On a farm, tractors come and go. If you can estimate when tractors will need replacing before they become a liability then you can save a lot of money in the process. Fortunately, there are some easy-to-recognize warning signs that suggest it’s time to give a tractor up.
Let’s take a look at some of the major indications that a tractor has run its course:
You need more horse power
Maybe your tractor isn’t performing like it used to. Perhaps it’s not able to adequately perform some new tasks you’d like it to. If you feel like operating your tractor is a constant up-hill battle, it could be a sign that it’s time for a horse power upgrade.
Your engines horsepower is essentially its energy, it’s what gives it strength and keeps it powering on through tough tasks. And when there’s not enough, there’s simply not enough.
What’s needed is a new tractor with higher horse power.
If your transmission is putting up a fight during gear changes, it could be time for a change. Transmission repairs can be costly due to their sensitive and finnicky build. So, with time, repairs could add up and leave you with a staggering loss.
The same stands for if you want to upgrade to a new transmission format. Whether you’re looking for a new manual or automatic transmission, a change of tractor could always be in order.
You’re expanding the farm
Diversifying your farm/business can be a smart investment. However, growing and tending to the right crops with the wrong tractor can lead to immediate losses. And that’s not what you want. Fortunately, as tractor design and functions have evolved, so too, has their ability to “multi-task.”
Most modern tractor’s come with interchangeable features and components that allow them to tend to a vast array of diverse crops. This “swappable” aspect of new tractors eliminates the need for unnecessary machinery purchases or modifications. Plus, the no-nonsense, efficient design means more hours working and fewer hours spent on machinery upkeep. Plus, the “all-in-one” nature of these state-of-the-art tractors frees up valuable space on the farm.
Plus, planting at the wrong time using the wrong machinery can lead to off-tasting or completely unsellable crops – devastating.
So, if you think your current tractor may be a liability or hindrance to your expansion plans, it may be time to rethink. Investing in a new tractor can make all the difference. You’ll accrue less repair and extra machinery expenses allowing you to put your money into significant business growth. That’s why a new tractor can be the difference between successful farm diversification and failure.
Your Engine is Knocking
It’s not rare that farming machinery will make a few unusual sounds every now and then; that’s normal. However, when there is a repetitive knocking sound coming from a tractor’s engine, it’s always worth paying attention to.
A knocking tractor engine generally occurs due to: Faulty injectors, Bearing failure Low oil pressure can cause premature engine failure, Worn valves train, Antifreeze in the oil.
These serious faults can lead to a seized engine meaning the tractor could come to a halt at any moment.
Farmers have even coined a phrase for this unfortunate sound: “If your engine’s knockin’, you better get shoppin’” As you might guess from the phrase, these technical issues aren’t easily fixed. They also come at a high price, meaning that you’d be making a loss by even trying to repair the tractor instead of buying a new one.
However, before making any big financial decisions, it’s worth checking if your tractor has a bent crankshaft or low oil levels, both of which can cause alarming engine sounds.
Your Tractor’s Software keeps failing
This warning sign only applies to newer tractors with built-in software. Software is usually developed and licensed by the tractor’s manufacturer, meaning that farmers are not allowed to attempt any repairs themselves. This agreement also limits farmer’s repair options, generally outlining only a single tradespeople team that are authorized to help.
As expected, these limitations have led to considerable trouble for farmers who may not have the time or money to consult the designated repairs team. If you are currently in a similar situation where your tractor’s software keeps failing, it may be time to change tractors.
It’s worth keeping in mind that great strides are being made in tractor-software quality every year, but it can still be liable to crash or fail. Pick a manufacturer that you can trust and has already received rave reviews for the upkeep of their tractor software.
It’s in your business plan
There comes a time when the regular repairs of a tractor aligned with its decreasing work output become more than it’s worth. A farm should have a contingency plan in place for keeping track of their depreciating or appreciating assets – including tractors. Suppose the analysis of this plan shows that the upkeep of a tractor is accruing regular losses. In that case, the purchase of a new tractor should be considered.
The lump-sum expense of purchasing a new machine could outweigh the longterm expenses of keeping an old tractor running. So, setting ballpark dates for when a tractor should be replaced can optimize productivity and gains without having the added stress of dealing with break-downs first.
Your tractor is old
Similar to the 12,000-hour rule but not dependant on work hours, having an old tractor is a risk. The main risk concerning old tractors is non-visible rusting and potential to break down at any minute. The time between when the old tractor stops working and the purchase of a new tractor can be detrimental to a farm’s workflow.
Anticipating this potential disaster by replacing any old tractor on your farm is a smart investment.
Letting a tractor go can be difficult and though it appears costly at the time, if done right, it’s always a smart financial decision in the longrun.