Maintaining farm equipment and machinery records has advantages
Record keeping likely falls to the bottom of most producers’ favorite things to do list. Tending the fields and caring for livestock almost always trumps time inside updating records. Nonetheless, agricultural business specialists say record keeping is important and necessary for a successful operation. The practice of maintaining thorough equipment records will help producers stay organized, save money and optimize productivity.
In many cases, farm equipment and machinery comprise a hefty portion of a producer’s investments. Regular maintenance ensures those investments remain in good condition. “The better you maintain something hopefully the longer it will last and the less breakdowns that you will have,” Wesley Tucker, agricultural business specialist with the University of Missouri Extension, said. “It is difficult to set that time aside for maintenance, but you can’t afford a costly breakdown right in the middle of harvest or a big project.”
Keeping the equipment and machinery in good working order will save money over time. According to information released in a Virginia Cooperative Extension publication, a study showed farmers can reduce machinery repair costs 25 percent by improving routine maintenance procedures.
Records and Reminders
Agricultural business specialists recommend producers keep detailed records of repairs, routine maintenance and future service dates for all their equipment. A maintenance calendar and accurate service record helps producers identify a problem before it develops into a major repair. It also serves as a tracker for what work needs to be done and when it should be completed.
Equipment and machinery should be serviced according to accurate service records, not based on a producer’s memory. Life on the farm can get extremely busy so even with the best of intentions machinery maintenance may slip through the cracks. Creating a system with reminders of when equipment should be serviced will make it easier to prioritize getting routine maintenance completed.
The records will also serve as a guide when it is time to decide whether to continue repairing the farm machinery or start shopping for something new. A detailed list of the amount spent on repairs and service gives producers an accurate account of how much it is costing them to maintain the aging equipment.
Producers can find farm equipment record templates online. Many of the templates include information about the item, brand, purchase price, warranty, repairs, notes, ID number and repair and maintenance logs.
Improves Resale Value
The detailed records can help producers get a little more money for their equipment when it comes time to trade it in or sell it. “If you can show that something has been properly maintained and taken care of, I think it does have a positive impact on resale value,” Tucker said. This is especially the case in situations in which the producer has worked with a dealer, purchased the parts from that same dealer and recorded the service history. The dealer or potential buyers will find value in the knowledge that the farm equipment has been maintained correctly with the right parts in a timely manner.