As any farmer will tell you, investing in good-quality farm machinery has the potential to not only make your life easier but improve your farming operations in remarkable ways.
With that being said, farm machinery doesn’t come cheap, which is why the last thing you want to do is invest in something that doesn’t add value to your business and potentially causes more problems in the long run. Therefore, it is vital to do your homework before jumping in headfirst and purchasing farm machinery. But with so much conflicting information out there, it isn’t always easy to find out what is useful and should inform your farm machinery purchases.
So, to make life easier, we’ve done some of that challenging work for you. To save time, we will articulate the main benefits of investing in farm machinery before going on to provide some essential tips that should assist you when buying farm machinery that will have a positive impact on your enterprise. This way, you can make an informed decision without having to pore through endless articles!
What You Gain With the Right Farm Machinery
Farmers are aware that managing a farm successfully without quality machinery is challenging, regardless of how much effort. Anyone who wants to increase productivity and profit while reducing costs and overheads will see value in having quality farm machinery, such as tractors, watering systems and commercial sprayers, to assist them in their mission.
Increased Efficiency & Reduced Production Times
Investing in good-quality machinery designed by experts will ensure you are able to complete a specific job in the most efficient and effective way possible. In short, using the correct equipment will increase the speed of your farming operations.
We have come a long way since the days of using horses to plough the land. We can now do about 12 times the amount of work each day using a tractor, which clearly demonstrates the impact that farm machinery can have in terms of making everyday practices more efficient.
Understandably, the initial outlay for farm machinery can be off-putting. Still, it is worth looking at financing options and considering this as a long-term investment for the future of the business.
Once you have invested in more efficient farming practices, you’ll also notice an impact on your business’s bottom line.
Your new, efficient farm machinery also frees up more of your time, so that you can focus on other areas of the farm, such as fixing faults and finding other innovations to improve efficiency. Farm machinery also reduces the need for manual labour, which lowers the cost of operations and increases the capacity to cultivate other areas.
Improved Quality of Life
We know that farming is a job that takes its toll on the farmer. It is not only a physically demanding job but can also be dangerous at times. Farmers don’t get time off as such because they need to keep their eye on the ball throughout the year. What’s more, you will find yourself feeling isolated at times with no social contact beyond your co-workers.
Together, all of these factors contribute to poor work–life balance, which in turn can have negative repercussions on your mental and physical health. However, the incorporation of farm machinery does have the potential to alleviate a lot of these problems. As this type of equipment has been designed to reduce the need for manual labour and increase efficiency, they allow farmers to finish their work faster and not put as much physical effort into the job. Moreover, they help create a safer work environment and improve one’s quality of life.
Smart Tips to Make the Best Buys
It isn’t hard to see the value that farm machinery can potentially have. However, choosing the right piece of agricultural equipment is often easier said than done. These days, you have access to a broad array of every type of farm machinery, but it can be difficult to know what is best for you.
It is, therefore, important to consider the compatibility of the machinery for a particular type of task, as well as the type of land it will be used on. To achieve your intended outcomes, you need to consider several factors before buying anything.
Size of the Land
Naturally, the larger your farm, the more work that will be required. In some cases, you may need several pieces of farm machinery to get the job done according to a set deadline. Certain pieces may be better suited for smaller scale farms. And, while you may be tempted to make a short-term saving on a smaller piece of equipment, remember that it will still be doing the same amount of work. However, this can mean that it wears out more quickly. Choosing the most appropriate machinery for the land you’re working is the most cost-effective option.
Any farmer knows it’s to understand your farm’s soil type for growing and grazing. But soil type and structure are also important for buying a piece of farm machinery. Knowing about the soil type will help you decide whether a heavier or lighter machine would be most suitable. For instance, if you are working with soft soil, it will be important to find a lightweight, high-earth clearance machine to get the job done without damaging the soil.
Access to Repair Facilities
Farms are often located in isolated rural areas, so your access to parts or a machinery service centre may not be so straightforward. Farming is a time-sensitive practice, so when something goes wrong with your farm machinery, you need to know you can access repair facilities with the minimum amount of delays. Alternatively, you may need to look at machinery that has readily available spare parts so you can complete your own repairs.
Before making the decision to purchase an expensive piece of farm machinery, you should consider the various costs you will incur, including those further down the line. You will need to factor in operational cost, ownership costs, as well as machinery and labour costs, and compare these with the potential resale value of the item.
It is important not to buy a piece of farm machinery based on external appearances alone. If you want to avoid stress further down the line in terms of access to replacement parts and servicing availability, it is worth buying your machine from a reputable brand that is known for quality within the industry. It is also wise to compare the features of different farm machinery with one another before making a purchase.
When choosing farm machinery, it is essential to check all the technical data of the product, from its design to machine adjustments, vibration output, points of wear and tear, as well as noise levels. Do not be afraid to ask dealers for more information on the features of the machinery, so you can make a fully informed purchase.
Getting the Most Out of Your Farm Machinery
As we have ascertained, farm machinery is a long-term investment that has the potential to improve your farming practices on several levels. As such, you are going to want to get the most out of your investment and ensure it stands the test of time.
Thankfully, there are a handful of small steps you can take to ensure the overall health and longevity of your new farm machinery.
Don’t Skip Maintenance
Proper maintenance is key if you want to avoid untimely breakdowns which have impacts on productivity and income. Ensuring your farm machinery is working as it should also is important from a safety perspective. Regularly lubricating all moving parts on farm machinery will also enhance its life expectancy. Keeping machinery clean is also not to be underestimated because a build-up of dirt can not only hide wear and tear but also cause additional damage.
Access Adequate Training
You should also ensure that anyone who uses it is appropriately trained to handle it. This is not just important for machine maintenance but for the operator’s safety as well.
Get Familiar With Your Machine
Finally, it is important to get to know your machine well enough to spot the signs of something being not right. This could come in the form of vibrations, friction or strange sounds. In any case, as a farm machinery operator, you should keep an eye and ear out for signs of wear and tear so you can nip the problem in the bud before it escalates into a major machine breakdown.
To conclude, advances in technology have made it possible for farmers to make their operations more efficient and lucrative using farm machinery. Despite the known benefits of utilising farm machinery, deciding which piece is right for you can be difficult, especially in a market saturated with information.
Therefore, farmers looking to invest in a piece of farm machinery need to spend a considerable amount of time assessing their situation and requirements. Furthermore, when shopping for agricultural equipment, it is important to acknowledge this is a long-term investment that will have profound impacts on your business and livelihood for years to come.
Moreover, it is important to realise that simply buying a piece of farm machinery isn’t the answer to all your woes. While agricultural equipment will undoubtedly help improve farming practices, increase profits and have quality-of-life benefits, farm machinery requires proper maintenance if it is to indeed be used to its full potential.
There is no doubt that farm machinery has the potential to be a significant game-changer for farmers, but if you want to ensure you receive satisfaction from your purchase and it serves its purpose in the long term, then it is also crucial that you invest time and effort in terms of research to guarantee you are buying the right piece of farm machinery for you and that you are properly capable of maintaining your purchase.