Reliability is so important on today’s farms. There’s schedules to meet, targets to hit and a harvest to get in.
That’s why it’s so important to have gear you can rely on. If you’re in farming for the long haul, you need quality machinery.
Grass harvesting is especially at risk as the timing is so critical – when it’s time to mow, it’s time to mow. Any breakdown can cause a delay, and that would mean your cows missing out on valuable nutrients come winter.
If you’re worried about the reliability of your mower, it might be time to invest in a new one. Here are some questions you need to ask before buying a new one.
Question 1: What happens when it hits a rock?
It’s going to happen, more than once too. If the cutterbar hits a rock while you are mowing a paddock, you can easily damage the disc modules, or even worse, the gears, gearbox and driveshaft.
So your new mower needs a “fuse”, a part engineered to fail under stress and so protect everything else.
An example of this is the Disc Drive Safety System on SIP mowers. This uses four shear pins in each disc module. When you hit a rock, the pins fail, as designed, and the damage goes no further.
Question 2: How much does it cost to maintain?
Remember, it’s not just about the capital cost, it’s also about the running costs. All gear needs maintenance, so it’s important to ask about service intervals and what’s involved, and whether you can do it yourself in the shed.
That goes for field fixes as well. When you hit that rock, getting the machine up and running again needs to be as cheap and easy as replacing a blown electrical fuse.
A replacement set of shear pins in a SIP mower costs $25. So that’s the cost in parts to get the mower up and running again. Other systems can cost $400 to $800 for each module.
Question 3: Who made it?
Experience counts for a lot in the specialist area of agricultural machinery. You want a mower with a history of reliability. You want cutting-edge technology as well.
European-made machinery gives you both. For a start, they’ve been doing it for a long time. Also, the scale of the European market means big budgets for R&D, making Europe the proving ground for industry innovation.
You also want to be able to trust that what you are spending your money on is going to last. Where do the raw materials come from? Steel from European mills and electronics from European factories have an enviable track record for excellence.
Question 4: Can I afford it?
Easy answer? Depends how much money you’ve got. And for most farmers, it’s pretty tight. If buying new is on the Lotto wishlist, check out the various online buy and sell sites, but remember it’s still about buying quality. Cheap new is cheap second-hand.
To help you narrow the search, Webbline, the New Zealand distributor for SIP mowers, has its own online marketplace for used machinery.
The first day of harvest is no time to be worried about whether everything will work. Or if the ageing gear will survive the afternoon heat. You need gear you can rely on. SIP has a long history of reliability and innovation, and its mowers have the most cost-effective protection against disc overload.