substantial difference for your farm, but only if you know what to look for when buying new farm equipment.
You’ll need to know how to go about shopping for farm machines. Asking the right questions and setting predetermined standards will help you get the best equipment for your needs. Think of all of the things that matter most to you as you shop the market, and follow this guide to buying farm equipment.
1. Ask Yourself the Right Questions
Before you go out on the hunt for farm equipment, you’ll want to think a few things through. Consider your goals, standards, financial constraints and other important factors. Set aside a few moments to sit down and ask yourself these questions:
- What are my goals? Consider your long-term goals. Why are you farming in the first place? How long do you plan on continuing to farm? Will you be farming vegetables, row crops, hay bales, wood lots or something else? Ask yourself why you need the equipment to achieve your goals.
- Do I want new or used equipment? Once you’ve established why you need equipment, think about whether you’d prefer a new or used machine. Keep in mind, purchasing new farm equipment lets you enjoy technology improvements compared to purchasing used farm equipment.
- What size farm do I have? Review the size of your farm. What size equipment will be adequate for your needs? Consider the horsepower demands, necessary accessories, as well as the weight, wheel spacing and hydraulic capacity required.
- How will I maintain the equipment? An often overlooked aspect of buying new farm machines is future repairs, replacements and preventative measures. Be sure you have a plan for long-term maintenance.
- What’s my budget? It’s vital to set a clear budget for yourself when buying agriculture equipment.
2. Decide on New or Used
One of the first decisions you should make is whether you’ll shop for new or used equipment. Although used equipment tends to have a lower initial price tag, it also has its cons. Since agricultural technology is rapidly changing, used equipment is bound to be outdated. In addition, the previous owner’s maintenance routine may not have been adequate, leaving you with a damaged machine. Although new equipment represents a higher upfront investment, it will save you money down the road by improving your efficiency and causing less unexpected downtime.
3. Inspect the Equipment You Already Have
Part of your decision-making process should involve your current equipment. Take a careful look at the machines you already have, and ask yourself what you like and don’t like about them. Reflect on what you want from the equipment you decide to purchase. Is your current equipment leading to high levels of waste? For instance, the right tedder can reduce hay harvest loss and maximize your output.
4. Do Your Research
Arguably the most important aspect of purchasing new farm equipment is research. Instead of buying the first thing you see, dig into the details about technological advances, performance levels, maintenance demands and other factors. Performing research will help ensure you’re choosing the best equipment and paying a fair price. Before making a purchase, look into:
- The technology: Machinery has probably improved since your last equipment purchase. Be aware of any technology shifts and whether or not you’ll need the latest equipment to stay competitive.
- The specifications: Always check that the equipment specifications for a machine will meet your needs without causing undue strain on the components. Choosing a machine with specs that match your requirements will help the equipment last longer.
- The maintenance requirements: You should also be aware of any maintenance requirements for the machine you’ve chosen. Decide whether or not you can keep up with preventive maintenance demands.
- The user manual: Anyone who will be using the machine should be familiar with the user manual. Make sure the ways you plan to use the machine align with its intended applications.
- The expected life span: Look into the expected life span for the equipment you plan to purchase, which will help you determine if the investment is worthwhile.
5. Time Your Buying
You might not think twice about it, but timing can make a big difference. Choosing the right time to buy may lead to an immense cost reduction. Some harvesting cycles can cause limited inventories and spiking prices. In most cases, the first and fourth quarters include the highest equipment prices.
6. Set a Budget
Of course, deciding on budget expectations should be part of your initial planning process. Without a budget in mind, you may end up spending way more than necessary on your new equipment. After doing some research, decide on a fair and reasonable budget range to stick to.
With that said, try not to be such a stickler with your budget that you end up compromising on finding the best possible machine. Be sure to look for helpful financing options to improve affordability.
7. Find the Right Dealer to Work With
Who you choose to buy from is also a major factor when it comes to such a significant purchase. Choose a farmer or dealer with a strong reputation and trustworthy track record. Take a look at former customer reviews, inspection reports and warranty information. A sketchy seller might leave you with faulty equipment and no way to reclaim your investment, while a reputable seller will give you the resources and support you need for long-term equipment use. That’s why choosing a good dealer is such an essential decision.
Find a Pequea Dealer Near You
As a farmer, you know how vital it is to choose the right farm machinery. Good quality, high-tech machines can streamline your operations, boost your efficiency, increase your profits and protect your investments.
If you’re looking for a reputable farm equipment dealer, choose Pequea. At Pequea, we provide high-quality American-made farm machines designed to meet all of your agricultural needs. We stand behind our products and offer ongoing support and service. As a family-owned, non-corporate company, we treat every customer as an individual. If you need new farm equipment, find a Pequea dealer near you.