7 Questions To Ask Your Grain Handling Dealer Before Buying
Published by The Grain Handling Direct Team on Dec 7th 2022
Are you about to purchase grain storage or handling equipment? Before the final decision, consider these questions that every farmer should ask their grain handling equipment dealer before buying.
1. Is the Equipment Right for Me?
This question is more for yourself, but there’s still value in consulting your grain handling dealer about the right equipment. Purchasing farming and storage equipment is a significant investment, and your dealer could offer insight from their experience on the equipment that best fits your needs.
Consider both your operation’s short-term and long-term needs in grain handling—do you plan to keep expanding your infrastructure and storage capacity, and is this the only equipment you’ll need for the foreseeable future? When planning your operations’ grain handling infrastructure, keep expansion possibilities in mind, so you’re not constrained from future growth.
2. Can I Inspect the Equipment?
You wouldn’t buy a car worth tens of thousands of dollars without taking it for a test drive first, so why would you do the same with grain handling equipment? Before making such a substantial investment, you should take the precaution of overseeing the equipment yourself.
Contact the dealer before signing the final order and ask about inspecting the equipment firsthand or about their return policy if you notice a problem in the early stages. If you’re short on experience with grain handling equipment, consider asking a farming colleague or a mechanic who knows their way around farming equipment to give you a more experienced point of view.
3. Can I Negotiate the Price?
Obviously, every farmer wants the best deal possible when shopping for equipment because of how much money is at stake, so some may want to haggle over the price. While it’s worth asking about, you should first research other grain equipment suppliers to compare prices.
If you find a better price for the same equipment from a different supplier, ask them if they can match the price or why it’s more expensive with them than with other suppliers. Some suppliers may have more expensive price tags but make up for them in other ways with longer warranties, lower shipping costs, or more comprehensive services.
4. What Are Your Financing Options?
Grain handling infrastructure and machinery are expensive. Many farmers can’t afford to pay the entire bill for their equipment upfront, so financing is a common discussion between buyer and supplier.
Many suppliers offer simple and affordable financing options to relieve some of the initial financial burden, so that more farmers can get the needed equipment.
5. How Long Is the Warranty?
Farm handling equipment is critical to an effective farming operation. If machinery breaks down or malfunctions, that can throw a wrench into a grain farming operation. That’s why the warranty for equipment is critical in ensuring that farmers won’t be left with a malfunctioning machine.
Before you make the final purchase, you’ll want to be sure about the warranty on your new equipment and how long it lasts. Often, specific parts of grain handling machinery, like motors, have their own warranties separate from other components—so check the warranties for the most crucial components of the equipment. The supplier is often not the equipment manufacturer, so you should consider speaking directly with the manufacturer to get the necessary warranty information.
6. Do You Have Installation Services?
Purchasing the grain handling equipment is only half the job—you must also install it quickly but properly so it can start paying itself off immediately. Before you make your final decision, you should inquire about installation services and costs.
Some suppliers have their own installation services to offer farmers at a price while others, like Grain Handling Direct, have independent partners that they recommend for installation and construction services. Whichever method your supplier uses, you’ll want to iron out the installation and construction details before confirming your order.
7. Why Should I Buy from You?
Lastly, perhaps the most important question to ask your grain handling dealer before buying is, why should I buy from you? What does the supplier you’re buying from bring to the table that others don’t? Are their prices lower, service better, or quality superior?
Also, consider your supplier’s experience providing quality farming equipment and machinery. It’s also wise to ask other nearby farmers who they buy their equipment from and their experience with their suppliers. Whether farm equipment or auto repair, word of mouth and personal recommendations are always the best indicators of quality service.
Why Grain Handling Equipment & Infrastructure Is a Worthy Investment
Why is grain handling equipment an investment worth making for farmers when there are so many other areas to invest profits in? The answer is quality grain handling and storage equipment reduces food losses and gives farmers greater market flexibility.
Greater Storage Means Greater Flexibility
Every grain farmer knows that right after harvest is the worst time to sell their crop bushels because the market’s supply is at a yearly high. We’re all familiar with supply and demand—the more available, the less demand, and the lower the price.
With on-farm storage infrastructure and capability, grain farmers can be more selective when selling their crops. Instead of selling during harvest season, farmers with on-site storage can wait until the supply dwindles and demand rises in the winter months for greater profits.
Most Grain Loss Occurs After Harvest
There are many ways that grain farming can go wrong—from the soil to planting the seeds to harvesting and finally selling the crop. But grain farmers know that the greatest loss to their crop occurs in the storage and handling portion of the operation.
Grain can sustain damage in many ways during grain handling, from cracking kernels to moisture and bacteria spreading and destroying crop yields. For farmers, those bushels are their livelihoods, so investing in equipment to ensure that the crop is secure and protected is certainly a worthwhile investment.
We hope this information is helpful in searching for and selecting the right grain handling equipment. At Grain Handling Direct, we understand how important this investment is, and we want to help you have the best experience purchasing grain storage equipment. If you have any questions about our grain handling equipment inventory or services, contact our helpful staff to learn more!