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Equipment Efficiency Notes
Apr 23, 2012
There are never enough hours in the day during spring planting season. Even though this year has gotten off to a fast start, we all tend to push equipment and people to the limit. Rainy days are generally reserved for oil changes, repairs, and hopefully catching up on some sleep.
Consider another opportunity during your downtime. For example, many of us have experienced the first day back in the field when we remember two or three changes or adjustments to a piece of equipment we thought about making last year, but just never got to it or forgot about it. These minor repairs could have easily been fixed; however, it's the small things that get little priority. How much could the small adjustments or repairs add to your bottom line? How much does your downtime cost? Do the distractions of some of the small problems impact your overall efficiency?
There will always be breakdowns, challenges, and problems with equipment, even if your equipment is new. From year to year it's difficult to remember all of the little things. Settings, adjustments, and calibration notes can definitely help you improve time efficiency. The same holds true for carrying all of the right parts to the fields, such as sheer pins, clips, spare drive chains, and other various common replacement parts. Reminder notes from year to year don't need to be fancy. A small investment in a file box keeping notes for each piece of equipment can save a huge amount of time. At the beginning of each year you'll be able to supply each piece of equipment with the needed tools and parts to minimize downtime.
On the next rainy day spend some time writing down the things you forgot about this year. You'll be amazed at how much time it will save you next year!
Consider this; what is your time worth per hour at planting time?
If it takes 25 hours to plant 500 acres and your crop is worth $500,000 on those acres; your planting time is worth almost $20,000 per hour! This may be an extreme way to view the value of your time; however, time is always the component with most value - your equipment is at its highest value only when it's moving, instead of sitting on the edge of the field when it's time to go!
Attention to details will help to improve your margins every time!