Field Service Logic

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson July 17, 2018 17:44

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The preferred choice for farmers of Agricultural Tracks

 

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It won’t be long before the summer harvest is in full swing and along with the satisfaction of  gathering your crops are the worries that breakdowns will impede your progress.  Time is money, and sometimes the windows of opportunity are fleeting.

Your local dealer’s field service techs are a much relied on source for keeping your operation’s downtime to a minimum, but some farmers also consider an added level of confidence by having their own service vehicle.  As farms and equipment grow in size, farmers are often further away from their home base so having something in the field to meet repair and service needs is important.  A personally-owned vehicle can be an expensive investment, so there are many things to consider:

  • Deciding how you want to use a service vehicle will aid you in choosing between a truck or trailer, as well as the necessary components.  Trailers can hold more fuel, but have to be hooked up and hauled.  The good side of that is that you can leave it behind if you need to run to town for parts.  Many trailers complement a truck that holds tools, a welder, and parts, by storing needed fuel or DEF.
  • If you’re selecting a trailer, first determine how much fuel you’ll need:  Two combines, two grain carts, and a tillage tractor could use between 600-800 gallons a day so choose a trailer that can hold upwards of 1,000 gallons.  One combine, a grain cart, and  minimal tillage practices might be better off with between 500-750 gallons.
  • If you’d like the capabilities of a crane then a service truck is what you’ll need as it provides stability and safety.  Agricultural applications generally need crane sizes between 3,200 and 7,500 pounds depending on what you think you might want to lift.  A crane is an expensive investment, so if it’s only going to be used once or twice a year you may want to rethink that purchase.
  • Then there’s the decision between an electric  or hydraulic system.  Electric cranes work well with a gas or diesel air compressor/welder/generator that you can run off an existing fuel system.  It takes more bed space but it’s more economical  than an hydraulic system.
  • Add parts, toolboxes, oil tanks, lube, antifreeze, etc. if you want your vehicle to be a complete portable shop.
  • Remember to think about DEF differently than other fluids, as DEF is used with a catalyst to facilitate a chemical reaction.  It’s an ISO-regulated fluid with incredibly high purity standards.  Typical sizes for DEF tanks on trailers range from 40-100+ gallons, and you must decide before buying if this is your intended use.
  • A smaller chassis truck is suitable for hauling tools, but you’ll need a 3/4-ton or 1-ton truck if you want a crane.  A 1/2-ton truck will haul a smaller trailer until you get into one that holds 750-gallons or more.

Some of you may think that building your own service truck will save you money, but this may not be the most cost-effective option.  Remember that a pickup that comes from the factory has been through crash testing, and modifying that vehicle means you should technically re-certify that crash test.  The liability risks and enforcement by DOT are much greater today than they once were so it may be more affordable to buy a truck dedicated to this use.

A new service truck will range from $60,000 to $100,000, and service trailers between $15,000 and $25,000.  Make sure buying one makes sense for your operation.

-Terry Olson, Titan Outlet Store Team

Reference:

https://www.agriculture.com/machinery/other-machinery/buying-a-service-vehicle_253-ar50330

 

Teresa Olson
By Teresa Olson July 17, 2018 17:44
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