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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the last half-dozen or so years I have really noticed a decline in the quality of farm equipment. Some of it probably can be traced back to the booming farm economy and factories running extra shifts and at capacity, etc. I also feel that there has been a significant amount of cost-cutting and general poor quality of the components used in new machines.

I have typically flipped my major equipment every 1-2 years and expect a few bugs from new but lately it has gotten so bad that we carry around o-ring kits in some pieces of equipment. Often there is times when parts fail on many local pieces of equipment and parts aren't even available. Separator/feeder switches on combines about 2 years ago comes to mind, almost all failed and they were stealing them off machines on the lot and buying switches from anywhere to keep combines going.

Then after a few hundred hours the warranty runs out and then what? You have to start paying ridiculous parts prices for a machine that cost a fortune and should be running reliably.:mad: For what they charge for this stuff I would expect quality!!! Warranty is to cover the unexpected manufacturing defects and then you should get some good hours out of it. That's the way it used to be...:rolleyes:

So I would like to hear from the guys that are running late-model equipment, maybe multiple brands. Is one company better than the other? Is there a company that has a high focus on quality and builds reliable equipment? No complaining please, that's not what I am looking for.;)
 

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The biggest culprits are electrics and hydraulics, ironically they also give us the greatest improvements in productivity. I guess it will get there, but for the moment the robustness of this technology is still catching up to where it needs to be.
I reckon they make up over 90% of our break downs.
 

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The biggest culprits are electrics and hydraulics, ironically they also give us the greatest improvements in productivity.
Newer machines for the most part have a lot more of this stuff than they used to. More switches and more hydraulic parts its going to seem like more breakdowns because new stuff has so much stuff that can break.
 

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Years ago one of my top operators complained about always getting the hand me down machines, with two combines I always work on getting out of them at about 1800sep hrs or 3 yrs which ever came first in alternating years. Next new one we bought I let him take it on after 12 mths he told me never again, the period I normally spent in the new one getting the bugs out was very much appreciated after that, sad to say it's been like that for years doesn't matter what colour there always seems to be some crap going on :eek:
 

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I know a good illustration of your point is that our h8040 has spent far more time with me out pulling wrenches then the old 2550 that we run with it!
Our H8040s, 8080 and 419 have been great, the Honey Bee headers are pretty good also. The biggest complaint is Honey Bee's five minute plumbing job when they designed the shifting tables, what a mess!

Personally I think used equipment is a better deal, you get it after the bugs have been fixed. (In most cases...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK I am not very encouraged so far. Maybe all the guys with the "reliable" equipment are too busy operating it to answer.;)

I will lead with a few questions: The knock on Agco stuff in the past was that they would have lots of electrical problems, have they improved in that regard? In particular the tractors?

Does Deere use quality components throughout their machines? From having a combine demo here this fall and looking at it for awhile it appears to me that they are using better belts, heavier components etc. The only thing that stuck out to me as cheap was the flimsy plastic piece attached(sort of) to the door.

Is Claas stuff made as well as it appears? Lots of parts on those combines so does that equal more fixing long term?

It just seems to me that as equipment price skyrockets the quality should improve or they should be offering longer warranties! Maybe a guy should run 10-20 year old stuff and keep a mechanic on staff?

I don't expect zero breakdowns but when tons of stuff is failing at 300 hours that should last 3000 or longer it is very frustrating...
 

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We run 10-20 year old stuff and keep a mechanic (me) on staff. We quit buying new in the 90's for the same reasons listed by SWMan.

I think it's a mistake to assume that there's a link between cost and quality. The OEMs build new equipment, but they are in business to make money. As long as there are buyers they don't care about customer satisfaction nearly as much as they should. Sad but true, IMO.

Mark
 

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After taking apart my 2008 590r lexion this summer I was pleased to see all the bearings used were good name bearings. Another supprise was the dealears were selling them slightly above but still fairly close to the jobber guys for price. They were not trying to sell it for double the price and half the quality. With that being said the lexion is definatly a lot more complicated than the Deere or Case rotary. It seems like when you buy new equiptment the first owner is the guinea pig having to spend all the time and effort to get the bugs out. My preference for that reason is to buy low houred used equiptment at hopefully a firesale price. Some of this equiptment if you buy it at the right price used you can use it for several years and sell it for close to what you payed for it. The depreciation on new stuff is very high.
 

