Equipment Complexity From Both Sides

In the last edition of e-News, I asked you to respond to what I think is a key factor for operators of tractors and application equipment today — is the level of difficulty for repairing today’s more intricate machinery a more significant issue than even five years ago? The answer in the form of our reader poll was a resounding yes, with nearly 8 in 10 agreeing with the statement.

However, the responses weren’t all about operators sitting in dead equipment. I did receive some emails from the equipment dealer side of the equation expressing their own frustration with operators. One email insisted that operators that have been provided a lot of the bells and whistles suddenly become unwilling to keep the machine going when things like boom spray control go on the fritz.

“Applicators have become too comfortable with the add on features,” he says. “They forget how to operate the equipment when one of these pieces is not functioning. Ten years ago the applicator would tell you to stop by sometime and take a look at his GPS receiver or lightbar. Now they tell the manger that the machine is doesn’t work because the boom sections won’t turn off and on for them — get someone here today to fix it.”

“Many days I even see that we have too much being controlled by a little black box,” he concludes.

Another equipment who responeded to me can be found on my blog … you can click through and check out his response.

So, the service side is still working some bugs out with the influx of new technology that’s being added on, and increasingly built in, to new rigs. We shouldn’t be surprised I suppose. But let’s hope manufacturers are listening and doing all they can to ensure that we aren’t doing so much with technology that small part failures too often turn our tools of efficiency into hulking farm field ornaments. Manufacturers, feel free to add your two cents…

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