Questions to ask your agricultural equipment supplier
Buying new agricultural equipment is a major investment and, like any good investment, you want to continue to profit from it down the line with as few hassles as possible. This means that, in addition to performing your own research of the equipment types on the market, you need to go through a knowledgeable supplier who can offer keen insight into every aspect of your new asset.
Here are a few questions you should put to your agricultural equipment supplier before making your final decision.
- Which is the right machine for me?
You would have assessed your farm, looked at any plans for future growth or any decrease in production, and then determined that you need new agricultural equipment. This is where the supplier will step in to match your needs with the perfect machine for you. Make sure you give a thorough description of your operation so that the machine will match tasks required.
- How powerful is the equipment needed?
Once you’ve established the machine to match the tasks, you need a machine to match the capacity.
There’s no value in saving money for a machine that can’t handle the load because you will lose those savings with repairs and replacements. However, buying a machine that’s too powerful is just wasting your money upfront as well as with the costs associated with running and repairing the machine. The rule of thumb is to invest in a machine that is as small as you can get by with because the smaller the rating, the lower the fuel consumption, emissions and storage you’ll need. Power requirements can be estimated and a good supplier will be able to assist you with this.
- Are any attachments needed?
Having established exactly what you will spend on new agricultural equipment, you don’t want to discover that you actually have to purchase attachments which push you over your budget. Ask the supplier if the machinery comes complete or if there are extras to be purchased.
It’s also worth finding out whether the machine uses model-specific attachments or if they are interchangeable among different models as this will make them easier to source and less expensive down the line.
- How reliable is this brand?
The reliability of your machine is vital and will form the basis for your cost/benefit analysis. There is absolutely no value in buying an agricultural machine that is unreliable or has a low reliability rating because it will end up costing you fairly quickly. Premium brands that have been tried and tested might come with a higher price tag, but the high-grade steel and reliable parts mean low maintenance costs and increased efficiency.
Your agricultural equipment supplier will have insights into the best brands available and will, no doubt, have brand preference; but it’s so easy to find reviews of products online that it’s really worth your while doing your own research before purchase. If somebody has bought an expensive product and is unhappy with its performance, they’re sure to complain about it online – so check it out.
- How can I increase the longevity of my agricultural equipment?
There are often simple maintenance tips that can greatly increase the longevity of your investment if performed regularly and correctly. Of course, there’s no way to make any equipment last forever, but if you can get a few more years out of your purchase while saving on repair costs, then look into it. These might seem time-consuming at first, but will soon become part of your daily routine.
- What are the costs involved?
There’s no way of getting around the fact that new agricultural equipment is expensive, and if you need to ask your supplier about financing options then do so. You will also need to find out what other costs are associated with the investment including services, part replacements, additional attachments, insurance and any other hidden costs that might be incurred. This will help you determine what is within your financial means.
- What is the warranty and any after-care?
This will definitely factor into your cost/benefit analysis as the price of after-care can be extremely high. Enquire about the warranty and exactly what this covers. Does the supplier service the machinery and what does the service involve? How often is this needed and what happens when something goes wrong? You don’t want to find all this out when the machine breaks down and you’re left losing profits because of non-production.
With any big investment, it’s worth being thorough beforehand. Chat to others in the industry about agricultural equipment suppliers, who they’ve used and why. You’ll quickly differentiate the industry experts from those just looking to make a quick sale.
For more information on agricultural equipment, contact Radium Engineering. With years of expertise, a passion for the agricultural industry and a commitment to manufacturing superior equipment, Radium Engineering is the answer to all your farming and agricultural equipment needs.