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2388 Case combines I owned years ago were great machines but with the take up of zero till they were just a bit light weight fatigue was why we went to JD's they were a lot stronger built but the last four John Deere combines I had 9660 STS and 9770 STS's we had two motor failures the 8.1 and the 9, the nine was the most spectacular oil pump gear flew to bits and blew a football size hole in the block, a mate of mine had his 9870's geared water pump drop a bearing through the motor throw away motor job, then there's the hydros we had two fail in 5yrs, pro drive failures on mates machines all before 1000hrs, except the water pump that was at 1800hrs. So I went to Claas, sure I've had a few little things but **** there a good combine, I always get the Claas Tech's to do a pre harvest check and we fixes everything they suggest or at least keep a close eye on it. I doubt I've had more than a couple hours down time in the time I've had it, they are a good machine after running our new Axion 930 for the last 300hrs **** it's going to be a great machine to ;)
 

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Like cars and trucks, farm equipment is designed to last no more than 3-5 years. It is very sad but it is all marketing! We are a very wasteful "throw-away" society that needs to keep people employed, tax money running into the country's coffers and the economy rolling.

We have batteries now that last almost for the warranty period (5 years). Take batteries from the 1960s or 70s they would last for 15 years, just add water. Find an appliance like a stove in your house that lasts beyond 10 years and you are lucky. I have a deep freeze in my house that is still working and comes from the 1970s. The experts tell you that it is not energy efficient but if you have to shell out another $1000 every 5 years for the new and improved model who's fooling who?

Unfortunately you will no longer find anything available to last anymore. If you did, you would no longer need to have factories pumping out totally new products and the economy would crash and people would no longer need jobs! IMO
 

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When Case came out with the Magnum tractor it had a 5yr/5000hr warranty, they built a very good product and were willing to stand behind it. I thought this might be a trend and other manufactures would step up and do the same, a quality/ warranty competition of sorts unfortunately this was not the case. company profit/unit is more important than long term reliability and with more and more producers starting to flip equipment every year or two may be leading the industry to a more "throw away" design than a long term quality one.
 

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I know exactly what you mean!!! I wish we could have a mechanical breakdown, everything on our CR9070 has been electronic. Having troubles right now with sieve adjust, replaced actuator last fall and some other things at the dealer, over $5000 spent and still acting up. I don't think you will see many high hour machines built now, the electronics don't hold up and become too expensive to repair with too much down time. I think resale value is going to drop drastically on new machines because of this, who wants to buy a second hand machine thats going to take $4000 to $8000 dollars a year to repair? And most of this stuff isn't needed, it's just handy to have.
 

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... As long as there are buyers they don't care about customer satisfaction nearly as much as they should. Sad but true, IMO.

Mark
I would disagree. Working at a ag manufacturer, we know if we make a customer mad and he orders a different color we know not to expect to be back on that farm until his kid takes over...at the soonest.

my brother in law actually had switched from green to red the other year...first piece of equipment that wasn't green on the family farm in 100 years.
 

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Part of the reason behind for quality is linked to the ag boom. farmers do what they can to lessen their taxes, so they buy equipment. In turn the manufacturers are doing what they can to come out with "the next best thing" to keep them "upgrading". Seen they are concentrating on the "next big thing" manufacturers spend less time in fixing quality issues.

If chevy (or any other brand) stopped updating their pickups how long would you stay in your current pickup? Chances are you'd drive it until the operating cost got to a certain point.
 

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got two cr9070 one 2011 one 2009 ,dealer winter checked , and they are not trouble free mostly electric and those components have not changed since introduced .
augers and chains are replaced like oil filters complete junk.
Do I want the old combines back ? NO.
But its gonna be interesting who's gonna buy the new stuff every two or three year with depressed prices.
Think we gonna see a lot more custom operators , its just to expensieve to run and maintain new toys.
Or get ur own tech and keep old stuff.
 
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