Helpful Tips for Buying Farm Equipment

Whether you have a large farm or a hobby farm, you know there are times when the right tools can make all the difference. The following tips can help you pick the right farm equipment and make the most of it.

Do you buy new? For some, new is the way to go. With new farm equipment, typically financing is easier to obtain and cutting edge technology could give you increased efficiency and productivity.

Should you buy used? There are many times when used farm equipment is a better solution than new. Used equipment tends to be less expensive, giving you the opportunity to buy when you otherwise wouldn’t. Your lender may actually suggest it for new or small farms. If you’re looking for back-up or a supplement during your busy season, used is a fine choice. You might also want to go used when you’re handling less critical tasks.

Where to buy. Are you going to buy from a dealer, a private seller or at auction? Or do you have a different approach — perhaps consignment or an online sale. Word of mouth is a great way to get a feel for what your peers and neighbors trust in your area.

When to buy. Due to harvest cycles, first and fourth quarters tend to bring higher prices on equipment. So this is a great time to sell, but maybe not buy.

Tax considerations. Know the tax rules for your farm and equipment. Make sure you’re making the most of any deductions. Taxes change and you want to be well-informed so you can buy equipment when you get the most benefit from it.

Wear-out life. All farm equipment is designed to last a certain number of hours. Of course, if it’s used the hours are important but so is the maintenance and way it was used as that could affect the efficiency and lifespan. Check the hours of use vs. age on the hour meter.

Learn what you can. Whether you’re buying new or used, make sure you learn all that you can about the equipment. With used, you’ll want to discover how it was used and make sure it is carefully inspected for any damage. With new equipment, you get to learn about the technology and how it can help you.

Out-of-business manufacturers. You may get a great deal here, but finding replacement parts and getting repairs might be difficult. It also may not hold its resale value.

Fuel matters. Diesel engines are typically more efficient, so it’s a great idea to go diesel over gasoline.

Check technical specs. Much like buying a car, sometimes the newest model is virtually the same as the older model, but with a higher price tag.

The overarching theme when buying farm equipment is that knowledge is power. The more you know about what you need and what you’re buying, the happier you’ll be with your final purchase.

If you’ve purchased new equipment, make sure to check in with your American Family Insurance agent to ensure you have all the farm and ranch insurance coverage you need.


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Related Topics: Farm Insurance