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Great topic. Aways find it interesting what logic people use to make equipment replacement decisions. Particularly how one guy thinks it's time to get rid of a machine and someone else decides it's time to acquire that machine. Same machine but one guy doesn't think it's worth keeping and another thinks it is worth acquiring. Of course farm size can have a huge bearing on the difference in perception.
 

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From what I have observed, I think every operation needs to remain open minded about the combine replacement question. I’ve seen it be the right decision to go from one combine into two when personally I thought the tractor and drill should have been upgraded first and continue using some custom combining, to trading to get a matched pair, to trading in a pair of year old machines for two brand new ones and all headers just to get longer unload augers and wider headers, to keeping those same machines repaired and sometimes patched and welded up for 8 years, just because they were so dependable and good in their time.



But there comes a time to learn from all lessons and accept that the sky isn’t actually falling at the moment, but if it did, you know there are ways to survive it. At the place I sometimes hang out, I wouldn’t be surprised if the newest policy will be to trade machines and headers every 3 years and buy extended warranty. The right decision, for the anticipated harvester work load should consider the equity position to avoid taking excessive risk in either under investing or over investing. Both risks are very real, but there is a large middle ground between extremes. The gross harvester costs per acre can easily become a critical decision in financial success. It’s more important than the mechanics of it all.
 
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