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Renting Farm Equipment  RSS feed

 
Abe Connally
Posts: 1502
Location: Chihuahua Desert
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Does anyone rent equipment? Do you rent from companies or neighbors?

What are the ins and outs for renting from neighbors/locals?
 
J Abatis
Posts: 9
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If you live in an ag area there should be a number of equipment dealers that rent equipment. Even large farms rent equipment or outsource certain operations because the capital investment does not pay off if you only need to use the machine once or so a year, but the activity is essential. I think it is often better to ask a neighbor farmer if you can pay him/her to come in and do something for you as that way they feel you value them and also you won't break their equipment. Once you own equipment you will find things break. Generally equipment from a rental outfit will be ready to go to work and most agreements cover who pays for wear parts such as cutting edges, etc. My own experience is the large rancher/farmer in my area has been very generous to help. I buy some hay from them and I have got to know them. I ask questions about when do you do certain things like drag harrow your field. The next thing you know they are offering you to use their harrow if you want. I find that even the big guys with thousand of acres want to be good neighbors and also they like to see other people that love the land and want to be productive.
 
R Scott
Posts: 3358
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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+1 on letting the farmer run his own machines--they tend to know how to not break them. Ask about a barter, many farmers would do a lot of work in the off season for a little help in the rush of planting, haying, or harvest. But you have to have a good relationship to pull that off--and you need to know what you are getting into as some farmers will try to abuse that relationship.

When you rent from a rental place make sure you understand their rules for time and wear parts. Some rent based on hours on-site, some on hours of machine time (from the engine hour meter), and some count both.

Usually if you have a big job, it is cheaper to hire the professional excavation company than rent the bobcat or mini-ex. The pro can get done in an hour what would take you all day because they are running a bigger machine with a lot more skill.
 
Doug Mac
Posts: 79
Location: Humboldt County, California [9b]
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Nothing comes between good neighbors faster than broken equipment. I rent specialized stuff from a couple of rental companies near me. I've picked up some stuff off craigslist and the like. When I'm looking to buy something there are a couple of dealers I tell to keep an eye out for me for a good piece at a fair price. None of my stuff is the same color except by accident!

I have a Ford 4600 tractor (blue) with a Brush Hog brand front end loader (yellow). The loader has a skip bucket (yellow) and a 6 tined brush fork (grey). I have a Deere brush hog cutting deck(green) (from rental company), a BE 6" chipper and box scraper (red), a Kelly 50 back hoe (yellow) (from craigslist) , a Danuser post holer (used to be yellow now needs some paint)(from a dealer who kept an eye out for me).

I've rented tractors before I bought mine, the Deere deck before I bought it from the rental company, Bobcats, dump trailers and spray painters (boy that saved a ton of time painting the skid barn I built!)

Buying equipment can work if you buy used, can repair it and it's something you use a lot. New stuff is so expensive you have to really make sure it can pay it's way. For example, most farms around here contract out their haying because it's too capital intensive.

I've dug a hole for neighbor to bury a horse and they've help me with some fences, but usually i need to get stuff done in a timely manner so renting has worked better for me than barter. Having the equipment of your own saves even more time.
 
Ken Peavey
steward
Posts: 2524
Location: FL
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I've rented a few pieces over the years: backhoe, skidsteer, ditch witch. A couple hundred bucks gets the job done quickly.
For these I've gone with industrial rental companies. If it breaks down, they come out to fix or replace the machine. For big jobs, I would not want to burden a neighbor with the wear and tear on the machinery.

An Amish fellow plowed a field for me a few years back. Hit so many rocks the plow edge took irrepairable damage. He did the job for no charge. I stepped up with 100 bucks for a replacement part. It was the right thing to do.

My brother and I borrow each others tools all the time. It's almost a competition to see how badly we can stove up each others stuff.
 
M Foti
Posts: 171
Location: western n.c.
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murphy's law in relation to borrowed equipment. If you loan equipment it will be broken, if you borrow equipment it will break. Usually fixing the broken thing will cost more than if you had rented from a rental company. I tried really hard to rent a big tractor and plow to do some plowing spring 2013 as all we needed to do was plow about 5 acres. No dice, no where around here rents plowing equipment. Tried to hire people, was going to pay them alot of money to plow for me, everyone said "that's too much" but still wouldn't show up to do the plowing... I finally just bought a used tractor I found really cheap on craigslist, luckily I knew what to look for on used tractors so I got a good deal on a great old 65 horsepower tractor. It's a great machine and now I don't know how I made due with just the small kubota. Knowing how to repair old tractors is a must though, sending it to a tractor repair place will cost you a fortune.

The plus side, is in one summer, I have recouped all the money spent on that tractor by working it. I saw an empty spot in the service industry here since no one would show up and plow for me, now I plow and bushhog for everyone within distance that I can drive the tractor to and it has paid off, I don't bother with the jobs that I have to load the tractor up and haul it to as that increases the cost to a point that folks don't want to pay it... I also do tractor work for barter with the folks in my immediate area, works great. I have gotten pigs for slaughter, other tractor equipment, and lots of useful farm tools.

BTW, I had lots of folks loan me a tractor before we got our small kubota, invariably I spent more money maintaining their equipment than I spent buying my own...
 
R Scott
Posts: 3358
Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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There are a few that will plow up a garden plot, there are a few that will do 100+ acre custom farm work--but not that many that will do the in-between.

My son made a little extra money this year baling hay--no one wants to make square bales because it isn't worth the time for a couple hundred bales here and there. He made good money on a few, found some real clueless PITA hobbyhorse people, and learned baling is like hunting--the REAL work doesn't start until the bale is lying on the ground.
 
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