Buying a Combine: New vs Used

By: TDS Author | May 16, 2014 9:26:00 AM

When you’re buying equipment it can be tempting to get the newest, best thing that you can afford. Sometimes you might even be tempted to go outside your budget and buy something you can’t really afford. But you don’t need to get caught in that trap – because for many, the difference between the shiny new thing and the next best option isn’t really worth it. 

How much will you use your combine?

If you work a smaller farm, and you’re shopping for a combine, a new model might not be the best bet for you. Time spent on the combine is a good barometer of whether new or used is better.

If you’re on it for less than 200 hours every year, a used combine is probably the better bet. If it’s any more than 200 hours in a year, a new combine might be the better choice. The risk of having to spend on repairs will always increase the more hours you run a combine. 

For the fiscally conservative farmer, buying used can save a lot of money. A used combine can cost between $75,000 and $100,000 less than a new one, because the cost of depreciation has already fallen on the original buyer. That’s saving you almost a quarter of the price of a new combine, in some cases.

You can also find savings because dealers want to move used combines to make space for new, so they’ll be willing to discount even past depreciation costs. All in all, there’s savings to be found. In fact right now, many manufacturers such as John DeereCase IH and Claas are running special deals on used equipment! 

Be careful to get what you really want

Buying used, though, requires a little work on your part. Make sure you don’t end up sacrificing quality for savings and settling for a lemon. As a buyer, you need to carefully judge the equipment to make sure it’s going to work reliably for you – especially if you’re not a master mechanic yourself, and can’t fix problem after problem on your own.

Ask for an inspection report and service records, so you can see what problems (if any) the machine has had in the past, and whether they were major enough to have a long-term effect on the machine’s functionality.

One of the places you want to be on guard is at an auction. While there is a potential to get a great deal, things move fast – so make sure to take time and review the combine for sale in detail, and make sure it’s worth your money. Buying from a dealership allows you more options if the machine does fail – if you buy in an auction, there’s not a lot you can do if the combine turns out to be a lemon. A reputable dealership is a lot safer, and can actually end up cheaper anyway since you’re not competing directly against other buyers.

Don’t buy more than you need

One thing you definitely don’t need to pay for, though, is four-wheel drive. If it’s something that you need (and let’s face it, you’re probably going to at some point, whether you’re in a wet area or dry), you can just as easily add on an after-market option like Mud Hog that will allow your equipment to work on-schedule even in the most slippery conditions.

It’ll end up saving you money in the long run. In addition to giving you better traction in wet weather, it gives you a faster harvest in dry weather as well. Handling and steering improve in all climates, and your engine will run cooler, extending its life. And no matter what combine you end up buying, Mud Hog is an option – we have custom solutions for all the leading brands.

Newer isn’t always better. If you’re not harvesting a massive acreage, it’s likely that a used combine will be able to do the same work, and save you money in the short term as well as in the long run. With an intelligent purchasing process, in many cases, a new combine is simply not worth the money.

About Mud Hog

The first and only technology of its kind, Mud Hog hydraulic rear-wheel drive systems are engineered to provide your front-wheel drive combines, cotton pickers and more with uncompromising four-wheel drive capability for increased agricultural production. By improving combine performance in all climate conditions – wet or dry – a Mud Hog can help you harvest faster, with less fuel, less compaction and less wear on your engine.