You hear the phrase “used farm equipment” and you immediately envision the beat-up appearance and condition of the different tractors, pickers, combines, plows, etc. It is unlikely that you should picture them in pristine condition, and you may in fact think of used farm equipment as something to avoid. However, there are many benefits to buying used, and we are going to review ten of the best reasons for considering this option:
1. New ventures can save a tremendous amount of money – A new farming venture of any kind can immediately cut startup costs by dramatic amounts when opting for used machinery. Depending on the focus of the farm, savings can be enjoyed in almost any area – from nut carts and plows to tillage equipment and heavy-duty tractors – reliable used gear is always available.
2. Your lender may insist. It is not unusual to discover that your lending institution specifies that used equipment must be purchased with the funds. This is, again, a way to control startup costs and ensure that the farm has adequate machinery without breaking the bank.
3. Back-up machines. There are few farms that can be put on hold while something is repaired, and buying used provides an affordable method for keeping a spare machine on hand.
4. The “life cycle” of farm equipment is predictable. You may not know that all farm machinery has a general “life cycle” that predicts the number of hours it can be used (average usage) before wearing out. This lets you shop for used farm equipment and reasonably estimate the amount of use you will be able to get out of the gear.
5. Seasonally used machinery. Do you harvest items on a seasonal basis (such as peanuts)? If so, buying used farm equipment will give you a reduced cost and many years of seasonal/low hour usage.
6. Greener business. Though an older machine may not be as fuel efficient, buying used machinery is one way to reduce the size of your overall carbon footprint. There is no need to invest in brand new gear and taking advantage of the many used items is extremely eco-friendly.
7. Name brands. You can get a name brand machine for a greatly reduced cost when you buy used, and this will allow you to easily find parts and avoid the problems associated with lesser-known brands (i. e. they have go out of business and parts are impossible to obtain).
8. Technical specs. If you compare the performance specs on a new machine versus an older model, it is not unusual to see minimal difference. Buying used farm equipment means high end functionality at a reduced price.
9. Trade ins. Just like car owners like to lease and upgrade every two to three years, so too do farmers. You can get a great deal on a trade in and know that it was well maintained, gently used, and a great bargain.
10. Trials – Most used equipment dealers do allow a trial run of the bigger gear, and this is something that few new dealers will provide.
There are many other benefits to buying used farm equipment, but these are some of the most valid arguments for seeking out farm equipment that saves you money while providing excellent performance.