Farmers adopt fleet management approach

Tractors turned over at less hours as farmers avoid downtime


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Last years Richie Brothers sale at 'Keytah' Moree NSW, was an example of the fleet approach being taken by farmers to increase efficiency and avoid downtime

Last years Richie Brothers sale at 'Keytah' Moree NSW, was an example of the fleet approach being taken by farmers to increase efficiency and avoid downtime

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Tractors turned over at less hours as farmers avoid downtime

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THE PAST two years have set records for tractor sales in the agricultural market. 

Tractor and Machinery Association, executive director, Garry Northover said this has not slowed, with January sales reported as strong. 

“Looking ahead, expectations are once again high, for another strong year in the agricultural equipment market, although, not without its challenges,” he said. 

“Manufacturers and importers are beginning to see a return to healthy conditions in the United States and Europe. 

“This will ultimately impact supply to the Australian market which has been one of the few bright spots globally.”

Mr Northover said another trend the Tractor and Machinery Association (TMA) had seen was a faster turnover of machinery. 

“We see a continuation of a more sophisticated approach to the use of agricultural equipment by farmers and contractors as they continue to adopt a greater fleet management focus,” he said. 

“Because farmers are so much more focused on productivity and are constant seeking to avoid downtime, the importance of locking in known hourly operating costs is critical.

“This is seeing more users trading machines out at around the 3,500 to 4,000 hour mark prior to any major repairs or refurbishment requirements.

“In much the same way as fleet operators do in other industries.

“These low hour machines are then easily traded thereby ensuring a healthy cycle exists.

January sales

“Overall sales were up a further four per cent on the same time last year and sit seven pc ahead on a rolling twelve month basis,” he said. 

However, Mr Northover said the under 30 kilowatt (40 horsepower) market, known as the leisure category, was down ten pc, which he attributed to the holiday season. 

The mid-size 30 to 75 kW (40 to 100 hp) range experienced slight growth of 4 pc on last year. 

Mr Northover said activity in the larger tractor ranges of 75 to 150 kW (100 to 200 hp) and above 150kW (200 hp) remained strong, up 17 pc and 15 pc respectively, driven mainly out of New South Wales and Queensland. 

“Across the states, activity was quite varied with the southern states down,” he said.

“New South Wales and Queensland were both busy and Western Australia was down 1 pc.

Mr Northover said while tractor sales were up, other sectors were mixed. 

“Not surprisingly, sales of harvesters were quiet with a small number of baler sales also reported,” he said. 

“The sale of out front mowers continues to roar, up another 8 pc on the same time last year due to the large amount of grass around.

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