At some time or another, everyone needs to purchase new – usually larger – farm equipment. When strong commodities prices prevail and we have plenty of taxable income, purchasing new farm equipment makes good financial sense.
But with our currently weak commodities prices, we all turn our attention to finding ways to reduce expenses to maintain a taxable income. One way is extending the useful life & future trade in value of farm equipment through care & maintenance. When strong commodities prices return and we trade in or sell that old implement, it will become someone else’s “new” equipment. It really is amazing how much value a well-cared for piece of equipment retains relative to one that was poorly cared for.
We all know that reading the owner’s manual and following the recommended maintenance procedure will result in a longer useful life for that piece of equipment, whether it’s a combine or a loader mounted on a tractor. But I must admit that I am probably as guilty as anyone of overlooking simple things that could have helped avoid larger more costly equipment repairs.
For example, how many of us have changed engine coolant as often as recommended, maintained tire pressures, greased every fitting regardless of how much time it took, or fixed a small break in a disc frame before it became a major break? The list could go on and on.
We’ve all been to farm sales where we admired the excellent care someone has taken with their equipment, just as we have all seen equipment that has been neglected and know the results. The farm that has well-cared for equipment is usually a successful farm all the way around, even though it may not have a lot of new equipment.
Good farm prices will return, and new equipment sales will pick back up. But regardless of whether farm prices are up or down, taking care of farm equipment will always add to the bottom line of any operation.