As hard as it can be to let go of a tractor you love, there comes a time when you need to replace a faulty machine with one to that’ll help you work as efficiently as possible on your farm.
We’ll take a look at some of the scenarios in which replacing your tractor is going to do you a lot more good than attempting to repair it.
One of the primary reasons you may need to replace your tractor is that you simply have more work to do or more acres to farm, and you need a machine that fits the growing size of your operation. As a farmer, time is money and getting your crops planted or harvested in a timely manner can mean more money in the bank. Just one day of downtime can cost growers thousands of dollars.
Another common reason you need to upgrade or replace your tractor is simply prolonged wear and tear. If you have a tractor with 12,000 hours on it, it may no longer be financially sound to repair.
Repair or Replace?
Let’s dig into some of the repair work that may indicate you need to replace your machine instead of making repairs.
Is Your Engine Knocking?
One sign to move on is intensive engine work, such as needing new pistons and injectors. If you hear loud clunking sounds from the engine, it could be due to the starter hitting the flywheel or a piston piercing the engine block, which can indicate a seized engine. Farmers encountering these problems have coined the saying: “If your engine is knockin’ you better be shoppin’.”
However, knocking can also mean you have a bent crankshaft, or that your oil levels are low. Be sure to check these issues to conclude a proper diagnosis.
If your tractor runs on gasoline, as opposed to diesel, it has a more complicated engine with more parts that can break down. Because of this, diesel tractors are more common than gasoline tractors.
Yet another thing to take a look at is the rings. If the rings are worn out, the engine could be using too much gas and scoring the cylinder. This can happen with time or by not cleaning the air filter and debris getting in.
But What About Tractor Software Problems?
If you’re currently running a newer model of tractor, reaching a conclusion of whether to repair or replace gets a little more complicated. Many of the new models are run by software, and that software is usually protected by licenses from the manufacturer. This prevents farmers from being able to fix the machine themselves. In fact, most times the farmer is legally required to take the tractor to a service center owned by the manufacturer, or have a serviceman come out to the machine to fix. This has created some tension between farmers and manufacturers. Manufacturers want to protect their software and revenue streams by requiring farmers to get them fixed by their associated service people, while farmers want to be able to work on the machine they purchased, or choose to have their tractor serviced just as they would a car or truck.
When it comes down to deciding to repair or replace, consider whether you have the mechanical skills or desire to spend the time needed anticipating problems, or fixing the small things before they escalate into larger, more expensive problems.
How Much Money Should I Spend?
Contemplate the amount of money you are putting into the tractor, and at what point is it more financially sound to invest in a new or used tractor that won’t require as many immediate repairs in order to keep performing. Also be sure to consider the amount of time you are spending repairing a tractor and the amount of money you’re losing by not spending that time in the field.
You can look at purchasing a new tractor, or by shopping for a good used machine. One way to find a good deal on used equipment is by shopping at auction. Find an auction near you with Tractor Zoom.
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