The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.
For the most part, machinery decisions are based on dollars and cents. But sometimes there's an old tractor or other piece of equipment that has value that can't be penciled onto a cash flow statement.
Dad had an old 450 Farmall that he kept till he quit farming. I know there are a lot of 4020 Deere tractors on farms that will never leave that family's possession for as long as any of the family members are farming. Certain machines develop "personalities" and almost become part of the family.
I don't have any farm equipment of my own, but I've grown attached to my wife's 2004 SUV. We keep talking about trading it off for a newer vehicle, but neither of us are willing to say goodbye to that vehicle. There are a lot of family memories ground into its carpets and seats. It's got more than 240,000 miles on it, but only burns a quart of oil in maybe 2000 miles when my wife is driving. (3000 miles if I'm driving.) Its paint is chipped and faded, its headlights a little dim, and it makes a lot of creaking noises and shudders in cold weather. It's got a lot of quirks, it's old, it's sometimes tempermental, and it's ugly, but my wife likes it and wants to keep it for as long as possible.
She says it reminds her of me.